A Makeover for Blaise

Today, during class, I decided to give Blaise the scarecrow a makeover. S/he was looking pretty drab (see previous posts), and was missing a head, so I took one of the large mystery fruits from our citrus tree and sharpied on a face! Isn’t s/he stunning??

a new day, a new face

Blaise adds a touch of whimsy to our garden, and is now standing at the front entrance, ready to greet all new visitors with a smile!

'Blaise'

 

Today we worked on our compost. We added water and stirred (aerated) it, making sure it was the right consistency. I identified a banana tree next to the compost and am intrigued to watch for its progress.

 

compost bin and banana tree

 

I also brought over two potatoes from home, which I hadn’t used quickly enough! They started to sprout ‘eyes’, so I googled how to plant potatoes. According to a website, you simply cut them into chunks (making sure that each segment has at least one eye, or sprout) let those segments dry out, forming a callous over the skin to prevent rotting, and then plant them 6 in. deep in soil. I think they need one more day to properly dry out, so they are sitting on one of the work stations. Later this week they will be ready to plant!

 

It would be great to learn about other ways we can use kitchen scraps to grow our garden.

 

potatoes

 

The garden needs a new soil test kit! We need to test out soil pH levels to determine if we need to add any substances for our blueberry bushes. Blueberries like a very alkaline environment (5.0-6.0 pH) in order to thrive. Unfortunately, the kit I found in the shed was old and missing parts.

 

old soil test kit

 

The limes are doing well, continuing to flower and produce more fruit!

limes

 

 

James had planted some watermelon seeds, which have sprouted! I am very excited to plant them and have watermelon in a few months! These Dixie Queen Watermelon will need a lot of room to grow, however, so we must plant wisely and anticipate their growth.

 

watermelon


Garden Visit: Saturday, February 9, 2013

I went up to visit the garden late this afternoon. I expected the soil to be fairly damp since it rained recently, but I guess today’s sun dried it up a bit. I did some light watering to keep our plants nice and fresh!

I removed several burrs from all of the planters, along with twigs and pinecones. There were so many burrs, it eventually turned into the “See how far Zoe can throw a burr” game.

Burrs. Burrs everywhere.

Burrs. Burrs everywhere.

I also noticed the fungi that my fellow classmates mentioned in an earlier post. The fungi seem to have invaded the space where our class first started trying to grow quinoa. The white mushrooms are now spreading to the rest of the box – I noticed one underneath a cabbage plant. I agree with Kyle – we should work on that planter our next workday.

In another planter, there is one row of sad-looking plants – not sure what kind of plant it was since I couldn’t find the popsicle stick. Some of the plants had dead leaves, while others had dried-out and brown stems. Maybe the plant variety didn’t like the winter weather?

One sad plant.

One sad plant.

On a happier note, other planters are thriving! The onions are growing all over their space, and the new batch of quinoa has already sprouted. Look at this cute citrus I found on the tree!

Fresh fruit!

Fresh fruit!


Cold snap hits growers hard in SoCal

Source: LA Times

Source: LA Times

According to the LA Times,the record cold temperatures we have been having are taking their toll on fruit crops in the area, where the temperature has dipped to as low as 25 degrees.

The cold snap has been a particular concern for citrus farmers across the state, who have been up all night since Thursday. There are $1 billion in oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapefruit still on trees in California, the nation’s largest producer of fresh citrus.