We are blessed with a beautiful tomato crop this season. Most are greening/on their way to ripening up, YUMMY! We’ve managed to develop a trellising system with twine and metal stakes- fairly simple and sturdy.
Our peach and apple trees are producing plentiful fruit- most of which is so tempting to eat whilst working, but we resist the urge to snack. This is the view from the road off of Lawe Street.
These are our new & improved compost bins. After a tune-up of the bins constructed in the early 2000’s, our wonderful past garden manager Polly Dalton, (now serving on the Appleton City Council) and our new compost manager, Brian DeCorte, developed a new technique. With a little brainstorming and the muscle of Cate, Aiden, and some volunteers, we finally finished construction with old pallets and hay. The right corridor already houses some summer composting. We can’t wait to use this new home – we feel like proud parents.
Our basil is SO BEAUTIFUL! Not only is it potent, but when mixed and chopped up with some SLUG arugula, it makes an amazing pesto. Quite incredible. It also serves as a natural barrier to animals trying to snack on our tomatoes- mother nature is so cute. We have sold some to Lawrence University’s summer staffing as well as Bon Appetit, the catering services here at LU.
With every sustainable gardening practice, there are going to be roadblocks to get through. Challenge makes us smarter and well-rounded! This summer, our resident woodchucks (there are 5 of them, all aptly named Buttons) have done a real number on the garden. We’ve felt under siege as of late. After two months of expert fencing technique, companion planting spicy greens around important crops, using coyote pee on the perimeters of our hoophouse, utilizing live traps and bait, and numerous other guerrilla gardening tactics, the woodchucks have still come out on top. They can climb! They’ve eaten zucchini, green tomatoes (before they even ripen, c’mon guys), ALL OF OUR KALE, chard, cucumber, and beans. We live trapped ONE, but when we took him away to the other side of the river, I guess the woodchucks called in their backup troops and went to WAR with us. Bunnies and a mother deer with her baby fawn have declared war on us. It is discouraging, yes, but Aiden and I have worked very hard to stay positive. With the help of facility services, we are working with a company that can hopefully get rid of the problem. It’s been a long fight, but our produce is #1, and these woodchucks have got to be relocated. Hopefully it works! It has been a great test in creativity, patience, and trial/error.
All in all, this summer has been a highly exciting one! We are so very lucky to be a part of the continuous think-tank that is SLUG. We’ll update you again soon!