The Garden at Oswegatchie School is a sustainable organic garden where children get a hands on experience learning where their food comes from while developing an appreciation and respect for nature. The Garden will be a learning center to teach gardening as well as incorporating art, music, literature, math and science. It is a place where children are encouraged to join in and participate in the process of creating, developing and maintaining the garden!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Another Productive Saturday

Busy, busy, busy :)

We had another work party this morning. The weather was cooperative. Overcast and not too humid. With the help we got today we were done in just over an hour. Thank you Ms. Edwards and Heikkinen family! We were able to get all the beds weeded, the area around the garden mowed, and the boxes trimmed. After that the children picked another 2 pounds of produce. Today it was mostly string beans. We also got another yellow squash, zucchini, and a couple of cucumbers. The tomatoes are abundant! I can't wait until those little orbs starting turning crimson! My mouth is watering in anticipation. 

The children loved using the Eco-friendly push mower

working hard in the pumpkin patch

taking care of the squash bed

harvesting beans longer than their hands!

picking yellow squash

found another cuke hiding
There is never a dull moment in the Garden. Just when we starting feeling confident about getting the squash bugs and cucumber beetles under control, another pest surprises us! Ah, the joys of gardening. Everyday is a learning experience. I love when these unexpected learning opportunities present themselves because I feel it is important for the children to learn that the Garden takes time and effort to maintain. You can't just plunk some plants down and come back later to get perfect vegetables. It doesn't work that way. Life doesn't work that way. You have to work hard to produce results. Now let me come off my soap box and show you what we found this morning.

Tomato horn worm
That alien looking creature is a tomato horn worm. The picture doesn't really do it justice as he was a gorgeous shade of tomato leaf green. In fact I didn't see it at first. What I noticed were it's droppings. I thought it was the eggs of a yet to be identified pest bug. I called Rob over to see if he knew what type of critter laid eggs that looked like tiny brown clusters of balls. He took one look and said "it's poop, look for a tomato horn worm nearby."  After searching diligently we spotted the little (or not so little) bugger. He was about the size of Rob's thumb! He was plump and squishy and really liked to hold on to the tomato branches. After searching all of the tomato plants we "evicted" three more. These critters are called tomato horn worms but will also eat eggplant and petunias. The best (organic) method of ridding your garden of them is to pick them off and squish them or give them a soak in soapy water. More information about them can be found here.  Just like other garden pests, these can be avoided by making sure your soil is well amended with organic matter. Healthy soil equals healthy garden.

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