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!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Many changes are happening in the garden!

 I can't believe it's been a year and a half since we posted last! 

Just like a garden in the winter, we needed time to rest and recollect our thoughts. We needed to look at what we have done so far and figure out what we want the garden to grow into. 

This year we are off to a great start and looking back at the last post, we have already begun taking steps to make the changes we mentioned.

One of the new features we recently added is a bug hotel. 

We want to attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and bees to our garden and what better way than to have a place for them to live. Not only does it serve a purpose, it also makes a nice art feature that can be added to while using the garden.

We are trying to bring more art into the garden so we have added a couple weaving looms where garden materials such as vines and dried stalks can be woven to create art pieces that can hang on the fence to provide birds with nesting materials.

We've added more perennials to the garden like rhubarb, asparagus, grapes and also replanted more strawberries that were runners from our original plants and overwintered in the greenhouse.

Organic rhubarb
Seedless Grapes along the fence
Strawberry plants overwintered in the greenhouse from last years runners

We want the garden to be a self-sufficient system and part of that is being able to deal with the feeding and watering the garden. The compost bins have been producing quite a bit of compost to amend the beds in the spring. We fill them with plant debris and leaves in the fall and in the spring we have nice rich compost to top off the raised beds.

This year we are trying vermicomposting, which is another way to produce high quality compost, using worms. 

We have a worm bin set up at home that we are trying out. We add all our kitchen scraps to the bin and the worms turn it into nutrient rich compost. If it works out well we will create a worm bin in the garden.

The rainwater collection system was just installed yesterday, just in time for todays rain. With just 1/2 inch of rain this morning we already collected 13.5 gallons of rainwater. 

With every inch of rain we should be able to harvest 28 gallons of water, and when we add a gutter to the back side of the shed we should be able to fill the 60 gallon barrel! 

We average about 46.5 inches if rain each year, that's about 2,496 gallons of water collected from the runoff of our small garden shed!

Another way we are trying to make the garden self-sufficient is to have it be self funding. This year we are going to try selling items that are grown in or come from the garden.

Our first fundraiser is selling dwarf sunflowers that we started from seed in our greenhouse at home. We are pleased with what we have raised so far and it will go along way in funding all the things we have planned for the garden this year!

~Rob & Cynthia