Today we started the spring garden. It was in the low 50s, the soil was workable and lovely. The men brought out the compost from the prison kitchen, a bucket of stinky onions peels. What a great lesson for the men, though, because after they dumped the onions in the compost we then planted 100 seed onions, full circle gardening at its best. We also planted potatoes. The men cut them, each piece having at least two eyes to sprout. We planted peas, kale, carrots and cabbage, all crops that can tolerate this cool but warming weather. We added additional stakes to our already expanding raspberries, raked the strawberries, hoed young upstart weeds, and cut back the ornamental grasses. The cut grasses were saved to use as a mulch soon. They installed supports for the blueberries and peonies and cages to protect the rhubarb.
In the mail today we received free Heirloom seeds including onions, eggplant, tomatos, coleus, and squash from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and YourGardenShow.com. They are hosting an heirloom seed initiative to gather useful growth data. It will be a great teaching lesson for the men to grow and record the success of the seeds.