June Harvest

In the heat of last week we harvested spring onions as white as snow, dirty carrots that we had to thin and fat little sweet peas.  We were diligently weeding and suddenly stumbled upon all kinds of rocks around the potatoes.  Having never grown potatoes I was surprised and delighted to see the rocks were red new spuds!

The curly green kale made a snap when we cut the leaves.  It is hard to imagine the earth had that much moisture to create such green crisp stalks.

The roses are lovely despite the weeds.  I am teaching the men about formal gardens.  This new garden has a recently transplanted nepeta (catmint) border, roses and emerging dinner plate dahlias.  It has come a really long way this season.

I am training the men in the different types of gardens.  In the spring we had the spring bulb garden, of course we have the herb garden, the vegetable garden and the perennial gardens but this will be a formal rose garden.  I love teaching them the different styles, purposes, intentions and merits of all gardens.  The more gardens they see the more they will know how to tend then for themselves and clients if they decide to take on fine gardening as a job.

The strawberries are mostly done but will provide one more flurry of berries just in time for the raspberries to make us forget any other fruit…

Its been a lovely spring enjoying the men and trying to teach them to be the type of gardener that I would hire myself.

Reaping the Benefits

I expect the men to work in this garden as if they were working in the garden of a client; ultimately leaving the garden in better shape than they found it.  They are learning to transplant, harvest, deadhead and weed within our garden. Because of their hard work they are now seeing the end results of organic and quiet gardening.  Even though the men would like to use mowers, blowers and other power tools we continue to focus on “fine” gardening. I share my skills and gardening knowledge with the men and they share their results with others — The men enjoy leaving flowers for visitors and with any luck we will begin to share produce as well.

The goal of the Maintenance Collaborative is job skill creation.  While the men are learning wonderful skills in the Emerald Necklace parks they learn equally valuable skills on Wednesdays back at the garden.  Now we must turn both of these types of skills into jobs.

The peonies are gone but not forgotten.  We cut every last one of their heavy blossom; some dirty from their visit to the ground; others buoyant and lofty still in their swaying youth. Their look reminds me of an old Dutch masters oil painting from the 16th century that you could see in a museum.

The pea blossoms have turned into dangling green earrings as they come to fruition.

and the strawberries, oh the strawberries….

The potatoes are blossoming…

The kale is crinkly and thriving…

and the mail order roses that looked like dead sticks now look majestic and triumphant..