Thursday, October 19, 2017

Oct. 18, 2017

We had a rather fruitful harvest at Morris, despite it being so late in the season. There were lots of cherry tomatoes and the malibar is still doing well. We also picked a few eggplants for the first time as well as a bunch of green peppers. But, most exciting, was the pumpkin. It has been growing on the other side of the fence for the past few weeks, and today was finally the day to harvest. However, that meant walking around the block and finding a way into the fenced lot bordering our garden. Luckily there was a gap in the gate big enough to crawl through and we were able to pick the pumpkin. Next week we plan to make a pie with it!

On the pest front, we have two broccoli rabe plants — we think but aren't sure because they haven't produced anything we can pick yet — that aren't doing great and we've picked off some eggs in the past. Today, though, we found quite a few bugs crawling all over. After some googling, we found out that they are harlequin bugs, common to plants in the cabbage family. Hopefully we found and killed them all, but it is always hard to tell.

After lunch, we peeled and sliced some of the apples we picked last week and made applesauce. It was delicious and the whole group really enjoyed it!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

August 16, 2017

It was another busy day at Morris. We harvested lots of cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, as well as kale, mint, peppers malibar spinach and mizuna. We also started preparing for the fall planting we are going to do in a few weeks. Since a lot of our squash plants succumbed to the squash beetles, we hoed those beds and removed all of the weeds that had grown. Now, they are clear and ready for new seeds. We also checked the remaining squash plants for bugs, killed a few beetles, removed some eggs and sprayed the underside of all the squash leaves with soapy water to help keep the bugs away.

There was also lots of weeding to be done, since we hadn't been at Morris in a bit. While weeding around the tomatoes, we found another tomato hornworm! This one was covered in wasp larvae, though, so we didn't kill it. Instead, we picked off the leaf with the hornworm, and moved it to a corner of the garden where nothing is growing. That way, once the larvae hatch and become full-grown wasps, they will kill that hornworm, and hopefully any others that are still lurking in our tomato plants.

But the hornworm wasn't the only bug we saw today. There were a few grasshoppers hanging around the minzuna and as we were prepping the other beds we saw a few snails.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 9, 2017

FIELD TRIP! Today we had a horticulture field trip. We got to go on a tour of the Javits Center's green roof. It is the largest green roof in New York City and the second largest green roof in the U.S. The green roof was added a few years ago during a massive renovation to make the building more environmentally friendly. The garden on the top is really big and covered in a bunch of different types of sedum, a low growing plant that is very good at absorbing water. This was a bit unexpected, a lot of use were expecting to see a garden like we work on every week, with flowers and plants, but the purpose of this green roof is to absorb water and keep the temperature of the building lower, which sedum is apparently very good at. The roof is also home to lots of birds, and as such, you can see lots of bones from different animals that birds have eaten on the roof. Kinda creepy, but really interesting.

We only saw half of the Javits Center's green roof, the other half is where they keep bees. They are hoping to harvest their first honey this fall, and plan to use it in the building's cafeteria - pretty cool.

After the tour, we got to see a bit more of the building. Workers were getting ready for a big exposition, so there was lots of activity in the main hall. We also got to see the main entrance, which they call the crystal palace.

After the Javits Center, we crossed the street to visit a bit of the High Line and enjoy our lunch. Most of us on the trip had never visited the High Line before, so that was fun. And after lunch, we all got ice pops - mine was raspberry hibiscus - before it was time to go home. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 7, 2017

So. Much. Rain. Unfortunately it started raining on Monday morning and didn't really let up. But we hadn't been to Morris is a while, so there was so work that had to get done, rain or shine. There was lots to harvest: squash, kale, mizuna, tomatoes - including our first taxi tomatoes - and malibar spinach. Unfortunately some of the squash wasn't looking so great, probably because of the squash beetles. Removing the two squash plants last time we were at Morris wasn't enough. There were some young squash beetles on the squash plants on the other side of the garden, but we killed those and removed all of the eggs from the leaves. To be extra safe, we sprayed the leaves with soapy water, hopefully that will be enough! The rain eventually got heavier so we went inside to taste the yellow taxi tomato, before calling it an early day.

July 26, 2017

The tomato horn worm hunt continued today in Morris. There was some damage on a few tomato plants, but even with the bounty of one ice cream per horn worm found, we didn't find any worms on the tomato plants. But the hunt will continue next week.

Horn worms aren't the only pest affecting the garden, we are also dealing with squash beetles. We found beetles and their eggs on two plants that were pretty damaged. Since we aren't going to be at Morris next week, we made the decision to remove two plants, hoping that will prevent the bugs from spreading to the other squash plants.

But the rest of the garden is doing really well. We harvested kale, oak leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mizuna, shizo, malibar spinach, cucumbers, yellow squash and zucchini.

August 14, 2017

Today was a busy day at 111. Since we weren't in the garden last week there was lots to take care of. We harvested cucumbers, zucchini, malibar spinach, mustard greens and our first tomato. We also cleared two of the raised beds that had the cranberry beans. Those plants had dried up and we had harvest all of the beans last time we worked in the garden. In the same beds, there were also a bunch of sunflowers that unfortunately fell over, so we took those out so that there would be room for us to plant some new seeds. Once everything was cleared we planted brussels sprouts and rainbow carrots, they should be ready to harvest in the fall.

After lunch we had this year's first foray into baking! We made a peach gallette, or free form pie. We had to cut up the peaches, roll out the dough, assemble everything and brush the crust with an egg wash so that it would turn golden and shiny. While the gallette was baking, we picked a few edible flowers from the garden, nasturtium and johnny jump ups, to decorate the finished pie. Which, if I do say so myself, was delicious!

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017

Today was all about peaches. It was really rainy out, so we weren't able to get a lot done in the garden, but we still managed to harvest some malibar spinach and 18 lbs of peaches! Next week we might make a peach pie, since we have so many peaches to use.

Since it was raining, we decided to do some cooking. With a cucumber, basil and spinach from the garden, we made a delicious quinoa salad that also had tomatoes and feta cheese.