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Friday the 13th

A Friday the 13th State House Garden Harvest was accomplished without broken mirrors, miscreant black cats, or other mishaps. Joanne, Gail, Carl, Carrie and Glenn harvested 31 pounds of cabbage, 19.7 pounds of beets, 15 pounds carrots, and 28 pounds Swiss chard. The folks at the soup kitchen were thrilled!

2010 Running Tally of Harvests:

#1, June 15: 18 pounds radishes 23 pounds lettuce

#2, June 24: 96.3 pounds (that’s seventy bags) of lettuce

#3, July 14: 12 pounds of swiss chard, 9 pounds of carrots, 4 pounds of beets, and 7 pounds of peas.

#4, July 22: 22 pounds of beets, and 10 pounds of carrots

#5, Aug 13: 31 pounds of cabbage, 19.7 pounds of beets, 15 pounds carrots and 28 pounds Swiss chard

That puts APPLE Corps 2010 State House Garden harvest at 295 pounds of produce so far, as compared to 286 pounds of vegetables total for 2009. Which means, we’ve already surpassed last year’s harvest, with 2 more months left to the growing season! Yeee haa!!


Recent Harvests

Two State House Vegetable Garden harvests have taken place recently.

On July 14th, Bastille Day, Joanne, Wendy, Tricia, Karen and Glenn harvested 12 pounds of swiss chard, 9 pounds of carrots, 4 pounds of beets, and 7 pounds of peas.  They also planted cherry tomatoes and peppers.

On July 22nd, Glenn reports “The State House Vegetable Garden thankfully avoided the one-inch hail that swept across from the Adirondacks into Vermont last night. This morning dawned cool and sunny with no sign of last night’s storm.

Joanne, Tricia, Wendy and I harvested 22 pounds of beets and 10 pounds of carrots. Planted some more cherry tomatoes. Garden looks glorious!”

Alison Soccodato of APPLE Corps recently prepared some Statehouse Garden Recipe Cards based on the crops currently growing down on the ‘farm.’  Download a copy of these easy to assemble recipe cards for kale, Swiss chard, squash, and other fresh foods.

2010 First Harvest

Greetings All,

We had a wonderful day for this seasons first harvest.  Gail and I started out the day casting a biodynamic prep on the gardens and surrounding plantings.  Thank you Gail for bring this element to the gardens! Tricia, Allison, Elizabeth and Carl came out for this Harvest and we bagged up lots of lettuce and some truly beautiful radishes for the Food Pantry.  Carl borrowed Zach’s scale (we just can’t let that dear boy go) and has the figures for this harvest.  This years 4th of July spectators may be disappointed in the pea crop as it seems the local deer population has also discovered how tasty the young shoots are.  We harvested only a portion of the lettuce on the north side crescent’s lettuce, we will need to harvest the remainder in the next few weeks.   I would like to schedule another harvest for next week, Monday or Tuesday around 6pm. let me know which days works best.  I have noticed that the backsides (sides facing the sidewalks) of the gardens are getting pretty weedy, if anyone has a chance please work on keeping this side weed free (someday we just might get to plant strawberries there).  Tricia will be working on them in the mornings if anyone would like to join her.  I planted some alyssum where we removed the lettuce today, please do be careful not to pull as a weed!

Thanks again everyone.  To volunteer on harvest days during the summer and fall of 2010, or to learn more about the APPLE Corps, write to info@statehousegarden.org

Many Blessings

Joann

Back in Business

Lettuce, beets, radishes, bush peas and red cabbage are popping up on the Vermont State House Lawn again this spring, thanks to a partnership between the APPLE Corps citizens group, the State of Vermont, and a Montpelier High School class.  Last year, Vermont became the first state in the nation to dedicate a portion of its State House lawn as a vegetable garden.

“Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world — or at least plant a 420-square-foot vegetable garden,” quipped APPLE Corps member Carl Etnier. “We hope that the idea of planting public landscapes with food crops will spread to other state facilities, municipal lands, and land owned by churches, schools, and private companies. And we hope to see the food garden model develop from annual vegetable crops to perennial fruit and nut trees. In these economic hard times and declining oil availability, strong local food systems are important.”

The State House food garden’s purposes are to inspire Vermonters to plant their own gardens, and to create a new local food model where public open space is cultivated by volunteers in order to feed those in need. “I am so excited to be part of this wonderful project for the second year,” says head gardener and APPLE Corps member Joann Darling. “The State House food garden is not only here to feed people, but to inspire the hope that all can be fed.” Darling is a professional gardener whose local Gardens of Seven Gables has been active in the Montpelier Farmers Market.

The State House food garden includes two 70-foot-long, 3-foot-wide, crescent-shaped beds directly in front of the Capitol Building. Those beds yielded more than 280 pounds of vegetables last year, with all produce distributed to Vermonters in need. “We serve 350 people per month, and feel such gratitude to be receiving vegetables from the State House Food Garden,” said Victoria King, Director of the Montpelier Food Pantry and a speaker at Thursday’s planting.
Also at Thursday’s planting were Montpelier High School students from Tom Sabo’s class. They planted 350 lettuce starts in the garden, which they had nurtured in the school’s solar-powered greenhouse. “As a teacher, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate local food into our curriculum,” said Sabo. “The State House garden allows students to take a meaningful and responsible role in growing food for our community.”

Fourth Harvest

The fourth harvest was great, even if a little surreal with the Kansas protesters spitting nasty epithets at passers by, and the anti-protesters smiling serenely back and holding a bake sale! All the food we harvested—and there was a lot—went to the Bethany Soup Kitchen, which really appreciated every beet, carrot and bean.

Cabbage – 8 lbs – 4 oz
Carrots – 5 lbs – 4.5 oz
Beans – 3 lbs – 14 oz
Beets – 27 lbs
Kale – 5 lbs – 12.25 oz

More kale, collards, broccoli, lettuce, beets and spinach were planted.

Third Harvest

Monday evening, August 3, 2009. – The APPLE Corps’ third harvest from the Vermont State House Food Garden, and the biggest yet this summer. Four APPLE Corps members and four volunteers picked more than 100 pounds of fresh vegetables, cabbages, kale, beets and carrots, and boxed them up under the not-so-watchful eye of frisbee players and late afternoon lawn loungers. A family from Florida, first time touring Vermont, snapped pix, and I was surprised to learn that they knew all about the garden (thanks to an informative cousin). They said they would take the idea of planting vegetables in public open spaces back with them to the Sunshine State. So maybe we’ll see a vegetable garden at Miami City Hall next summer! After harvesting, we held an impromptu parade through Montpelier, pushing a cart full of cabbages and a bike topped with a crate of kale. Wheeled them down State to Main and deposited veggies in cold storage, courtesy of the Black Door, to await distribution to the Montpelier Food Pantry next morning. – Glenn Scherer

3rd Harvest Totals:

Cabbage = 54.4 lbs

Chard = 23.6lbs

Carrots = 1 lbs

Beets = 16.6 lbs

Parsley = 3.25 lbs

Kale = 3.75 lbs

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