Thursday, October 16, 2008

Know Your Vegetables, Vol II - Fall Fertilizers and Compost

This Monday, October 20th, at 6:30 we'll be hosting our second installment of "Know Your Vegetables", a free conversation series focusing on topics related to small scale vegetable production.

We'll be discussing fall fertilizers; now is the time to make sure you boost energy levels in the soil to help with the breakdown of crop residue. Fall applications of rock minerals can allow for the biological activity of the soil to begin working to make these nutrients available to next year's crop. The other topic area on the agenda for Monday evening is compost.

Compost is often heralded for supplying humus to the soil, increasing organic matter that plays a critical role in soil health. It can also be a great way to introduce minerals and biological activity into the garden or cropland. We'll examine different composting methods and reasons to consider amending compost piles with additional nutrients, including biodynamic preps.

Interested in community gardens? Read an article printed in this week's Chronicle "A Green Revolution is Brewing at Local Farms, Urban Lots".

This Saturday, October 18th, join us at the Dartmouth YMCA's Fall Family Festival. We'll have farm activities throughout the afternoon, including: a sheep petting area, drop spindle demonstration, a field tour and nature hike, climbing wall, and farm games. The afternoon will begin with the judging of our 1st Annual Pie Contest ($5 to enter your pie, two categories - youth and adult, prizes include 1 week of tuition to Camp Metacomet in 2009 and a 3 month membership to YMCA Southcoast). I'll be presenting a talk at 2:30 PM titled "Growing Healthy Food" - vegetable gardening basics with a focus on fertility. Admission to the event is $10 per family. {The whole day is a fundraising effort for the Dartmouth YMCA Scholarship Fund}

I have been managing the Dartmouth YMCA's Sharing the Harvest farm project for the 2008 season. This year we harvested more than 15,000 lbs. of fresh produce on the community farm plot at the Y. We are currently seeking Farm Project Coordinator for the 2009 season.

And finally, at 4PM next Thursday October 23, I'll be presenting at a workshop in Fall River sponsored by Healthy City Fall River on soil analysis for gardeners at St. Luke's Church, 315 Warren Street in Fall River.

Hope you can join us at one of the workshops, conversations during the upcoming week...

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