It is springtime on the farm, at last! Robins, Magpies, and Starlings have all hatched their clutches and are now busy collecting worms (and stealing chicken eggs from the chicken coop!) to feed their new chicks. The garlic is nearly a foot tall, and the overwintered green onions are about to flower and make seeds. The kale we grow for seed is flowering- it's the favorite of the honey bees.
The Youth Farm Interns have been busy transplanting cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, and onions. They planted winter squash this month, diligently covering the beds with floating row cover to help keep the soil temperature up. We transplanted onions at the Community Garden in Hamilton and will maintain them until they can be harvested and donated to the food bank.
The Mayday Gardens project sent 125 ready-to-plant food plant collections home with new growers last week. Recipients were overheard saying things like: ‘I have always wanted to try gardening but it was too expensive, now I can start growing food!’ and ‘We are so excited to plant these into the new raised beds we built!’. Many participants brought the entire family to the Farm to pick up plants. They all enjoyed petting the pot-bellied piglets, Pigmy and Miso, as well as watching the goslings and the chicks. One family came back on Sunday just because they had all had so much fun looking at plants and animals on Friday’s pick up! Generosity was the name of the day for the Mayday Gardens project so far, given away for free, we have received over $1,000 in donations through the on-line sign up and over $240 in cash donated at the pickups. These donations have covered the entire expense for the project, thank you everyone who donated! We all agree that Mayday Gardens has earned a place as an annual program of Cultivating Connections.
Farm Favorites, volunteers Brittany and her 7 year-old son Reif, joined our three new Youth Farm Interns in seeding the Summer Mayday Gardens. 150 food plant collections are waiting to germinate, with gardens being offered to all Hamilton kindergarten families. Brittany and Reif have been volunteering on the Farm since Reif was smaller than the fodder beets, and it is so wonderful to have them help us with this new project to get local food plants into the yards and gardens of local kids! Thanks Reif and thanks Brittany!