This past week at the barn I spent time doing something that I like almost as much as I like being around horses - gardening! I'm working on bringing the community garden back to life, and part of that is making new beds with a dirt/compost mix that seems to be working really well (if there's one thing we have a lot of, it's manure). Part of volunteering at Wings is helping maintain the facility and I'm happy to help with that. I do all the watering when I arrive then see if anyone needs help, then garden. Here's a look at some of my efforts.
Putting the tomato plants in tires filled with dirt is a great idea. I've never done it as I use a greenhouse to get early tomatoes, but this is brilliant. The tires will absorb the day's heat and keep the plants warm at night. As you are probably aware, our warmest days will still cool down to the 50's at night and tomatoes like to be warm all night. The challenge is to keep them from overheating during the day, so we'll implement a bit of shade protection as we go.
My other project has been to make these beds and it's going well. This first bed actually has some plants in it. I found dill and arugula volunteers that came up near the back of the greenhouse, and I put out a rosemary plant and a few parsley that had been started this spring. I'll add some tomato and carrot starts here soon.
This bed will be for zucchini and some potatoes that I already planted. The other big job will be weeding that strawberry bed in the background, which is overrun with clover. I did get to be with horses this week, as I helped Sherry by holding Nikki, who needed her hooves picked and another horse who needed a hoof bandage changed. As always, I say hi and give some pets to all the horses and donkeys as I walk by. Many of the horses are out in the big pasture right now doing a little mowing. :-) I plan to go out Monday and get a few more pics of the herd.
By the way, we're having a volunteer orientation on June 19th from 10-11am, so if you are interested in helping out please email us. You won't regret it!
Laura Weise is a Wings volunteer who lives in Stevensville and will be bringing you stories of life at the barn.