Gardening last year was a great experience and when it ended I could not wait to start again. I got the email stating that applications could now be submitted. I did so right away and because of last years success it would have to be a lottery this year. The drawing took place at 5pm on a Monday and I was lucky to score plot number 16. Not my lucky number 7 from last year, but I was glad to get a rectangular piece of earth to cultivate again. Over the winter we planted winter rye in most plots. I looked around and spring had definitely sprung, I saw a praying mantis cocoon and some flowers beginning to peak out of the winter frost.
On an unexpectedly snowy day in March, we met up to start some gardening activities for the upcoming year. Composting, piling up leaf litters and layering horse manure into giant piles. Guess what chore I got, you guess it – horse manure. I was tasked with creating a square, compact pile enabling the manure and leaf mixture to decompose into a nutrient rich material.
When I was done, I was charged with harvesting the remainder of sunchokes scattered around the garden. Sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes as they are also known is a form of root vegetable. I would best describe it as a cross between a water-chestnut, a hint of coconut and an apple. It is delicious in soups, as a puree or pealed and sliced in a salad.
With spring garden prep complete, next up will be preparing the beds for planting.
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