How Does Your Garden Grow?

RISE Center recently partnered with a local non-profit, The Giving Field to help provide education to our consumers concerning gardening and sustainability. Yesterday was our first class and I must say, we enjoyed it immensely while learning a great deal!

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In case you aren’t aware of just what The Giving Field is, it is a donation garden with a mission of feeding the hungry fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, as well as, provide education on living a healthier and more sustainable life through the garden.  All of the harvested food goes to the area soup kitchens to feed the hungry.

The garden grows a multitude of items, and the crops change depending on season. There are ground beds, beds in troughs (raised beds), and even a higher bed that is on a type of table.

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Everything  is organic. Rainwater is caught off of the roof/gutters and transferred into a large vat/barrel that has a hose attached for watering.

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Our consumers learned that when Arugula goes to flower, the leaves become bitter. Which, in turn, leaves them not very tasty for salads and sandwiches…or eating. It’s then time to pull the arugula up and replant.

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Once we pulled out the old arugula, we then had to loosen the soil with the small hand rakes so that it would be ready to plant something new.

Because the soil doesn’t have time to rest, we added an all organic product called MicroLife. We used the hand rakes to distribute the MicroLife through the soil evenly.

After putting the MicroLife into the soil, we replanted. This time we chose crops that were season hardy. We planted Dill and Parsley today.

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After planting the new crops, we pulled up some radishes that were ready to be harvested. Upon pulling them up, we cut the green tops off and discarded them into a bucket to be used in another way at a later time. We put the radishes in with any arugula that didn’t go to flower from when we pulled the arugula. These would be delivered to the soup kitchens. They were absolutely beautiful. The radishes were a vibrant red, and very tender and crisp.

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We then took those fresh, beautiful radish tops and we fed the chickens with them.

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Meet Romeo. He’s the man of the house. 🙂

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When we came over, he had to alert “the girls” of our arrival, and let us know that we were his guests. He was a gracious host.

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The Giving Field has volunteer work hours. Volunteer work hours are Monday and Wednesday from 4 – 6 pm and every 2nd Saturday of the month – weather permitting. It is accessible to any and everyone. If you don’t ever find your way out there. You sure are missing out!

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