11 July 2012


Saturday evening Joel and I met up with our friends, Will and Naashom, at Devou Park in Covington, KY for a World Choir Games concert that performed in tandem with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. Both a Norwegian youth choir and a more classical Ukrainian choir sang, partially with the KSO and partially a capella. We sat behind some of the parents & family members of the Norwegian choir.
Naashom & Will brought cheese, crackers & wine, for a super classy evening.
The following day was my birthday and we celebrated by going to brunch at Honey in Northside. It was very delicious and lovely to spend the morning with friends. I was also really impressed with the interior design and decorating, it's pretty much exactly how I would make a café if I had the opportunity to do so (warm woods, grey walls, natural lighting, botanical illustration prints).
We were planning on going to a street fair downtown but it was so hot that we stayed home. It was a pretty uneventful birthday aside from the morning brunch. On tuesday at work Sam showed us around what he does at some of the school gardens (John P. Parker & Pleasant Ridge schools) and his aquaponics/aquqculture venture. We started at the John P. Parker school. Sam mentioned that this is his best growing school garden but the least school-involved garden, which is a shame because it's a really fantastic garden.
Then Sam (the first photo is Sam) showed us how to make an A-frame level to determine ground contours, this is to figure out what the water flow pattern is. You would then make berms and swales accordingly (water catchment).
Our second stop was at the Pleasant Ridge Montessori school. There was a lot more school involvement at this garden. In addition to the school garden there is also a community garden on the same premises.
Then we headed to Norwood to check out Sam and Dan's aquaponics garden. They have tilapia in this tank (that's food floating on top), that were too shy to come to top aside from a couple splashes when a handful came up for food.
The tank is connected to the greenhouse outside that is growing tomatoes, basil, mint and tomatillos so far.
Tomorrow we'll be going to another garden that I haven't been to yet, Spring Grove Village Community Garden. I spied this garden when Joel and I were driving around SGV and have been wanting to check it out. In two weeks we'll be having the community garden tours which is a pretty big thing, so Peter is trying to get a lot done by then. A lot of gardens need attention to get to the glamorous stage that Peter would like, I think, but no matter what state they're in, they're fantastic.

05 July 2012

Victory Gardens

I have officially been at my job for a whole month! Time seems to be flying by, almost too quickly. As I mentioned before, I will be highlighting a couple gardens at a time. This week I will be highlighting the CCAT (Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment) garden and Gorman Heritage Farm. The CCAT garden was looking a little sad when I first started, not from neglect but simply as a matter of it being early in the season. Now it looks voluminous and fertile. The produce from the CCAT garden goes to the CCAT cafeteria kitchen. Today we picked 5 lbs of zucchini!
Sweet potatoes!
These are a kind of white potato, they have about a week left before they get harvested (the leaves will turn brown). Peter was thinking that the haul might be in the vicinity of 30 lbs. I'm going to bet even more.
On to Gorman Heritage Farm! This was our intern field trip of the week, Gorman isn't directly affiliated with the CGC, it's just a really great and informative place. Gorman is primarily an education farm that holds week-long day camp for children ages 5-16 (I believe). It is also open to the public daily with paths for walking and hiking throughout the property. Gorman also has a small CSA that they provide vegetables for. In addition to the CSA they sell meat, eggs, honey and vegetables to the public. This is the children's garden. It has a lot of sensory-education plants (even a plant that folds up like a sea anemone when it is brushed!)and small beds.
There is a small apple orchard and a green/hot house of tomatoes, both of these go towards the CSA and produce stand.
Mike lead us around the farm giving us history and information and introduced us to the people who run the show.
All of the animals that they raise on the farm aside from the donkey and the mini-horses are raised for meat or eggs. These cows will be slaughtered in late fall. I wish that more people had a connection to the food that they eat instead of eating passively (aka, not having a clue or caring where their meat came from).
The hens were pretty hot, they breathe with their mouths open as a method of "sweating." We were all pretty sweaty, to be frank.
These hens are in their molting adolescent stage, this is the ugliest and most awkward stage for a chicken. No longer cute chicks, not yet pretty hens. I'm not sure what the rooster was doing in there but he was behaving himself which is all we can really ask for.
Margaret, one of the education interns, took out this pretty lady from the group to show us how to mesmerize a chicken. It didn't work *that* well, but it was amusing.
Then we got to meet the goats, man oh man were these guys cute. Especially Maynard, the little white goat with the brown face.
We also met the pigs who loved to be sprayed down with a hose. I had a dog when I was little who would "bite" water that was sprayed at her in the same way that these pigs lapped it up.
On to the barn! Here we met the Donkey (named Stormey) and an old mini-horse. I believe they said he was 30 years-old, wow!
Then we helped John, the market gardener, pull weeds in a turnip bed, and pull up three rows of hard-neck garlic. After we pulled up the garlic we hung it to dry so it could be sold at the produce market.
Our day at the farm ended with a wood-fired pizza lunch. All I can say is: YUM.
I would love to have a cob oven someday! Last night we had dinner at our friends' house and then played with sparklers. It was a really lovely evening, hot as hell, but lovely all the same.
It is ridiculously hot out (100 and humid, I'm not complaining for no reason!) which makes life difficult to endure. But we're making it, one day at a time.