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.

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