16 Aurora Christian High School students stopped by to help with spring cleanup today. For almost 6 hours, the students helped to weed, mulch, spread dirt, paint and build. Their energy and enthusiasm was unbelievable. We are so grateful for their help. Even the Beacon News and Only Oswego stopped by to take note. Job well done!
Today we had to take a minute to appreciate how far the garden has come. The onions, peapods, and strawberries seem to be enjoying their new home. The beans, on the other hand, seem to be taking a little while to get acclimated.
This week we are overwhelmed by the support of our friends and family. Our friend Tony gave us an amazing start with our herb garden. He donated herbs from his own garden such as thyme, lovage, oregano, tarragon, parsley, and dill. My parents donated hundreds of home-made cat toys, made from our own farm grown catnip, that we will sell to raise money. And lastly, sister Julie who made a monetary donation to continue work on the wooden boardwalk to make the garden more handicap accessible. We truly appreciate your love and support!
This week, Boyscout troop 22 helped us out on the farm for the second year in a row. We had 11 volunteers work for over 3 hours! These guys are some seriously hard workers. We planted about 450 tomatoes and hundreds of squash seeds. They even agreed to come back next weekend to help plant Jalepenos.
Water Water Water
The insane amount of time spent watering is finally paying off. Although initially hard to spot in the field, seeds are sprouting everywhere. Cilantro, turnips, and carrots made an appearance this week.
Today, our friends at Rebuilding Together Aurora brought us a group of Junior High School girls to help out. They spent hours trimming brush, weeding, painting, planting flowers and mulching tomatoes. Thanks to you and all of our volunteers! We couldn't do this without you.
Community Christian Church
This week, 9 Community Christian Church volunteers stopped by to help complete the new wooden boardwalk to make the garden more accessible to our disabled gardeners. This group brought out total volunteer count to an amazing 107 in just 4 months!
Our First Harvest
Today we received a literal truckload of plants from a local grower and dropped off our first harvest. Almost 100 new plants were added to the farm and 20lbs of freshvegetables made their way onto the tables of families throughout Aurora. This means the farm is completely planted and we begin the search for summer harvesters. Apply within!
What a Difference!
Its hard to believe how much we have grown in just a month! The corn is over 4' high, the raised beds are overflowing, and there are tiny squash under every leaf. It's hard to imagine where we will be a month from now.
It's Grow Time!
The past month has been somewhat uneventful at the Gardens. We still work diligently on weeding and pruning, but harvesting has been sporadic. Some veggies such as beans, squash, eggplant, and onions are prolific. Tomatoes are abundant, but hesitant to ripen.
Our new friends from Cavalry West Church and Aurora University rocked the garden today! They brought great music, a positive attitude, and conquered every task we had planned. Aside from the typical weeding and harvesting, they helped to create a brick patio by the water tanks and build an over-sized picnic table for future classes and workshops. We are now halfway to our goal of 1000lbs harvested.
A New Record!
We have now officially harvested more this year than any previous year! Today we brought in 118lbs of tomatoes. That brings our 2018 total harvest to a whopping 636 lbs. We are well on our way to hitting our 1000lb goal.
Prize Winning Vegetables!
This week we attempted to make our volunteers proud and bring home a blue ribbon at the 2018 Sandwich Fair. We entered 8 categories of vegetables from the Highland Ave Gardens. I'm ecstatic to announce that we placed in 4 categories! We won 1st place in eggplant, 2nd in white acorn squash, 3rd in sweet peppers and 3rd in uncategorized tomatoes. Not too shabby for our first year!
The Final Harvest
The season has already come to an end. The final total of over 1800 lbs is certainly something to be proud of. Looking forward to next year!