Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Frosting and Field Trips


Warm weather crops "triage" harvested after a light frost
This weekend was a surprise.  I woke up on Saturday morning thinking "Wow, it is cold, I hope it didn't frost!" and then promptly dismissed that thought as the weather report the previous evening said we were in the clear, no frost yet!  Well -- epiphany moment -- sometimes the weather reports are wrong.  Or, to give credit to the weather folks, there are just so many microclimates out there it is really hard to predict exactly what is going to happen where and they do their best to give us an approximate, overarching guess.

Tomatoes galore!

So back to Saturday morning....I pedaled out to SAGE and found a light frost had made our warm weather crops on the lower slope of the garden very sad looking.  Emergency messages went out to colleagues and Amoreena, our Garden Education Food Corps service member, arrived on the scene.  We harvested eggplants, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes and then placed reemay (or floating row cover) over remaining warm weather crops to protect them until Monday morning when a couple classes of high schoolers were scheduled to come to the garden.


HS students helping fold
up floating row cover that
was protecting peppers

After a lot of hand wringing, worrying about the night time lows over the weekend, Monday morning dawned bright, clear and chilly.  We were happy to see that while some things looked sadder, the emergency measures we'd taken allowed us to have the rest of our warm weather crop plants stripped clean by 80 health students from Crescent Valley High School.  In addition to helping us harvest a lot of healthy, local food for hunger relief agencies, the students were also able to sample different veggies through a fun blindfold taste test relay race and a garden scavenger hunt.  The students are just starting their nutrition unit so the broad focus of this field trip was "real food is good." I'm glad to say that many of the students heartily agreed with that statement as they snacked on sweet Sungold cherry tomatoes, broccoli flowers and green beans.       

Now we're clearing out those beds and planting cover crops with OSU students.... 
High school students heading back to the bus after a fun, sunny morning in the garden