Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Summer is coming! May 10th Garden Update

It was a crazy day in the Absegami Gardens with work starting at 7:30 and going right through to the end of the day. Mrs. Flukey had a jam-packed schedule and serious plan going into today, and I think we were almost able to accomplish everything on the list with a few final touches needed tomorrow.

We were pleased with the results (see photos below) and got a lot accomplished thanks to the help of students and staff. A special thanks to Mr. Bell, Mrs. Gergler, Ms. Strigh, Mrs. Baker, Mr. Reilly, Mr. Harritopulos, and, of course, Mrs. Flukey who provided students each period and were not afraid to get their own hands dirty as well. I would estimate well over 100 students assisted with the tasks today and the gardens are almost ready for summer. After weeding and cleaning out all of the beds we were ready to plant our warm weather plants and pick some more of our spinach, radishes, lettuce, and turnip greens.

The following went in the ground today: 8 varieties of tomatoes, 6 varieties of peppers, butternut squash, basil, zucchini, cucumber, sunflowers, parsley, pumpkin, and melons. It's gonna be a tasty summer.  Enjoy the pictures below and feel free to shoot me an email with questions or if you would like to set up a visit.


We also have to send a big thank you to AtlantiCare, Sustainable Jersey for Schools, Slow Food USA, and all of our community partners who have been great working with us to get plants, seeds, soil, and everything else we need to make these spaces a reality. The local community has been extremely supportive and we couldn't be more grateful for your support.  

Top Left: Students cleaning around beds in preparation for marigold planting
Bottom Left: View of our raised beds with newly planted tomatoes
Top Right: Plants left over for staff plant sale
Bottom Right: A few of our students during early morning work

Beds were cleaned and summer crops planted intermixed with spinach and radishes. 

Beautiful Potato plants donated by Slow Food USA

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

March/April in the Absegami Gardens

Absegami Gardens Update: 5/3/17

Hello again everyone!  Many people have been reaching out to see how the gardens are coming along and we have been so busy that I've been unable to post since early March. We have had a productive start to spring and all of our plants are either in the ground or ready for planting once we harvest our cooler weather crops. I have to say that the number of staff members and students helping this year has really allowed us to maximize our growing time and continually provide fresh produce to be enjoyed by all. We have had numerous classes out to weed, plant, water, and provide general maintenance to the beds. Chris Bell and Jimmy Harritopulous were instrumental in helping prepare the gardens; picking up and dumping soil, fixing beds, and planting. Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Gergler, Mr. Matousch, Mrs. Strigh and many others have been out in the garden frequently to assist with care and of course, Mrs. Flukey has been non-stop coordinating planting, seed starting in green house, watering, weeding, and all other tasks that come with the management of 2 fully functioning gardens. Even with all the planting and growing work, we found time to welcome home 6 baby chickens that will live in our gardens and provide farm fresh eggs to accompany the produce. The chickens are getting big and have just moved to their coop permanently.  Last week we were able to pick 10 bags of spinach and lettuce, 5 bags of radishes, and a bunch of fresh thyme and oregano. Each week we have new products to offer and what is not scooped up by students and staff has been used in our culinary program.  Nothing goes to waste!!  Please enjoy the pictures below and keep checking the blog for more!! If you are interested in receiving fresh produce, please let us know.  For a small donation, we have a number of crops to provide.

~ Ron