Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Practice Exchange

Last Thursday I was scheduled to give a talk on Starting a Late July Garden at Greater Goods. This was good because it was late July and bad because in late July not a lot of people are around, but good because my talk was turned in to a round table in which we all exchanged practices…

A Practice Exchange makes so much more sense to me than a talk. The latter requires someone to assume the hierarchical position of expert with information descending upon their listeners. Lets face it, I can only be an expert on My practice and for me to pretend otherwise would just be foolish. This does not mean I should not share my experiences, in fact quite the opposite–I share with others in order to encourage a dialogue, an exchange.

Three Things I learned last Thursday:
  1. DC is giving out rain barrels at 10% of their cost
  2. The contact of a Bee Keeper who can help us get started–we hear the Fairmont Hotel has a Hive on their roof, we plan to do the same…
  3. That the DC government is testing the soil on all community gardens–very interesting that this is a priority, However I am curious to the results and hope they are shared.

The three thing I think I was able to contribute to the conversation:
  1. Planting lettuce should not be thought of as ‘precious’, plant seeds closer together (like grass). Plan on harvesting your crop of lettuce, digging up the roots, amending the soil and reseeding often.
  2. You can plant most things you planted in the spring for a fall crop as well as traditional fall vegetables such as root vegetables, cabbage, brussel sprouts...today we planted sorrel, parsnips and caraflex cabbage seeds. Herbs are always a great place to begin for a new gardener.
  3. If you are having trouble getting chard started, try soaking seeds before planting. I learned from some Amish Farmers that Johnny's Seeds are a great resource.
Most of all Water, Feed and Weed

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