Thursday, August 20, 2009


I have to say , and Todd will attest to this , I was a little nervous about what to expect. When you go away for a week on vacation you 're a bit unsure as to how much or how little , rain has fallen or things have grown (especially weeds) . SO here we are gardening from afar with reports from the center as to watering and weeding , but I had no sense of how well the plants were doing . Especially with the recent blight in our region with Tomatoes devastated .... 

We had also alloted to grow in the fresh tilled soil and add some composted material , but hadn't established a feeding regime . The other gardens at the center had been built up or grown in raised beds . And used fresh organic soil from else where ,...  

So we arrived at The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education on a hot ,sunny day yesterday around 11 30 ish . On first glance there was this over riding sense of things gone hay wire . The growth in that area can be staggering and the heat sometimes has a tropical feel to it.
As we entered the compound , the deer fenced area of allotments the various lots started to show signs of doing well . The tomatoes were bearing fruit , the melon plants although small were in blossom and looking healthy , and we had a few cukes in one garden .The runner beans weren't as tall as wished for but there were flowers coming in . So all in all not an August garden, but has promise to bear fruit soon ....

After a hour of weeding each lot, things were looking a lot better and when each was watered they decidedly sparkled.    We then started to apply some of the new tiles to the habitat studio 
which had been done by a group of children from the center's summer camp and by an adult education program near the center. We also bought material from the Main Street Habitat in New Paltz which had been painted by Todds SUNY painting class , earlier his year .

We were fortunate in between all this activity to have a visit and interview from Philadelphia columnist , Bruce Schimmel . Bruce writes for the City Paper and covers many aspects of Phillys art and cultural events , especially of a "green" nature ! After a little bit of a rusty start we got the interview going in which Bruce recorded a varied sound interview with me describing the project with all its various connections and relationships . 

After getting a new reclaimed window in the one west side we cleaned up , having taken Tim and Devin's cue of painting your sheds brightly !! Tim and Devin are the Common Ground CSA farmers at Stonykill NY . A few more photos and back on the bus ,.... I mean pick up 
loaded and hope nothing spills (  I always have an assortment of paint cans and open boxes of screws after an install , you never know what you might use !!) 

Photos to follow.   I 'd like to thank all the staff at the center who have organized the various teen volunteers , especially Zoe Cohen and Mary Salvante . In fact we met Kim our next water volunteer before leaving who'll be watering Mondays ....   Many thanks .

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