Sal’s Paradise Garden Pt. 1

by ryan

So I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t too thrilled about the next member’s class topic. I mean what is there to talk about ‘soil’ and ‘why do I care’? That all changed after this weekend! Sarah took one look at my backyard and was convinced that we could make something of it! It turned out (obviously) that she was right and together we did an extreme home makeover on the garden. For those of you who took multiple ‘nature walks’ in my yard on Friday night you may remember that it looked somewhat like this…

After some vigorous pulling and shearing, we got my third of the garden to look pretty nice and ready to be sown with baby saplings of tasty vegetables. After mixing in some soil-booster it was time to plant.

We planted three varieties of tomatoes (baby clusters, brandywine, and early girl), Anaheim peppers, green bell peppers, snap peas, yellow squash and some cilantro. They should all bear fruit in 60-90 days and may appear in June lunch club offerings. I want to make signs in the wood-shop but for now they are labeled with the little paper tags.

Besides getting dirt on our hands, learning about how to deal with snail infestations (coffee grounds, garlic spray, or old fashioned pesticide), and anticipating the good veggies, one of the neatest things was checking out some of the life that flourished in the unkempt shrubbery. We found worms, beetles, slugs, caterpillars, and a california slender salamander that we named ‘Sal Paradise’.

I post all this not only to brag about how much work got done in one weekend, but to say how cool it is to discover the old human need to work on the garden and play in some dirt. I know a bunch of you all do some amateur gardening so any advice is appreciated. Also we were wondering how the plants pollinate with only one of the species around? What will the flowers look like? How long will it really take? So many questions.

I can’t wait to have every one over for some home grown produce. Stay tuned for future posts about the growing process as we see how they progress. And maybe I’ll actually be able to teach something about soil in member’s class. Phew!