September is a fruitful time in a summer food garden! The Williston Community Gardens are lush and green despite the hot, dry summer that has affected agriculture across the nation. Check out the web links in the right hand margin for more information on the state of our food belt and to explore an interactive drought map.
The food crops students’ sowed in late May experienced a slow start during the stretch of hot, dry weather through July. With more seasonal temperatures and rainfall in August and some strategic weeding and mulching, a variety of fruits are coming to maturity. When you visit the garden as student life on campus resumes, you will see tomatoes, hot peppers, beans, peas, basil, oregano, chives, mint, raspberries, sunflowers, popping corn, and these merry marigolds.
The garden is poised to produce some potatoes, cucumbers and carrots in mid-September, weather permitting.
What other living things do you see finding pleasure in our gardens?
Little grayish squash bugs (Anasa tristis) have been very prevalent this year due to the mild winter weather we experienced. Marigolds, with their pungent fragrance, are planted for their pest control qualities in organic gardens and have kept these invaders to a minimum in our raised beds. If you see some of these squash bugs (most likely on the squash family plants), take note of the proximity to the marigold plants and post your observations to add to our understanding of this natural interaction.
Special thanks to all who worked in the community gardens this Summer-a few by name include Mary Demerath, Shannon Kanelong, Swanee, Peter Gunn, Ava McElhone Yates, Robin Leclaire, and the Simpson Family.