Harvest Day at the Ladner Community Garden

Did you know that the Ladner Community Garden grows food for the food bank and other charities? A grade three class comes to the children’s garden and plants vegetables in early spring. The volunteers at Ladner Community Garden help to harvest vegetables every Monday so they can be delivered to either the food bank or mental health society. This spring the children planted onions, potatoes, peas, broad beans, salad greens and strawberries. Of course, the first year strawberries were eaten by the children on their last visit to the garden in June but there was still plenty to harvest.

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The onion sets the children¬†planted were ready to harvest this week. The greens had toppled over and its usually an indication to slow down on watering to let the onions mature. I gently felt around just under the soil to determine the size of the onion and harvested ones that were the perfect size. They will be laid out on trays to dry off after brushing most of the soil off the roots. Onions need a few weeks to cure so they will stay at my home until they are ready to be dropped off. To cure them I will move the trays to a covered porch so they dry naturally. You want the roots to dry up and be brittle. I will remove the green tops about an inch and half from the top of the onion. I never cut them too short as you don’t want any stem rot to happen. I will check the onions each day to see that they are getting good air circulation. One rotten onion can affect the rest of the crop. I don’t want that to happen.

 

harvest day

It was also a good day to harvest potatoes. I sure didn’t want to wait any longer as I had experienced wire worm a couple of years ago. I knew that they needed to be dug up immediately. I had already pushed my luck by going on holidays. I was sure to have some large potatoes in this crop. I asked hubby to take this photo as I know many people have no idea how potatoes grow. Last year the headmaster from the school came by wondering what the children did at the garden. He happened to come by just as a volunteer was harvesting potatoes. On a count of one, two, three, the potatoes were lifted from the soil. The head master watched and said,”Wow,that’s amazing!” It was then that I knew our work was paying off. You see he had no idea what was under that soil.

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Be sure to bring a plant tray or basket to hold your potatoes. They can get very heavy. I think we filled four plant trays with spuds yesterday.

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Between the onions and potatoes, we had a pretty good harvest. There is still lots of harvesting to do. So far the volunteers have harvested peas and broad beans and the plants are now finished.  We are ready to plant a new crop for winter. I am thinking carrots and beets but will delve into my seed stash to see what I have to use.

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