Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Harvesting the Hofstra University Student Garden

Some of the radishes harvested fromt he Hofstra Student Garden.
There are tons more left to harvest.
I spent a big chunk of yesterday winterizing the Hofstra Student Garden and collecting some of the fall harvest.  This was the first time I was involved with a garden on the Hofstra campus, so I thought I would note down some lessons learned.  I've never gardened on Long Island before, so some things worked and some didn't.

1.  Several different plantings were done by different groups of students from August to September.  By far, the most productive plantings were those done in August.  They got a nice head start in the warm moist late summer weather.

2.  By far, the plant that did the best was radish.  I harvested a ton of them yesterday and there are lots more to harvest.  I was disappointed by the growth of the lettuce and kale.  I will get one harvest from each of them yet, but it isn't a big producer.  Next fall, I will probably turn 1/2 of the garden into a radish farm and try out some other fall growers (maybe different varieties of radish) in the other parts of the garden.  I think the spring will be much better for lettuce.  If we focus on radish production in the fall, we will produce a great deal of radishes.  I will need to find some place to take them or develop a connection with campus food service to utilize them.

3.  The student involvement in my class was mixed.  I tried to be a bit free form about how/when they interacted with the garden.  They were very enthused, but I don't think I gave enough detailed instruction.  I need to develop better content and projects based on the garden.  An interpretive sign will be going up soon by the garden.  I will need to have a place to put updates as to what is growing and how to get involved so that students who happen upon the garden have a way to reach out to contact me.

But, given that this is the first semester, I am pleased with the results.

No comments: