Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Planting at Hofstra

We had amazing spring weather on campus today, so it seemed a great time to go out and plant the student garden we started last year on campus.  I took my classes out into the field to prep the site and complete our spring planting.
We had a great radish crop last year, so I decided to make this year's garden entirely a radish garden with four different varieties of radishes.  The radishes mature in 35 days, so we should be able to harvest on May 13th.  We can then plant the summer garden with nitrogen fixing legumes.

I did an impromptu informal survey of my students.  Most of the them never gardened before, so this was a new experience for the majority.  

Growing up in the Midwest with lots of farm kids, gardening came natural to all of my peers.  However, on the edge of New York City, gardening is not a common experience for young people.  So, it was a great experience to work with these new gardeners.  We are all excited to see if we have success with this year's crop.

The plan is to provide the radishes for students in the class or their families for their personal consumption.  Any leftovers will be given to the campus food service for use for campus dining.

The area around Hofstra was once used for potato farming.  The soils are a rich sandy loam perfect for rooting crops.  It makes sense that we are returning to root farming in our modest student garden.


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