Tuesday, June 3, 2014

8 Things to Love About Spring at SAGE

HP Employees Showing Off Their Radishes!
Spring is a busy time of year.  Work parties steadily increase, the weeds are growing strong and crops are getting planted and harvested.  It can be a tough time to keep up with "inside" work as so much time needs to be spent outside.  So rather than highlight all the amazing things in individual posts, this one will highlight 8 of the best things (in no particular order) about SAGE in the spring!  Enjoy!

1) Work Parties: Yes, we do these year-round, but in the spring the Tuesday night work parties start for the season and the group work parties start ramping up in number.  It's so much fun having folks out working together in the garden AND a HUGE help!  Already this spring we've had over 20 different groups visit the garden and volunteer their time.  Plus we have a great cohort of Tuesday night volunteers who keep helping out, Tuesday after Tuesday, season after season. Thanks!

2) New Crops to Harvest: Greens are great and we love that here in the Valley we can harvest them year-round, but after a long winter, it sure is nice to start harvesting vibrant spring crops.  Already this spring season we've enjoyed harvesting and delivering peas, spinach, lettuce, radishes, rhubarb and strawberries.

It's the simple things in life...
3) Our "Own" Port-a-Potty: I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's really nice to have a clean, very accessible restroom out at the garden during the growing season.  Just sayin'.....

4) Workshops: With nice weather, comes nice folks who are willing to share their expertise with our community.  This spring and summer we've had/will have some great workshops that highlight topics such as cultivating medicinal herbs, backyard chicken health and growing mushrooms!  Click here for full schedule of SAGE workshops.  

Freshly Picked Radishes
5) Bigger Deliveries: Our deliveries are ramping up in both size and frequency and that makes a big difference in our community.  Last week we sent Stone Soup 40lbs of greens (yes, 40lbs of light, leafy greens) and heard feedback that it was all readily consumed in one meal and much appreciated.  We're looking forward to continuing to up our deliveries and start spreading out to some of our other distribution sites as the crops come on stronger. 

6) Donated Starts and Seeds: Our project really thrives because of community support in the form of donated time, money and goods.  A huge in-kind donation we receive in the spring is in the form of beautiful vegetable starts.  Thanks to Gathering Together Farm, Persephone Farm, Monroe Sharing Gardens and Peoria Gardens for providing gorgeous starts that we help feed our community!

7) Compost from Republic Services: Being an organic growing space, it's important to care for our soil and replenish nutrients in a responsible manner. We apply a generous helping of compost to the soil every spring when we're getting the majority of our crops planted.  We're so appreciative that Republic Services continues to donate gorgeous compost to help SAGE grow nutritious food for our community!

Farm Field Trippers Enjoying Fresh Picked Strawberries!
8) Farm Field Trips: It's so much fun having youthful energy out at SAGE and we've had a great batch of farm field trips this spring already.  During these visits, local students are able to get hands-on experience in the garden that links to their school curriculum while also having the opportunity to taste new things.  Thanks to Clara, our Food Corps Service Member, for helping organize and lead the farm field trips!

There are many more amazingly wonderful things about spring at SAGE. You're invited to come visit the garden and see what other spring things inspire!