Johnson Garden Updates

Posted by on Apr 15, 2020 | Comments Off on Johnson Garden Updates

Johnson Garden Updates

The Johnson Garden is awfully quiet right now. Although the larger Johnson community is at home and the Garden is locked up, I continue to visit our garden almost daily and am taking special care to make sure that it continues to thrive in anticipation of everyone’s return. I have to say, it does feel mighty lonely sometimes. At the same time I have so many wonderful memories it is still a joyful place to be.

What I’ve planted so far:

Corn, zucchini, carrots, beets, radishes , onions, kale, spinach, arugula, collards, red lettuce, broccoli, peas, cilantro

Things we already have planted include:

mint, oregano, rosemary, lavender, strawberries, concord grapes, raspberries, purple potatoes and many sunflowers!

Our peach tree and apple tree both look to be fruiting.

What more I have to plant:

5 tomatoes varieties, 2 different cherry tomatoes, cucumber, eggplant, birdhouse gourds, 2 types of okra, ancho chili peppers, sweet peppers, squash, basil, borage, fennel, tarragon, parsley, sage and thyme, marigolds, zinnias and even more sunflowers.

For a while now, I have been wanting to plant a pollinator where the upper beds have been. Pollinator gardens support pollinators (like bees!) by supplying food in the form of pollen and nectar (from flowers!). Planting these gardens for our pollinator friends helps make sure that they are healthy, and that they stick around to pollinate the other plants that we depend on for our fruits and vegetables. Healthy pollinators are super important to food production and what better way to learn about them, and the interdependence of the larger ecosystem, than to host them in the gardens eat Johnson? Given the absence of the many helping hands which are usually around, I have decided to scale back my plans some, but hope to get some plants in the ground to serve this purpose.

I’m also hoping to utilize the upper garden space to grow a Three Sisters Garden this year. The “Three Sisters” are corn, beans, and squash; and planting them together is a Native American practice dating back thousands of years. They are “sisters” because they work together to help one another grow and thrive, working together for the benefit of all three. The corn’s tall stalks provide needed support for the beans to climb. The beans fix the much needed nitrogen in the soil and to help fertilize and stabilize the tall corn. The squash provides shade with its large leaves which helps to both retain moisture in the soil and discourage weeds. This garden seemed to me to be a particularly appropriate reflection of our community right now, as we all work together to keep each other safe and healthy, so that we can continue to grow and thrive.

For more information and the history of Three Sisters go to https://www.nativeseeds.org/blogs/blog-news/how-to-grow-a-three-sisters-garden

The cedar bench in the Garden was beginning to fall apart. So as to ensure that our community has a place to gather when everyone returns, I have built us another bigger bench, and I am planning a second one! I used scrap and leftover wood, as well as whatever hardware I could scrounge. I’m going to continue adding fun stuff to the ones I have built as well and cannot wait to share it with the Johnson community.

I will post what I am harvesting, and how it can be shared, so that families can enjoy the fruits of our labor.