I found these little guys nestled into a corner of the lower chard bed. I must have watered their nest for a week before noticing it, but they turned out alright. Bunnies can be very destructive to a garden, but don’t worry, I didn’t get attached… [I only named them Wiggles and Chub and made sure they had enough water]. As soon as they grew big enough to hop around, I relocated them to a grassy knoll in Chester Park with a supply of old lettuce. Bon voyage, bunnies!
This is me with a single head of red summer crisp lettuce. WOW. I couldn’t believe how large it grew without bolting or getting bitter! It was a good year for lettuce and swiss chard, as it was a cool summer. Tomatoes and eggplant, however, still haven’t matured. At least they have beautiful foliage!
Here’s our makeshift wash/weigh area in the garden shed to clean and document everything going down to the cafe. On this July day, we had salad greens, baby fennel, and swiss chard. Over the season, the orders have only been getting bigger! The folks at the kitchen are doing a great job featuring our produce in their seasonal dishes even if it has minor insect damage. I’m proud to say that we haven’t sprayed any of our produce at all!
We’ll be expecting frost soon already and there’s so much to report on from the growing season! I’m going to play catch up–enjoy the photos!
Deer sighted on bottom tier Monday, June 23rd, early morning. EATING OUR KALE! Without the construction fences up anymore, the deer have minimal difficulty getting into the garden area. So far, we’ve only lost about 5 kale plants, but they could prove to be a major problem very quickly. Peter will be constructing a temporary fence in the coming weeks that will hopefully deter them.
Located on the same block as At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Café is another garden area. There are another 8 raised beds of various sizes, and a mounded area for pole beans. This garden has been around for the past 3 or so years, and it even has a fence! Growing this year, we have shallots, leeks, red romaine lettuce, red sails lettuce, purple mizuna greens, hon tsai tai greens, swiss chard, mache, spinach, aaand [deep breath] more fennel. There is a tree that shades a few of the beds for most of the day–perfect for lettuce!
As more and more produce becomes available to be used in the kitchen, communication between gardeners and chefs has become vital so that nothing goes to waste. We settled on doing weekly walk-throughs to discuss the produce that will be ready so the kitchen staff can plan ahead to work their magic. It’s exciting to be a part of the process and to hear what delicious meals they are planning!
Our fennel is just about ready to be sold to the café. Bulbs to be featured in a seasonal pasta, and the top greens in salads. I love munching on the sweet licorice-tasting greens when I see the occasional broken stalk. Next to the fennel is the sprawling cauliflower that, if I haven’t already mentioned, will turn a beautiful purple color! Bottom-left is the sun shining on the “rhubarb chard” swiss chard, and the bottom-right is brussel sprouts leaves. We’ve harvested some of these giant leaves to be sautéed and seasoned in the café.