In our garden, we balance academic studies with experiential learning and leisurely activity. A lot goes into a healthy garden. Behind the scenes, many parts work together in harmony to make a cohesive and balanced whole. Our garden environment balances good bugs and “bad” bugs. We balance wise water use while still giving our crops what they need to flourish. Here you will find some of the guidelines we use to keep our garden a healthy, happy, and beautiful place to enjoy.
Ah, weeds. Come June and July we have all we can do to keep up. Ideally, if we get to them all before seedheads form, we make them into excellent compost in either our tumbler or our larger wire bin. Thanks to the original sin, weeds are a fact of life, and we choose not to spray them with herbicides in our organic garden. We use weed barrier cloth, mulch heavily, weed whack the areas we can, and handpull the tender weedlings in the hard-to-reach places. If you’ve never made compost before, watch this short video.
We use drip irrigation where possible, garden hoses on city water and rainwater catchment where feasible. Through heavy mulching and the use of drip irrigation we are able to keep our water bill to a minimum. We also strive to educate our community on the judicious use of water and curb waste where we can. We improve steadily wherever we find an area that needs work, and much of this involves clear communication with our participants.
Our community garden thrives through shared labor. When each member cares for their plot and the surrounding walking paths this keeps the garden as a whole looking beautiful and lowers the weed and pest populations. Our gardeners truly enjoy the fellowship they find through working together to produce food for their families and their seminary and Wilmore communities. When we pitch in together work becomes fun.
To see identification pictures and suggested management techniques for each of our most common pests, see here.