City of Belfast donates leaves to the cause

Michael and Rick stand on "leaf" mountain

Every fall the city of Belfast sucks up leaves from piles in the city and disposes of them.  As students of the Ecology Academy we feel this is a huge waste of valuable organic matter.  We therefore teamed up Bob Richards, the head of Belfast Public Works,  to have leaves dropped off directly at the middle school.  The leaves serve many uses: mulch for the summer garden, tilled in early spring they are great organic fertilizer and carbon for the compost bins and worm bins.  As you can see from the photo we have collected enough so local residents can come and load up leaves for their gardens.  The nutrient value of leaves is well-known (Plant_Nutrients_in_Municipal_Leaves.).  Between the school and local residents we hope not a single leaf will go to waste in Belfast!

Swiss Commas- I mean Chard. (EDITED BY RICK WYMAN, THOROUGHLY)

     So, back to the obligatory blog. Today (January 25th For the illiterate masses) we decided to write about the swiss chard, (no, Breann and Mr. Thurston aren’t the stars of this, contrary to the picture) which is still growing back from our last harvest, which was sold to the local Co-op as usual, sadly I was not involved and neither was my critic who is sitting right next to me at the present (“YOU NEED MORE COMMAS!”).   That aside, our class hasn’t been doing much in the garden, regretfully.  Even worse than that, most of the class is focusing on the “arts”, be it visual or otherwise.   As for today, most people are doing a bit of carpentry , or cleaning the rabbit cages.   The latter which I’m happily not involved in.   Sadly, my editor wasn’t involved either, so I’m stuck with him. Mr. Wyman says I am hilarious, which I am. (Rick claims himself to be a stalker by the way, and tries his hardest to act funny, please laugh at him.)

Troy Howard Middle School Trails In Construction

Were working on the trails because they were a mess before but now there starting to look better. It will take 1 or 2 months, it will be hard because of the snow. We also have to build a bridge so you don’t get your feet wet. When we are done and when you want to walk you will be able to enjoy it without falling or getting wet. You will be able to walk in peace and get to enjoy nature, there’s a nice little stream you can check out and be able to look for bugs. In these photo you can see that there still work to be done. Were working as fast as we can but there will be upcoming delays.  When you want you can walk to the YMCA because it’s right down the trail along with other trails.  If you don’t want to walk on the trails you can check out the green house, the pond, the chickens, the bunnies, the compost bins, and the other trails.  There are a lot of fields if you want to explore.   And there’s plenty of wildlife to check out.

solar collectors

The three Solar collector projects had to be put on hold again after a plowing incident. We are putting up posts to keep it from happening again.

Temperature drops below zero at the garden for the first time this year

The temperature at the garden this morning was -2 F.  Luckily the snow cover has kept the frost from creeping into the hoop houses.  They will get to a balmy 60 F + today and by noon the spinach, frozen last night,  can be picked by noon.  The heated greenhouse is 48 F but will rise to the mid 80 s on this clear sunny day.  This is what we have to go through to eat local greens in the state of Maine.

Following is a picture of the garden from the web cam on this fine morning.

I got the privilege of taking pictures of Troy Howard Middle School’s Green House and blog about them. The Green House is very important to Troy Howard because it helps us get food to munch on while we are eating in our own cafeteria. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

The Pond!

The beautiful Troy Howard Green House Pond!

Solar Power

I got the coveted privilege of writing a blog/post for the T.H.M.S Garden, so here goes.

So, what shall my first blog post be about? None other than the outdoor kitchen’s temperature, and nothing more. At the time (since this post was written many days after) it was 60+ degrees and standing against the bone chilling winds and the <10 degree weather. Though, this post is a bit lackluster and bland, so here is a fancy picture of the thermometer and outdoor kitchen on that day.

Local volunteers beautify chard beds

Local volunteers  Amy Campbell and Sally Demeter work on beautifying the greenhouse every Tuesday.  Their first order of business is to clean up the chard beds by weeding and cutting out unusable leaves.  When finished they fan out to prune, pinch and spruce up every plant in the greenhouse.  They are a valuable pair all year and we salute them!