As the gardens start to take a break, one might assume that the gardeners and farmers do the same. However, that couldn't be further from the truth! We are bustling with energy, fully focused on what lies ahead for Community Roots. We're so engrossed in our preparations for the future that I even lost track of time and ended up running late to the garden for another important task. With our hoop houses now built and incredibly cozy, it's time to kickstart the process of soil preparation. We're placing cardboard all over our growing space, collecting it diligently, so that it can decompose and enrich the soil for future growth.
The December afternoon had a chilly breeze, but it was bearable. The hoop houses provided warmth to our fingertips, while the cool air tickled our noses. Despite being behind schedule, Nancy was already in the garden, taking care of her flourishing broccoli plants. Excited to reconnect with the garden, Nancy showed me all the life she had nurtured while I was away. As we discussed our plans and admired the thriving plants, we knew it was time to focus on the main task at hand - laying down the cardboard. Although we had completed one hoop house, there were still three more to go.
Let's start our journey into the hoop houses by giving some much-needed water to the flourishing rosemary plant that our Board President, Emily, had me move there. After being away from the garden for a while, it's truly refreshing to witness the vibrant life thriving outside, especially after feeling confined indoors. As we proceed with our garden chores, we transform the area into a blank canvas, soon to be adorned with nutrient-rich cardboard to eliminate the grass beneath it.
Inside these structures, the warmth created a cozy atmosphere as we started cleaning up the cardboard to make it more biodegradable. This involved removing non-decomposable items like tape and stickers. Nancy cut the cardboard into sections while I placed them in their designated spots. As we neared completion, Nancy left to celebrate a dear friend of Community Roots, while I stayed behind to finish the remaining cardboard pieces before leaving myself.
As I start tidying up, I make sure to securely close all the doors of our hoop house. After locking the gate, I'm about to head to my car when suddenly it hits me! I almost forgot about the thermometer! So, off I go on my second mission at the garden - to locate the thermometer. Now, you might be wondering why I'm searching for it. Well, that's a great question! We're planning to conduct some interesting experiments with our compost, specifically measuring the temperatures before and after turning it. I can't wait to share more details with you soon, but for now, back to my mission!
After a bit of rummaging and turning things around, I finally stumbled upon the thermometer we all knew was somewhere but couldn't quite pinpoint. Now that I've found this precious tool, I need to find a safe and easily accessible spot for it, as we'll be using it for our new studies. That's the amazing thing about this garden - every visit offers us valuable lessons to learn.