Along with the rest of the East Coast, I’ve been freakin’ out just a little bit about the impending Hurricane Doom. I don’t have much experience with hurricanes– upstate NY was free of that brand of natural disaster– so when I hear 80 mph winds are forecasted, the number means absolutely nothing to me. All I know is that its bad. Satellite photos like this: bad.
Yesterday we reinforced our tomato beds with lots and lots of twine and tying and knots and support. I think they’ll be okay, though there may be some damaged limbs. I’m more worried about some of our pepper plants, which are only supported by a single stake. The eggplant are squat and sturdy. The bean teepees…well, I guess we’ll just see what happens. Its a pity that the hurricane will hit now, just as students are returning to campus. Hopefully we’ll still be in good shape afterwards so we can have a good late summer and early fall crop of tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers and so on.
Tomorrow, we’ll be back outside harvesting everything thats near ripe. Our green zebras are doing extremely well right now, and they’re absolutely delicious. We have eight green zebra plants, and they are producing fruit prolifically.
Upside of the hurricane: we’ll be forced to eat a bunch of delicious green zebra tomatoes that are just a smidge this side of ripe. That’s a #firstworldproblem if I’ve ever heard one.
Below are some photos of the garden that I took for posterity, expecting to come back Monday morning to a post-apocalyptic landscape of debris, torn vines, and ruined plants. I’m crossing my fingers that we just get our cornstalks blown over (they would fall over in the 5mph wimpy gusts anyway) and lose a tomato or two. I’m hoping for the Noreaster-effect: the worse the storm forecast gets, the more likely it is to fall short of our expectations. This is bad when you are a high schooler eagerly awaiting a school closing, but a-okay when you are trying to keep a garden alive.
When I arrived on campus over a week ago, seeing the garden was a sort of shock to my system. When I left in the first week of June it was no more than a fledgling patch of lettuces, climbing bean vines, and foot-tall tomato plants. I saw the promise in these small, green plants, the vision of vegetable glory that only required a few months of patient watering, weeding, and waiting. Throughout June, July and August I tracked the progress of the kale, onions, and eggplant through Emily and Tyler’s blogposts. I laughed. I cried. I gasped in awe when I saw photos of the first real harvest. In a way, it was similar to what I imagine watching my own child graduate from high school will be like.
Strange personifying similes aside, I really was excited to see in the garden the very tangible result of over a year’s worth of work. And the response I’ve been getting from Harvard students and community members alike has been just as positive— from surprised juniors exclaiming that it looks awesome to local business owners emailing us to say they feel “warm and fuzzy” every time they walk by the plot. I, for one, will unabashedly proclaim that I have also felt warm and fuzzy (perhaps a little too warm and fuzzy in the heat wave) watering, weeding, and generally spending time in the garden the past week.
Now the school year is starting, and we have a lot of work to do. The garden has finally established itself in a very leafy and somewhat dazzling visual manner. There is much harvesting, trimming, planting, and building to be done. We hope that you will join us! Our first workday of the schoolyear will be held tomorrow, September 4th from 4 to 6 PM. The veggies will be drying out from a lovely little shower courtesy of Hurricane Earl, and we’ll be buzzing around (not unlike the many bees who are constantly pollinating our mint plant) tidying things up, harvesting the bounty of late summer vegetables, and gearing up for autumn. Hope to see you there!
First Harvard Community Garden Workday of the School Year!
Saturday, September 4th