Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 2 2015: Blue Devils and Green Comics

On May 2 2015, two groups of volunteers worked together to complete a huge amount of work at the garden. May 2 was DePaul University's 17th Vincentian Service Day, and at least the third time that a large group of students has arrived at the garden ready to help us finish preparing it for the season. The DePaul students, many in blue, were joined by a green-clad group of volunteers from The Second City's Volunteer Team.

After John introduced everyone to the garden and described the tasks that we had planned for the day, he unveiled two pies that he had made using rhubarb from the garden. These pies approached the limits of rhubarb density possible in baked goods.

The Ginkgo Rhubarb Pie
The volunteers set to work. Two teams unearthed the fig trees that we buried last year so that they would survive the winter. The trees looked gray and a little groggy, but they both had already started putting forth leaves.

Digging up Persephone, our larger fig tree

Uncovering Kore, our smaller fig. We shroud the figs in gardening cloth.
Another team distributed the remainder of the mound of wood chips about the garden, while a smaller group nearby repaired our decrepit back gate.

Kore upright.
After finishing the heavy work, we moved on to planting. Before the start of the work day, we had received a number of flats of kale and cabbage seedlings from Dave, who had started the seedlings using greenhouse space graciously donated by the Center for Green Technology. The kale seeds themselves were made possible by yet another gracious donation from Jill, the mother of our regular volunteer and Chicago Cares coordinator Johanna.

We transplanted the kale seedlings from the flats to our raised beds. After transplanting, we covered our beds with hoop houses: a number of kale pests (including flea beetles) had reached the point in their season when they lay eggs, and we wanted to try to prevent infestation.

We finished up by watering all of the beds and setting up pea trellises.

Thanks to the efforts of our volunteers, the garden was well prepared for the 2015 growing season.

Weeding the beds in preparation for seedlings

After transplanting

Installing hoops for the hoophouses
Beds covered with hoophouses
Cat's cradle pea trellising
Watering radishes

Our volunteers