Summer vacation started about two weeks ago, signaling the end of the school year for the students and the height of the growing season for the gardens! At the South Whidbey Academy many of the final touches on infrastructural projects of the spring have been completed, including completion of the hoop house side rollups, concrete stabilization of the frost free irrigation stations, and ornamental raised bed repairs. Our ornamental gourds are finally nestled into their raised bed home, growing Martins Birdhouse and Penguin fruits to later be turned into a fall educational opportunity for art students. The tomatoes are trellised in the hoophouse alongside tomatillos, cucumbers, basil and peppers. As of the 1st of July, the terrace garden was complete with prolific harvests of kale, broccoli, arugula, spinach, boc choi and radishes. The dry beans are growing, awaiting their opportunity to teach students about the threshing process and seed genetics through phenology. Borage, calendula, nasturtiums, asters, zinnias, chamomile and various other flowers have a special bed to themselves to play the insectary role of the garden and add aesthetic. Zucchini, spaghetti squash and winter squash plants are making giants of themselves and displaying their beautiful yellow star like flowers in preparation for fruiting. The combination of giant white flowered potato plants alongside terracing nasturtiums brings a treat for the eyes as well. It is a great pleasure for this garden to be available for students and volunteers who are willing to donate their time this summer. The Good Cheer food bank is happy as well, with weekly harvests being sent to those in need of fresh produce.
The Langley Middle School is coming along nicely as well. Rows of carrots and dry beans unfold their green foliage along the beds. Chard and kale continue to lend their greens to the food bank while potatoes, garlic and various squash plants hold down the rest of the garden fort awaiting the students return.
The South Whidbey Elementary School has been providing the food bank with tasty bulk snap and snow peas as well!