1st Rotation Begins

The last four weeks was full of spring time blooms, nigella blossoms in the Garden.

The last four weeks was full of spring time blooms, nigella blossoms in the Garden.

The first four weeks of the Apprenticeship have come and gone. In the Chadwick Garden we hosted half the group (20 apprentices) for the last four weeks. The first month was a whirlwind and we covered many topics with the crew in a short time. We held classes on composting, bed digging/manual tillage, tractors/mechanical tillage, cover crops, transplanting, sexual propagation, asexual propagation, rose care, garlic culture, deciduous fruit trees, citrus fruits, fruit tree thinning, and pome fruit grafting. Over the past 4 weeks, 55 of the Garden’s 117 beds have been cleared of cover crop, single dug, and planted. We cleared, mulched, and sowed buckwheat on the citrus slope and gave two foliar feedings of fish emulsion and kelp to the citrus trees. We cleared and cared for about 1/3 of the apple blocks in the garden and harvested 1/4 of the garlic crop. The potatoes planted in the first week are ready to be hilled up and the dahlias we planted last week are just starting to emerge. We installed a new set of six rose terraces in between the pear triangle and the main slope. We planted 8 new bed ends on the main slope. We took hundreds of cuttings from our perennial bed ends and grafted over four hundred apple and pear trees. We sowed thousands of seedlings and pricked out our pepper and flower transplants.  We planted out a block of onions, a block of annual cut flowers, a block of cutting lettuces, a few blocks of kale and cabbage, and even a celery bed. We caught gophers, voles, rabbits, and wood rats. I even heard rumors that one apprentice caught a gopher with her bare hands.

Abutilon was one of many perennial bed ends that we propagated from cuttings this month.

Abutilon was one of many perennial bed ends that we propagated from cuttings this month.

There is so much more to plant and over half the Garden is still an overgrown Amazonian jungle despite all of the amazing work from the first four weeks. Luckily, next week 1/3 of the total 39 apprentices start their 1st Rotation in the Chadwick Garden. They will work with us for the next 4 weeks before rotating to either the Down Garden or the Field sites.

I am sad to say goodbye to groups D,E,F and so grateful for their hard work the past month. I saw apprentices giving extra time and effort in the Garden without being asked. I am happy to see people appreciate the magic and beauty of the place.

But, I am also anxious and excited for a new lively crew starting next week!

 

Resistance is fertile,

Ryan Silsbee

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One thought on “1st Rotation Begins

  1. What lovely pictures, I really enjoyed this post.

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