Wrapping Up the Garden

December 8, 2010

As weather turns crisp and leaves begin to fall, USC is bringing an end to the Fall 2010 semester.  Students and professors alike are bustling around, busy meeting deadlines as we soon approach the holiday season.

Gardening held the same tasks that any other student has performed: weeding, watering, making sure the plants don’t drown from crazy thunderstorms.  The temperature was one big difference though.  Unlike earlier in the semester, the concern of our garden wilting and withering away in the Carolina heat and humidity wasn’t as big of a concern this late in the semester.  In fact, there was more of a problem with low temperatures, especially at night, freezing our humble garden.  Despite dramatic changes in temperature along with torrential winds and downpour, the garden remained in tact and continues to flourish with some much deserved rain.

I am sure that everyone, certainly myself, learned something from this class and our garden duties.  Boc choy, thyme, and keel are certainly not items I am used to planting in my own garden.  I still have a hard time remembering which plant is which, but no matter what the name of the plant is, I do know how delicious they taste!  It was wonderful being able to have a cooking component of the class that coincided so well with our gardening.  Preparing and cooking dishes with fresh ingredients from our garden was, well, re-“fresh”-ing.

This course provided all of us students an amazing opportunity to give back to the community, grow organically, learn about the unique history and culture of the Middle Eastern region, and be adventurous with food.  It was exciting and invigorating to have an enlightening academic course use outside material to enhance the course itself and engage the students.

For the next class, my best advice is to get excited, take notes (outlines ARE a good idea…), don’t be afraid to get dirty, and be adventurous!

Last Week of Duty

December 6, 2010

So I somehow got roped into doing garden duty for a second week, because the date I signed-up for coffee duty was a date we didn’t have class.  Instead of making coffee one morning, I ended up having to take care of the garden for a week, and that week just happened to be the last week of classes for this semester.  Perfect timing, right?

I was not at all pleased with the state I found the garden in Monday afternoon.  The soil was dried-out and there were little weeds and grass popping up everywhere.  So I spent about 45 minutes weeding half of the garden and then watering it.

I went back Wednesday and weeded the other half of the garden.  Since it rained Tuesday, I didn’t water the garden again.  But I did try to thin-out some of the plants (the kale, I think?).  They are twice as big now as they were two weeks ago, and they still need a lot more thinning-out.  Since the fierce winds of Tuesday and Wednesday had blown down some of the stakes protecting our garden from drunks, I had to do my best to prop them back up alone, which I assure you was not an easy task.  It seems as if we have lazy poles that just want to lay around all day instead of standing guard duty.

I had an easy time of watering, since it rained again Saturday.  But as far as having a partner, I think I was taking care of the garden solo.  Perhaps my partner forgot, or perhaps I just couldn’t tell what she had done.  Communication was certainly lacking, which makes me appreciate the ease of garden duty with Tyler as my co-worker.  At least now I can officially say I posted to a blog all on my own!

I would like to see how our garden fares through-out this colder weather, but now the semester is over, and the neglect of the garden in the past two weeks does not make me hopeful of its survival until next semester.  It’s a shame, because it is such a grand garden!