So. This blog has not been updated for almost 2 weeks. That is a total fail/lack of scheduling on my part. I’m sorry!! I really meant to post this up a while ago – I even did the editing for most of these photos a couple of weeks back. But it’s just been hard to find time – now that I’m really into the semester, the work’s been piling up, and blogging always seems to be put on the back burner.
I’m definitely behind on my blogging, and I still have a couple hundred photos on my DSLR that I need to go through and edit. But I promise to get on that soon – until then, you guys can feast your eyes on the glorious produce from the Hamilton Community Farm!!
The HCF is actually pretty amazing – I know I was overwhelmed when I saw it for the first time. There’s just such a huge variety of stuff that’s grown here. The farm itself is actually divided into 3 areas – the private plots, the community farm, and the 1812 garden.
The private plots are pretty self-explanatory – they’re just rows of soil that people can borrow to grow whatever they want, although they’ll have to do all the watering and weeding for it.
The community farm takes up the largest portion of this fenced off area, and it produce all kinds of vegetables and herbs which they sell to Bon Appetit (the company that provides all the food in the Hamilton dining halls). It’s really cool to see the vegetables that we harvested up for grabs in the salad bar :O. Not only that, but the community farm also has a weekly farm stand and online order forms so both the student body and the faculty have access to the vegetables that are grown in the garden – I’m telling you, this is as local as it gets.
The 1812 garden is actually a lab project for one of my classes called “Food for Thought,” and like the name suggests, it’s a garden that mimics what a typical garden in early 19th century New England would look like; most of vegetables are of the heirloom variety.
I know, it’s a lot of stuff right? There’s also a separate patch of land for herbs (both the culinary and the medicinal kind) and a bee house (although that’s not owned by the farm – our dean of students is actually very into bee-keeping o_O).
The community farm is run purely by volunteers, so almost every day there are set times when anyone can just go down to the farm and do some gardening/weeding/harvesting. The time I took my camera with me was a Tuesday, which is a delivery day. This meant that I had to get up at the crack of dawn and get to the garden by 7:00 AM so we could deliver the vegetables to the professors before classes started.
It doesn’t help that my dorm is on the opposite side of campus from the farm. With my short legs, it’s a good 10+ minute walk.
The first sight that greeted me when I got down to the farm was a table full of winter squash.
Apparently there was a squash blight over the summer which killed almost all the squash plants. But the farm was able to harvest most of the gourds themselves before they suffered too much damage.
Walking into the garden, you’re greeted by rows and rows of thriving greenery, all producing something edible. Isn’t it amazing that this was all grown by college students?
Since most of the volunteers had never worked in the garden before, the leaders of the Community Farm took us in groups and showed us which vegetables to harvest, how to check if they were ripe, etc.
I did help with carrot and tomato harvesting, but I was actually encouraged to take pictures of the garden. So I just went around snapping pictures of all the beautiful vegetables.
I thought one of the coolest things growing in the garden were the brussel sprouts – seriously, who knew that they grew like that?
There were also:
The garden is also encircled by a row of wildflowers, which are also cut and sold.
Yeah. Amazing, right?
Without doubt, my favorite part of the garden is where the tomatoes are grown. It was really relaxing just walking along the rows of tomatoes, picking the ripe ones into a bucket and popping the split ones into my mouth. And those cherry tomatoes are just so sweet!! They’re literally like nature’s candy – I could eat those every day of my life :d.
Once everything is harvested, everyone congregates back to the shed in front of the garden so everything can get washed up and packaged into bags for delivery.
After everything is bundled up into their respective orders, it’s just a matter of dividing and conquering – we all kind of split into groups headed for different buildings on campus and give the professors their orders. People here really like you when you give them vegetables…
Yeah, so that’s all the garden photos for now. I hope that was enough vegetable porn for ya ;). I’ll keep updating as the year progresses and we harvest different things. And since I also have a lot of catching up to do, expect more posts in the (hopefully) near future. I’ll try not to lag too far behind…
Well, my Calculus homework beckons – and since I don’t want to procrastinate too much, I better get to it. See you guys next time!