Home > Thoughts > Day 7 – Gardening at the Concho

Day 7 – Gardening at the Concho

I am definitely a Celtics fan. I was drawn to Boston because I was drawn to the Celtics for no real reason except love at first sight. Sporting green, I call that GARDEN FRESH. How about that Jay and Yeezy (aka Kanye for the old timers)? –‘TD Garden‘ as my girl in Boston is sure to note. But something I missed while I was so far away from Texas is the weather and the food. Now I fill up on both every week at the University of Texas at Austin Organic Community Garden aka Concho. Don’t be fooled though, Longhorns will never be Aggies, but we are doing work on a little greenery and sustainability. There are plans to make a greenhouse entirely of water bottles, to increase the amount of campus meals made from official UT produce, and plans for a Micro Farm to open in the coming year. My part is small, but incredibly rewarding.

Everyone tells me I have the opposite of a happy green thumb; I apparently have a brown thumb–who knows where it’s been after all! I wouldn’t believe them except when I look immediately to my right on my desk, there lies a dying cactus soon to be laying in a compost grave. And, it is NOT the first cactus I’ve failed to keep alive. Well, every weakness is an opportunity and what better focus for me and my brown thumb than weeds. This week at the Concho, I began my 8 week mission of weed removal.

I spent a couple hours today removing weeds from the staged welcome bed. The welcome bed is filled with reaching watermelon vines and young perky okra. The watermelon will not likely give fruit before the winter, but I am hoping for okra. The welcome bed is not your typical raised bed though. It is some sort of an organic glass aquifer that pools on a black mat and distributes water as necessary via PVC pipe. The plants are flourishing in it, but the soil around is dry and rocky, making digging that 6-12 inch deep hole extremely laborious. To truly remove a weed you have to reach the deep seated roots. Apparently even weeds get hot in our murderous Texas summers so they like to get dep down into that cool Texas clay. Luckily, there is always a creative solution in gardening–Did you know that if you use a little bit of water you can soft the soil and make your task about half as hard?

Besides the reward of education, independence, and hard work, the community garden also pays out dividends in produce. This week I have fresh Red Malabar spinach, peppers, and sweet basil to work with in my kitchen–no thanks to my own thumb. I’m hoping as time goes on I can turn this thumb upside down, but for now I’ll do my part and kill off all the weeds. Hopefully, my brown thumb will molt soon to reveal a fresh green thumb just before the impending predicted rise in U.S. food costs, a consequence of the drought we have been experiencing (see BBC article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18993671).

“Did you know if you sue a parsley, you can garnish it’s wages?”

For more information about the UT Austin Concho Community Garden, please click here: http://utgardening.blogspot.com/p/ut-community-garden.html

Edward Spinach Hands! BOOGLA BOOGLA BOOGLA!

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