Bowdoin Organic Garden

So Long 2011

Story posted November 04, 2011

In just one more week, the 2011 season will come to a close.  Fortunately, outside forces are making it quite easy to slow down and actually look forward to a break: it's cold out-highs in the 40's lately, there's snow on the ground (yes, it snowed a lasting 2" on October 29th!), there are less than 12 hours of daylight, and, well, with a wood stove cranking at home, why leave?  Here's how everything turned out this season:

We had over 400 volunteer hours over the course of the season.  Highlights included a class of 19 third graders from the Merriconeag Waldorf School in Freeport, four parent volunteers, their teacher, my dad and his wife, all in the same day!  It was more people (28) than I've ever had at the farm at one time.

We grossed close to $25,000 in the value of the produce we grew, and donated over $900 worth of produce to the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.  Our most lucrative crops were basil, flowers and lettuce mix, while our most productive crops were winter squash, carrots and leeks.

We tried five new crops this year: soy beans, quinoa, sweet potatoes and sweet corn.  Of those, soy beans will definitely be added to the crop lineup in future years.  The quinoa was fun to watch grow, but it's really not meant to grow in our climate!  The wheat was fun and successful, though won't stay in the mix unless we continue to manage enough land for it.  The sweet potatoes were a huge disappointment; not a single slip took to its new environment and grew!  And the sweet corn seed was entirely devoured by crows.

Groups from The Real School, North Yarmouth Academy, Merriconeag Waldorf School, Upward Bound, and Wolfe's Neck Farm Camp visited us this season.  They provided much needed help and learned about our program.  These were all brand new visitors to the BOG!

Now the farm will rest until May of next year.  It may look like the farmers just up and left the crop residue still sitting in their beds, but the remaining plants will act as anchors holding the soil in place all winter under a blanket of snow.  What spaces are free of crops are planted in winter rye, and those tender things like strawberries and garlic seed will be under a thick layer of straw. 

Check back in early March for the maple sugaring update!

"Our most lucrative crops were basil, flowers, and lettuce mix, while our most productive crops were winter squash, carrots and leeks".

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