Bowdoin Organic Garden

The Beginning of the End

Story posted October 05, 2011

Last week, the last week of September, things finally began slowing down at the BOG.  Up until now, the season has been like an amusement park ride: an air-sucking, heart-racing test of our reaction speed.  The result however is that we're producing record amounts of food, still having fun, and getting more people involved than ever!

One of the most exciting things on the farm right now is our soybeans.  We planted one 50-foot bed with four rows of Midori Giant edamame-type soybeans, which we got from High Mowing Seeds in Vermont.  What a surprise they were!  Each plant rose to a height of about four feet and carried a dozen furry green pods containing two to three light little beans.  They were a hit in the dining halls, where the pods were lightly steamed and then put on the salad bar for diners to shell themselves and eat.  We will definitely be growing more of those next year.

Another success on the farm is our winter squash.  It's a dream come true, really.  We'd always strived to grow winter squash for its long-keeping ability and universal appeal, although with only one acre, devoting enough space to it was always the issue and we never harvested enough for a full meal in the dining halls.  This year, however, our plan to use the extra acre at Wolfe's Neck Farm played out nicely and we harvested over a ton of butternuts, acorns, delicatas, Long Island Cheese, Marina di Chioggia, New England Pie pumpkins, Carnival, buttercup and giant Polar Bear pumpkins.  We reserved a truck to bring the harvest to campus and it took two loads!  The squash will be prepped in the kitchens over fall break, and used at Bowdoin's Food Day meal on October 20 and again at the student Thanksgiving meal.

Lastly, our rows and rows of dry beans are getting pulled out of the ground and laid to dry in the greenhouse.  We have thousands of pods of Calypso (compliments of Belfast's Troy Howard Middle School), Vermont Cranberry, Jacob's Cattle, Black Turtle and Yellow Eye beans to dry and thresh.  Before we get to that though, we have dozens of bushels of wheat to thresh, grind and bake into bread!

"Up until now, the season has been like an amusement park ride: an air-sucking, heart-racing test of our reaction speed."
— Katharine Creswell

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