Location: 5746 NE Simpson St.
2013 Garden Manager: Erika Gisela Abad
2013 Apprentices: David Cranford, Anjuli Crocker, Jake Soika
(click on image for facebook photo album)
The garden has an interesting, permaculture-inspired bed design. The beds are shaped in a “keyhole” pattern in order to maximize grow space and reduce pathways. In addition to being beautiful, the shape allows for plants to grow together in companion guilds, mixing perennials and annuals, natives and non-natives, insectiary plants and mulch-producers, and fruits and veggies. This diversity of plants create a diverse and balanced garden ecosystem that protects against insects, pathogens, and soil depletion.
Whiskerton Garden has done amazingly well the past few years. Under Reid Smith’s earlier management, we have been able to establish a foundation of knowledge regarding the plots relationship to sun, shade, and local visitors. Rhubarb has grown exponentially so we now have a rhubarb bed with various crowns. Our raspberries have been intensely trimmed, as have our marionberries and our bountiful fig tree. Strawberries have been thinned as well, and we have shared budding crowns with other gardens in the UFC family, and are hoping thinning will rejuvenate our beds. We are looking forward to our blueberries again and incredibly excited our persimmons tree, has begun to bear fruit. We weren’t able to enjoy more than a few but we are looking forward to more next year!
Aside from the aforementioned, in 2012, Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) and mint were successful and delicious. Also, among the strawberries, we learned we had delicious garlic chives (also known as walking onions). We are looking forward to their return and growing more of each, though we will be needing helping taming both the chokes and the ever invasive mint to make sure we continue to sustain the success of diverse crop families.
In 2013, Whiskerton will focus on maximizing use of space, sun and shade given our mix of annuals and returning food crops as well as the needs of the market/food bank. In past seasons, we have grown aliums, brasicas, squash and hope to be tackling a new family of crops this season. To build on our garden’s already thriving set of crops, we will be focusing how to best grow in formerly unplotted corners and how to best turn our former compost bed into a productive plot.
I am looking forward to working with David Cranford again; this year, I am also looking forward to what new apprentices and volunteers can contribute to Whiskerton’s delicious success!
Below is a brief summary of Whiskerton’s 2013 crops.
2013 Plant Varieties at Whiskerton Garden:
Whiskerton Garden Online Journal:
March 28, 2012:
Whiskerton Garden is already looking great! Koto, our generous land and water-sharer, chopped down a maple and a pine tree that were on the perimeter of the garden. Because they were located on the South-end of the garden, several beds will get a lot more sunlight than last year! Koto chipped the trees, leaving us with the long-overdue wood chips I had been trying to find for months! The wood chips will provide a lot for the garden:
- Marrionerries will be much easier to maintain without weeds and grass growing tall and tangling into the vines.
- The garden will, as a whole, retain moisture and require less watering.
- Weed-suppression along paths.
- Keep people off of the beds.
- Woodchips slowly breakdown and provide habitat and food for healthy bacteria in the soil. With a healthy bacteria ecosystem in the soil, more nutrients become available for the plants.
In addition, the garden looks great with its defined, chipped paths that wind around. I can’t wait to see how it looks in a few months with cucurbits and alliums growing all over. I plan on using vertical space for growing all of the large cucurbits.
This time last year I had not even started volunteering for the collective. And already this year I have a plan, calendar, committed apprentices, and starts growing in the greenhouse!
A beautifully-captured video clip from one of the last “harvest Mondays” before the weekly market in 2011.
2011 Whiskerton Garden Harvest Video
(By Josh Kletzkin, Old School LLC)