You Never Miss the Water Till the Well Runs Dry

The unbelievably dry conditions in Wisconsin the past couple of months have been rough on everyone, and Growing Food and Sustainability was no exception. Everyone working in our gardens has put so much effort into quenching our plants’ constant thirst. Even so, our poor crops looked persistently parched. This past week, however, we’ve been thrilled and grateful to receive SO MUCH RAIN!

Our older youth program participants were with us when we felt the first drops one afternoon. It was only five or ten minutes worth, and hardly heavy, but it seemed to lift everyone’s spirits. Our participants and program kids danced in the rain and couldn’t stop smiling.

It made us realize that, rain (or simply natural balance) has a real influence on every person, agriculturally linked or not. Since then, Middleton has had two deep rains (and some awesome thunderstorms to boot). It seems to have revived both our plants and our participants.

The garden looking nice and refreshed post-rain

It is hard to believe that the program is already halfway over, but we have done so many great things and have SO many still to look forward to:

• We have been planning for our end of summer Harvest Festival on
Saturday, August 11th. It will be really fun for everyone and an amazing way to share what we’ve been doing this summer with the community.

• We have a training next week on how to grow mushrooms and hopefully we can learn to grow some on the coffee grounds we pick up from Bloom Bake Shop each week! The training THIS week is on how to can vegetables so that we can sell them at the Harvest Festival to save up for….

THE GRAND ASPIRATIONS NATIONAL GATHERING! As of this week, we are pretty sure that both Ain and Lauren (our two full-time participants) will be able to join Gabrielle and Natalie (program leaders) and Colin (part-time participant) at the national gathering in Hartford, CT at the end of August! YAY.

Other Exciting Garden News:

• Our youth program has painted beautiful signs to go outside of our youth farm and outdoor classroom space. We will be putting them up this week!

This week was our heaviest harvest yet! (111 lbs) The beautiful potatoes, beets, onions, radishes, and eggplants really added something extra awesome to our harvest day and we can’t wait to bike the produce to the Middleton Outreach Ministry as a donation tomorrow morning!

• Since the mowing down of the crops by hungry creatures, we have replanted most of the garden’s open spaces and are hoping to have some new beans, carrots, beats, and radishes soon! We spread milorganite in hopes that we can keep those hungry creatures from coming back for seconds.

• We transplanted the melon, cucumber, and squash sprouts into our garden this week just before the heavy rains. They seem to be doing swimmingly!

All-in-all things are going well around GFS this week and we expect they will only get better as rain starts to fall and big program plans start to unfold!!

– Lauren

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