What’s This?

Here’s a little project that we’ve worked on at Bass River for the past few days. I was able to engage a number of different people at each step along the way from figuring out what we were working with to creating the blog post. Now I’m hoping it leafs out and starts growing!

Bass River Gardens

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We wondered…

We thought it could be

sticks,

or antlers

or maybe a cactus…

Then John smelled it and knew right away that it was ginger!

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So we soaked it overnight..

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filled the bottom of a flowerpot with stones…

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and added a soil mixture of half potting soil and half vermicompost.

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We dug a little hole and plunked it in!

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It’s ready to grow on a bed of rocks for extra humidity and we have fresh ginger to look forward to!

Post by Michele, with John C, Andrew A, Tanya, Ellie, Jay, Mike and Miguel

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Making Pots From Newspaper

Here’s an activity that we worked on at Bass River today. For my adaptive gardening/horticultural therapy friends and followers, I found that as simple as this was to do, it was full of good opportunities to talk about recycling, work on fine motor and social skills and to start thinking about spring. The post just before this one on Bass River Gardens features a seed tape project that we’ve been doing, which has similar benefits. Most importantly, it was all fun! Michele

Bass River Gardens

Here’s another fun activity that we did this week to help us get ready for spring.

We made seedling pots from newspaper!

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We used a sheet of newspaper, a soup can and a little bit of tape.

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First we folded the newspaper in half lengthwise…

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then we rolled it tightly over the soup can.

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We folded it in, creating the bottom of the pot and used a piece of tape to hold it together.

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Then we slid the can out and we had a pot shape!

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We folded in the top edge to give it stability.

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And we had created a nice pot, ready for some seed starting soil and seeds. When the seedlings are ready, we’ll be able to plant them right into the ground because newspaper is highly biodegradable and a good source of carbon, and the inks are made with natural earth pigments and soy.

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Now we…

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Winter Lettuce and Spinach On the Rooftop!

I’d like to introduce the “other blog” in my life! Bass River Gardens is the blog that I’ve created with the individuals who I work with in my position as an adaptive gardening specialist. Last week we planted an experiment in our new “cold frame” and I thought it might be a good time to share Bass River here on The Salem Garden. This is a really cool project and so easy to do! Check it out, and while your there please look at some of the other posts that we’ve created and follow us! We’re having a good time in the Bass River Gardens, even in the cold weather! Michele

Bass River Gardens

We made a cold frame for our rooftop garden a few weeks ago. A cold frame is like a little greenhouse and it’s used to extend the growing season by keeping in the heat and keeping out the cold, snow and wind. We made ours very inexpensively using window well covers, metal clips and bungie cords. You can watch the video that showed us how to do it here.

We decided to try to grow different kinds of lettuce and spinach to see what varieties would grow best in the cold frame.

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We made labels for each packet of seeds,

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Then we went up to the roof, lifted the cover off and got ready to plant.

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Each set of seeds was gently planted.

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And carefully marked  with a white label.

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When we were done planting we had five varieties of lettuce and three types of spinach ready to grow!

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We…

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The First Annual Salem Garden Holiday Wish List

It’s the holiday season and that means it’s time to find a gift for your favorite gardener.  There are so many choices and ideas everywhere you look, from your local garden center to millions of places on the internet. Here’s a few of my favorites this year:

First up, how about a pair of great gardening clogs? I’m really love the adorable chicken design. These are $36.95  here at Gardener’s Supply company.

 

Snap & Grow Greenhouse - 6' x 8' (2 boxes) - Hobby Greenhouse Kits

If I were in the market for a greenhouse, I’d choose this one.

The sides are polycarbonate, it appears to vent well and it’s a nice size. I found it here at Greenhousemegastore.com for $749.00.

 

Herb Garden Markers / Plant Stakes - A Set of 3 ceramic garden markers

Look at these great garden markers! I found them on etsy for 3/$22 at this cute shop called FromArtisanHands. I think they would add a nice punch of color and they look nice and sturdy and fade proof.

At the very top of my “gardening books to read” list is Margaret Roach’s  “the backyard parables, lessons on gardening, and life.”  I loved Margaret’s last book “And I Shall Find Some Peace Here” in which she talked about her journey from corporate life as a garden editor for Martha Stewart to a full time gardener and writer. This new book looks to be a continuation of her story. It’s available on Amazon.com for $17.57, hardcover and $11.04 on your kindle.
If your a very practical gifter or receiver this bucket caddy is perfect. For just $9.19 your favorite gardener will be able to store all of his or her tools and weeds in one place and move around the garden.  This is also an Amazon find. Take a look here if you’d like to check it out!
Here’s another practical gift—a tumbling compost bin!  People ask me about compost bins all the time and this one is absolutely my favorite. We purchased it for our adaptive gardens at work last spring and I love it! It makes compost in two to three months, has two chambers so one  “cooks” while the other is in use, and it’s quite compact. I’ve never noticed any odor, which is often a concern of new compost makers and its quite animal proof since it’s up off of the ground. You’ll find it at Home Depot for $99 or it can be ordered online here.
This bench/kneeler is a great find for the gardener who needs a little extra help to be comfortable physically. It can be used as a bench as pictured above or flipped over as a  kneeler with handles to assist when pushing up to stand.  It’s $28.95 here at Amazon.
And finally, I had to include this lovely rocker for two. I can just imagine sitting in this chair with Michael enjoying our view (when we’re 99 and 102, maybe). It’s  so pretty and I think it would be a beautiful accent piece without distracting from the rest of the garden. I found it on Overstock.com for $217.00 along with 117 other beautiful bench designs. If your looking for a bench, you will find something at Overstock!
So there’s my wish list. What’s on yours?
Feel free to share this post far and wide… just put hint, hint in the subject line if you send it by e-mail ;).
Enjoy everything!
Michele

Growing Life Skills in the Garden

Garden/Allotment
Garden/Allotment (Photo credit: tricky (rick harrison))

Just below is the link to a great article about a youth gardening program in Loveland, Colorado. It highlights the many benefits that gardening provides to students with special needs. The adults that I work with grow and change as they garden as well. As I settle in to my adaptive gardening specialist position I’m able to see it more every day. Take a minute or two and click on the link to read about the Loveland Youth Gardeners! I truly believe that gardening benefits all who are interested!

Michele

Growing Life Skills in the Garden