Intern blog week 4/15/19 - 4/20/19
April is finally here, and the summer internship 2019 has started! We have done so much work in the garden already and everything is looking so great! There is so much excitement and anticipation in and around the garden. I am the only intern as of now, but that will soon change when Flower Star joins us to help next month. However, all of our helpers have been busy busy, especially planting in the green house. Now is the time when the tiny plants get tucked safely in their beds in the garden, or so we hope. The beautiful onion plants Helen and I started in February with so much love only lasted a few days in the garden before some hungry critter came through and had a feast, half were lost. We covered the rest in a garden fabric and hope for the best. But yet there is still a mystery as to why the hungry critter targeted the onion; It's supposed to be the one green leaf that deters pest like rabbits and deer. So we are keeping a close eye on them.
Since starting the internship, we have gotten a lot done as well. Like the other day, Anita and I made some potato cages. The hopes is to grow these potatoes above ground in a cage to keep the rat population from eating all our crops. We built three of them in different sizes from scrap fencing and other materials found in our barn. We wired them together with a fenced in base and put them in the garden and filled them ¼ full of soil and compost. Then it's just as simple as tossing them in and covering with another few inches of soil. They will then flower up above the soil and we will just bury them. The potato leaves will then die, then something amazing happens. The potato leaf node will then start to grow roots, and produce more potatoes! This is very exciting, because not only does everybody love potatoes, but it seems that the years previous, the large amount of potatoes that were planted, were decimated by rats, and some were even lost.
Friday was also a very busy day that yielded some pretty sweet results. It started out with Anita and I creating and designing a most detailed compost tracking method. We made these pretty cool spreadsheets that have spaces for date created, materials used and dates they were turned and by whom. They even all get personalized names. :) We then went to go get them laminated so they can be kept outside and not get ruined by the rain. On our way we procured a truck load of wood chips to be spread on Saturdays harambe. When we arrived back to Songaia, we had a delicious lunch and afterwards had a meeting with community member and good friend Douglas R. about the forest and possible plans going forward with it's restoration. I would personally like to see more curriculum involving different ecosystems integrated with the garden internship. There are so many ways that a garden can be looked at, and in a system more closely integrated with nature could yield different results than what we currently have. Our garden can be looked at as a closely controlled system of creating just the right conditions to produce only what we desire to grow there. Everything else is considered a weed and treated as such. It's a proven method for creating a reliable and measurable food source, but falls short of being sustainable or regenerative. It could not exactly be called a permaculture garden, but more of a market garden. Which isn’t necessarily “wrong”, but simply a particular way to look at how to grow food on the land. By trying different methods and working closer to how nature acts in the real world without so much human manipulation, we could quite possibly find better methods to producing food and becoming closer with the land. But all philosophy aside, I would love to learn more about food systems and how we can improve them in a human dominated ecosystem. Then we flipped compost.
I am extremely satisfied with the first week of the internship. I have high hopes and am very excited for the future and what it holds. There is so much knowledge here in Songaia and only time and experience will present these learning opportunities. I am very thankful for the incredible opportunities and guidance I have received. I will never forget the kind nourishing nudges towards learning and discovery of the world around us. I am very thankful for Songaia and everyone here. I love you all! See you all next week.