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16 06, 2021

Watering in a drought

By |2021-06-16T05:52:26-06:00June 16th, 2021|Ancona Farm News|0 Comments

Intrepid parent volunteers have kept our crops watered through this unusually hot, dry spring.  The first thunderstorm of 2021 didn’t arrive till this past Saturday. We could be in for a prolonged drought. Please consider signing up to water plants and feed the chickens on weekends. Even if you’re not signed up, you can grab the hose and water anytime you’re at the garden.

Watering properly takes practice and focus. Students tend to flick water at the plants, or water weeds instead of crops, or dump water on leaves and ignore the root area. So we practice a lot, and students have really improved.

Besides rain, the best way to water garden crops is via an automated drip and sprinkler system. Such a system deliverly exactly the right amount of water to the plants at the perfect time (usually early morning). This summer, hopefully there will be time to install minisprinklers in our largest garden bed.

If you have a home garden, here are some watering tips to sustain your plants without wasting water. Overwatering is a common problem, and it often contributes to plant diseases.

9 06, 2021

Graduation flower success!

By |2021-06-09T13:49:01-06:00June 9th, 2021|Ancona Farm News|0 Comments

This year we successfully grew the flowers handed Ancona graduates at the final assembly of the year. It’s taken a few seasons to get the timing right; early June is after most spring flowers are done and before the summer blooms open. We’ve found success with dianthus, also known as sweet williams.

This year’s graduates started more plants, so that next year would should be able to give every graduate a small bouquet rather than a single stem. The symbolism is fitting: Every class plants for the class that follows.


7 05, 2021

Chickens make triumphant return

By |2021-05-07T11:55:39-06:00May 7th, 2021|Ancona Farm News|0 Comments

As usual, our four laying hens arrived in the garden a few weeks ago. They’ll stay through November. Students provide much of their daily care while exploring the birds’ roles in history, agriculture, and the food system.

Ancona families are invited to sign up to care for the chickens on weekends. The hens love treats in the form of human leftovers that would otherwise be thrown out: stale rice, fruit scraps, expired salad bags or yogurt, and so forth. This is a cost-effective way to turn food waste into eggs.

For the first time this year, we have two hens that were with us last season (ie, in 2020): The silver-laced wyandotte and the cinnamon queen. Like children, each bird has her own personality. The barred rock is, at least for the moment, the most timid of the bunch, while the wyandotte is always the first to investigate visitors.

Graphic by Wren

5 05, 2021

Growing our own graduation flowers

By |2021-05-05T11:59:05-06:00May 5th, 2021|Ancona Farm News|0 Comments

This year, Ancona seventh and eighth graders are growing their own graduation flowers–that is, the cut stems they’ll be handed with their diploma.

As students have learned, local flowers are cleaner and greener than those from most florists. They don’t have to be shipped or refrigerated and don’t require pesticides or preservatives.

Students planted snapdragons and dianthus in their classrooms in March and transplanted them outdoors in April. Hopefully they’ll bloom at just the right time come June!

5 05, 2021

2021 season update–May 4

By |2021-05-05T11:48:16-06:00May 5th, 2021|Ancona Farm News|0 Comments

Currently harvesting

  • Lettuce
  • Collards
  • Cilantro
  • Spinach

Families are welcome to harvest produce and take home produce to eat. Be sure to rinse it well with water and a tablespoon of white vinegar. And tell Chris how many servings you get for the garden log.

In the ground and growing fast

  • Cabbage
  • Hakarei salad turnips
  • Red and gold beets
  • Peas
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Bok choi
  • Kale
  • Flowers

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