We are now midway through the summer school schedule. Each week students get a 30-minute garden lesson then 30 minutes in the garden planting, watering, weeding and harvesting.

Summer school students have planted carrots, beans, sweet potatoes,strawberries and eggplant.

The garden continues to produce amazing crops. In the first four weeks of summer school, students have harvested over 200 pounds of produce (including the 70 pounds mentioned in the previous post). Students eat some and take some home, however most of the produce the last two weeks has been donated to the Many Meals program that serves meals to people in need.

Students collect harvested produce in "harvest buckets" that are repurposed 1-gallon ice cream containers.

One of the highlights of the summer has been the sunflowers. These plants were "volunteers" that had grown from seeds dropped from last summer's sunflowers. While the plants looked healthy, there was nothing inside the seed shells. What a disappointment for the students. We planted more using purchased seed and hope that the seeds they produce will be normal. Even though the seeds were a disappointment, the size of the largest sunflower plant was amazing - 8 feet tall with a flower 18 inches in diameter. Photo shows two students holding the flower.

The small Santa Rosa plum tree is producing fruit this year - about 50 plums. We have surrounded the tree with bird net in an attempt to keep wild birds and squirrels from eating the fruit before it can be harvested. Last year the tree produced three plums and those were eaten by animals.

We have seen evidence of gophers in the garden area. Each of the raised garden beds has concrete block walls and a floor of wire mesh or concrete board to restrict entry by animals. However we may lose some of the plants in other areas to the root eating activity of these burrowing animals.

The garden water meter shows that just over 100 gallons of water has been used to irrigate the garden since April of this year when the garden water faucets were installed.