Put it on your calendars! August 29th: GAZPACHO IN THE GARDEN

Join us for the 4th annual Gazpacho in the Garden event on Friday, August 29th from 5:30 to 8:00pm. Whether a student, a fellow farmer, a CSA shareholder, or a member of the greater Charlottesville community, we welcome you to come explore the garden, learn about our on-going projects, figure out how you can get involved, and share a fun, seasonal dinner with MKG staff and friends.

In order to understand how much food to prepare, we encourage you to RSVP!

Dinner is provided for a suggested donation of $5 to $10. Please bring your own picnic blankets, lawn chairs, and beverages.

Also, check out the event on Facebook.

Click here for directions from Charlottesville.  Click here for directions from Scottsville. Click here for directions from Richmond.

Feel free to email us with any questions.

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An exemplary July CSA harvest

We’ve had a successful crop of yellow squash, carrots, and pickling cucumbers this July. Additional crops harvested include green beans, peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Eggs are provided at an extra cost by Morven’s gatekeeper who keeps chickens on his farm down the road. The average July share had a market value of $12.50.

 

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Mid-Summer Vista

Meet Sarah and Cassidy: our garden interns featured as sustainability stars by the University’s Office of Sustainability

Morven-Interns

Last Wednesday, Sarah Davidson from the Office of Sustainability came out to the CSA drop-off after we returned with the morning’s harvest to take these photos and learn more about our two interns Sarah and Cassidy. Here is a link to her article:

http://www.virginia.edu/sustainability/sustainability-stars-cassidy-pillow-and-sarah-osterman/

Fast-forward to Summer 2014

You might note the lack of activity on the webpage since early last fall, but be careful not to confuse that with a lack of activity in the Kitchen Garden. The several months that have passed between then and now were full of grant writing and planning for a spring that has now come and gone. Our manager for the 2013-2014 school year, Sam Taggart, started passing the management baton over to Emily Salle in mid-February as she prepared to graduate and leave for the Allegheny Mountain School.

Meanwhile, the garden spent much of the late winter blanketed with snow. The striking winter was beautiful, but proved difficult to work with in terms of getting spring plants in the ground. We always hope to extend our season as far into the semester as possible to allow for more student involvement in the growing process. However, with frosts continuing into mid-April, we found that to be quite a challenge. Luckily, by the time May rolled around, our summer crops like tomatoes and eggplant were able to find their spot at the farm.

Another important novelty in the MKG landscape was established this past spring: the Morven Kitchen Garden Apiary. With the help of Paul Legrand, the beekeeper for Monticello, we were able to install eight hives to aid in strengthening the corridor of Russian variety bees in the area (including hives at Tufton, Ashlawn, and Monticello) and for assistance in crop pollination. Hopefully, the bees will be a key resource for student research and provide an opportunity for anyone interested in beekeeping to learn the different steps of establishing, caring for, and harvesting from an apiary.

After the spring semester ended, the work in the Kitchen Garden intensified. Students from the Morven Summer Institute used the garden to carry out experiments for the AgroEcology class, and our summer interns Sarah Osterman and Cassidy Pillow started taking charge as the June and Summer CSA seasons approached. 

Now, the CSA is in full swing, as well as the garden’s productivity. After a bit of worry about how to handle slow growing crops (an interesting point of investigation that links to soil fertility and pest management challenges) when a list of CSA members are expecting weekly deliveries, we finally feel comfortable with the yield of cucumbers, beans, and squash arriving daily. And the slicing tomatoes and watermelon plants are hinting at treasures yet to come.

 

Friday CSA Harvest and Colorful Spread

Here are some pictures from this week’s harvest and CSA bounty.  Such a colorful assortment!  The peppers this week were especially beautiful.

Workday with Slow Food Group

This past Sunday, we had a workday with the folks from the Slow Food club at UVA with a huge turnout.  We got some big garden tasks done that we simply could not have done without their help, such as pulling up the big, old rows of tomatoes and dying corn.  We got to send everyone home with the last round of tomatoes and a bunch of green beans.  Check out the Slow Food blog for more on the event, and feel free to contact Polina (pvo4pd@virginia.edu) for more information about the Slow Food Group.

Slow Food