by Larissa L. Jimmy; photos by Adam Atkinson
March 15, 2012
With winter almost over and spring just about here, planting season has begun at Northampton Community College. The Good Growers Club camped out on Wednesday night, March 14, in the Community Garden located on campus, to get an early start on spring planting.
The one-night campout was held so club members could bond and socialize before they began work in the garden the following morning. Tents were set up inside the garden fence. Members of the club sat around the campfire, some harmonizing along with the beat of drums and strumming of acoustic guitar. Glowing embers from the campfire roasted shish kebabs on a hibachi grill. The club got permission to build a campfire from Facilities and Campus Safety Director Mark Culp.
The Community Garden has several planting beds that will soon hold crops planted by different clubs, organizations, classes, and programs. Some of those have contributed to the garden's infrastructure, including NCC's Leadership Class, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and the Children's Home of Easton. Lafayette College even helped build a swale for the garden, a landscape engineering feature that allows parking lot water to be cleaned and used to water the plants in the garden. Composting bins, a water tank, a shed, a wooden pergola, and a gravel pathway also make up the garden's infrastructure.
Once a month, the various clubs will be scheduled to work in the garden. But for the past few weeks, the Good Growers Club has been working in the garden almost every weekend.
Two of the planting beds belong to the Good Growers, and will contain herbs and veggies such as lettuce, tomatoes, kale, and snow peas. Three of the beds are for the culinary arts program, which also contributes to the garden's compost with food waste they bring over from Hampton Winds restaurant. Compost, used to enrich garden soil, comes from an accumulation of resources like egg shells, coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit peelings, and other items that are biodegradable.
The morning after the campout, the Good Growers Club planned to work on the compost, dig more beds inside the garden's perimeter, and plant blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Later this spring, on April 28, the club will sell seedlings from seeds they have planted in the garden at the Bethlehem Public Library.
You can see more photos right here.
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