Wednesday, July 22, 2020

++++++++++++ ChangeMakers in San Juan Cosala +++++++++

Our second week at the ChangeMaker's huerto/garden in San Juan Cosala brought some new
community members who wanted to participate:  Jaime Compatzin and his son.
Jaime and his family own a floral shop in San Juan Cosala, so plants naturally
were or interest to him.  He also wanted to expose his son to a huerto and the art of
growing plants.

Today our lessons were Conscious Garden Design, Seed Germination and Soil

We discussed which plants the group wanted to plant, if they were in need of full sun, partial shade/sun or full shade.  We also discussed if the group wanted a large community garden plot or individual plots.  They unanimously chose a large community garden design.

So we set off to work sectioning off plots of land that would house different food plants.
We would use the found stones as borders for each food plant group.  As we progressed we saw a need for a wheel barrow, but had none.  One of the young ladies of our group said "I'll ask my uncle" and reappeared with a magic wheel barrow that made our stone lugging work much easier.

With our food plant plots identified, we set to work removing weeds and grass.

We spoke of the richness of the soil, not clayey as some other soils we have encountered.
We noticed if there were worms and beetles and other critters in the soil and discussed 
their beneficial attributes to soil.  We spoke of mycelial networks and new found
info on interplant communication via soil mechanisms.  

We spoke of nutrients and minerals and plant transport systems for these.

Then it was time to plant.

Berenjena Plants

We planted heirloom seeds of squash, watermelon, foot long beans, bean pole beans, radishes,
parsnips, tomatillos, jalapenos, bell peppers, 3 types of lettuces, spinach, beets, rainbow carrots
 and lastly cucumbers.

Oh yes!  We also planted 2 Berenjena/Eggplant starters that Monica and Axel brought.

How deep?  How long? How many seeds?  How much distance between plants?
These were the most asked questions when we spoke about
seed germination.

How do seeds germinate?  Under what conditions?

We discussed it all as we worked.

  Axel planting corn

Axel had also brought corn of many colors.  We decided to plant these at the far side of the
plot...allowing them to grow tall and strong without obstructing the view of the shorter plants.

We also spoke of watering needs of the plants. How often to water?  How do you know if a plant needs water or is getting too much?  Do we water now or wait for the rain?

And we also spoke of Mulch.  What can be used for mulch?  Why mulch?  What are the
benefits of mulch to soil and plants?

Since Jaime's flower shop generates a large amount of green waste, he will bring it to the garden
to be reused as mulch and in our compost pile.

 Beginning Compost Area

Then we set aside a corner of the plot for composting.  We will be bringing our compostable
kitchen waste next week.  We spoke of different methods of composting and the benefits and challenges of each of these.

All in all a very productive and informative afternoon.

Watch us grow!

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