Saturday, October 29, 2011

Art & Ecology students

Sarah Kanouse's Art & Ecology students from the University of Iowa's School of Art & Art History have done amazing work over the last two semesters at the garden site. They have been tremendously helpful with putting up fencing, weeding, tree-of-heaven removal, and animating the garden space. This semester, Sarah's students completed a pair of lovely and much-desired message boards, one at the front of the site, one next to the garden itself. They designed them so that gardeners can leave messages, post flyers for events and workshops, distribute information to people who might be interested in gardening, and leave extra produce out to be taken by others. They also devised a flagging system so that we can flag plots that can be picked by anybody, great for when gardeners go away for a few weeks in the summer. This will enhance communication, as I suspect that not many gardeners check this blog as their main source of garden information.

Message board at the front of the garden, with nasturtium still going strong in mid-October.

The message board with shelf for flags and veggies. The white part is now a blackboard, and the corkboard has a plexiglass cover.

The vermicomposting unit, built in the spring.

Interior of the vermicomposter. I hope the worms got enough kitchen scraps and that they survive the winter.

The beautiful butterfly milkweed pod. We have a cluster of them that come up every year at the front of the garden.


Bonus reading on milkweed
. Did you know that it is an edible plant and that "[i]n World War II, schoolchildren across the Midwest collected thousands of pounds of milkweed fluff to stuff life preservers for the armed forces in the Pacific, because kapok, the normal material used for this purpose, came from Japanese-occupied Indonesia and was unavailable. Today, you can buy pillows, jackets, and comforters stuffed with this material, which is wonderfully soft and has a higher insulative value than goose down..."?

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