For most people August brings a lot of things like hot days, last-minute vacations and school supply and clothes shopping. For us at Seeds for Learning, our minds are running in two different directions: fall planting and fall programming.
The growing season consists of three separate plantings. We plant for spring, summer and fall. Each planting season can accommodate specific crops. In general, spring and fall harvests include cool weather crops like lettuce, carrots, mustard greens, turnips and broccoli. The summer harvest includes fruit-bearing crops like cucumber, squash, tomatoes, peppers, melons and okra. Here at the farm, we are watching our summer crops become exhausted and beginning to prepare spent beds for fall planting. Using our crop plan from the last year’s season, we rotate the location of our fall plantings. Crop rotation is a critical technique for organic agriculture. Rotating crops prevents crops from depleting the soils of the same nutrients. The crops that we plant now will take our season through mid-November, which allows us to provide fresh, chemical-free produce to the community of West Oak Lane as the chilly weather sets in.
With the start of the school year for all the youth of West Oak Lane, Seeds for Learning will be preparing for our educational components. Our high school students gained much experience in growing, cooking and selling food to their community this summer and our K-8 campers learned about climate science in their new outdoor classroom space at the farm. For the fall, Seeds for Learning will continue to educate our student farmers about food justice and the food system. We will also be continuing our new group (formed last spring), Sprouts for Learning. Sprouts is a K-5 afterschool program that teaches science and nutrition using our garden plot.
Our team is looking forward to a successful and fun fall season!