I recently read a wonderful post about the true cost and cost-savings of a garden. And it made me think about the tangibles and intangibles of the rooftop garden I started this past year in McCormick. Last year was mostly herbs and "traditional" patio flowers: geraniums, ivy, sweet potato vine...there were some successes (rosemary! sage! thyme!) and some failures (cilantro, basil).
I held a study break the first week of classes in order to introduce students to the garden, get some ideas for the space, and eat ice cream. Because, really, everything is better with ice cream. Their feedback was valuable --sweat equity will not be easy as students can't live in McCormick during the summer, but some of them will be on campus, and rest assured there will be a garden night once a week for weeding, harvesting, all that sort of thing.
Now is the second year of the garden, and much is happening! All of the planters have been cleaned out and dirt-ified, ready for planting.
A new addition for this year: blueberry bushes!
On the docket for this next week:
--buying additional irrigation equipment to install 360º through the Penthouse
--install said irrigation
--install irrigation timers
--transplant all current seedlings (greens like kale, mizuna, lettuce, and so on)
--start wildflower seeds indoors
--design wooden planters for eventual blueberries/strawberries/tomatoes
--clean up extra dirt and gravel littering the rooftop
--clear front planters of last year's detritus
--replant ivy (for plant hangers)
(gosh, no rest for the weary. Thank goodness I'm not alone doing all of this!)