Garden Blog and Announcements!This page posts announcements for quick reference to garden events, informal meeting days if you want to work in the garden with other volunteers, garden meetings, and just general announcements of interest. Or whatever we feel like posting when the mood grabs us. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of the garden coordinators: Lisa Broniszewski (firstname.lastname@example.org), Deb Nungesser (email@example.com) or Jeanne and Chip Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org).March 29, 2015: Spring Garden (Work) Party!Happy Spring all! Come join us Sunday afternoon for some spring cleaning at Radio Park. We'll be there 1:30 to 3:30, clearing away the dead plants from last year, prepping beds for this year, and even planting some early spring vegetables. Com join us in the garden!March 21, 2015: A Huge THANK YOU to our Seed Suppliers!Despite a heavy snowfall on the first day of Spring, gardening at Radio Park is well underway. Seedlings of lettuce, spinach, onions, kohl rabi, and broccoli have been growing for nearly two months, and are ready to planted when the garden is snow-free! The fourth grade classes have planted peppers, and some seedlings already have second leaves. Peas, carrots, and radishes will also be sown very soon too. We even have ginger sprouting!All this good growing is due to the generosity of our seed suppliers, who have outdone themselves by supplying us with interesting and nutritious seed varieties. Thank you to Johnny's Selected Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Territorial Seed Company and Walmart/Burpee for all you support. Also, we would like to thank Tait Farm for their donations of seeds from High Mowing- many spring vege seeds that we can hardly wait to plant!If you are in the SCASD and help with gardens, please let us know if you would like any seeds - we have plenty to share, and want to get them into gardens. About the only restriction is they are not to be sold, but asking for donations if you have extra seedling plants is fine - and that can help raise funds for your school garden too!Thanks again!October 9, 2014: Radio Park Recognized by PA Preferred on Farm to School Day!Today was a big day for the Radio Park School Garden! We were recognized by PA Preferred, a state-wide organization promoting use of Pennsylvania agricultural products, as one of four schools in the entire commonwealth for our efforts at using local produce in the cafeteria. We were visited by the PA Secretary of Agriculture George Greig, along with School Superintendent Bob O'Donnell and delegations from the state Departments of Education and Agriculture. Students also enjoyed presentations by Megan Schaper (SCASD Director of Food Services), Jim Eisenstein from the Boalsburg Farmer's Market, and Tony Sapia from Gemelli Bakers. Students also received coupons to use at the Boalsburg Farmer's Market. Then the tables were turned as the students led a tour of the school garden, showed some of their favorites, and led the whole group with on-the-spot tasting! The complete article can be found at:http://www.centredaily.com/2014/10/09/4395857/radio-park-garden-gets-green-thumbs.htmlThanks to all our garden volunteers who helped make Radio Park a wonderful place and worthy of this recognition!August 24, 2014: Back to School!It is the end of August once again, and that means back to school! This summer, unusually cool and wet, and meant a different looking garden than normal. Tomatoes are way behind in production, but leafy greens like chard and celery are thriving! Garlic and onions have already been harvested, and are drying in the garage for salsa and other recipes teachers would like to try. Potatoes are ready for the incoming kindergarten class, though the chipmunks have been digging them this summer (but there are many more underground!)Hope to see you in the garden soon!May 14, 2014: Seedling Plant Order TimeWe really know it is Spring in State College when everything turns green in a matter of days. The school garden is growing well - potatoes, garlic, radishes, brussels sprouts, chard, broccoli, lettuce, onions and asparagus are all getting bigger. Clove currents and Asian pear are blooming; grapes and hardy kiwi are leafing out.The biggest news, however, is the seeds the children planted are turning into impressive little plants. Most of the peppers are still quite small, but some of the tomatoes are already setting flower buds. if you want to place an order, we've gone digital this year - check the PTO listserv announcements, and follow the link to our Google Docs order site. Any questions or problems, please send us a note at email@example.com We've already taken orders for 186 vegetable plants, so stop in soon for best selection!February 17, 2014: Thank You to our Seed Sponsors!It's a sure sign of a very cold a snowy winter when it is President's Day but the children are in school. But thanks to our seed providers, the gardening is already underway! Tait Farm Foods, Territorial Seeds, Johnny's Selected Seeds and Seed Savers exchange have provided us with hundreds of packets of seeds, some of which are already in inch tall under growlights in the writer's basement. Tiny leaves of lettuce, leeks, chard, spinach, ginger, and broccoli are getting bigger, in hope that the weather will soon break and they can sink roots deep into the ground. Thank you very much on behalf of the Radio Park Garden team! Please let us know if you are a garden coordinator for another SCASD school garden, so we can share the generosity of our sponsors.We're also working on some more signs for the garden, to add a little more color and interest. Keep an eye out for them this coming Spring!If you have any requests for the upcoming season, please let us know! Until then, stay warm and think about Spring to come!December 29, 2013: End of a Year, and Start of Another!It's a cold and rainy December Day, but we are already thinking about the crops in the year to come. It's also a time to tell us what you would like to see in the garden, and let us know your favorites from years past. It was a very successful year for us, with many classes enjoying the garden throughout the year, and learning life cycles of plants and insects. The compost bins are full and resting through the winter, full of scraps from the cafeteria, along with garden weeds, grass clippings, and fallen leaves. Broccoli, chard, and lettuce are sheltered in the hoop houses so we can get a jump on spring tastings. Our Project PA grant helped us buy vegetables from Greenmoore Gardens, and with the help of the chefs at Otto's Brewery and Restaurant, we all got to try great, local dishes. And everyone enjoyed the potato chips made from our own, garden-grown colorful potatoes!Wishing you a wonderful new year with many opportunities for you to enjoy the Radio Park Garden and grow imaginations of visitors of all ages!September 17, 2013: Garden Harvest in the Radio Park Cafeteria!This chilly morning we went out to the garden and harvested bowls of cherry tomatoes (mainly brilliant orange Sungold and Sungella, but also some tiny red Sweet 100s, and some exotic-looking striped Green Zebra) and Mexican Sour Gherkins for use in the cafeteria. Nothing is fresher or more local than that! Ask you kids if they enjoyed the harvest from plants that THEY grew!September 2, 2013: The Garden ClassroomIt's September once again, and the Radio Park Garden is once again an outdoor classroom. Children have been collecting and studying insects, picking beans, and sampling what the garden has to offer - which is quite a lot this year. We have had a fully successful Three Sisters Garden, which strawberry popcorn, rattlesnake snap beans, and several kinds of squash. Tomatoes, peppers, cukes, beans and basil have been producing all summer. Garlic has been pulled and is drying for use and for planting in the fall. Mexican Sour Gherkins are begin to produce heavily as well. Fall crops of broccoli and lettuce have just been planted. Potatoes are waiting to be dug by the kindergarten students, planted by the departing 5th grade students last spring, and pumpkins of many kinds are waiting to serve as math class assistants and food ingredients. Stop by if you are at the school!August 14, 2013: The Most Nutritious Plant in the GardenToday I picked several cups of the most nutritious crop Radio Park has in the garden. The funny thing is, it wasn't planted on purpose, and most people regard it is a weed, much as I did until earlier this summer. Yet it is very likely the most nutritious plant in all of the garden. What is this mysterious vegetable? Purslane! Yes, the same plant that tends to grow in cracks in your driveway with reddish stems and fleshy roots, also tends to be high in Vitamin C an packed with Omega 3 fatty acids (think salmon.) If you have never tried it before, you are in for a treat - with a crunchy texture and light citrus flavor, it is great in any salad. There's a recipe in our recipe section that is a particular favorite. If you want to try it your self though, don't use the one in your driveway - choose one from your garden or a path around the house - you'll be glad you did!April 20, 2013: Time to Pre-order Vegetable Plants!The plants grown by the Radio Park students are doing great, and we'll have many exciting varieties to offer this year. We're now taking pre-orders, but we'll also have plants available at Friendship Night on May 23rd. Check out the 2013 Vegetable Plants selection on the main page and order early for best selection. Part of the reason the plants are doing so well is that fact that we upgraded the lighting on our seed starting rack, using grant money from Project PA as well as funds from our PTO garden fund!Even though Spring was slow in coming this year (and we're still a bit worried about Saturday night's lows) the garden is doing well. Kale, chard, beets, onions and garlic overwintered well, and now we've also got lettuce and spinach under our plastic-covered hoophouses as well. Celery and peas are also growing. Angelica, a great pollinator with many edible uses, also seeded last year on it's own, and we'll be offering some of those seedlings at Friendship night.Also we lost our remaining apple tree this winter to another apparent sledding incident, other perennials are doing well - horseradish, rhubarb, clove currant, kiwi, and grapes are all budding out. The 6 varieties of mint in their rainbow planters are are growing too! Stop by next time you are at Radio Park to see what's growing!January 11, 2013: Reasons to CelebrateA new year has arrived, and the team from the Radio Park garden has reasons to celebrate! We have just been awarded a grant for $1500 from the Project PA Pennsylvania Farm to School program. With an emphasis on nutrition, this grant will fund a field trip for the Primary Learning group to a local farm, as well as buy lots of fresh local veges for tasting in the school cafeteria. Of course, we'll have veges from our own Radio Park garden to contribute as well. We also got a great donation of seeds from Tait Farm Foods, and a bargain box full of seeds from the Herman's Garden Program of Seed Savers Exchange.Congratulations go to Gray's Woods Elementary School also for being awarded $5000 from the Lowes Toolbox for Education Fund, the same program that helped build Radio Park's garden. We'll be helping the garden team at our sister SCASD school with design and construction and curriculum as well!Gray's Woods will also be hosting out seed starting workshop this year in early February. If you are a teacher or gardener in one of the schools and want to be sure to get invited, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.orgSpring is only 2 1/2 months away! Woo-hoo!July 29, 2012: Summertime and Good GrowingIt's mid-summer, the time of year when the garden looks the best, but this year the garden is even more beautiful than most. A big thanks to our summer garden volunteers for keeping the plants watered through the hot, dry weeks!The mint patch outside the garden has been tamed (for now) with six different mints occupying a rainbow of open-bottomed containers, each one nicely labeled. Newly-planted beans and zucchini have sprouted, and should be ready for the students to enjoy in September. Greens and beans are also sprouting in the Japanese bed, which will help enhance the study of the culture of Japan this Fall. A new surprise - the Mexican Sour Gherkins have occupied the lower fence of the garden, creating an airy net of leaves with what look like little tiny watermelons suspended between. Give one a try if you stop by and tell us what you think!Also new is the growhouse in the playground. Built for us by the Tech Ed students at State High, a plethora of seedlings have sprouted and will hopefully begin to give the house some green walls in time for the return of the students.We hope your summer is growing well too, and we'll see you at the garden!June 22, 2012: Summer BeginsWell, YESTERDAY summer begin - I'm a little late in blogging. The heat we've had the past few days has really begun to fuel the growth of the plants. Both the Malabar Spinach and Mexican Sour Gherkins (both planted near the fen ces) are starting to take off. Pumpkins are growing as well. Tomatoes are just beginning their growth spurt, and I think the chipmunks are helping themselves to unripe tomatoes. If you visit, munch on some pea pods that are still producing strong, and feel free to water anything that looks like it needs a drink.A few plants will need replacement - the Issai kiwi for one. I think the Strawberry Spinach didn't work out, but I have heard mixed results with that plants. It just goes to show you that even for a Master Gardener not everything grows, but the most important thing is to try!One last note - we now have a metal-mesh grow house in the playground which we will plant in mid-July. This is a gift of Paul Heasley, a Radio Park alumnus who teaches Vo Tech at the High School. The house was built by his students, and it is already being enjoyed by ours!May 12, 2012: Morning PlantingsIt was a beautiful morning for planting ahead of some expected rain, so I adding some more exotic plants, most of which are perennials and will produce year to year. We now have horseradish in the pipe section in the northeast raised bed, a female and a second male Kolomikta kiwi, both from Edible Landscaping, a grapevine and clove currants from Raintree, and a rhubarb plant from a neighbor (outside the garden since the leaves are toxic.) I planted Strawberry spinach between the grape and the kiwis, and I think strawberry spinach has some of the tiniest seed I have ever seen. Hopefully that will sprout in a few weeks. For a little color, I planted some snapdragons near the front gate.Also, I added the the guilds around the fruit trees - comfrey to bring up minerals from deep in the soil, and fava bean seeds to help fix nitrogen - I'll write more about guilds and permaculture in the future.Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!May 10, 2012: Spring Plants at Radio Park
What a crazy Spring it has been! Early warm weather followed by some waves of sub-freezing temperatures. You have probably noticed damage to tender growth at your own home, and fruit harvests may be light to non-existent this year.
At Radio Park we had a few setbacks – some plants got a bit frostbitten, but should recover. Now there are nice crops of lettuce and spinach, and some students are taking advantage and sampling vegetables at recess (it’s safe – we don’t spray!) Teachers are welcome to whatever produce they would like to use – it’s all for you and your students!
Vegetable plants will be available on Friendship Night, and we’re still taking pre-orders (the link to the list is on the front page of the site or in the paragraph below) and you can contact us at email@example.com The only plant sold out is zucchini – plenty of tomato and pepper plants!
Stop by the garden when you visit the school – it is always growing and getting more beautiful each week!
April 7, 2012: It's Vege Plant pre-order sales time!The children at Radio Park have been busy with planting, and their tomato and peppers seedlings are doing well. Early greens have been planted in the garden, and other than some sunburn issues, and beginning to settle in and grow. Our first grapevine and clove currants are settling in their roots too. But best of all, the tomato and pepper seedlings are growing so well, we've got plenty of extras and you've got the opportunity to reserve some for your own garden ahead of the Friendship Night plant sale. It will still be about 4 weeks before the seedlings are ready and it is safe to plant them outside, but reserve yours now! Follow this link for more information:March 3, 2012: Seedlings are Growing!As you can see in the photo below, we are getting ready for a new season of exploration in the Radio Park Garden. Last year, the two broccoli plants we had were attacked by a classroom of children eager to try fresh garden vegetables right from the garden. This year we'll be better prepared! We have dozens of leeks, chard, broccoli and cauliflower seedlings almost ready for transplant into new home under the hoophouses. Soon well be getting seed kits to the teachers and students to start growing tomatoes, peppers, basil, cucumbers, and squash as well!February 13, 2012: New Teacher Resources added to the Radio Park Website!Something for the teachers - two new documents have been added to the website under Teacher Resources - one a trifold brochure on the value of gardening with children, the other a great powerpoint in PDF form by Molly Sturniolo from the Cooperative Extension Service on all sorts of garden projects you can do in the classroom - great when it is cold and snowy outside!February 2, 2012: It's Groundhog Day!Well, the gardener's nemesis did not give us a good forecast this morning - six more weeks of winter. Maybe the shadow he saw was from all those flashes going off from cameras?Radio Park is once again in the Centre Daily Times. You can read the article at: http://www.centredaily.com/2012/02/02/3075234/gardening-takes-root-in-a-local.htmlThe first "Art and Literature in the Garden" has arrived, and attached over the inside of the pergola gate - but what could it mean? Try to figure out what these cryptic words mean and the significance of the colors!January 1, 2012: Happy New Year!I hope everyone got a good start to the new year. At the Radio Park Garden, plants are still growing! With a very mild December and covered hoop houses, edible greens are still growing (albeit slowly) beneath their plastic covers. Stop by and check them out - and only 80 days until Spring! Today on the web page I rearranged the order of pages, added a new recipe for Daikon Radish pickles, and added a photo gallery from 2011 to the Garden Photos page. Check it out!September 2011: Stone Block Edging UpdateAs of the end of September 2011, we are nearly done with installation of the stone block edging around the garden. This will help make weeding easier and give the maintenance staff a firm edge for there lawnmowers when the cutting the grass, and make their job easier too! Next we'll be focusing on completing the critter-resistant fencing, and clearing the utility area and installing pavers as well. Stay tuned for invites to help out!August 2011: Qr Technology Comes to the Radio Park Garden
We’re happy to announce the Quick Response (Qr) code reader technology has come to the Radio Park Garden. Just to the left of the garden’s front gate there is a friendly greeting sign, with the website and a Qr code. If you have a smart phone and have downloaded a free Qr code reader app, you can use you phone or tablet to directly access the garden website while you are in the garden. The sign is printed on Teslin synthetic paper – if it endures the weather of the next few months, we’ll expand this part of the educational program with signs on different plants and borders in the garden. So bring your phone to the garden and try it out today!
QR code for the Radio Park Garden Website!
Stone Edging Installation - Saturday, August 20 from 8am - ?
Weather permitting (thundering as I write this), we will have a work session in the garden to install stone edging for the grass - the third of many. We've already completed the inside and have 9 blocks installed outside. 108 blocks installed, 232 to go! Bring your favorite digging tools and something to drink!
Call for Bags of Leaves!!!!
Some of the Radio Park students are composting their lunch leftovers. In order to layer these "green ingredients" with "browns" to balance the nitrogen/carbon ratio, we are in need of leaves. Please drop off bags of leaves at the school garden at your convenience. You can put them in the utility area right next to the bins. We will continue to need them throughout the year.
Lisa Broniszewski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Deb Nungesser (email@example.com)
Jeanne & Chip Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org)