April EcoCulture Update: Seeds, Seedlings and Spreading our Roots

Happy Spring from the Raíces crew!

This spring brings a lot of great news for Raíces and our community.  We have a new home.  Our seeds our planted and our first sprouts are up.  The cold frame experiment we planted with lettuce in February, worked.  Our April Sustainability Series guest presentation on Deep Ecology by our friend Ellen Rosner was fantastic.  We have been inspired to begin a seed saving project and a Seed Library Initiative and we have begun some new community collaborations.  Here are the updates and some photo album slideshows.

Please note: if the text is jumping while you are reading, make sure to stop the all slideshows that you have already viewed!

On the Raíces Micro Farm Plots

Cold Frame Lettuce

We planted many varieties of lettuce in February on the Full Snow Moon, just to see how it would grow in our homemade cold frame. Here it is a month and a half later, ready for transplanting and eating!

Lettuce and greens are sprouting in our raised bed cold frame and in the ground!  Many shades and shapes of red and green baby leaf lettuce is already ready to eat.  Some seedlings from each of these varieties were transplanted into a second plot to mature into full heads of leaf and romaine lettuce. We also have kale, spinach, radishes and arugula sprouting in this bed.

Now we are getting ready to plant red and golden beets, orange, purple and yellow carrots, more kale, lettuce, spinach and radishes, mustard, chard and other greens and snow, snap and shelling peas.

Anyone who wants to get their hands dirty and lend a helping hand at the Raíces plots, we welcome visitors and volunteers, please contact us!

Almost a month of growing, you can really see the differences in the varieties of lettuce.
Our cold frame is like a mini greenhouse.
Red Russian Kale
Just under 6 weeks, our baby lettuce is ready to transplant and eat!
Variety.
Happy spring lettuce!
Planting day February 25 in a raised bed.
We hoped that under the cover of our cold frame, the lettuce and greens would grow.
They started sprouting after about a week and a half.
Lettuce sprouts.
Warm and steamy in the cold frame.
More sprouts.
Even with below freezing temperatures at night, the greens are hardy and the cold frame kept them warm enough to keep growing.
After about three weeks, starting to look like lettuce!
Gourmet lettuce mix from High Mowing Organic Seeds
Many varieties sprouting.
Almost a month of growing, you can really see the differences in the varieties of lettuce.
Our cold frame is like a mini greenhouse.
Red Russian Kale
Just under 6 weeks, our baby lettuce is ready to transplant and eat!
Variety.
Happy spring lettuce!
Planting day February 25 in a raised bed.
We hoped that under the cover of our cold frame, the lettuce and greens would grow.
They started sprouting after about a week and a half.
Lettuce sprouts.
Warm and steamy in the cold frame.
More sprouts.

Don’t forget to press “STOP” on the slideshow above to keep the text below from jumping as the slideshow runs! The “STOP” button is located above the image.

Seedling Sale

In the High Tunnel

Raíces seedlings are staying toasty and getting plenty of natural sun and air in our new hoop house.  With the hoop house, we have room for plenty more, so we will keep planting!

Raíces has been planting and caring for our seedlings over the past few weeks.  We have over 60 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers planted, and we are still planting more!  We will use these to plant the Raíces Micro Farm plots, trade for other varieties with other local organic growers, plant in our school garden plot in Bound Brook and sell in our annual seedling sale fundraiser.  If you want seedlings from Raíces, send in your plant list soon, they’re going fast!

Today, we built our first hoop house and moved our seedlings underneath.  The seedlings are staying toasty warm and growing strong outside.

Many hands have been involved in getting these seedlings started.  Special thanks to everyone who contributed their time and effort!

Raíces Co-Director Francisco G. Gómez watering the seedlings.
Planting and growing together!
Our first broccoli sprouts of the year!
Reaching for the sun!
Zinnias
Starting trays on the farm.
Friends planting seedlings at the March Eco-Culture Meeting.
Planting for the school garden in Bound Brook.
Students plant seeds and take home seedlings to plant in their own gardens.
These seedlings will be transplanted to container gardens at the Bound Brook Schools.
Many hands helping.
Planting a seed.
One seed at a time, we planted over 50 trays together with friends, family and students in our community.
Keeping them moist.
Before they start sprouting, our seedlings look like brownies!
Raíces Co-Director Francisco G. Gómez watering the seedlings.
Planting and growing together!
Our first broccoli sprouts of the year!
Reaching for the sun!
Zinnias
Starting trays on the farm.
Friends planting seedlings at the March Eco-Culture Meeting.
Planting for the school garden in Bound Brook.
Students plant seeds and take home seedlings to plant in their own gardens.
These seedlings will be transplanted to container gardens at the Bound Brook Schools.
Many hands helping.
Planting a seed.

Don’t forget to press “STOP” on the slideshow above to keep the text below from jumping as the slideshow runs! The “STOP” button is located above the image.

Deep Ecology at the Raíces Sustainability Series

April Eco Culture Meeting

Guest Presenter Ellen Rosner leading a talk and discussion on Deep Ecology.

April’s Sustainability Series meeting topic was Deep Ecology, presented by community member and the first official Raíces gardener Ellen Rosner.  Ellen presented a view of ecology that included the spirit, spirituality and a connection with the earth.  Discussion topics for meeting attendees included “If we don’t have a real relationship with the earth, we’re not going to be very effective at changing the world” and “The Change that takes place in human beings in order to meet the challenges we face is of a spiritual nature, a profound revolution in consciousness”.  Looking around the room, we could tell from the conversation that these were important topics that people wanted to discuss and share their views on. We were happy to host Ellen’s presentation and look forward to further dialogue around deep ecology and our connection with the earth and nature.

Hope to see you at the May EcoCulture Meeting with Wendy Weiner on Organic Gardening Techniques.

Group Discussion
Ellen speaking about Deep Ecology.
Breakout discussion.
Talking about deep ecology.
"A living democracy is the democracy of all life...what do you think?"
Group Discussion
Ellen speaking about Deep Ecology.
Breakout discussion.
Talking about deep ecology.
"A living democracy is the democracy of all life...what do you think?"
Group Discussion
Ellen speaking about Deep Ecology.
Breakout discussion.
Talking about deep ecology.
"A living democracy is the democracy of all life...what do you think?"
Group Discussion
Ellen speaking about Deep Ecology.

Don’t forget to press “STOP” on the slideshow above to keep the text below from jumping as the slideshow runs! The “STOP” button is located above the image.

Raícitas “Little Roots” Planting at Cubs in the Cave

Planting at Cubs in the Cave

Planting at Cubs in the Cave

We were recently asked by a new collaborator, Who is My Neighbor?, to plant seedlings with local children and their parents at Cubs in the Cave, a drop in center program at the Reformed Church of Highland Park and to help prepare and plant the children’s garden at the church.  It was the perfect match, since we are the newest tenants in the Cave.  We had a blast planting shade specific plants like lettuce, beets, kale and mustard greens for the raised bed garden at the church and look forward to transplanting them with all the Cubs in the Cave families. All parents are invited to bring their infants through four year olds to Cubs in the Cave on Thursdays and Fridays 9:30-11:30. If you want to know when we are planting, subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.

IMG_5322.JPG
IMG_5324.JPG
IMG_5326.JPG
IMG_5343.JPG
IMG_5321.jpg
IMG_5323.jpg
IMG_5335.JPG
IMG_5337.JPG
IMG_5338.jpg
IMG_5339.JPG
IMG_5318.JPG
IMG_5319.JPG
IMG_5320.jpg
IMG_5322.JPG
IMG_5324.JPG
IMG_5326.JPG
IMG_5343.JPG
IMG_5321.jpg
IMG_5323.jpg
IMG_5335.JPG
IMG_5337.JPG
IMG_5338.jpg
IMG_5339.JPG
IMG_5318.JPG
IMG_5319.JPG

Don’t forget to press “STOP” on the slideshow above to keep the text below from jumping as the slideshow runs! The “STOP” button is located above the image.

Join Our Seed Saving Group and Help us Start a Seed Library

Hudson Valley Seed Library Donation

Hudson Valley Seed Library Donation

We were recently inspired by articles, friends and our gardening and seed preparation to dive into creating a community seed library. We have since started up a Seed Library Initiative and a seed saving group in collaboration with Transition Monmouth to get the ball rolling.  Our donated seeds from came from High Mowing Organic Seeds and the Hudson Valley Seed Library.  By this time next year, we hope to have a seed library system in place with multiple locations for seed pick-up and drop-off.  This year, we are simply gathering a group of gardeners who are interested in growing seeds to save.  We will provide some seed stock from the donated seeds, along with any resources that are requested by the participating gardeners.  We are very excited about this project because it advocates another branch of DIY gardening, builds a local resilient and biodiverse seed stock and provides organic and non-GMO seeds to anyone in the community who is willing to participate in saving seed to ensure the future of the seed library.

Interested in being a seed saver? Register to join our group here and we will be in touch to get you your first seeds and any resources you will need!

Feel free to get in touch with us if you have ideas for EcoCulture programs or you want to get involved with our monthly Sustainability meetings, the Raíces Micro Farm plots, our Seed Library Initiative or any other current or future Raíces EcoCulture programs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.