Even as Winter hangs on, Newport master gardeners and Sam Case School students are working hard like Spring is already here!
Newport area Master Gardeners spent a lot of hours getting ready to help Sam Case Elementary school children get ready to plant the seeds of a very large garden that will soon be growing tall and very colorful at the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, just west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport.
Master Gardeners, led by their able guru of Master Gardeners Liz Olsen, had earlier sterilized all the planting boxes and this week were mixing all kinds of soils and supplements to make the garden literally spring up out of the ground, it’ll be so healthy.
The kids poked holes in the soil with the chop sticks that were provided by their master gardener helpers. Then they dropped in the little seeds into the holes, and then they covered them up.
Master Gardener Liz Olsen said the kids and their Master Gardener helpers placed over 320 seeds into those little pots which will soon be sprouting at at Sam Case School. Then they’ll be transplanted to the big community garden at the lighthouse.
Olsen said they’ll be running some experiments this year. They’ll be using Capillary watering mats for the little pots to sit on which should help to conserve water. Eight trays will be on heat mats to help the seeds germinate faster. They also added coconut fiber to the soil mix to increase the soils ability to hold water. And they decided to try Chamomile tea, a natural anti-fungal solution, that should ward off damping off which is a death sentence for seedlings.
Again, the next step is to grow the seedlings into little bean plants along with squash, peas, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, peppers and all the rest. The kids will tend to the little plants inside the school’s hothouse. They’ll all take turns inspecting and watching how the different matting arrangements and placement of each budding little vegetable is doing in various areas of the greenhouse.
Come June 5th the master gardeners and the children will caravan up to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse Garden that overlooks Nye Beach and the entrance to Yaquina Bay. There they will transplant all the by then fast spouting vegetables into large garden boxes filled with yummy rich soils fulls of great supplements to guarantee fast healthy growth of the garden.
Then later in the Summer it’ll all be harvested. A lot of it will go to Lincoln County Food Share which will distribute the garden’s bounty to Lincoln County’s economically stressed families that rely on Food Share to keep their diets healthy even if they’re down on their money.
We’ll follow Master Gardener Liz Olsen and her other master gardeners and the second grade students at Sam Case as they learn first hand the miracle of the earth’s power to grow good things for young bodies; even not so young bodies!