KU Student Farm: Growing Sustainability

July 12, 2011, 2:41 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bob speaks to the student farm participants. Photo courtesy of Kirsten Bosnak.

We had our first speaker at the regularly scheduled work day last Tuesday night. Bob Gent came to speak to the student farm participants about his experience with gardening. He was really informative, and gave us his perspective as a beginner gardener. Bob had a lot to say about starting up a garden. He said you should start out with tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onion and whatever you want. Bob told us it is important to experiment and experience the garden, and to not get stuck in gardening magazines and books, although they may be helpful. He said the best way to learn is through talking to other gardeners who may have more experience than you and to get in there and garden!

Bob Gent Photo taken by Kim Scherman

Bob encouraged us to use horse manure as fertilizer to put more nutrients back into the ground. You should make sure the horse manure is not fresh because it can burn the plants and contribute to weed growth. He also supported the idea of using urine as a fertilizer. You may be skeptical, but take a look at this Washington Post article about using urine as fertilizer. Bob said to place a plastic or glass liter bottle around young starts of vegetables that like humidity (such as peppers) when it is still spring weather.  He also said to wrap tin foil around the base of eggplants to deter pest infestation. This will keep them humid and warm.

Bob told us about a great resource that shows when to plant vegetables during the spring, summer and fall seasons. It is called the Vegetable Garden Planting Guide written by experts at Kansas State University.

We learned the best insecticide to use is simply your hands. Failing is okay–everything is a learning experience that will make you a better gardener. Ask lots of questions and tour other people’s gardens.

Our next speaker will be Susan Buchanan, an organic gardener in Lawrence.She will speak Tuesday, July 19, at 6:30 p.m at the student farm. Please arrive early so we can start on time.

Also — Our first-ever KU Student Farm potluck will be this Friday night at 7. Please bring a dish to share if you want and your own plates and utensils. We will provide cups and a beverage for everyone. Please RSVP to the Facebook event page so we know how many people to expect. We will stay to watch the full moon rise. Let Kim know if you have any questions or concerns. Everyone is welcome, so bring your friends!


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