Monday, May 16, 2011

Berry Uprising Leads to Improved Conditions

With summer fast approaching, the continuing growth of the berry population at Seeds Farm demanded that some changes be made to the conditions of the fruiting plants. In response to these demands, improvements have been made at the Farm in order to assist the wondrous sweet morsels reach perfection.

Blackberries were one of the fruits to receive an upgrade of growing space. Previously, Seeds Farm's blackberry canes were growing on a short trellis and were largely unsupported. Located off of the main path, they were easily overlooked by the casual observer. Now, not only are they trained on a tall and sturdy trellis, but a sign proclaims their presence to all!

A more dramatic improvement has been made in strawberry accommodations. Initially housed in stacks of small, square, unfinished wood boxes, the growing space was adequate for the strawberries to survive and produce a few yummy fruits. However, the plants were clearly cramped and space and soil volume was not ample enough to help the strawberries reach their full potential.

Last Friday, Paul Maschka and his Agriculture 110 class met the demand of the existing strawberry plants by moving them (along with some younger friends) to newly constructed digs. Closer to luxury condos than the modest wooden shacks they were housed in formerly, the new boxes are not only larger to provide more soil for strawberry roots, they are also tapered toward the bottom which allows for more growing space for the plants one level below. Each box is painted to help the wood better withstand the elements and all of the boxes are vertically stacked in order to save space and keep the pillbugs, slugs and snails at bay.

Currently, the strawberries are adjusting to their new, more prominent residence. Before long, we will see (and taste) the delicious fruits of our labor!

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