As part of the community straw bale garden at Northeast Christian Church, I wanted to help the preschoolers at Kids of the Kingdom plant a few pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and melons in straw bales close to their perimeter fence.
They conditioned the bales by watering them faithfully twice a day for the last two weeks, so I went over on my lunch hour and helped them plant. I could tell the bales were ready because they were damp, they had started to turn brownish black once we dug into them, and they'd started to sprout.
I had leftover tomatoes and pepper plants that I'd grown from seed to share with them, and we also planted pumpkins on the western edge of the bales and cucumber and Kazakh melons on the eastern side so they could climb up the fence.
Although almost the entire class wanted to come and help plant, most of them got bored and wanted to go back and play. These four are the Future Farmers of America - preschool edition. They stayed with me until every last seed was put in a hold and covered with dirt.
Here are a couple of the other straw bale plots at the garden. Most of us planted a combination of plants and seeds. Although most of us are using a drip system (we took skewers and poked holes in hoses - very fancy), one couple rigged together a cool battery-operated pump that they use to run a sprinkler over their bales. I took a photo of it, but now I can't find it.
We're all feeling optimistic that this will work and we'll have lovely melons, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers.
Forget about growing another row, I'm growing a whole 'nother garden to share!