Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More winter vegetables

A comment on a post made in December about winter vegetables and an after-school program this afternoon have me thinking about change-outs in vegetable garden beds.

I had harvested some Tuscan and redbor kale, spinach, and purple mustard from the kitchen garden next to the visitor center to show a group of 2nd graders from a nearby school learning about eating and growing vegetables as part of a Clemson University Healthy Campus Initative outreach program.

It was a fun program; three Clemson students in a nutrition class had talked to the kids at their school last week about eating a rainbow of colors and will do a follow-up next week.

We sniffed herbs, sampled flowers from the bolting collards, looked at lettuces, saw strawberries in flower, and tasted garlic chives. Another three Clemson students (student athletes) helped with the kids, too, and were great (they're part of a group called Tigers who Care -- we're the Clemson Tigers in our athletic programs.

I showed them my flat of spicy salad mix (they all tasted young purple mustard leaves), spinach seedlings, and had them 'plant' in dry potting mix seeds of scarlet runner beans and yard-long beans.

We're about two weeks out from our average last frost date.

The variable temperatures and moisture levels have the kales and collards bolting (some years they last until May). So we'll be pulling out (and giving away) the greens in the visitor center vegetable garden over the next couple of weeks, to make room for the warm-season transplants.

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