Friday, May 12, 2023

Fenton Friday: Intern Update

Guest post by Jessica Harden

This past semester while interning at Washington Gardener, I got to plant and watch a variety of edibles grow. I’ve never grown an edible before, unless we count the basil plant I killed in my dorm a few semesters ago, so it was an incredibly exciting experience. I also got all of the seeds at the annual Washington Gardener Seed Exchange. I’m not from the Mid-Atlantic region and had no idea what would grow, but everyone I talked to at the event helped me pick out which seeds I should plant!

I was able to grow and harvest red and green 'Salad Bowl' lettuce and 'Astro' arugula. We also planted peas, carrots, and radishes. Unfortunately, they weren’t ready for harvest before my last day of the term. 

When the plants first started sprouting, we had to thin them out so they weren’t overcrowded. I had no idea that was something I needed to do and I felt so bad pulling up the baby sprouts (though I found out I could eat those sprouts too). A week later, though, the lettuce and arugula filled in all of the gaps and were growing huge! 

After harvesting, I used the arugula on a chicken salad sandwich and it was amazing! Getting to eat the veggies I grew myself makes it taste even better in my opinion. I also used the lettuce to make a salad for my roommates and they loved it. We completely forgot to stop and take pictures of it! 

I had a lot of fun getting to dabble in growing edible plants this semester and I feel a little hopeful that I can add a basil plant to my collection of houseplants now.

About the Author:
Jessica Harden is a junior journalism major minoring in law and society, with a concentration in criminal law, at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. She is an intern this semester with Washington Gardener and is from San Antonio, TX.

About Fenton Friday: Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house in zone 7 Mid-Atlantic MD/DC border. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 12th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.) See past posts about our edible garden by putting "Fenton" into the Search box above (at the top, left on this blog).

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