Category Archives: Four-season growing

Gardening at school through long Upstate winter

School gardeners are often asked, especially at this time of year, “So what are you going to do in thSpinach Nov16e winter?”

Without a doubt, Upstate New York winter narrows our options. But choosing the right plants and providing them with a measure of protection can stretch the growing season into pretty chilly months. Thus, the Garden Club at Albany High School ought to be able to get one more harvest of leafy greens in tomorrow, even after temperatures in the mid-20s the past couple of nights. Continue reading

Growing indoors a short walk from Albany High

Greenhouse2The school leaders at Saint Anne Institute have kindly offered use of a beautiful heated greenhouse on its campus to Albany High School and Abrookin Career and Technical Center. And as slightly captured in the accompanying photo, we have begun exploring how to put this great opportunity to use.

With as much as 1,000 square feet of heated and sun-lit space about 10 minutes Continue reading

Yes, we’re still putting seeds in the ground

Carrots AHS 82214

Carrot seedlings at Albany High started 13 days ago. Not bad considering carrot seeds are notoriously slow to germinate.

I mentioned a patch of ground near Albany High to an administrator there the other day. I said that I hoped we could throw some compost there and drop some seeds in.


More than ask a question, this individual betrayed substantial surprise that we would still be putting seeds in the ground in late August. So, for the record, yes, now. Indeed, we put lettuce, spinach, arugula and radish seed in over Continue reading

Planning and planting for the fall

Corn Aug 11

Corn at Myers Middle School is getting near as high as the proverbial elephant’s eye.

We will keep our garden going and growing well into the cool days of autumn at Myers Middle School. In fact, we have started a few things already after Crem Dias and I made some plans  about what would go where and when. We try to rotate our planting based on what was most recently planted in a given bed and what does and Continue reading

Albany schools gardeners making summer plans

The Garden Club at Myers Middle School continues to dig in the dirt all summer long.  And Myers won’t be the only Albany district school where school gardeners have a chance to get together. Organizers of a new garden at Albany High School will meet weekly and, as at Myers, welcome friends – both those who have met and those who have not yet met – to stop by and pick up a tool.

The Myers Garden Club: the Summer Edition will meet Tuesday evenings, Continue reading

Summertime Garden Club extends the season

The school calendar does not synch up well with the growing season around these parts. So that is a challenge for project that seeks to create learning opportunities with plants. We address the challenge in a couple of ways.

We start seeds and grow plants under lights indoors. We equip one classroom at Continue reading

Friends’ support nurtures growth in garden initiative

As we continue to expand our garden, learn more boxtops logo2about nurturing plants through the cold months, reach out to classroom teachers and reach out to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students, I want to note how much your support means to our effort and suggest a couple of specific says that you can help.

First, would you consider joining our summer garden watering crew? In the best of possible worlds, friends of the Vegetable Project will commit to watering the Continue reading

Spring and summer’s garden is taking shape

We avoid a number of outdoor issues when we start seeds and nurture small plants indoors: Heavy rain and lashing winds don’t bother as at all. And no one walks off with almost-ready-to-harvest watermelons.

We face other hazards, however, such as occasional inability to visit our plants. Continue reading

Our never-ending growing season

Spinach very much prefers growing in cool weather.

Spinach very much prefers growing in cool weather.

Mother Nature and the school calendar present a couple of challenges to school gardeners in this part of the world. Conventional wisdom, for example, says do not put tomatoes in the soil around here until late May because a late frost, which would kill the tender plants, still is possible until then. But Continue reading