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Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

S.P.A.C.E., Summer Veggies and the Benefits of Gardening

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S.P.A.C.E. stands for Seattle Pacific Agriculture for the Community and Environment, and is a club on campus that stewards over the community garden for SPU. That garden is located on 4th Ave. W. behind the Dravus Lot, and is a great place to get involved over the summer. From my experience very few people I’ve talked to on campus even know that it exists, and that’s why I’m writing about it!DSCN1009

This garden I have visited a few times, but have yet to put much work into. I have contacted the club leaders and will start watering the plants this week. Summer is a great season for plants to soak up the sun here in Seattle, and there are many fruits and veggies that thrive in the warm weather that we’ve been having with the proper care and watering. I’m going to outline a few below, and use this research to help me narrow down which ones to plant in addition to the ones already growing in our garden.

Planting your own vegetable garden or participating in a community garden offers a lot of opportunities to be good to the planet. By planting a garden you can increase your health according to Harvard Medical School, and reduce your bill at the grocery store. In addition to eating healthier and saving money, you can also reduce pollution from pesticides by growing your foods organically and save yourself some worry about where your food comes from. Among other advantages is the possibility to enjoy better tasting and more nutritive food that is picked when ripe instead of prematurely by commercial growers. Reducing food waste is an advantage as well, (which goes along with many of my posts on composting) because when individuals become the growers and wait patiently for their food to ripen, odds of them throwing it out are fewer.

After looking at four different sites (listed below), there are quite a few vegetables that overlap as suggestions for the summer planting season. The only fruits mentioned were strawberries and watermelon, but there are other seasonal fruits as well, they just take longer to cultivate. Also mentioned were tomatoes, that while technically are fruits, I think most of us still view as vegetables. Most popular among the veggies were beans (specifically lima beans or snap beans), carrots, corn, and cucumbers.

Additionally I found some information on herbs, which has inspired me to include basil in my list of plants to share with our community. The final list will be some pole beans, some variety of tomato (perhaps heirloom), and basil. Possibly carrots if I have enough space.SPACE Garden

The Oprah website gave tips on planting locations to get the optimal sunlight and ensure that your taller plants don’t overshadow your more petite plants. “In terms of laying out your garden, a good rule is to plant the tallest crops (beans and corn) on the northern side, because this will prevent them from shading the rest of your vegetables. Just south of them should be your next-tallest crops (tomatoes and squash), followed by the lowest-growing crops (beets and carrots) on the southernmost section.” I will do my best to follow this advice during my upcoming planting. They also included a few vegetables to avoid planting during summer because they can’t handle the heat.

If you’d like to get more connected comment below and you can get in contact with the club leaders for next year!

Sources:

  1. http://www.oprah.com/home/Guide-to-Planting-Summer-Vegetables-and-Herbs
  2. http://www.ufseeds.com/What-To-Plant-Now.html#July
  3. http://www.sunset.com/garden/garden-basics/warm-season-crops
  4. http://eatseasonably.co.uk/what-to-grow-now/get-growing/
  5. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1275&page=2
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Author: Lauren

SPU Student

2 thoughts on “S.P.A.C.E., Summer Veggies and the Benefits of Gardening

  1. Can staff get involved with SPACE? How do we contact them?

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