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A Profusion of Cucumbers and Savage Marigolds

By Amy Joseph Landon

EG Collage

This blog post was prepared by Bernheim’s FoodWorks Intern, Carlyn Vachow. Carlyn attends Middlebury College in Vermont and is spending the summer working in the Edible Garden at Bernheim.

As a result of some big rains the past couple of weeks, the Edible Garden is booming. The veggies are growing like mad, which has caused both the Isaac’s Café staff and the Edible Garden staff to go looking for whatever is ripe…which is everything. The hands-on process of harvesting vegetables from the garden has caused us to take a look at what is going well in the garden and what can be done better next time.

Good news first:

The garden has produced roughly enough yellow squash, cucumbers, and zucchini to put Kroger out of business. The Golden Wax string beans and the green string beans are surreptitiously colonizing beneath their leaves, and there’s basil proverbially coming out of our ears. In the next weeks, the tomatoes will ripen and we will have to think of some new recipes and uses for a surplus of tomatoes.

The American hops growing up cables attached to the Research Center are snaking their way to the top, and we may have to start growing malt to go with the hops. Bernheim microbrew, anyone?

The flip side:

A surplus of tomatoes. Although we have trellised the tomato plants in the past week, they have sprawled greedily in several raised beds. In the South Petal, we planted marigolds and kale together as companion plants. Marigolds deter insect pests and deer. Like the tomatoes, the marigolds have engulfed everything in their path, so our kale is looking a little anemic and hasn’t photosynthesized its way to looking like the iconic dinosaur leaf.

What we’ve learned:

Marigolds, cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes like to take up more then their side of the bed. Around late June, it would be a good idea to set up a farm stand for zucchini and cucumbers. Rain makes the flowers grow.


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