St. Olaf Garden Research and Organic Works

August Update

We farmers have spent recent rainy mornings plugging away at the computer comparing this season's and last season's yields. Our discoveries? As of today, our total produce costs (aka money made in the garden) are way ahead of last year. Though a recent mysterious disease has claimed half of our bell pepper crop, our four varieties of tomatoes are looking big and beautiful! We thought that squash and zucchini yields would be dying down, but the downpour last week boosted yields higher than ever--over 141 pounds of squash and 80 pounds of zucchini!

Between weeding the beans and harvesting squash, we have spent a lot of time observing a huge orb spider--the species in "Charlotte's Web"--that has made its home on one of our wheelbarrows. We toyed with nature, and perhaps confused the spider, by repeatedly tangling garden pests (such as gypsy moths and squash bugs) in its web. Whenver the spider senses one of our "offerings," it hastens towards the specimen, injects it with venom, and then proceeds to launch many strands of web from its abdomen to wrap up its lunch for later. The spider must enjoy classical music because it made its home directly under the garden radio speakers.

This week we have been readying the garden for our Summer Open House. Come on out this Friday from 12-2 PM for music, delicious hors d'oeuvres provided by our friends at Bon Appetit, and self-guided garden tours! If it rains, we will postpone the event to a later date.