St. Olaf Garden Research and Organic Works

Here's a quick wrap-up of the 2008-2009 season:

Overall, we enjoyed the fruits of a bountiful harvest, the many blessings of enjoying our time outside with our hands in the dirt, nurturing, maintaining, and caring for the plants we seeded. We held our annual farm festival with music, t-shirts for sale, tours of the farm, hay-rides to and from the farm through the St. Olaf natural lands (thanks to the help of Dave Legvold), face-painting, and food and beverages made from STOGROW produce (zucchini bread, gazpacho, babaganooch, and green bean salad, thanks to our wonderful Bon Appetit chefs). We also had acoustic music from two talented St. Olaf students, Colin Weaver and Emily Robertson. Community members and students and staff of St.Olaf came and went as the hours of the beautiful day passed. Our six chickens also received a lot of attention, and were completely exhausted at the end of the day. A special thanks to all parties involved for helping us make the annual farm festival a time for fun, food, and laughter once again.

And now a little info on the veggies:

Our largest crops for the 2008 growing season were as follows:

Tomatoes: 8,191.5 pounds
Eggplant: 866.5
Squash: 821.5
Peppers: 339.5

Our squash took a big hit from the cucumber beetles. Many of the plants were killed and the remaining plants produced less fruit than expected. Our winter squash seemed to be less effected than our summer squash, probably due to the beetleā€™s population and reproduction being greatest in middle to late June. The winter squash were also located on the far back side of the garden, a distance away from the summer squash, which also may have affected their ability to outlast the beetles.

We ended up with a lot more tomatoes than expected. We had planted a little over 900 tomato plants and by the end of the season, we were up to our necks in tomatoes. Although tomatoes are hardy plants that have a great yield, we do wish to contribute a variety of vegetables to Bon Appetit, so we plan to plant less tomatoes and take organic steps to overcome the challenges of pests on our squash plants and other plants that may be affected.

Thanks again to all those who contributed to our success in this growing season, and we look forward to seeing you and sharing the beauty of the garden with you next season!


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