Chester Berries!

We’ve been hard at work at the Back of the Bennett lately, building new beds and planting new crops. We recently planted sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, watermelon, eggplant, okra, and tomatoes in our newly constructed beds – more crops that we’ve ever planted before, which means we’ll have plenty to sell and distribute by the time our produce stand is constructed. Everyone’s already excited to harvest the watermelons, and some kids will taste blackberries and the raspberries for the first time at the end of the summer.

We also learned recently that berry bushes require long, narrow beds – 16×2, instead of the 16×4 beds we’d been building for everything else. Last weekend, new and old garden visitors joined in to fill our newly constructed narrow beds with dirt, and help plant tomatoes and blackberry bushes. We realized that these blackberries may have originated in Chester! They’re a special variety of heirloom blackberries historically from southeastern Pennsylvania, which means our bushes are about as local as it gets. All the kids were excited to taste fruit that’s originally from Chester.

Yesterday evening, everyone joined in to water all our crops before today’s heat wave descended. Some kids constructed a beautiful mud pie with the fallen unripe tomatoes, and we discussed the usefulness of composting for creating nutrition-rich soil before dumping the mud pie into our new compost pile.

Everyone’s excited about our newly arrived shipping containers, and we’re getting ready to plant almost 200 more berry bushes as soon as they’re delivered! It’s great to see the garden growing so fast, and all the kids are really excited to see how quickly new beds and new plants are springing up, thanks to their hard work.

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