by Reed Johnson – Community Operations Manager at Royal Teton Ranch)
The Community Garden is located in the tree farm in close proximity to the Cafeteria and has a greenhouse.
The harvest was very abundant for many things! Kale, collards, and cabbage thrived in our garden this year. We also had great results with onions, garlic, lettuce, carrots, parsley, beets, summer squash, tomatoes, potatoes, and turnips. However, we had an early frost and it was a bit of a disappointment to see the frost sensitive plants damaged such as beans, tomatoes, basil and summer squash.
The Hugelkultur1 bed was very productive. The bears loved the carrots and came in the night and got most them. The voles and ground squirrels loved the beets and carrots. Our growing season is a bit short here, but when it comes it is amazing how fast things grow and because of the long summer days, plant growth makes up for the short growing season.
One of our great joys is to supply the cafeteria with produce because it is of higher quality and more nutritious than what is commercially available, and a fraction of the cost. If you had the salmon with green sauce at the cafeteria, it may have been our parsley in the green sauce! Most of the kale and collards in the Cafeteria were from our garden as well.
Additionally, the masters have recommended their chelas to be self-reliant and our community gardeners hold the vision of the benefits of self-sufficiency for our community, especially when it comes to food.
Quotes from our members and interested persons:
Ralph Down: “I never cared for collards until I had the ones from our Royal Teton Ranch garden. They are so sweet, flavorful and delicious.”
Maria Teresa Moras: “Our community garden is so beautiful and carefully done. I love that it is our work together. It makes me very happy to go there for even 15 minutes after work to water the plants, play with water, witness the abundance and generosity of nature, see the sunset from this special place. And I now have fresh kale for my green drinks all the time! Thank you all that makes it possible!”
Christina Schumacher: “The vegetables are very aromatic and taste like lavender.”
David Hayward: “The community garden completely changed my perspective of what is possible in this area! Now I can really see some serious potential of what this garden could bring to the community.”
Steve Lamborn: “A step in the right direction. MORE PLEASE!”
1. A hugelkultur bed replicates the natural process of decomposition that occurs on forest floors. Trees that fall in a forest often become nurse logs decaying and providing ecological facilitation to seedlings. As the wood decays, its porosity increases allowing it to store water “like a sponge”. “Hugelkultur” is a German word meaning mound culture or hill culture. It was practiced in German and Eastern European culture for hundreds of years, before being further developed by Sepp Holzer, an Austrian permaculture expert.