The Awakening Westgarden

by Abigail Lazarowski with Marnie Jones

The Westgarden is waking up and we’re excited about the upcoming growing season! From digging and mulching to interviewing apprentice candidates and placing seed orders, we’ve been busy preparing for the warm months ahead.

Five volunteers joined us for a full day of work on January 25 and  we managed to flip 30 beds of cover crop—every single bed we sowed! This was an exciting and record-breaking accomplishment. We’re mulching these beds with straw and fallen leaves until it’s time for spring planting. In the meantime, we’re still enjoying overwintering carrots, arugula, and sunchokes. It’s always wonderful to be able to send fresh produce to the kitchen, but it seems like a special treat in February.

We’ve just completed our apprentice recruitment process, and we’re excited to announce that we’ll be introducing four new members of our gardening community in March! We had a very strong pool of applicants, from all over the country. The high volume and quality of applications we’ve received helps us see just how much strength and visibility this Community Gardening Leadership Training program has gained over the last several years.

With the new school semester comes a new set of garden experiences for our Waldorf neighbors. Kelly Corson’s 3rd grade class will return to the garden weekly beginning in late February or early March to continue a curriculum which began with the autumn harvest.

Our Westgarden work parties will begin again in late March, on Thursday mornings in the spring and Thursdays into the afternoon once summer arrives. We have a lot to look forward to. We’re excited about growing more annual flowers, replenishing our crop of echinacea, and especially welcoming another apprentice to Chinook for a full season of shared work and learning.