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Waltham Fields Community Farm (incorporated as Community Farms Outreach, Inc.) is a nonprofit farming organization focusing on sustainable food production, fresh food assistance, and on-farm education. For more information about Waltham Fields check out our website!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Greetings from the Container Garden

If you’ve been by the farm this year, you have probably noticed our wonderful sunny new location by the bulletin board. It’s hard to miss a bathtub sitting on the edge of a field!

The plants are loving the new location. So far I’ve harvested baby salad greens, herbs, Asian Greens, Romaine lettuce, nasturtium flowers, scallions, bok choy, and even a couple of sungold tomatoes. I used the shade created by the bathtub to shelter the bok choy and Romaine lettuce from the heat of the midday sun, and they were both incredibly sweet and delicious.

Also planted in the container garden are sweet and hot peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, several varieties of beans, husk cherries, celery, eggplant, tomatoes and herbs.

This year I decided to experiment with a couple of dwarf tomato varieties, Totem and Tiny Tim. I never thought that I’d call a tomato plant cute, but these plants are really small! The Tiny Tim is barely a foot tall, and the Totem just a little larger. The plants are very healthy, and so far it looks like there’s going to be a good yield. I’ve read mixed reviews on the taste of these hybrids, I’ll let you know what I think.

In the middle of the garden sits a Mediterranean themed planter with eggplant, tomatoes, Greek oregano, bush basil and trailing rosemary (some people call this a moussaka garden). Rounding out the Mediterranean theme, there are chocolate and Corsican mint growing in tins nearby.

Corsican mint is my favorite discovery of the year.  It was love at first sniff , such a mellow minty smell. The preferred flavoring for crème de menthe, this mint has tiny leaves and grows only a few centimeters tall. It can be used for landscaping, and is an excellent companion for many plants, including eggplant and brassicas like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. It is also said to improve the health and flavor of tomatoes. Look for it in the small oval tin by the Mediterranean planter.

It’s easy to find ways to make a container garden both fruitful and beautiful. Companion planting can add color and interest to any garden. As well as the usual marigolds and nasturtiums, this year’s companion plants include chamomile with the summer squash and snapdragons with the celery. Some varieties of hot peppers are both ornamental and edible. This year I’m excited to have a NuMex Twilight pepper plant. The fruits start out a deep purple, and then turn yellow, orange and red for a beautiful rainbow effect.

Next time you’re at the farm, check out the Container Garden. Just look for the bathtub by the bulletin board, and while you’re there – check out our self-guided farm tour as well!

Enjoy the bounty,

Dede Dussault
WFCF Container Garden Work Share

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