After a summer of growing sweet potatoes, the fall harvest was much anticipated.

We started on a crisp Saturday morning around 9am. As we got to know each other, the excitement for the treasure hunt was emanating. This year we had volunteers from Jamie Kirk Hahn (JKH) foundation day of service, NCSU Agroecology, and the community to help with the bountiful harvest.

Bella Pepper, resident farm dog, keeping an eye on the winding vines during the summer while the sweet potatoes grew beneath the soil.

Here is a peak into our Great Sweet Potato Harvest:

We started off by cutting the vines back and rolling them up to expose the sweet potatoes that had been so patiently growing all summer long with no interruptions.

We had an assembly line going, and those that were not cutting were gathering the greens and moving them into our compost pile.

Then we used a broadfork to loosen up the soil around the sweet potatoes.

“One small step for man, one giant leap for sweet potatoes”

How rewarding it is to find a large cluster of sweet potatoes buried beneath the surface of the soil!

But sometimes, you will take time to dig for your sweet treasure, only to find that it is a rock. The excitement was still worth it.

We found friends along the way

Many hands make for light work

And in the end, we had an ample harvest

“Sweet potatoes for miles and miles”

Finally, we crowned our Sweet Potato Queen!

 

Written by Lubana Lanewala, Garden Apprentice

Just in time for the shorter days and cooler nights the Well Fed Garden has come out with a new selection of local teas. We have grown, dried and packaged all the herbal teas at the Well Fed Garden. They make the perfect evening cup of tea after a meal at the Irregardless and are a great gift for anyone.

The Process:

Step 1: the herbs

All of our herbs are grown organically at the Well Fed Garden. We use sustainable practices to produce a variety of healthy and tasty herbs for our teas.

Step 2: harvest

Here is a sample of our oregano harvest. We aim to harvest all of our herbs when they are in peak freshness. Rosemary, mountain mint, and cilantro are examples of cool season herbs. Tarragon, basil, and chamomile are warm season herbs. Some herbs like oregano and sage are available almost all year.

Step 3: dehydrate

We dehydrate the herbs to preserve them all year. We dehydrate each herb separately to preserve their unique flavor and scent.

Step 4: the blend

We have a unique selection of home-made blends.

Our Lemon Tulsi is a calming blend of lemon verbena, tulsi, and tarragon flowers.

Our Lavender includes the buds and leaves of the French Lavender plant known for its aromatherapeutic qualities.

Our Garden Mist is the newest blend of mountain mint, oregano, and thyme. It is a refreshing pick me up for those winter blues.

We are continuously creating new blends. Find more of our blends at the Irregardless Cafe.

Step 5: Enjoy

There is nothing better than to steep a warm cup of tea after a cold morning working on the farm.

Written by Morgan Malone, Garden Manager

Here at The Well Fed Community Garden, we use a lot of compost to grow our produce. We can’t produce as much as we need just yet, but we gather as much food waste from our community as we can manage to turn into soil. Here is our recipe for compost that grows beautiful produce for us:

Ingredients:

  • Veggie scraps
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Leaf Mulch
  • Shovel
  • Sweat and Muscles (for turning the compost)
  • Compost area (preferably enclosed to keep away unwanted critters)

Directions:

1.) Add veggie scraps (we get ours from Irregardless Cafe and Catering and from our volunteers)

2) Let the chickens eat some of the scraps…they add fertilizer to the compost anyway!

3) Mix up some coffee grounds (we get ours from Déjà Brew that a our volunteer Joe brings)

4) Add in Leaf Mulch from your local leaf mulchery. Capital Mulch Company, Leaf & Limb and City of Raleigh Yard Waste Center are some sources.

5) Fold the ingredients to combine

6) Cover and let it bake! This will ensure that the ingredients will be getting the heat it needs to decompose. Depending on how much heat, rain and worms are in your pile, it can take 3 months to a year to get a complete compost.

Be sure to turn the compost once or twice a month until ready. Your compost should look like moist, dark soil.

If you don’t want your own compost pile or do not have the ability to have one – bring your extra scraps and coffee grounds to us! Located at 1321 Athens Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606 – you can stop by anytime and drop off your scraps.

Written by Lubana Lanewala, Garden Apprentice