Winding up electric fences, moving staging platforms, picking up horse poop, and removing hinges from old doors – these are some of the tasks our YAP crew did to help prep for Solarfest. Solarfest is a 3-day, non-profit, sustainable energy and music festival powered by solar energy. It is run mainly by volunteers, and our crew worked four days last week helping to transform Forget-Me-Not Farm in Tinmouth into a welcoming concert and workshop venue.
Hot, hazy, and humid… that didn’t slow down our Danby crew in its second week. With only two days of work this week because of the 4th of July, the YAP crew weeded (everything!), transplanted (flowers by the Smokey House Center sign) and harvested (garlic scapes, lettuce and herbs.)
Our big project, however, was constructing compost bins, based on a design by EMG Master Composter, Ron Hebert. With guidance from Robin Chesnut-Tangerman, we’ve already built three composters for ourselves. The walls are sturdy 1/2″ hardware cloth, and the latch uses solid wood and good hardware. This very practical design includes an easy open latch, which makes moving and turning the pile easy. We plan to offer these for sale at the Poultney Farmers Market soon. (We’re taking orders now – $79 plus tax!)
The 2014 Summer Work&Learn program is up and running at TTC at Smokey House. During our first days the crew attacked the weeds in the garden, transplanted seedlings, pulled wild (aka “poison”) parsnip, and learned about mulch and compost.
We have a great group of hard workers under the leadership of Kevin Keeler, and we look forward to a busy and productive summer.
After spending most of the summer getting dirty, the Bennington YAP program started working with a “cleaner” side of gardening this fall: making handmade herbal soap.
With help from Jennifer Ufnar, assistant professor of biology at Southern Vermont College, Bennington YAP instructor Katherine Keys has been exploring the many ways to create fragrant herbals soaps. These soaps are all made by hand with pure ingredients. They are packaged and sold at Farmer’s Markets.