Spring is Hopping in the Community Kitchen Garden
by Laura Schumm, Community Kitchen Garden Horticulturist, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Spring is here, and it has been a very busy week in the Community Kitchen Garden. This past Saturday, a group of student volunteers from Virginia Commonwealth University and several Lewis Ginter volunteers worked cutting back ornamental grasses around the Conservatory, planting early spring vegetables, and preparing a site for growing hops!
On Monday a crew from Center of the Universe Brewing Co. and Piedmont Hops, LLC. stopped by with twice recycled bourbon-beer barrels and hop rhizomes. They started installing the beginnings of the structure that will support our 20 new Cascade hop plants. The first flowers should appear this fall.
Later in the week, a volunteer group from Genworth Financial braved chilly temperatures to plant more vegetables, put together a cold frame, and create planting beds under the new hop structure where we will experiment growing in light shade. Genworth has supplied us with many great volunteers over the last several years.
This is my favorite time of the year, and with the help of these volunteers, this season is getting off to a great start!