Article by Monica Brown
TULALIP, Wash.- The Hibulb Cultural Center’s Gardening Together as Families event was planned for Saturday April 13, 2013, rain or shine. Despite the cold and rainy weather, gardeners began arriving at ten am, dressed in rain gear and ready to garden. They made their way inside the Cultural Center where they enjoyed traditional prayers and songs prior to heading out to the garden and greenhouse.
In the garden’s raised planter boxes they replanted the starts from the green house. Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli were all placed in the raised beds. Sugar snap peas were replanted in a raised bed and given an old crab pot to vine on. A spring mix variety of lettuce was replanted in a lettuce wall that looks like upside down stairs to maximize space and water. These cold weather plants are hardier to cold and some freezing temperatures. While the sweet peas and broccoli may produce all summer, cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce will need to be reseeded after they are done producing.
Early spring plants that are able to withstand the cooler temperatures were already thriving in the raised planter boxes. Master Gardener Michelle Taylor coerced me to try the fresh Kale that she tore from the stalk. Kale is surprisingly refreshing, sweet and tender; it is similar in taste to sweet peas. Michelle explained how Kale is an easy vegetable to grow in this area of Washington and is full of nutrients like Iron, fiber, calcium, Vitamins C, A and K. Kale is simple to cook with and prepare, it’s great in salad, soup, casserole, or in a smoothie.
Gardener Carol Kapua was enthralled when she saw the large artichoke that it was “so very healthy” and explained how the artichoke will grow and mature on the inside of the bushy plant. Artichoke is not usually grown in this wet climate and is a bit of a finicky perennial but is able to be grown as a low maintenance annual. The artichoke plant will need to be “overwintered” a term which means the plant will need to be cooled to a low temperature of 30 degrees in order to flower.
The next Gardening Together as Families event will be in May. All levels of experience are welcome and Gardeners do not need to bring any tools, although if you have your own garden gloves, knee pads etc. you are welcome to bring them. At the end of each Gardening Together as Families event a delicious and nutritious lunch is prepared by the Cultural Center staff.
For more information or you would like to attend future garden events please contact Veronica Leahy at (360) 716-5642 or email firstname.lastname@example.org