Friday, April 18, 2014

Fruit Tree Planting workshop
April 12th 2014
Chelsea Community Garden

The Chelsea Community Garden hosted our second Year of the Fruit workshop on Saturday April 12th. We lucked out with the warmest day of the month! The sun beamed down on us as our guest instructor, Andy DeSantis (of the Chelsea DPW and local tree expert) lead the fruit tree workshop. Thank you again to Andy for joining us, donating materials and answering lots of questions. 

For pictures of the workshop taken by Melissa Shook visit our Facebook page

This blog will review the workshop but for information and details please visit these sites

Andy DeSantis describing the root system of the plum tree

As with many things that grow in the ground the fruit trees need to be planted after the threat of a ground freeze has passed. We dug a hole, filled it with water, let it drain for an hour and then refilled it, timing how long it took to drain out. 

Filling the hole with water, let it drain, repeat

While we waited for the hole to drain the class continued, Andy spoke about the ideal soil conditions and we had a demonstration of a home PH meter that allowed us to instantly see what the soil PH was just by adding some soil and water. 

GREEN! In this case that was a good thing

Next was getting the tree into the hole that was dug, we took special attention to make sure the roots were spread out so the tree could establish itself better.

Almost as many cameras as workers

A word of advice when in the garden, never be afraid to get your hands dirty!!! Especially if it means making sure the tree is upright and the roots are all in place. 

Who needs gloves?

With the plum tree planted we turned our attention to the Grape Arbor, we went with a white grape variety and a concord grape. The cuttings were started a year ago by the father of one of our gardeners. After digging our holes for the grape vines and doing the water test we found that the soil at the arbor was too dense and did not drain fast enough for the grapes. We rectified the situation by removing more soil, mixing it with sand and putting it all back in around the arbor base. 

Very dense soil, we needed to add sand for the grape roots

The whole area around the arbor was cleaned out and we established a seating area that goes along with the arbor for gardeners to relax in before and after working their plots. We can't wait for the grape vines to cover the arbor!

This used to be a pile of wood and pallets

It was a great session, please join us for the next session, check out calendar for more information.

Andy led a great workshop 

Our guest instructor for the workshop was Andy DeSantis, Assistant Director of Public Works in Chelsea
The grape cuttings were donated by the family of gardener Elaine Cusick
The Grape Arbor was made possible by a generous donation from the family of Michael Limberakis. It will be dedicated in his memory during the Chelsea Art Walk in June

Michael's family stopped by to see the progress
Photo by Melissa Shook

This event had great coverage in the Chelsea Record

Thank you to the Chelsea Record for their excellent coverage!

"The Year of the Fruit is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Chelsea Community Fund. Many workshops are being offered through a collaboration with the Chelsea Community Schools. Administrative support for Year of the Fruit has also been offered by the Chelsea Collaborative and Commoncove."

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