Kid’s Corner- Lights On Gardening Program


By Kristin Vogel

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July has been HOT!  There has been no shortage of sunshine to help our gardens grow.  The Lights On gardeners had a record harvest last week: Two types of lettuce, spinach, lemon basil, purple basil and mint.  They fertilized their beds and the pumpkin patch, and learned a little bit about the Lander Farmers Market from Janet Smithson.  Lots of local folks sell the extra produce from their gardens, as well as homemade jams and jellies, baked goods and eggs.  The market starts on the first Tuesday of August from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  It is located in the Pioneer Museum’s parking lot.  

Today’s class found us thinking and talking about bats.  After learning a thing or two about these flying mammals (they are not blind!), we got to work building a couple boxes for them to live in around the garden.  Why?  Because bats eat bugs, including mosquitoes.  A single little brown bat can catch up to 600 mosquitoes in one hour!  The houses we built look like large birdhouses, only there is no hole for the bat to fly into.  Instead, the bottom of the box is open.  Inside there are three cedar panels screwed in place that the bats can wedge themselves in between and hang from.   It takes a couple years for the bats to find new boxes.  So, we will be watching for them.

While one group was building, the other group was tending to our beds and the pumpkin patch.  With this hot, windy weather, the pumpkins needed an extra thick layer of straw mulch to keep them from drying out between waterings.  There was lettuce to pick, and everything needed watering and weeding.  

Next week, we will mount our bat boxes on 12 foot rails and attach them to our fence.  We will also be learning about the different bugs that help our gardens grow.

Until next time, enjoy the harvest!

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