By Benjamin Williams
FRAMINGHAM – Transition Framingham held their annual garden tour virtually as a zoom conference on Sunday, August 23, where members shared their gardening techniques, successes, and challenges.
“The transition is an international movement that consists of vibrant grassroots community initiatives that seek to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as climate change and the economic crisis,” said Michael Croci, who lives in District 8.
The annual farm tour is a way to highlight successful gardens, connect gardeners, and this year, share updated techniques in our new normal. This was the 9th annual garden tour hosted by the organization.
Aimee Powelka, avid gardener and North Framingham resident, presented her own home garden to the Transition Framingham group.
The vegetable garden consists of beans, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, and a few fruits such as, raspberries and strawberries. She uses cages to grow tomatoes and the overgrown zucchini plants also grow up in the cages.
To keep deer out, Powelka fences the square foot gardens and has chicken wire beneath the fence to block rabbits and groundhogs from entering. Despite these measures, birds still eat most of her strawberries and some raspberries.
With all her vegetables and remaining fruits, Powelka freezes some of her produce. She also uses fresh compost in her garden.
Framingham gardeners Adam Steiner and Kerry Dunne talked about their home garden in Nobscot Framingham. They grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
With a chain fence around their yard in District 3, Steiner and Dunne are able to keep deer out and their two dogs keep the pests away.
In their front yard they grow perennials, and in the back they grow fruits and vegetables. Although they said that their yard is not ideal for growing tomatoes, they have a lot of success with fruits. For example, they own 2 peach trees, 3 pear trees, apple trees, and apricot trees. In addition, they grow raspberries and blueberries, so they can make lots of fruit jam.
To prevent birds from eating off of the berry bushes, Steiner and Dunne tried typical netting.
After trial and error, they found that fabric typically used for wedding veils works to keep out birds and snakes. In the future, Steiner and Dunne said they would like to own their own beehive.
Another presenter on the virtual tour was Joe and Vanny Pickman, who produced a garden of carrots, kale, beets, cucumbers, potatoes, bok choy, blueberries, and more.
When COVID-19 hit, they decided to expand their garden. Starting with typical vegetables, carrots, kale, beets, and cucumbers, they later moved onto potatoes and bok choy. They also talked about their lemon grass plant, apple tree, and cherry tree, which has not produced cherries as of yet.
Other presenters of the garden tour included Jennifer Benson, and Diane and Josh Basset with the Framingham Community Farm.
There were more than 60 residents on the Zoom virtual garden tour call.
Benjamin Williams is a 2020 summer SOURCE intern. He is a student at Fay School in Southborough.
Photo is a stock photo