Much activity has taken place in the Grow Dome. We have transplanted 10 different varieties of tomatoes in the outside beds of the Dome. We have seedling starts of many kinds of flowers, vegetables, and other crops like chile, melons, and cucumber. Today we transplanted another lemon tree and a hibiscus bush.
The picture above shows many of our soon-to-be-completed activities. First of all the hibiscus is in the foreground and the lemon tree is poking its branches above the bed to the right, at about 2 o’clock from the hibiscus above. You can see some verdolagas (purslane) growing next to the hibiscus. In the flats to the right, you can see our chile plants of four varieties that are ready for transplant next week. And at the top left of the photo you can see the hydroponic trays of our aquaponic system. I will write about that later, but the other day I hooked everything up, turned it on, and realized I have some more research and development to do on the home-made filter system so it is still a work in progress before we get it going.
We found a lemon tree of the same variety we obtained before at a local nursery. It was considerably more expensive but also considerably larger, with three small green lemons on it. The other day I was watching our initial lemon tree struggling, investigated a bit, and found that none of the roots had penetrated into the surrounding soil. So I removed the baby lemon, washed all the soil off the roots, re-potted it, and a few weeks later we see some new growth! So it looks like we might be blessed with two lemon trees in our Grow Dome!
There is hardly an activity more disappointing than planting a tree with students only to have it die. If we can bring this tree back from the brink, it will be a great inspiration to our students. When your environment gets such that you feel like you are going to die, wash off your roots, keep what is important, and put yourself in a new environment so you can grow new leaves and thrive…