Urban Farm Updates, April 20th, 2017
Fun on the Farm!
Did you know? Strawberries are not actually a berry, botanically speaking; they are a fruit. Each Strawberry has an average of 200 seeds; and Strawberries are the only fruit to carry their seeds on the outside of their skin. A serving of Strawberries also contains for Vitamin C than an orange, which might come in handy the next time you get a cold!
What’s Growing on?
What a productive week it has been! I had two surprise volunteers on Friday, who helped me to unbox and set up the two coolant units in the Greenhouse, and then put up the white tarp along the back fence of the farm. The cooling units will help extend the growing season in the Greenhouse, well into the summertime. In the past, we have had no way to cool the Greenhouse, and have had to shut the Greenhouse down from the end of April, to October, when the temperature starts to drop again; this system will help keep the Greenhouse cooler and make it possible to work and grow plants longer than we previously could.
The tarp that we hung along the back wall will serve both an aesthetic purpose, as well preventing any further drift over from the quarterly Glyphosate dissemination on the neighboring property. In previous years, the particulate from the herbicide would drift over onto our property and cause plant damage and crop loss; by installing this catchment system, I am hoping to prevent crop damage in the future.
This past Saturday was our latest Open Farm Saturday, where the farm was open to the public for farm tours, gardening questions, volunteers and a Gardening Class. We had a total of 13 new faces come to the Urban Farm this past weekend, to volunteer, take a farm tour and attend the “DIY Gardening” class. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we got a lot accomplished. With the help of volunteers, I was able to get 3 rows of summer squash seedlings transplanted, several rows weeded, and a lot of the remaining trash and debris on the farm was gathered up and placed in one location for easy removal.
There was quite a collection of broken pallets, rotten wood boards and other random debris that had been scattered around the edges of the farm, from the farm’s completion in 2012. This bulky material will be hauled away this upcoming weekend, as a part of the Spartanburg Water volunteer day. The process of cleaning up the farm is a key component to kick-starting my Growth and Development plan for the farm; clearing out all of the flotsam and jetsam will improve the appearance and function of the space, allowing for to better utilization of the space through inventive and alternative growing techniques. After the pile of old wood and garbage is removed and disposed of, I can start to re-imagine a use for the open space on the farm, and develop a plan for incorporating space saving techniques. I am very excited for these changes to the farm, as well as the installation of new growing mediums in the farm, coming this Saturday. We will be installing one cohesive, linear raised bed across the front of the Urban Farm, to replace the 3 small raised beds that we previously there. We will also be creating and installing vertical gardening units, making use of some old PVC piping that had been donated to us. In addition, we will be building an Arbor with a raised grow bed on either side; and a large raised bed for growing Artichokes, the next planting endeavor for the Urban Farm. All of these systems will be making better use of currently unused space at the Urban Farm, by allowing us to demonstrate alternative growing methods, unusual plants, as well as DIY systems that save both money and space. I am very excited to share with you all the changes as the occur, and to unveil the new face of the Urban Farm next week, with before and after photos of the work as it is completed.
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, concerns or feedback (email@example.com), I would love to hear from you! Until next time, I hope that you have a most wonderful week!!