Urban Farm Updates, December 14th, 2017
Fun on the Farm!
Did you know? One 8oz glass of cow’s milk provides as much Vitamin A as 2 hard boiled eggs, as much Phosphorus as 1 cup of Kidney beans, as much Calcium as 10 cups of raw Spinach, as much Riboflavin as 1/3 cup raw almonds, as much Vitamin D as 1 oz cooked Salmon, and as much Potassium as one small Banana! That is one powerful glass of milk!
What’s Growing On?
Another week has gone by, another week closer to Christmas, and another week closer to the start of 2018. It is really starting to hit me that the year is coming to an end as I am sitting down to prepare ‘end of the year’ reports and tally all of the Urban Farm data for the year. I am excited for all of the progress that has been made this year, and am really hopeful, looking forward to the possibilities for 2018.
Outside, the farm is slowly pulling out of it’s early winter funk, with the growth of onions, cabbage, kale, lettuce, carrots and of course, Snap Peas. Snap Peas are one of my favorite spring snacks, and it is unbelievably exciting to get to see them come to life under such cold and miserable conditions. Soaking the snap pea seeds ahead of time helps to hasten the time that it takes them to sprout and emerge; and a frost blanket over them helps to insulate the ground temperature. I already have little Onion slips poking out above the soil, in rows nearby, and it is beginning to look a little more green on the farm, these days. It still blows my mind, that some crops thrive under such cold conditions, and that plants like Garlic, onions and snap peas not only do well, but require cool weather to sprout and develop!
On my lettuce row, I had put out a low tunnel last week, before all of the wonderful snowy weather that we got, here in Spartanburg county; but the wind decided to remove some of the low tunnel over night, last night. I came on to the farm this morning to a slightly disheveled greens row, and my plastic tunnels doing very little good at all. Fortunately, the low tunnels stayed put during the storm, and my lettuce varieties can take a pretty decent frost, so weren’t damaged by the cold last night.
My cabbage seedlings seems to be enjoying the colder weather as well, putting on a decent growth spurt since the nights have started getting frosty! I have not covered them or protected them in any way since the winter weather has moved in, and they have handled the cold in true Brassica fashion. Most of my other crops that can take a light frost are covered with frost blankets, as well as my sprouting Snap Pea rows. They are covered so that the ground is kept insulated to help spur their growth. Once the sprouts are a decent size, the frost covers will be pulled and they will be left to handle the elements on their own.
Inside the Greenhouse, my cucumber seedlings are about ready to be transplanted into their larger containers, and my Tomato plants are getting huge!! My tomato seedlings are already roughly 3 feet tall, and every day there are more and more flowers everywhere! I am excited to see how these new varieties do in the Greenhouse and how they produce over the late winter and early spring! Perhaps by the time my Wofford Work study students come back from winter break, in January, there will be little tomatoes on all of the plants!
As always, I look forward to sharing more Urban Farm news, again next week, and if you have any questions or comments please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). Talk to you all again next week!