Urban Farm Updates, January 11th, 2017

Fun on the Farm!

Did you know? Swiss Chard isn’t actually Swiss at all?! Swiss Chard was originally found near the Mediterranean, but it’s edible properties were discovered by a Swiss Botanist, who cleverly branded it “Swiss Chard”.

What’s Growing On?

Another Thursday, another blog post! Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we are already 2 weeks into the New Year! I feel like 2018 is flying by, and it has only just begun!

Frost 

We are still in the process of thawing out, on the Urban Farm, this week. The ground was frozen solid for a little over a week, before the summer weather snuck back in on Tuesday and transformed everything into a muddy mess! The weather has made such an about-face in the past week; going from high temps in the 20s, to highs in the upper 60s and lower 70s. On Monday, I was bundling up in my thermal top and pants, with my bulky Carhartt coat on top, and by Tuesday afternoon I was wishing for shorts and a tank top, while I was out working at the farm with Cat Strickland. It is amazing how quickly the weather can change, in such a brief period of time! Tuesday morning, when I walked out to my car, it was 30 degrees, and I had to scrape a layer of frost off my car; and then by 2pm, I was sweating with my long sleeves rolled up and craving a nice glass of ice water!

Carmen pepper

Such drastic swings in temperature are never good for plants, and mine are certainly showing the stress. This is certainly proving to be a very trying winter already, for all farmers in the South. We need more consistent temperatures and some nice sunny weather to help these plants to grow. Even my plants inside the Greenhouse aren’t happy about all of the temperature fluctuations and gray winter weather. My peppers, which have been producing really well for quite some time now are slowing down, with the shorter days and chilly temps. My Greenhouse heater has been running a lot, trying to keep the Greenhouse snug and warm inside.

 

 

Clearing away the debris at the Urban Farm.

As a team, Cat Strickland (Wofford), Luke LeCroix (Wofford), Hannah Heacox (Mobile Market) and myself worked hard on Tuesday and Wednesday (after the farm thawed out a little bit), to move a lot of the debris and construction debris out of the farm and disposed of it. On Wednesday alone, we made a total of 4 trips back and forth to the dump with our F-350 loaded down with debris and yard waste from the farm. The debris was primarily left over from the construction of the farm 5 years ago, and then other HCFM projects since then. It really needed to go to make way for some of the future projects and development that we have planned for the Urban Farm. The plan is for 2018 to bring a fresh, new, clean face to the Urban Farm, and clearing out all of the old mess is part of the process! It was a lot of hard work, and I couldn’t have done it alone; so, thanks so much for this hard working crew that made it possible! We still have another 2-3 trips to make with more yard waste, but that is going to have to wait until after this rain passes and we have another clear day.

Well, that is all for this week, I hope that you all stay safe and dry as this rain system passes over us. Until next week, take care! As always, feel free to send me an email if you have any questions or comments (mwhiteley@hubcityfm.org)!