Fun on the Farm!
Did you know, the word “squash” comes from the Narragansett Native American word “Askutasquash”, which translates to ‘raw’ or ‘uncooked’. There are many varieties of squash, ranging from pattipans and zucchini to hubbard and butternuts. Did you also know, squash is closely related to both cucumbers and melons?? Pretty cool, huh?!
What’s Growing On?
What a week it has been! I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it is June already! Where has the first half of the year gone? I was able to tally all of my harvest data for the month of May, and at the end of the month, I harvested just over 300lbs of produce, from the farm. Every month the harvest weight goes up a little bit; with June, July and August generally having the highest harvest weights for produce.
My Mom and I were super busy this past Saturday, trying to finish building the last three raised beds at the farm. On the previous Saturday, we had built the two Arbor beds and the terraced raised bed, so this Saturday, we came back and finished constructing the massive raised bed that will be the home to some Artichokes, as well as a large handicap accessible raised bed, and one mini raised bed. The handicap accessible raised bed is almost waist high, so people that cannot garden on the ground or bend over, can use this raised bed and can get inspiration from this structure, while a newly built mini bed makes use of a small previously unoccupied space on the farm.
During the week, I have been steadily mixing Atlas Organics compost with Palmetto Vermiculite Co. vermiculite, and I have been adding it to to the raised beds of the Arbor, as well as the Terraced raised bed. Once all of the beds are filled with the compost and vermiculite mix, I will be able to plant in them and water them. With all of the new raised beds and growing features that I have added to the farm this year (with the help of some invaluable volunteers), I have added over 450 square feet of additional growing space to the farm.
Earlier this week, I finished filling the arbor beds, and just last night I finished filling the terraced raised bed. Before I left for the day, I planted some fun summer crops in the terraced raise bed; peppers, cherry tomatoes, and some tomatillos. I am excited to be able to use the arbor this summer for some vining squash, and then in the spring time I plan to plant the arbor with several unique varieties of Kiwifruit.
On Wednesday morning, I had a very unexpected, impromptu Urban Farm tour with some folks from the Spartanburg Housing Authority. They were interested in learning more about what we do as an organization, so I walked them around the farm and introduced them to what we do on the farm and about our mission at the farm. They were able to get an idea about what urban farming looks like, and what we do at the farm on a daily basis.
The Urban Farm supplied some fun produce for farm bag this week, including some kale, zucchini, pattipan squash, yellow squash, onions, peppers and cherry tomatoes. With all of my summer squash coming in, in droves, I am anticipating that we will have zucchini and yellow squash in farm bag for the next several weeks! Even with all of the rain that we have gotten recently, I expect that it is going to be a good year for summer squash, here on the urban farm. Over the next two weeks, I will be busy transitioning the rest of my cold crop rows to summer crops, and then adding more compost and vermiculite mix to the raised beds.
Remember to stay posted for our June gardening class, here at the Urban Farm, on June 17th! The 3rd Saturday, June 17th, from 8:30am to 12 noon will be the next Open Farm Saturday; where the farm will be open to the public for farm tours, volunteer opportunities and a gardening class from 10am to 11am. The gardening class topic for June will be “Space Savers”; this class will cover the development of small spaces for more efficient growing, as well as maximizing the use of larger spaces. Hopefully those attending will be able to take away some great ideas from the class that they will be able to apply to their own backyard gardens. Please feel free to send me an email if you are interested, or have any questions or comments (firstname.lastname@example.org).