Urban Farm Updates, June 28th, 2018

Urban Farm Updates, June 28th, 2018

Fun on the Farm!

Did you know? Native Americans used to farm, each summer, using the “three sisters” method of growing. They formed hills of dirst, planting corn in the center of the hill, with bean seeds surrounding the corn plant and then squash seeds around the bean seeds. The Corn would grow up tall, providing support for the beans to climb up, while the beans fixed nitrogen and helped to provide food for the corn; while the squash vines would spread out along the ground and help to reduce any weeds surrounding the hill. This method of gardening is still widely used today by many backyard gardeners, each year.

What’s Growing On?

Well, another wet and stormy week is upon us….. The hot and dry weather seems to have left us behind temporarily, in exchange for some insane storms rolling through. It has been a daily process, checking all of my tomato plants for signs of blight, disease of fruit rot. So far I have been fortunate in avoiding any major issues; but several of our local farmers have reported major blight and splitting problems with all of this rain and heavy wind. I was able to go over on Tuesday afternoon and help Harp & Shamrock out some after their plants were knocked around something terrible by the thunderstorms that rolled through on Monday evening. It is incredible how much damage Mother Nature can do to a farm, in the blink of an eye.

We should all be very grateful that we have not experienced the incredible storm damage that individuals Farmers can go from having a wonderful crop to complete and total devastation following a storm, considering the possibilities of flood damage, wind damage, disease, fruit rot as well as hail damages. These storms can wipe out crops, greenhouses and washout rows all in just a matter of minutes to hours. Please keep our local farmers in your thoughts and prayers as you all struggle to keep your lawns mowed and your cars protected during these summer storms.

Cleaned up summer beds

On Friday I am fortunate enough to have a crew from one of the Wofford Summer Camps coming to volunteer out on the farm tomorrow morning. This will be the 4th group to come out and volunteer on the Urban Farm this summer, and their help will be greatly appreciated. With this crews help, I will be pulling back the plastic on several old rows, refreshing them with new compost and then reseeding the rows with late summer and fall crops. With a lot of elbow grease, and a little luck from Mother Nature those beds will hopefully be looking just as good as the front set of beds that we just finished off last week.

I have spent some time over the past several weeks, cleaning out the Greenhouse and getting everything prepped for early fall seed starts and plantings. The flats, inserts and pots are all stacked up and ready to go for a bleach soak before getting put away until I need them again. All of our trays get soaked in a bleach solution after each use, to ensure that any diseases or parasites that could be present are eliminated and not allowed to spread or contaminate future plantings. Impressively, my 1 1/2 year old pepper plants are still going strong and producing more peppers than I can wrap my head around! It is not unusual to harvest 5-7lbs each week off of my 6 remaining pepper plants. Given that each plant has been producing an average of 1 pound of peppers each week, for the 65 odd weeks that they have been producing, each plant has produced roughly 65lbs of peppers throughout the course of its’ lifetime! That is mind blowing when compared with the “recommended national production volume per plant” of 3.6lbs fruit per plant.

That is all of my updates for you this week…. I hope that you are all having a most wonderful week, and I will be sharing more Urban Farm Adventures with everyone again next week! As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me (mwhiteley@hubcityfm.org). Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!