Urban Farm Updates, March 23rd, 2017

Urban Farm Updates, March 23rd, 2017

Fun on the Farm!

Did you know? Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio?! This honors the part that A.W. Livingston of Reynoldsburg, Ohio played in popularizing the tomato, in the late 1800s. That makes me grateful for the SC official state beverage, which is Milk! in 1995, South Carolina also added the first State Hospitality beverage, which is of course….. None other than…… You guessed it…. Sweet Tea!!!

What’s Growing on?

Tuesdays temp when I clocked out at 5pm!

Tuesdays temp when I clocked out at 5pm!

Hail bouncing off my deck....

Hail bouncing off my deck….

Let’s just take a moment in reverence to the incredible weather phenom that was Tuesday! First, is was insanely, record-breaking HOT! Then, things really got stirred up, with lighting, thunder, downpours and even hail! At my house, we had marble sized hail, and I have heard from a number of individuals all throughout the upstate, that there was home, vehicle and property damage, resulting from the storm. Upstate farmers are especially feeling the punishment from Mother Nature with no good way to protect their crops from damaging hail. You can throw up blankets and low tunnels to save crops from a frost, but hail punches right through low tunnels and sheeting like a knife through butter on a warm day! All we can do is say a prayer, and hope for the best! But, like all the previous damaging weather circumstances, farmers always seem to emerge on the other side; their feathers might get a little ruffled, but they shake it off, pick up pieces, and get back to work…..

Another batch of Pickling Cukes!

Another batch of Pickling Cukes!

Moving on; did you miss the Hub City Block Party? I’ve heard from our HCFM team that attended, that is was a blast! The Hub City Farmer’s Market team was out there providing information about our SNAP incentives program, fun new events planned for the Saturday Market this year, and selling fresh produce from the Urban Farm. They had salad mixes, fresh cucumbers and several different herbs for sale at the Block Party!

I love using the finished wash station!

I love using the finished wash station!

 

Harvest, wash, weigh, package... repeat......

Harvest, wash, weigh, package… repeat……

Speaking of fresh produce, I have been so thrilled to be able to use the new wash and prep station at the Urban Farm! It has made the process of cleaning and packaging the produce so much easier and faster, than it previously was! It is a night and day difference in cleaning and preparing the fresh produce; and with the 70+lbs of produce coming out of the Greenhouse already this month, I am grateful for the more streamlined system!! Thank you to all of our Board Members who made it possible!!!!

Taking full advantage of the warm weather!!

Taking full advantage of the warmer weather!!

The warm weather out at the Urban Farm on Tuesday and Wednesday was incredible! I was able to pull out the shorts and tank tops that have been hiding for the past several months, and spend more time enjoying my outside work! Somehow, even the weeding seemed a lot more fun with the warm breeze and sunshine!! Spring Fever!!!! If only it would stay this warm for a little while!!!

I also had some other exciting stuff going on at the farm this week (when I wasn’t getting sunburned, that is)! I had some visitors from a USC upstate science class, who came to tour the farm and develop some kid focused educational programming, designed towards getting local elementary kids out of the classroom! They were a fantastic group, and they came up with some phenomenal ideas for youth, school-based lesson plans!

I also had a planning meeting with staff from Spartanburg Water, who has generously selected the Hub City Farmers Market Urban Farm as one of their Earth Day volunteer sites! Some hard working individuals from the Spartanburg Water team will be joining me out on the farm to help create a fresh face for the farm this summer! They will be helping me to accomplish some neat, new projects, that I am so excited about! I can’t wait to be able to share the transition and changes with you guys, next month!

I am also planning our next gardening class, which is scheduled for this Saturday, March 25th, down on the Urban Farm! The class is going to be all about preparing your garden for spring! This class is geared towards beginning gardeners, and I will be helping give you guys ideas for getting your garden off on the right foot this spring! The class will also feature a Guest Speaker, Leslie Rodgers, from Atlas Organics. Leslie will introduce us all into the “hows, whats and whys” of composting, and what role that plays in your garden! I am so excited to have her participate in this class, and am excited for ya’ll to get to learn more about composting from the compost experts! Make sure that you come out to say hi, check out the market, and pop your head in for the gardening class going on from 10am to 11am this Saturday (March 25th), down at the Urban Farm!

Feel free to email me if you have any questions, comments etc (mwhiteley@hubcityfm.org)!! See ya’ll on Saturday!