Urban Farm Updates March 2nd, 2017

Fun on the Farm

Did you know? There are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of healthy organic soil, than there are people alive on the earth, right now?? It’s Alive!!!! And, although the thought of that might make your skin crawl, all of those microorganisms are essential to maintaining healthy soil for your plants to grow in!

What’s Growing on?

With a major storm brewing on the horizon, I was busy battening down the hatches and preparing the farm for high winds, driving rain, and the possibility of hail.

With a major storm brewing on the horizon, I was busy battening down the hatches and preparing the farm for high winds, driving rain, and the possibility of hail.

Did you all make it through the storms ok, last night??? It was a bit blustery at the farm, or so my earthworms tell me!

On a more serious note, we were very fortunate down on the Urban Farm, having sustained very little damage from the storms! I am grateful for the rain that we got, and aside from a few things being thrown around by the wind, we made it through the storm unscathed.

We were pretty fortunate here at the Urban Farm.... Though the storm last night brought high winds and driving rain, we escaped any hail damage. Because everything inside of the farm was tied down or brought inside, there was virtually no damage to equipment, except these Atlas Organics compost receptacles outside of the farm. Thankgoodness they had just been emptied, otherwise that could have been super messy!!

We were pretty fortunate here at the Urban Farm…. Though the storm last night brought high winds and driving rain, we escaped any hail damage. Because everything inside of the farm was tied down or brought inside, there was virtually no damage to equipment, except these Atlas Organics compost receptacles outside of the farm. Thankgoodness they had just been emptied, otherwise that could have been super messy!!

The main concern for me was the hail damage that was anticipated (and occurred in many places across the upstate). We escaped any hail here on the farm, and my cold crops outside we grateful for the much needed drink. We will be checking in with a number of our vendors though, and are hoping that they escaped any major damage as well.. Storms like the one that we experienced last night, can cause a farmer to lose their entire winter crop, which can mean a substantial financial loss over the course of the year, and a shortage of crops available for customers.

Pests are out in full force as the weather starts to warm up..

Pests are out in full force as the weather starts to warm up..

Unfortunately, because this winter has been so mild, and the temperatures have been so warm, farmers have also had another unusual problem to contend with. Pests that are normally killed off over the winter, or go dormant during the winter, have not done that this year. At a time when most farmers normally don’t have to worry too much about pests damaging their early crops, pests are out wrecking havoc on winter produce. Harlequin bugs and Cabbage Moths have been taking advantage of this unusually warm weather on the Urban Farm, to try to get their share of my produce. I have been forced to make my way around the farm, early every morning, and hand pick and destroy all adult bugs and their eggs, in an effort to stave off any destruction before it starts.

With the perfect conditions inside the greenhouse, my SpaceMaster Cukes are making good use of their space and trellis system and are producing lots of baby cucumbers!!

With the perfect conditions inside the greenhouse, my SpaceMaster Cukes are making good use of their space and trellis system and are producing lots of baby cucumbers!!

Inside the Greenhouse, the outlook is a little sunnier! My early summer producers are gearing up for a great harvest! My SpaceMaster Cucumbers have a ton of baby cucumbers, and my Sungold Tomatoes are producing the first of their flowers! We should be able to sell some summer produce in late March or early April, if things keep going so well!

The very first blossoms on my sungold cherry tomato plants!!

The very first blossoms on my sungold cherry tomato plants!!

The first Urban Farm harvest of 2017, which was comprised of salad greens, microgreens and herbs, was available at the February winter market (I hope you didn’t miss it!). We are looking at presenting some more greens (and maybe some cucumbers?!) at the March winter market, as well as selling our produce to some local businesses, for distribution. In early to mid April, I am anticipating having Kale, Collards, Carrots, and some of my other cold crops ready for harvest. Then in late April to mid May, I am anticipating having the first snap peas and onions ready! The 2017 planting season is well under way!

Even though I harvested roughly 5lbs of salad greens off of these plants less than a week ago, you'd never even know it. They have recovered and grown, so quickly.

Even though I harvested roughly 5lbs of salad greens off of these plants less than a week ago, you’d never even know it. They have recovered and grown, so quickly.

My Snap Peas are growing so quickly now, I used a break in the weather yesterday, to put up fresh stringers in each of the snap pea rows. These strings will give the peas something to climb up, as they get bigger.

My Snap Peas are growing so quickly now, I used a break in the weather yesterday, to put up fresh stringers in each of the snap pea rows. These strings will give the peas something to climb up, as they get bigger.

As always, I am available if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at (mwhiteley@hubcityfm.org). Looking forward to sharing all of the Urban Farm adventures with you again next week; until then, have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Posted in Urban Farm