Urban Farm Updates, November 30th, 2017
Fun on the Farm!
Did you know? Modern day farmers have many hats to wear on a daily basis; each farmer has to play the role of a business planner, finance officer, marketer, sales consultant, meteorologist, scientist, agronomist, mechanic, entrepreneur, machine operator, veterinarian and much, much more. Farming now requires some of the most diverse knowledge background compared to any other field. No wonder so many farmers are going to college before starting their farms!
What’s Growing On?
It is so hard to fathom that today is the last day of November! Where has the year gone?! I am still coming to terms with the fact that we are already knee deep in the final planning stages for 2018! I’ve been going back over the changes that have occurred on the farm in 2017 and updating the farm map to reflect all of the progress that has been made! I am so excited for the growth that has been made, as well as the growth that we have planned for 2018; it has been such a joy to be able to include my Wofford Work Study students in all of the planning and idea sessions! Take a look at this photo from 5 months ago and see how much has changed in just a short while! This time last year there were only 2 small raised beds on site that were falling apart; now we have several large and productive raised beds. With the help of the space that the terraced bed and the deep raised bed in the foreground of the photo provided, I have been able to produce over 100lbs of peppers since the spring time.
Last week, I took the time to clean and sanitize all of the farm tools in the shed. Sanitizing your equipment is an important annual task, especially on a large scale production farm. Cleaning the equipment with either a bleach or alcohol solution helps to remove and kill any bacteria, fungi or pathogens that are harmful. This process helps to prevent pathogens from being reintroduced into the garden in the following season and should be done at least once a year. We go through a process to bleach and scrub all of our gear, and then follow that up with a rinse cycle to remove all of the bleach residue and prepare the tools for use again. There was so much rust and clay on some of the tools that it turned the water in the bleach bin, red.
Inside of the Greenhouse, I have started a few new flats of cucumbers to replace a few of my older cucumber plants that are no longer producing. My hope is to have these new seedlings producing between the middle and the end of January. Cucumbers are one of the veggies that no one can seem to get along without, and it is such a blessing to have a Greenhouse where I can grow such frost intolerant plants during the wintertime.
My few remaining pepper plants in the Greenhouse are still happily producing after a very long and productive season! Rapidly approaching their 1 year birthday, they are the largest, most productive pepper plants that I have ever grown! I harvested just over 5lbs of peppers earlier in the week, and they are already covered in more little pepper babies.
I have also started a few more flats of microgreens this week. The super nutritional microgreen blend from the Urban Farm goes perfectly with the spinach, arugula, amaranth and lettuce greens that we have coming off of the farm. These fresh greens make a robust and scrumptious salad mix and are a super healthy collection as well! I can’t wait until my Greenhouse tomatoes and new cucumbers start producing, and we can start offering a complete winter/spring salad collection, with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and greens.
All in all, it is stacking up to be a good end, to a good year for the HCFM Urban Farm! Over at the Harvest Park Pavilion, Heather and Cooper are hanging up the Christmas decorations today, the Mobile Market is transitioning to the winter schedule, and we are all preparing for the upcoming move of the Winter Harvest Markets, January 20th, February 17th and March 17th, to the Hub City Taphouse in downtown Spartanburg. It is a period of transition here, and we are all excited for the positive new changes that are coming! Wishing you all a most wonderful start to December and the holiday season!
As always, please send me an email if you have any questions or comments (firstname.lastname@example.org)! Thanks so much! I look forward to sharing more with you all again next week!