Urban Farm Updates, September 28th, 2017
Fun on the Farm!
Did you know? There are over 6,000 apple varieties produced worldwide; with the largest apple producers being China and the United States!
What’s Growing On?
I still can’t believe that it is Thursday already, and time for another blog post! I feel like this week has flown by so quickly! I have been looking back through some of my photos from past weeks, and it is just amazing to take a look at the growth of my seedlings and crops! My cucumber seedlings inside the Greenhouse have doubled in size, over the past week, and my 30 day old seedlings are producing their first flowers. The first batch of flowers on cucumber seedlings often doesn’t yield any fruit, because the plant is still investing so much energy into growth and development; they often drop their first flowers before producing a fruit, but it is certainly a step in the right direction and very exciting to witness!
I planted a few Radishes in one of my smaller rows to help prevent weed growth while I was prepping some of my other beds for the fall and winter seedlings, and they have started to come in….. It never ceases to amaze me, no matter how many times I plant them, how quickly they grow! Having such a quick growing plant is helpful too, when you are between seasons; the summer crops are finishing off, but it is still too warm to put the traditional cold crops in the ground. They are also a good season extension crop, for people who want to try growing something in the fall after their summer crops have finished, but don’t want to have to worry about frost protection, or harvesting produce in December and January.
Speaking of cold crops, I only have 3 rows left to transition over for fall seedlings, so all of my crops are now back outside hardening off, before they are transplanted. It is rather amazing that, over the course of just one month, the Greenhouse went from being almost completely empty, to being full of seedling flats, to being almost empty again. The only flats left in the Greenhouse now, are the frost intolerant crops that will spend their entire life inside of the Greenhouse.
I transplanted my Kohlrabi and Cauliflower seedlings earlier this week, and am planning to get some more cold crops in the ground today and Friday. Hopefully between Today, Friday and Monday, I will have the majority of the fall crops in the ground and ready to go for the cooler weather. With all of the hot weather recently it has been hard to keep the mindset that the first frost date is just a month away.
Inside the Greenhouse, one of the seedling flats that I am currently enjoying, is Garnet Amaranth. Amaranth is a frost intolerant “green”, which can be used as a microgreen, baby green, adult leaf for cooking, or can be grown for the seed later on in the season. The seed is similar in flavor to Quinoa when dried, and can be ground and used as a grain, or cooked like rice. It is also a lot of fun to grow “greens” which aren’t even green at all, it exposes to locals to new and different produce they might not have seen before, and it adds some beautiful color to the Greenhouse and farm.
I also took some time this week to prepare some more natural bug repellents, which can help to prevent pest destruction on crops, especially fragile young seedlings. Natural pest repellents can work to deter rodents, and certain insects, while keeping your garden safe and natural for people and pets alike. I made 2 “repellent teas” from Cayenne pepper and from Garlic, which can help to deter aphids, spider mites, and cabbage moths, reducing damage to crops. The Garlic works well to help to deter larger pests such as rodents and rabbits. I was very fortunate before, to have a pair of nesting Hawks in a tree near the farm before the Butterfly Creek Project got underway. Needless to say, their tree is gone, and so are the Hawks, so I am sure that the rodent population in the area will be increasing in the near future; so it is good to be prepared with as many deterrent mechanisms as possible.
Also, don’t forget that tomorrow is our Farm to Table Dinner, so those of you with tickets, you are in for a real treat! I can’t wait to go and sample the amazing food that Lenora from Farmer’s Table has put together for us! Her creations are always unique and memorable; we are blessed to have her and the Farmer’s Table team participate in this event with us!
I look forward to sharing more with you again next week, and hopefully when I post next, I will have all of my cold crops in the ground and we will be off to the races with regards to the fall/winter harvest! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)! Have a wonderful fall weekend!!!