Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Day on the Farm

This week I spent a day working on an organic farm on Vashon Island. What an eye opening experience to see and feel what happens on many small farms that produce organic food with a local connection. The work is hamstring pulling, quadricep burning, back fatiguing work. I know this because I spent a greater part of the day pulling weeds from small seedlings in the carrot and beet patches. Today, three days later, my muscles are still screaming every time I have to squat down.


It's amazing to me that hidden in the jungle of non-edible leafy greens grows small little carrots.


I also harvested these colorful radishes for the CSA boxes. I pulled them from the soil one by one, then gently sprayed them with water and then floated them in a cool water bath. They were then neatly bundled for the veggie boxes.

A lot of work goes into getting CSA boxes together, so when you pay for that weekly box of deliciousness and cringe a little bit at the price, remember that getting organic food to your table requires lots of physical work, growing time and thoughfulness.

Monday, May 7, 2012

April UFH Challenges

April was a busy month with working, planting and building. My produce from the garden is in a quiet lull while the early veggies are maturing and the fruit trees are flowering in rapid succession.

I've been able to harvest a bit of asparagus from my two year old bed. I must say there is no asparagus that tastes better than when it comes from your garden, all that crisp, sweet, tender goodness. Sautéed, blanched, raw, put in spring rolls, the options are endless. So happy to have a little veg from the garden.

I did get a couple of Urban Farm Handbook Challenges completed last month. The first was getting a couple of trellises  set up. I usually use a netting that can be found in the local hardware stores but the netting is hard to pull old vine off of and will only last a couple of seasons. This time around I used some old metal fence posts and some 2" x 4" wire mesh instead.  The mesh was easily secured by bending the ends around the posts and then where needed I using a couple of nylon ties.

Easy to install and made from simple materials

The snap peas seem to be loving the trellis!

The next challenge from Erica over at Northwest Edible Life was to plants seeds that you have never grown before.  I chose bunching onions, celery, shelling peas, and purple and yukon gold potatoes. I am having success with everything but the shelling peas which were potentially eaten by birds or rotted during the heavy rains. Needless to say, the peas have been replanted.

bunching onions

purple potato

I also acquired additional soil from an area where we are expanding our shop. I am excited about using the soil to building more garden boxes and I even have a rock sifter to get the hurkin rocks out.

This post is part of the Urban Farm Handbook Challenge.