I’m taking a class called “Insights for Innovation” with IDEO. Part of that class is doing interviews for developing empathy and better understanding customers. Niti was the perfect person to interview to better understand the farm-to-fork community. I learned a lot in the interview and hope you do too.
Planting Potatoes – Garlic is Growing Nicely
Planting a Pecan Tree and Flying a Kite
We planted the 3rd pecan tree, spread pine straw and took some time to enjoy the pleasure of flying a kite in the back field. What a nice day. Warm and sunny.
Blueberries Go In! Bees Go In!
Since we started the farm, one of the things I’m looked forward to is planting blueberries. We had a couple of delays putting them in, but now they are finally installed.
My wife Connie, came up with a wonderful idea. She suggested that we plant blueberries in the Hugelkultur mound. This gives the blueberries a wonderfully sunny place that is very well drained. The hugelkultur mound is approximately 85 feet long x 30 feet wide. It is now home to 20 blueberry plans (all rabbiteye), raspberries and goji berries. This area has easy access to drip irrigation and is inside the anti-deer fence. We planted a mixture of blueberries, including Columbus, IRA, Yadkin and Tifblue varieties. The raspberries are Fall Gold from Rabbit Ridge Nursery in Coates, NC. The raspberries are acclimated to this area, so we hope they will do well. We still need to put up the trellis for the raspberries and the goji berries.
Bees on the Farm, means Honey will be Available Later in the Year
We are excited to have bees on the property. We have partnered with a local beekeeper so we can offer honey from our farm later in the year. I’ll post a blog entry when the honey is available. The bees will also help pollinate our berries and crops.
We also plan to bees on your place in the mountains again this summer (www.troublesomegap.com) so we should have sourwood honey available as well.
The flowers are coming up on the farm, so spring isn’t that far away.
How a Simple Idea Saved Us Time on the Farm
Walk with me on my update on the winter garden, cover crops and how a simple idea saves time while mowing the grass. Just a simple change of how where posts go in for the anti-deer fence means less time spend weed eating.
Winter Garden is Growing
There are lots of great crops to grow in the winter. The best part is that there is much less weeding in the winter!
Mowing Grass and Enjoying a Slower Pace on the Farm
It was relaxing putting lime on the back field and getting it mowed. It is ready for winter. Nice to be able to take a break from a very busy summer growing season.
Checkout the winter garden
After the Hurricane Passed Through
Thankfully the damage was minimal. We did lose a few trees, but nothing major. Here are some pictures from after the hurricane passed through. The winter garden is coming right along and it chilly outside, just like it should be in October.
Questions from the Farm – #2 in an Ongoing Series
We get lots of questions from community farm participants. Here are questions that came up this week.
1) How do you know whether you should plant 1 seed or multiple seeds in the same spot?
If the seed are purchased then the back of the seed packet will usually show planting information that includes desired spacing between plants and the number of seeds to plant in the same spot
Another way to determine how many seeds to plant in each spot is to look at the germination rate listed on package.
If the germination rate is 80% or below I would plant 4 seeds and then thin as needed. Above 80, consider planting 2-3 seeds and thin as needed. A 95% or greater gemination rate means you could try planting one see per site.
2) Is it better to wash produce before or after freezing?
Definitely better to wash before freezing
3) What crops have the best number of calories?
If you are interested in the number of calories per ounce of crop check out:
https://www.calories.info/food/vegetables (click at the top to select serving size)
It is important to note that calories / lb of crop is only a small part of the picture. Some crops are easier to grow, take more or less space or have higher yields.
Another way look a it is with a typical serving size. You can download a chart here from the FDA:
Vegetables – https://www.fda.gov/media/70792/download
Fruit – https://www.fda.gov/media/76508/download
Also check out: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/nutrition-information-raw-vegetables
The breakdown of carbohydrates vs. protein is also important. Protein is a very important part of your diet. Check out:
4) How long does eggplant last in the fridge?
Eggplant lasts about 5 days in the refrigerator crisper.
5) How many weeks does a fig last on a fig tree?
Figs last just a few days after picking when ripe. Figs don’t store well, so it is best to eat or process them soon after picking. Once the fig is ripe on the tree, it won’t last long. Birds and insects are drawn to ripe fruit left on the tree.
Wrapping Up the Summer Growing Season and Getting Ready for Winter
Thanks to the families that have made this year’s community garden a success!