Monday, June 24, 2013

SPROUT Garden Update, week of June 24th

To our delight, the weather has been improving. Many of the plants in the garden have exploded with growth. The past week has offered us much in terms of sales as a result. In essence, the garden is coming together, piece by piece, both in functionality and in beauty.

Last Tuesday and Thursday we sold an abundance of leafy greens, including tuscan kale, red leaf lettuce, and mixed lettuce. We also began to harvest snap peas which have been slowly growing since the garden's spring inception. Unfortunately, we weren't able to sell a large, significant amount. That is indeed indicative of our constraints. Our aim for the growing season is to produce a wide variety, and in doing so we limit our capacity for large harvests. Nonetheless(!) our pea plants are happily producing new pods daily, and so on each selling day in the near future we should have at least some to give away.

As of today, we've finished harvesting the last of the kale. Kale is typically a cold crop, meaning it produces best in spring and fall. From our understanding, this is due to the plant having to withstand colder nighttime temperatures. In doing so, the plant produces sugars which lower the freezing point of the vital water inside. Sugar creates a better tasting leaf. If we were to leave our kale to grow throughout the summer, the leaves would become progressively less sugary, bitterer, and less palatable. As such, kale is off the charts until the fall.

Cucumber seedling
In other news, we've been noticing a good amount of beneficial insects that have assisted us in pest management. Ladybugs appear to be frequenters in the garden—they take care of our aphid problem. There are also an abundance of spiders which we see gobbling up small bugs. The soil is rich with tiny insects as well which help with soil cultivation. All around there are very few bugs that are causing significant problems. 

Join us this Thursday for another harvest sale... 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Crozier-Williams. Until next week....!

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