Friday, June 18, 2021

Get to Know Your Weed(s)

 Not that type of weed, come on now!

Weeds are going to grow regardless of where you are so it's important to be able to identify them and pull them before they get too big and overtake your precious vegetables.  Getting to know your weeds is the hard part, once you can identify them it's easy to pull them as soon as you see them.

Starting out, the best way to go about getting familiar with the weeds in your area is to plant your vegetables thick when you're putting the seeds in the ground.  This way when they start popping up you'll see the thick line of seedlings, which is what you planted.  Then you get to see what those seedlings look like from start to finish without wondering if that actually is what you planted or not.  Anything else that does not look like the thick patch of seedlings is going to be a weed and you can pull it.

Weeds are going to vary a whole lot from city to city, state to state, region to region, and country to country so there really isn't going to be a one size fits all weed guide.  Here are a few common weeds in my area that I'm constantly battling, perhaps this will help you out on your own journey.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Greens and Things - Salad Season

 All winter long there's one thing that I long for.
Blanched and frozen vegetables fill the deep freezer.
I watch the snow fall as the prior years harvest sits on the counter thawing out.
The snowflakes fall out of the sky, tumble through the air and rest on the ground.
Melting into and rejuvenating the soil.
Providing water, minerals, and nutrients for next years bounty.
Lettuce, radishes and many other greens will soon burst from the soil.
Which is what I dream of as I watch the snow fall as my frozen veggies thaw.
Imagining my taste buds dancing and the crisp crunch of freshly picked food.
Grown in my very own backyard.
Dreaming of standing in the urban farm on a warm spring morning.
Seeing if the spring greens are ready to be devoured.
While the birds chirp.
The bees buzz.
The slight breeze going through my hair.
Cooling me down as the day heats up.
Patience is a virtue they say.
There is nothing I long for more on a cold winters day.
Than a freshly picked salad topped with thinly sliced radishes and lovely nasturtiums.
Drizzled with olive oil for good measure.
A dash of salt and pepper for a little zest.
Sitting at the patio table overlooking the garden as I eat the bounty.
Spring cannot come soon enough is all that runs through my mind.
As I watch the snowflakes fall from the sky.
While my frozen vegetables sit on the counter and thaw.
Into a mushy state of their prior glorious existence.
Still tasty but it's not the same.
Nothing beats freshly picked food from the urban farm.
Patience, patience, patience.
Must be repeated time and time again.
Salad, salad, salad.
Cannot come soon enough.

Salad
Freshly picked salad in May of 2021 - Lettuce, Arugula, Sorrel, Orach, Spinach, Mizuna and probably lots of other greens.

Holy crap, there's no way that you love salad so much that you just wrote an entire ballad about your love of salad.  Right??  That can't be true...eh?  Tell us that isn't so Mr. Urban Farmer guy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Get the Warm Weather Plants Outside

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”
– Alfred Austin


Pepper Roots
Got Roots?  Check out the giant corbaci pepper roots!

It's mid May and if you're lucky the chance of a snow or freeze in your area is now gone.  Out here in Colorado we had one last May snow the other week, which made me very glad I hadn't planted any tomatoes or peppers yet.  A big part of urban farming is knowing your area and what you can expect depending on the time of year.  Most of the time you have to go with your gut feeling on what you think is right given what you know.