Tuesday, September 22, 2020

July of 2020 Update

Aerial View of Urban Farm
Aerial View of the Urban Farm

It's about time I get around to writing the update for July of 2020!  It's amazing how quickly time flies when there's an endless to-do list for the urban farm.  July is really when the fruits of my labor start showing, I spend so much time picking and preserving food along with trying to keep up with composting and just the general hustle and bustle of all of the plants growing.  There's a noticeable difference in the growth of the plants from morning to evening as well as from when I go to bed and wake up.  The veggies never stop growing, which means I can't stop tending to them.  Between harvests, my time is spent figuring out what I'm going to eat soon and what I need to preserve for the winter and how I'm going to preserve it.  I'm really starting to get this dialed in but it comes down to if something doesn't keep well in the fridge, I either eat it right away or preserve it for the winter.  Minimizing waste is one of my main focal points this year.

July and August are really the two main growth months of the urban farm and they can easily be summed up with three words: Harvest and Preserve!  That's literally what all of my time goes to in July as well as August.

This has been an unusually tame thunderstorm year for where I live, the few storms we've gotten have been mild.  We've also had very little rain this year, which is very normal for Colorado, combined with high temperatures.  There really isn't anything notable that happened in July aside from just dry weather, high temperatures, lots of sweating.  I always try and get yard work done in the morning, before it gets too hot out, but my to-do list is endless, so I normally end up working in the urban farm all day, regardless of the heat.  I do throw in some hammock breaks here and there, which are always a much needed reward.  Colorado July weather = hot and little rain.

Those high temperatures are prime for the summer veggies though, tomatoes and squash really pick up growing steam when those temperatures get high.  Powdery mildew always appears on my squash, this year it made its appearance in July.  Each year the squash do seem to tolerate the powdery mildew more (or they fight it more) OR the powdery mildew is less and less each year.  I'm not really sure which, but I've also been spacing the squash out more every year, which definitely plays a role too as it gives the squash plants more breathing room and more air should equal less powdery mildew.

The composting game continues, which is increasingly hard to keep up on as I spend the majority of my time on the vegetables but I need to make sure I make time for compost as no compost = no veggies.

Kohlrabi and brussel sprouts were re-planted.  I started them from seed, outside, and bugs destroyed them once they started growing.  There are certain plants that I can start from seed outside, without any issues.  Then there are others that seem to be very vulnerable and they start just fine then once they get to be about an inch tall some bug destroys them but if any happen to make it to about 2 inches tall, then they survive without any further problems.  There's this small window where some vegetables just get annihilated.  Kohlrabi and Brussel sprouts fall into this category, they'll be started inside next year (assuming I remember and I have space inside).

Squash blossoms = Happy Urban Farmer.  'Nough said...   Squash blossoms are sssooo delicious and if you've never eaten them, boy oh boy are you ever missing out.  I pick some of the male squash blossoms and fry them up in olive oil, sometimes stuffed with goat cheese, or goat cheese and pepperoni, or whatever I want, or nothing at all.  Any way you make them, they're delicious.  They don't last long, they need to be eaten the day you pick them.  It's best to pick them in the early morning then cook them that night.  You may have run into them at farmers markets, where they can run around $5 for a bag of 10 blossoms or so.  You can also see them at fancy restaurants as an appetizer, which are usually pretty pricey ($20ish for a small plate).  But if you grow squash, then you get them for free, and a fair amount of them.

At the end of July I planted the following fall plants:




-Radish Red Meat


-Kale - Dazzling Blue

-New Kuroda Carrots

-Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach

-Buttercrunch Lettuce

The preservation game was strong in July with lots of pickles and pesto being made, along with blanching, freezing, and vacuum sealing anything that wasn't going to be used right away and wouldn't last long in the fridge for me to eat.

Most importantly, I ate a ton of fresh food that I grew myself in July, which is highly rewarding especially with the ongoing (and seemingly endless at this point) Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020.  Going to the store is more or less optional for me at this point since I generally have more than enough food for myself, that I grow myself.  Shall we see what the bounty was for July?!?!

Early to Mid July Bounty:

-GARLIC = 38.62 lbs (17.52 kilos) - More Garlic next year please...seriously...

-Squash, Shishitos, Carrots, Bok Choy, Greens = 2.4 lbs (1.09 kilos)

-Zucchini, Kale, Onion, Shishitos = 2.4 lbs (1.09 kilos)

-Mix Mash of Everything = 6.12 lbs (2.78 kilos)

-Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumber, Kale, Beans, Peppers = 20.84 lbs (9.45 kilos)

Mid to Late July Bounty:

-8 Squash Blossoms

-10 Squash Blossoms

-Carrots = 19.04 lbs (8.64 kilos)

-Cucumbers = 7.58 lbs (3.44 kilos)

-Zucchinis = 2.92 lbs (1.32 kilos)

-Desi Squash = 4.12 lbs (1.87 kilos)

-Yellow Squash = 3.26 lbs (1.48 kilos)

-Mix Bag = 1.28 lbs (0.58 kilos)

-8 More Garlics

-Peppers = 1.11 lbs (0.50 kilos)

-Snow Peas = 1.28 lbs (0.58 kilos)

-Beans = 3.18 lbs (1.44 kilos)

-Greens = 1.30 lbs (0.59 kilos)

-Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Desi Squash = 4.97 lbs (2.25 kilos)

-5 Squash Blossoms

-Desi Squash = 2.33 lbs (1.06 kilos)

-Zucchini = 3.53 lbs (1.60 kilos)

-Handful of tomatoes

-Cucumbers = 6.33 lbs (2.87 kilos)

-Fava Beans = 3.23 lbs (1.47 kilos)

-Peppers = 0.71 lbs (0.32 kilos)

-Beans = 1.89 lbs (0.86 kilos)

-Squashes, broccoli = 4.73 lbs (2.15 kilos)

-Peppers = 0.30 lbs (0.14 kilos)

Which comes to a whopping 143.47 lbs (65.08 kilos) Grand Total of fresh, local, beyond organic food grown all by myself in the backyard of my house for the month of July!!!  This is 4.69 times more food than the month of August and it brings the running total for the 2020 Growing Season up to:

177.64 lbs (80.58 kilos)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man with Sunflower

Fava Bean Plant




Red Poppy

Bee Sleeping

Man with Garlic

Garlic in Hand

Carrot Flower

Garlic in Bucket

Urban Farmer with Pile of Garlic

Flowers Around Bench


Colorful Garlic

Garlic Drying

Squash Flower



Sunflowers with Wildflowers

Man with Flowers

Bugs on Sunflower

Two Sunflowers


Garlic Head in Hand

Purple Garlic in Hand

Veggies on Counter

Beans on Trellis

Eggplant Growing




Broccoli in Hand


Colorful Sunset

Squash Next to Foot

Artichoke Growing

Urban Farmer with Squash Flower

Street Decoration

Street Art

Eat Local Billboard

Tables on Street


Squash Blossoms in Pan

Giant Radish


Yellow Carrots

Man with Carrots

Intertwined Carrots

Man with Bag of Cucumbers

Siamese Yellow Squash

Garlic Seed

Sunflower Seeds

Group of Sunflowers Drying

Sunflower Tunnel

View from Hammock

Purple Garlic in Hand

Eggplant Plant Growing

Man with Garlic and Sunflowers

Stuffed Squash Flowers

Sea of Squash

Urban Farmer with Bags of Food

Bags of Food with Basil

Snow Peas

Dragon Tongue Beans

Mixed Bag of Greens

Bag of Peppers

Giant Sunflowers

Flowers in Vase

Aerial View of Urban Farm

Aerial View of Squashes

Aerial View of Squashes

Aerial View of Flowers

Aerial View of Cabbage and Peppers

Aerial View of Fava Beans

James with Sunflower

Bags of Produce

Zucchini Growing

Fava Bean Growing

Fava Bean Plant

Purple Cauliflower

Purple Cauliflower

Goldfinch in Sunflowers


White Eggplant

Striped Eggplant

Eggplant Plants


Sunflower with Sunset


Purple Flowers

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