Sow: progress report

20130425-211257.jpg Mixed lettuces

A week can bring tons of change to the urban farm. As you can see from the lettuce photo, the plants are bushy and somewhat wild. This weekend the harvesting needs to be pretty hardcore. That’s ok, I’ve lined up some friends to help us enjoy the bounty next week. There will be lots of lettuce, spinach, chard, and an assortment of herbs in their care packages. Mmmm salad!

Weeding needs to be hardcore too. I pulled some out this morning but they have snuck in while I wasn’t looking.

And I wouldn’t mind stopping by North Haven Gardens to see if they have any raspberry bushes left. That is if it fits in with the carpet removal…

Here are a few more visual progress reports:

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Red romaine

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Red velvet lettuce

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Beets

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Beans

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Artichoke

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Carrots radishes carrots

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Tomato progress–getting bigger and getting more flowers

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Black diamond watermelon from Lisa

Cilantro and parsley are on their way out. Bok choi needs to get harvested too.

And I also need to hang up a cute garden sign Bruce found while I was away. I’ll post a photo when it’s up.

Looks like a good time outside is on the horizon.

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Sow: unseasonably warm

Our schizophrenic North Texas weather is in full on spring mode this week and it’s definitely unseasonably warm.

I went out at lunch to do an errand and had the windows down and sunroof wide open. As I told my boss upon my return, I wanted to keep driving. It was that kind of California-esque bright, sunny day. Truly all we were really missing were some mountains and a few palm trees and I would have sworn I was in Northern California.

This morning as I harvested lunch, I had a familiar indication today would be one of those beautiful golden days. It was slightly foggy and misty, almost raining, just like many of my mornings when I lived in Berkeley or Los Gatos. In Northern California, it’s important to keep extra clothes in your car. You never know when you might need a sweater or jacket, a pair of pants, socks, because the weather can change throughout the day. And if you drive any distance, you could encounter a completely different weather pattern. All bets are off if you go to San Francisco. Unless it’s September, it’s going to be chilly. You will need a sweater or jacket.

But I digress.

The salad greens are impressing me with their output and I believe these abnormal early springtime conditions are helping a lot.

February 6, 2013 salad harvest

February 6, 2013 salad harvest

I harvested on Sunday and then again today. I could have easily harvested twice as much, but there was no need. Today I only harvested from the main salad plots, but I think before the week’s out I’ll need to get picking the washtub on wheels. I’m looking forward to the mache getting big enough to pick. Until last year, I had never purchased it in the store, maybe I tasted it at a restaurant. It’s not a particularly common green here in the U.S. but you can find it at Whole Foods when it’s in season. I’m hoping to be able to grow it when I like—as long as the washtub rolls into the garage when the weather is too cold and heads into the shade when summer’s heat threatens to bake the mache.

This weekend I intend to seed an entire raised bed with a variety of salad green seeds. I’m hoping that it’s as pretty as it will be delicious. You may have ascertained that we eat a lot of green stuff at the Mortroski Midcentury. You would be correct. Generally our lunches are salads with some sort of protein, no matter what the season. We’ve experimented with lots of different salad greens so that’s the other reason we’re so excited — when you take shipping out of the equation, there are so many different types that you can grow.

A packet of organic lettuce seeds is about $2.50. So far all of the lettuce that I planted for fall has provided us with plenty of salad stuff since about September. Only during a particularly cold few weeks did we purchase any (one container of organic salad greens is about $5). Yes, I know I am not calculating the cost of the raised beds, the various components to make soil, organic fertilizer, and water. I didn’t add in the cost of my labor. I also didn’t add in something that’s priceless: the daily physical and mental benefits the 3G Network and I get by puttering around in the garden.

And I hope the weather we had today sticks around through the weekend.