Thursday, February 28, 2013

You Say "Potato"..., And We Say "Let's Grow Them!"

This week we planted potatoes. They are cool plants because you grow them a little differently. They grow off the stalk of the plant, so you have to add soil to them as they grow upward. We dug some holes, planted just a chunk of a potato and covered them with manure, vermicompost and soil.

Now we are waiting for them to start growing and will continue the pattern of covering it up with the layers of manure, vermicompost and soil. They will be ready in about 100 days.

We added cages so that the potatoes would have a structure to build upwards in. After our potato harvest, we can reuse the soil in our garden beds.

We hung tags on the bins to label which type of potato was planted and also the date of the planting, so we will be able to know approximately when they will be ready to harvest.

We love learning new lessons and different ways of working on the farm. The kids are getting the hang of it and love learning and growing out on the farm!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Moss Haven Microgreens

I recently attended a workshop on growing micro-greens at a local organic garden shop. Micro-greens are a step past a sprout, but before a baby green. Texas Urban Farmer, Anthony Mansour, led the session. He grows his tasty micro-greens, known to be packed with flavor, to many local chefs in the Dallas area.

 He explained the process of micro-green growing, from seed to sprout to micro-green.

You start by over-seeding a flat. Covering it with paper towel and then watering them really well. Then you let them sit and keep them well watered.  Do not remove the paper towel until the plants start to push it up.

Depending on the crop that you plant, micro-greens are ready in 5-10 days. The benefit of indoor micro-green growing is that you can control many of the growing variables.

I decided to investigate micro-greens a little further and headed off to a local East Dallas Micro-green grower, Tom Spicer. He grows his micro-greens outside in a cool urban area.

Tom was busy harvesting for local chefs when I stopped in, but he invited me back to find out more another time. You can stop in and visit with him as well. His storefront is called F-M 1410 located at 1410 Fitzhugh in Dallas, Texas. (Behind Jimmy's Food Store at Fitzhugh and Peak)

I got inspired with my new learning, so of course I took it back to school. We grew our own Microgreens in our big south facing window and snacked on them a week later at farm club. Yum!

On another note...., Happy Birthday Abe Lincoln!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Visit With Our Farm Friend - Edgar Hercila

The farm teaches our kids so much. It also has taught the adults involved many lessons and the importance of networking with other garden loving people, to form a team to help support and sustain our farm.

So, along came one of our farm friends, Edgar. We originally met him when he came to our farm to help set up our beds and then again to our plant day. Edgar lives and gardens in California and we met him through our wonderful garden partners The American Heart Association. He is an Iraqi veteran who came back with a passion for gardening and teaching kids that passion as well. He was in town this week, so we planned a school wide event and spruced up the farm during recess. We had expanded shale to mix in and perineal plants and herbs that needed to be moved to our native water wise area.  It was great fun!

It was a great day with the excitement of digging in the dirt with our community and even some of our farm loving teachers.