Over the Fence Urban Farm


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Notes of Thanks

We get a lot of notes of thanks.

Picture texts from the dinner table.

Facebook mentions.

In-person praise.

LOVE them all.

But this one is in the lead for best of show this season. Handwritten from an Ohio gal in her 70s. Whenever someone who spent their life in this place tells you your tomatoes are the best they ever had you can be only one thing: Humbled. (And you forgive them for adding an extra vowel to the end of your name.)

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Four, Make that SIX, Weeks of Photos

Has it really been four six weeks since our last post?! It was four when I first sat down to write this one. That seemed like a long time. Six weeks seems downright negligent. But, while we haven’t been blogging, we have been busy. Here are some highlights. (Note: We have been pretty good at posting on Facebook. If you aren’t following us there, maybe you should.)

The romaine we transplanted during our last workday came in full and crisp.

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We have harvested HUNDREDS of tomatoes, oftentimes in a single day…

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DSC_0114 photo 3We distributed a ton of them through our CSA thanks to our “sarcophagus” system. (Term coined by Julian Halliday)

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We made and distributed roasted tomatillo salsa to nearly all members of our CSA…

This was a goody batch we sent to Rosa and George's band instructor. The red bottle is a tomato version.

This was a goody batch we sent to Rosa and George’s band instructor. The red bottle is a tomato version.

We also harvested, shared, and ingested TONS of kale, chard, and arugula, herbs, onions, cucumbers, beans. You can check out some of our favorite recipes, including our own K-Word Smoothie, on our recipes board.  We canned pizza sauce, chutney, and salsa verde (a cooked and preserved version of our fresh salsa that doesn’t really compare but when you are sitting on a mountain of tomatillos what are you gonna do?). We made refrigerator pickles and jardiniere. It’s been awesome.

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We have lots to do to get ready for fall. And some things we hoped to get done probably won’t this year. But, we’ll be ready next time around.

 

Scenes from the Field: Vol. 1, No. 3

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Farm School Grows On

Put 40 amateur urban farmers in a room with an Extension Educator to talk about vegetable production planning, and it’s bound to get personal. Everyone has a pet product they want to know how to grow better. And so it was Wednesday night at farm school. One person asked why her onions never get much bigger than a golf ball. Another wanted to know what was eating her radishes. I wanted to know how to keep the flea beetles off my arugula.

Jacqueline Kowalski, who also led our session on soil, did a nice job balancing these queries with her prepared remarks about vegetable production planning, tomato production (yes, this was a presentation onto itself – they are that popular!), and plant nutrition. As with all the other sessions, I heard some things I knew before, but from a new perspective, and had my mind opened to new things I’ll need more time to consider and explore.

Jacqueline likes to teach through problems and for this session she presented us with questions we answered by looking up information in the Johnny’s Selected Seeds catalogue. I found myself drifting from the assignments – for example, “You have an order for 500 Wee-B Little, 500 Snowball, and 500 Baby Bear pumpkins. How many plants do you need to grow?”or “What are the best lettuces to grow in the summer?” – to drooling over the season extension supplies featured in the back of the book. I returned to the group consciousness for the answers to our assigned questions and learned some new strategies for reading the seed catalogues and analyzing and selected varieties to grow. Then, when I got home I placed a great big order for row covers and and other supplies that have been on our list through Johnny’s website.

We talked at length about starting seedlings, intercropping, succession planting, crop rotation, and fertilizers. So much interesting and useful information to refer back to and share with you all as the season grows on.  Hard to believe, but next week is the last session of farm school.