Week of September 7, 2015
Abbreviated Weekly Farm Report
From Friendship Farms & Fare
A Community Service To West Pasco’s Urban Agriculture Community
Planting & Harvest Notes
Winter Seeding and Garden Starts Underway
Seedings: 3F Gulf Coast Calabrese Broccoli – 63 (100% germination)
Garden Starts: Collards: Georgia Southern and Vates – 24 total
Harvest Notes: okra, eggplant, herbs, red malabar spinach, Okinawa spinach, sweet potato leaves, and sweet potatoes
Fall seeding has recommenced, and we planted our first fall bed – collards in the old north west garden. We started quite a lot of broccoli seeds.
Harvests of okra and SP leaves are declining. Eggplant has slowed dramatically. Sweet potato harvests have been improving, slightly.
Now is the time to begin planning the fall garden, and we are doing that. Try seeding, if you like. It is still very hot – probably too hot for fall crops. It is getting late, so we’ll take our chances with starts. We’ll be planting swiss chard, collards, kale, and (of course) broccoli. We’ll continue to work with tomatoes and bell peppers.
See the Share Report for all items.
For all plantings, we use seeds from our collection or heirloom seeds from Seed Savers Exchange (http://www.seedsavers.org/).
Summer Season Nears Close
Our summer season is nearly over – despite the record-breaking heat. Eggplant is light, and okra has slowed dramatically. As the sweet potato beds are harvested, the volume of sweet potato leaves declines. We’ll have plenty of leaves until October– but order now if you are interested. Sweet Potatoes are coming in nicely, and we should have these famous southern spuds for most of September.
Shares will generally be light, but we’ll have plenty of sweet potatoes and SP leaves – and most herbs.
Arugula Samples Available
One of our fall favorites, Arugula, is doing well. We have leaves available in limited (sample) sizes this week.
Sweet Potato Update
63 ½ pounds harvested
We finally had another good harvest – 10½ pounds from one 100 sq. ft bed. This is a bit less than we are aiming for, but better than some of the earlier harvests. Our total is now 63 ½ pounds.
We continue to run behind expected numbers at this point. We’ve done seven beds and were expecting at least 15 pounds per bed – 105 total. We are only at 63. Hopefully the next beds will be as productive as the last two.
We should be able to include SPs with all shares. We have various sizes (medium to fingerling). We’d like to move the fingerlings, so let us know of those are okay. Most are good quality (A), but not excellent/fancy (AA). There is a little scaring on some.
We will try to harvest more this week – with Sunday looking like the best day to start.
We planted a total of 446 slips in 16 beds this year.
We’ve staggered the planting to stagger the harvest. Using this method, we’ll be harvesting from well into September, and maybe even into October.
In 2013 we harvested 150 lbs. Last year (2014) our harvest was 250 lbs. This year we are still aiming at 400 lbs., although the first rounds are not particularly encouraging.
Okra has dropped off significantly. We harvested 3½ pounds of okra last week, bringing our total to 81 pounds.
We have less than half our original planting still producing. We have identified several for seed saving. These were heavy producers and thrived despite nematode colonies on their roots.
We are doing some advance planning for an Okra Event in mid-June, 2016. Let us know if you are interested.
Some folks want only small and thin okra, and we are sharing accordingly. Everyone else will occasionally receive larger pods. Some may be woody, but we have found many (even up to 12 inches) that are quite tender.
Eggplants are slowing. We harvested none this week, keeping our total to 141 so far. The size and appearance is not consistent, and some would not be acceptable at a commercial market. All appear to have good texture and favor.
Sweet Potato Leaves
Plenty For A Few More Weeks
We are harvesting sweet potatoes now, so the leaves are gradually on their way out. Sweet Potato leaves are our oldest summer greens, and beloved by many. Shares that request are getting 2 gallon bags of these delicious and nutritious dark green leafy vegetable.
Try some, if you have not yet. Some folks prefer the flavor and texture of SP leaves to more well-known greens, like spinach or kale. Here is a site with nutritional information on SP leaves and links to recipes: http://www.epicurious.com/archive/blogs/editor/2012/08/cooking-with-sweet-potato-greens.html
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