I found a shiny green beetle on the beans planted in the Biodynamics research plot today! I think it’s a Green June Beetle but it has a more interesting pattern on its back than I’m used to seeing.
Last week I spent some time planting three different types of basil. I’m excited to see which cultivar makes the most tasty pesto!
Today’s harvest of cherry tomatoes was one of our largest yet! Before our cherries can be taken off the farm, they have to be properly sorted. We harvest tomatoes that are showing 60% of their color or more. Then, the cherry tomatoes are sorted into bins according to how ripe they are. The most ripe are separated into containers and then off they go!
Today at UGArden I helped weed an area where the turmeric is growing. I also weeded by the bell peppers. Lots of weeding today and it looks great!
It is important to “scout” for insects and disease on the crops at UGArden. Last week, a few of us went out with eyes alert and phone cameras ready to collect information on crop health. While the eggs above aren’t exactly what we were looking for, they sure were a neat surprise in the fig trees!
This week, the main barn underwent some significant organizational changes, mostly in the herb drying rooms where I and the other herb interns and our instructor Noelle work. The new industrial herb dryer should be functional within the next couple of weeks, and by then, we will have a much more efficient herb to product to market process! As an Economist, it is interesting to see the dynamics involved in the micro-stage growth and manufacturing processes that create new supply chains. Hopefully one day soon, I can take what I have learned at the UGArden and develop new methods for innovative urban farming in the Athens area and elsewhere.
Also! I had an idea for the herb garden to keep back the weeds: using plastic tarp around the edges of the plots will help prevent the person mowing around the plots from mowing over and destroying the drip tubes or plants that might be hanging over the plot and into the grass/weedy area. With the grass/weeds gone along the edges, harvesting and mowing should be an easier process.
Here’s a picture of Ellie and Noelle planting Skullcap this week!
To prepare for future plantings and harvests, the other interns, a couple volunteers and I focused on weeding for the majority of our time at the UGArden last week. Most of our work was focused on the herb garden since that side of the garden tends to be neglected because of the shortage of people who can manage it consistently. So, that meant with all the masses of weeds we pulled out, I was able to volunteer to use the blue tractor! Having a powerful tractor with a front loading attachment makes garden life so much easier! It’s too bad I didn’t get of picture of myself on the tractor. Maybe sometime before my internship/class ends. 😉 However, I have a view of the weedy beds before we took all the weeds out: