Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hort center update

It finally feels like our plot at the hort center is under way. The picture here is us laying black plastic mulch for weed suppression (shades weeds from sun) and to extend the season by keeping our plants warm into the fall as the black absorbs heat from the sun. This was a pretty crazy undertaking as we did it all by hand. The trick is to tuck the corners of the plastic underground pretty tightly so that the wind doesn't rip the plastic by flapping it around. We very intelligently did this at the hottest time of the day, not recommended in the future. While it feels kind of weird covering the soil in plastic, this is a good way to suppress weeds without herbicides, and the plastic is corn-based and photodegradable so it won't have to go in a landfill at the end of its life.
The next picture shows our plants poking out of the plastic, awwww. The closest plastic row is cucumber, then behind is squash and then tomato. Now all we can do is let them do their thing. And water them and think positive thoughts.
At this point all of the rows at the hort center are planted, at least partially. We have some leeks that aren't quite ready to leave the greenhouse, but everyone else is living life in the field. I wish we had a picture of us transporting the seedlings. We don't have a tractor or anything so we use our bikes and sometimes we have to get creative. Balancing trays of okra seedlings on handlebars has proven to be impossible and even tragic (we lost one in the crash I'm afraid), but peppers and eggplants are more manageable. It's pretty awesome to be replacing fossil fuel energy with human energy and silliness, and at this scale it just makes sense, time-wise. We may need to build a trailer or something if we get more/further land next summer.
That's it for now!

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