Sunday, October 18, 2009

Seattle Urban Agriculture experiment continues

This year's Seattle Urban Agriculture project has been a lot of fun, and I also learned quite a bit that made our private growing efforts more effective.

The plants are definitely slowing down as the days shorten. On the plus side, we don't have to water anymore, as the deluges of the last few days make excess moisture the concern, rather than the reverse. I guess we'll have to clear out some of the tomato foiliage to encourage evaporation, discouraging mold. The plants seem to be cooperating, by shutting down some stems.

As long as we're not getting frost, we'd like to keep trying to pink up the tomatoes that are still green. Eventually we'll have to bring the greenies indoors still on some long pieces of stem, and try to finish them in a box on top of the clothes dryer.

The greens which were the 2nd crop in the Tower greens tub needed quite a bit of thinning, which produced some nice baby greens. At the Court, the greens had started spottier, not as thickly sewn I suppose, and grew into adulthood more quickly; we took a batch of adult greens from there. Some had aphids, which I tried to brush off, but I suppose we'll have to assume the recipients will rinse the greens before using.

The crops we've been getting may seem small, when expressed in pounds and ounces. however, in practical terms, the food bank has been able to give out the makings of several nice salads, all organic too! Our private patio pot garden has been keeping us in tomatoes for about a month, which is very welcome, especially considering the flavor and nutritional superiority of our product.

The benefits of these small gardens go beyond the culinary. Checking the health of the plants was a nice quiet activity in the evening; the morning watering was also a pleasant ritual (...not to mentioned delightful on the hot days!) While the primary purpose may be food, the recreational benefit should not be overlooked!

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