Some of the aspects of my research did not go as planned. I was unable to get results on my peas or broccoli because they are not close to harvest. Other parts went better than I could have planned. This includes the bibb lettuce of mine that did not bolt it was sold to a mobile bistro Chef Tai. It was served on their salad menu. While the recall in romaine lettuce could possible make people skittish on trusting to eat romaine lettuce even if it was organically grown in the howdy farm. The chef was willing to buy all the bibb lettuce that I had available . Sadly, it was only about twelve heads because the rest had bolted and wasn't fit to be consumed, due to the bitter taste. It was still a honor and shock that my foot was of quality to be sold on a restaurant setting. All my varieties of lettuce turned out the way I expected them to taste. The weather was cool enough for the lettuce to successfully grow and they were given the proper amount of time and water to facilitate good growth. When tasting the romaine lettuce which had the greatest growth success it was bitter but refreshing especially when made into a salad. The next lettuce that was success was the bibb lettuce. This had a bitter flavor, but tasted delicious when paired with hamburgers. Lastly the red salad bowl came in with a fresh taste and coarse texture in my mouth. This would be used in a mixed leaf salad. I enjoyed every second of my internship and was delightfully please with the results of my research.
Bolting is when there is longer hours of light and or a cold spell hits and the lettuce reacts to it. The lettuce prematurely flowers which is its seeds. This results in a possibly unusable plant or a bitter taste in it when you eat it. The only lettuce that has started the bolting process is the bibb. This processes started during thanksgiving break from the freeze that occurred. The signs started appearing on 11/29/18 by having the color of the upper leaves turn purple and the lower leaves started to follow suit. We tried the lettuce and it was indeed more bitter than the lettuce that had not bolted yet. One thing I found interesting was that the bibb lettuce in the raised bed in the healing garden had all bolted no matter the size of the head this included nine heads of bibb. This was a contrast from the lettuce in the fields because out of the twelve that I harvested on 11/30/18 only one of them had bolted. We harvested all the lettuce wither they were bolting or not because it was better to harvest them when they were close to harvest than to risk them maturing too soon.
Twenty plants from both the Penelope and Sugar sprint peas grow. It took them three weeks to start to flower. This is a sign when they start flowering because they are becoming mature plants. The Penelope shelled pea is growing in height at a faster rate than its competitors. When measured on 11/28/18 the Penelope pant was two inches taller than the Sugar Sprint which was one foot and six inches tall. These varieties are not in favor of warm temperatures which might result in lower germination, lower yields, and the produce will be less sweet than the spring crop. When we directed seeded the weather was warmer and the sun was still out for most of the day. This is the conditions that the peas do not like. Since the environment has been cooling down the peas have noticeable been growing at a quicker rate and now flowering as well. We planted the seeds later due to the receiving the seeds late and preparing the field so it sets back our harvest time. It will be Christmas break by the time the peas are ready to go to market. I will not be able to gain conclusive data on the peas and their taste to one another and the effects on the environment to their growth.
The Army Worms were a huge problem in the fields this year. They attacked everything especially the broccoli. Unfortunately the first round of transplants that we planted into the field were almost completely ate by the worms. Since we are a organic farm we could not spray traditional pesticides to get rid of the army worms. Instead we had to kill them with our own hands or the tools we had. The worms harvest one the leaves of the young broccoli plants until they went into their cocoons. This resulted in having to plant the broccoli that were under the shade cloth outside from the same trays that we used to put in the field. These plants were stunted in growth from staying in their trays for weeks. It was better the plant the new transplants than have to start the whole processes all over again. This resulted in the broccoli not being ready to harvest yet. The time to harvest is in the upper fifty days, so I will be on Christmas break when they are ready to go to harvest.
I got to accompany the Howdy Farm on a Saturday morning to sell the produce that I had grown. My lettuce was the only thing that was growing in my favor so that is what I brought. The day before on Friday the 11/29/18 Michael and I harvest the lettuce. He helped me harvest ten heads of lettuce from each variety to sell. We than brought them into the building to start the cleaning process. We filled two skinks with water. The first was for the initial rinse to get the dirt off than the second was to double check for any cocoons of worms or any dirt the first had missed. After thoroughly cleaning all the heads they were then stored in a cooler for the next day. At the market we set up a booth. We sold things grown on the farm. These include oranges. lemon grass, spaghetti squash, red salad bowl, romaine lettuce, and bibb lettuce. We sold the lettuce for one dollar a head and we sold every single head. I felt like this was a great success because I did not think that this was possible. I was very to meet the people and talk to the people who bought me lettuce. This was defiantly a great experience. My lettuce went to the farmers market on 12/1/18 to sell the reset of my projects red salad bowl and romaine lettuce. This was defiantly an experience that I won't forget.
Before the peas were able to be direct seeded into the ground there was a lot of work to do to get the rows ready to plant. The rows used to be used for tomato plants so the polls for the trellis were already installed. We has to clear out all the dead plants and weeds to be able to string up the new string that the peas would use to grow on. This was a lot harder than it sounded. The rows contained a lot of Bermuda grass which is a invasive species of grass that is close to impossible to get rid of completely. It took over two hours to get rid of the grasses, weeds, and dead plants. We than had to build the mounds of rows back up so that we would have the rows to plant on. Than we put mulch over all the rows and walk ways to suppress the weeds. Adding the mulch over the soil only has to be done once in the life of the crop. By doing this I was able to keep the weeds under a manageable growth rate. When they started popping up I was able to hand weed and get rid of them right away. The maintaining of the rows was easy. It was the initial work that was tuff, but it was worth it to do get all the weeds in the early stage so that in the future I did not have to do as much tedious work.
I selected my two pea varieties from Johnny's selected seeds. These included Sugar Sprint in three of my pea rows and Penelope in two of the rows. The Sugar Sprint are a variety of snap peas and should be ready to harvest within 58 days. This variety only has a 89% germination rate. This is lower than the Penelope seeds, but I wanted to get a shelled and snap pea to compare. The Penelope variety was indeed a shelled pea with a 94% germination rate with a 59 day from plant to harvest. Before planting the seeds straight into the ground we treated the seeds by soaking the seeds in water for six hours. Volunteers helped direct seed the peas into the rows on 10/22/18.
I planted two different varieties of broccoli. These are Monflor and Santee from Johnny's Selected Seeds. They were planted and moved into the greenhouse on 9/17/18. The broccoli did not do as good as I predicted. I started my recording of their growth on the nineteenth of November. For the Monflor they had 27/104 germinated in two days. The Santee was keeping up 25/122 germination. The first four days the broccoli grew quickly than started to slow down. After twelve says in the greenhouse they were brought outside under the shade tarp to acclimate to the environment.
Monflor = 46/104 germination
Santee = 51/112 germination
Monflor = 55/104 germination
Santee = 65/112 germination
Monflor = 60/104 germination
Santee = 74/112 germination
Monflor = 65/104 germination
Santee = 75/112 germination
Monflor = 65/104 germination
Santee = 79/112 germination
I planted lettuce in the raised beds of the holistic healing garden as well as in a plot in the field. In this raised bed I wanted to seed how they would grow compared to the lettuce in the field. One of the things I had to do a lot of before being able to plant my lettuce is weeding. In preparation for the transplants we also added soil to the bed. The bed previously was mostly comprised of a clay and sandy mixture. Since clay is not ideal for aeration in the soil we added potting soil to the mixture. Than the mulch was added to all three beds. The mulch is used for preventing weed growth, containing moisture in the soil as well as keeping the roots hidden for protection from unpredictable weather. After all these steps it was time to plant the transplants. I planted the roman lettuce in the tallest bed on the left. The middle bed contains the red salad bowl while the shortest and far right bed contains bibb. The transplanted were placed about five inches apart resulting in planting around twelve heads while adding some transplants throughout because the probability of all the transplants surviving is low. I predicted that the lettuce in these raised beds were not going to be as impressive as the ones grown in the field. I believe this to be so because of a few factors. A contributing factor would be the limited room for root growth. The roots will not be able to spread and grow in a bed as well as in a plot. The next is the climate in the field the lettuce are more exposed to the elements like the cold which they favor. The con for the plants in the field though is that they will be more susceptible to the pest because they are low to the ground. Lets just pray that all the transplants survive!
Towards the end of the seeds time in the greenhouse germination started slowing down. The only one that continued growing past the eight day mark was the Bibb. On day eight the bibb had 63/122 of the seedings sprouted. In three days the final germination was 65/122 . This was a final germination rate of 53.2% success which was the lowest out of the three varieties. The next lowest germination rate of 80.3% was the red salad bowl. On the eighth day in the greenhouse all the way to its last day there was 98/122 seedlings sprouting in the tray. The best germination rate went to the pelleted romaine lettuce with 96.7% germination. The eighth day it was in the greenhouse there was 118/122 germinated in the try. After four days the germination stayed the same 118/122 germination. I was able to conclude that the pelleted seeds had the highest germination rate because they were pelleted. On the package it said that they would have a 99% germination success, but my lettuce was definitely lower than that, but not by a big margin. After the 12 day we brought the seedlings outside under the shaded cloth. This was so they could adjust to the outside temperature before putting them into the ground.