It is sad to think that I am slowly coming to the end of my internship at the Howdy Farm. I have learned so much during my time at the farm and I am going to miss spending so much time outside, working at the farm.
My cucumbers are still doing good, and I have continued my pH monitoring and adjusting. The pH has been consistently low so each time I am out at the farm I check the pH, and if it is still low I will add a bit of the liquid to increase the pH. As you can tell from the pictures, the plants are getting huge! They have a bunch of flowers on them and you can even see the baby cucumbers. Hopefully, they will give me a couple that I can harvest before school ends for the semester! You can even compare the hydroponic cucumbers to plants that are being grown the traditional way - in soil. All of the seeds were started at the exact same time, so it is really interesting to see how much faster the hydroponic cucumbers are growing.
The start of this week was rainy and cool, so on Wednesday I spent some time getting garlic ready for planting. Also, once the rain cleared out we planted garlic and onions! Those are two of my favorite things, and honestly you can never have too much garlic. I always have about five cloves at my house because I always end up buying more from the store because I never want to be out of garlic when I decide to cook something. To get the garlic ready for planting, we separated the individual cloves from the head of garlic, and then inspected the clove to ensure it was good to be planted. We mostly discarded cloves that were discolored or soft.
In addition to planting the garlic into trays, we also planted some of the cloves directly into the ground. As well, we planted some onions in the same bed as the garlic. The onion plants had already began growing in trays, and were finally ready to go into the ground. The onion plants needed to be planted fairly deep into the soil and you wanted about half to three-quarters of the plant covered with soil. That is where the onion will eventually develop. I dug the holes, while Jourdan followed behind me and planted them into the holes. I felt like I dug about a million holes, and my hands were definitely sore the next day. However, we were able to get all the rows planted with onions! This week, we also planted some Swiss Chard and kale!
There has also been a lot of harvesting going on. We have been harvesting everything from lettuce to tomatoes, and all of our coolers are getting very full. During our harvesting their is always some produce that just doesn't look all too great so we don't sell it. However, that doesn't mean that someone can't eat it. This week their were quite a few eggplants that did not make the cut, so I brought them home with me and added them to some pasta that I made. They had a couple of bad parts to them, but nothing that a knife couldn't help. They tasted delicious and it was even cooler that I could say that they were grown at the Howdy Farm!
This blog is actually encompassing two weeks of work, so I thought I would post another picture of the hydroponic cucumbers. They are now pretty much attempting to escape the greenhouse they have gotten so big. As well, the cucumber fruits are starting to get bigger. I have continued to check the pH, and for the most part the pH has been much better.
I hope everyone has a fun and safe Thanksgiving!
The farm is looking great and there are so many things that are ready to be harvested, and still many things to be planted. The hydroponic cucumbers seem to be doing much better this week, however I have been checking the pH of the buckets each time I am out at the farm. We also changed out the nutrients solution again this week. The plants are starting to get a lot of flowers, so we switched the amount of the different liquids that we added. We used the solutions called Flora Bloom and Flora Micro, along with some Cal-Mag.
At the beginning of this week, the pH was extremely low in the buckets. It was the lowest I have ever seen it, and to be honest I am not really sure why it was so low. Michael thought that maybe the greenhouse leaked while we were getting all of the rain, and the rainwater got into the buckets causing the really low pH.
The process of changing out the nutrient solutions is relatively straight forward, but does take a bit of time. I once again started off my rinsing out the extra buckets, and then I filled them up with water. I utilized a beaker to add in the nutrient solutions and then we transferred the lids over. We let them circulate for a bit, and then we went back later to check the pH. The pH was low in all of the buckets again, so we also added some pH raising liquid to the buckets. I will continue to check them this week and monitor how they are looking. They are getting very big though, hopefully they might start producing some cucumbers too.
It rained at the beginning of the week, so on Wednesday we spent time doing tasks that didn't require us to be plodding through the muddy fields. First, we spent some time going through and organizing all of the seeds we have at the Howdy Farm. We sorted them into groups that were similar. For instance, we had a pile of tomato seeds, squash seeds, etc. There are so many seed options out there! It must be really hard to decide which variety to buy and especially which variety to plant.
Next, we spent some time cleaning up the farm! We weeded the walkways throughout the farm and we even cleaned up the entryway. The entryway was much overdo for a good clean-up and it looks so much better now!
On Thursday and Friday, we moved to working on the beds in the field. We cleaned up and weeded the melon bed and put down some new soil. The melon plants have stopped producing and there was also some powdery mildew on the plants. Since the powdery mildew was there, we made sure to take the plants we pulled out away from the field and threw them away (as opposed to composting them). Luckily, we had a lot of help in the form of volunteers to tackle this task. They were such a huge help. After we finished cleaning up the bed, we planted some romaine and butter crunch lettuce in that field. The week also consisted of some more weeding, which I am sure comes as no surprise. The plants love the rain, but so do the weeds, so they are also growing really well after our rain at the beginning of the week.
I am looking forward to some cooler weather towards the middle of next week, and seeing what all we can accomplish on the farm. I thought I would leave you with this photo of Nepeta. She is doing a wonderful job of promoting the farm and I think she might have ambitions of becoming a model! It has been another fantastic week on the farm! Until next week!