A couple of weeks ago, we worked on moving around the zinnia plants. They were all growing very close to each other, and that is not something we want if we want big and productive flowers. We carefully dug out plants that were close together and moved them to an open area in the bed. It has been a couple of weeks since that and I am happy to announce that they are all thriving and blooming! Just look at how pretty they all are . It is so cool to see how parts of the farm that you worked on earlier are progressing!
This week, I also helped sift some compost that the Howdy Farm has been working on for about 2 years now. We used wood frames with chicken wire on the bottoms to get out any large objects that were still in the compost. Compost is one of those things that always surprises me. When you compost correctly you can turn the stuff in the left picture into the stuff on the right! The compost will add all sorts of nutrients into the soil and will help the plants thrive. In my Garden Science class, we actually just talked about making compost. In order to make compost, you needs carbon material, nitrogen material, oxygen and water. The best carbon to nitrogen material ratio is about 30:1. Carbon material is also known as brown material and includes things such as cardboard, old leaves, newspaper and sawdust. Nitrogen material is also known as green material and includes things such as food waster, grass clippings, and clover. The two main reasons compost smells (which it shouldn't smell) is if the pile is too wet or there is too much nitrogen. It is also essential that you turn your compost pile to aerate it and to keep it from getting too hot.
One of my favorite activities is harvesting! And this week we were able to harvest some yard-long beans and cucumbers. It always feels so satisfying when you are able to gather the fruits or your labor, literally. It makes me feel good, from my head tomatoes! I was even able to take some of the yard-long beans home and eat them. I decided to make a side dish with them that I have decided to call Asian-Style Yard Long Beans. I added some olive oil to a pan and cooked the beans in it for a little while. Then I added a bit of five-spice powder, garlic, ginger and a small dollop of hoisin sauce to make a glazy sort of sauce. They were delicious!
To end out the week, we spent most of Friday working on the plants for the plant sale in October. (It is October 21st, add it to your calendar now so you don't miss out). We had planted seeds about a week ago into our six-pack containers, but in some of them we had multiple plants growing that needed to be thinned out. We wanted each "group" to have six plants in them, so we moved around the seedlings. We had to be very careful with each of the seedlings because the have delicate roots and we want them to grow nice and big once we move them into their new home.