The weeds are unfortunately still alive and thriving at the Howdy Farm. I spent a good portion of my time at the farm this week helping to get the weeds out of the beets, carrots, rutabaga and radishes planted in the bed you see below. The weeds were definitely feeling right at home, as they were really starting to overtake the crops we are actually trying to grow. The weeds can decrease the amount of light our crops get, and they also take nutrients and water away from our crops. They can also be host plants for pests. Some of the weeds in this field were host plants for moths so we also made sure that we removed the weeds from the field after we pulled them out.
Something that I love about the Howdy Farm is the insect diversity that is present. Every time I am out at the farm I run across a neat looking bug. This time I actually managed to get a picture as well! I think this little guy is lookin' very cool. I did not attempt to touch him, although I was very tempted. I have a feeling that even though he looks nice and fuzzy, he is probably not all that fuzzy. I searched around online to identify what type of insect it will become, and I was only able to narrow it down to the fact that it will eventually become a moth. There are so many types of caterpillars that is was very hard to narrow it done much more than that. I have been learning all about pests in my garden science class, and I would bet he is an chewing machine and is probably causing quite a bit of destruction out at the farm.
My project is also coming along nicely. The cucumber plants are getting bigger by the day, and their roots are continuing to grow. It has been 2 weeks since I started the project and I am amazed by how fast they are growing. We had a couple of extra rock wool cubes that we had planted some cucumber seeds in, so we put those guys into a pot with some soil. That brings us up to a total of 12 cucumber plants. Hopefully we will be able to get a lot of cucumbers off all of those plants. Next week we will also change out the water in all of the buckets and give them some more nutrient solution so they can keep growing strong.
Corey also took me to look at some of the tropical plants on the farm including a flowering banana tree and our passion fruit vine. The banana trees are a really neat plant and one of them has a flower on it! The flower is huge and when you look inside you can see all of the baby bananas forming inside. It is not very likely that we will get any bananas off of it though, since it is flowering so late. Each of the banana trees has shoots coming off of it. We can wrap the shoots over winter to protect them from the cold, and then hopefully next year we can uncover it and it will be able to start to flower sooner and give us some bananas. The passion fruit vine is also producing fruit right now, and it will be a race to see whether cold weather gets here first or they are able to ripen quick enough. I am hoping the fruit can make it before the cold sets in, because I would love to try a passion fruit straight off the vine.
I am excited to see what happens next week on the farm!