Another week has flown by on the farm, and a lot of exciting things are happening! Lots and lots of plants are growing, and things are starting to be harvested. My project is also starting to take off and the weather may be getting ever slightly cooler.
I started my hydroponic cucumbers last week, and they have already germinated and are growing towards the skies! One of the rockwool cubes did not have any seedlings in it, but luckily we had planted some extra seeds in additional rockwool cubes. We just switched them out and now all of the buckets have plants growing in them. They are making good progress and we also checked out the pH again this week. It was at a great level of 6.5, so I think the cucumber plants should be enjoying themselves. The air stones are doing their thing and the nutrient mixture is doing its thing, so it will be exciting to see how they continue to progress.
This week, we also continued with preparations for the plant sale and worked on creating six-packs of romaine and butter crunch lettuce. It was a delicate operations as we tried to get the lettuce seedlings out and transfer them without hurting their roots. We also continued to thin out trays we had planted with seeds so that each section had six plants in it. We have lots and lots of plants waiting to find their forever home in a few weeks.
We also planted some snow peas this week! We planted the seeds and then put up a trellis to support the plants once they start to grow. We used stakes at either end of the row, and then tied pieces of string to act as the trellis.
Today, I spent the better part of the morning weeding a row of watermelon radishes. I always think weeding is really relaxing and it is also super satisfying because you can see the labors of your work so quickly. While I was weeding I also noticed that some mushrooms had popped up in the field. We have been learning about fungi in one of my classes, and I have been very intrigued by them so I decided to look into them a bit more.
I actually went and looked up if it was possible to grow mushrooms at home. I read a couple of articles, and it is definitely possible. Mushrooms are very different from other plants, in that that reproduce by spores and not seeds. To grow mushrooms at home, you first needs to have some spores that you can use to "inoculate" your growing medium. The growing medium is usually not soil, and depending on the type of mushroom you are trying to grow, they require a different growing medium. The mushrooms grow best in cool, dark and moist environments. I looked around and bit, and there are stores that sell you a kit that includes the growing medium that is inoculated with the spores. You would just have to have a location that is the right temperature, humidity and is dark enough for the mushroom to grow. I may be trying one of those out in the future!
This week, I also was able to do some harvesting! The best part about gardening! This time I harvested some basil. I used clippers to trim the top of the basil plant off, while ensuring that I left branching leaves on the stem to ensure that the basil plant will grow and produce more leaves for us to harvest. After I harvested, the basil was washed and then placed in a cooler to make sure they stay as fresh as possible, for as long as possible.
I always love seeing all the plants grow, so I have decided to include some growing progress in my blog posts. This section of the farm was planted a couple of weeks ago with beets, radishes, carrots and rutabaga and all of the seedlings are starting to pop up.
I am still waiting for those cool, fall temperatures to blow in, but at least the temperature is starting to cool down a bit. It has been another great week on the farm, and I will be back next week with another post!