This week on the Howdy farm I continued planting in my section of the garden as well as some usual farm duties. This week some of these responsibilities involved pulling lots and lots of weeds!
I was going to start planting in my butterfly garden but I couldn't because there were so many weeds! After removing as many as I could then I planted my transplants from the greenhouse. When I had finished, I stayed to help weed some more in other areas.
On the Howdy Farm, we have some carrots, beets, and radishes growing in one plot. This section of the farm needed some serious help. The weeds were nearly out of control. So a group of us worked on weeding that plot for hours.
In this picture, you can see a row that has been only half weeded. The little green sprigs left behind on one side are the carrots we seeded there. The other side of this row is so full of weeds you can't even see the tops of the carrots. Then on the far left of the image, you can look at the piles of weeds that I pulled from just half of a row.
Weeds are a big problem for many reasons. The most critical issue that weeds can cause is competition for nutrients in the soil. When we plant seeds or transplants in a field, we are already creating competition among the plants. This healthy competition is okay for us to do because we want as many as possible to do well, so by overplanting there is a possibility of getting too many of a plant rather than not enough. When you add weeds into the mix, the weeds use up nutrients in the soil that our crops need. If our plants don't get the nutrients, they need they won't survive. Another problem weeds cause, especially in this situation, is reduced sunlight. In the picture above the weeds have grown taller faster than the carrots. These tall weeds are blocking out most of the sunlight that the carrots need to develop. With no sunlight, plants cannot photosynthesize or make sugars to use to make a carrot.
Some other fun things happening on the Howdy farm this week was preparation for the plant sale next week! Whoop! While on the Howdy Farm this week, I helped harvest, wash, and store some of the delicious plants we will sell at the Bryan Farmers Market as well as the Plant sale on the 21st of October, 2017. You should come check us out.
Now with some crops, you will have to dry them before you store them. If you can, sometimes run your leafy green vegetables through a salad spinner. As you can see below just fill the bowl of the spinner, then put the lid on and pull the chord to spin the bowl. This will rapidly spin off any extra water that is on the leaves. After this point, we bag the produce, dump the ice from the coolers put the crop back in the ice chest and put it all into a freezer until its time to sell. This keeps everything nice and fresh for our customers.
Well, that was my week on the Howdy Farm! Thanks for joining me and see you soon.