Sheet mulching with ragweed

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 07/28/2010 - 15:08

ragweed and cornstalk layer in an okra bedMidsummer poses a number of challenges here at our urban farm.  It's when I've finally gotten around to preparing garden beds for sheet-mulching, but that means I need a large volume of green organic matter, as well as the leaves or straw I've saved from the previous fall.  Grass clippings are easy to come by, but they tend to turn slimy and smelly under sheet mulch conditio

In praise of Tyfon, King of Greens!

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 13:47

photo courtesy of Daphne's DandelionsBack in the summer of 2008 when I was first ordering plants for our winter garden, I came across an item called "tyfon" or "Holland greens." It was in the section of the Territorial Seed catalog devoted to cover crops, and indeed when the seed packet arrived it said "EDIBLE GREEN MANURE."  How appetizing!  But in farming lingo, a "green manure" is just a cover crop that improves the soil... multiple sources said that tyfon could be eaten by people as well as animals, so I ordered it, along with several other crops that Territorial promised were winter-hardy.


High Tunnel notes

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 09:36

Last night the Emporia Area Local Foods Network (EALFN) held a class on "high tunnels" -- unheated, plastic greenhouses large enough to walk through.  Attendance was unbelievable -- some 70 people for a 3 1/2 hour class at dinnertime!  After an introductory video, we had two speakers from K-State's high tunnel project, .  Here's what I learned: