Midsummer 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
Back 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.
In preparation for tomorrow evening's Green Living Emporia meeting, which may or may not actually happen, here's a list of plants we grew in the garden's first year:
So back in June, we went on the Kansas City Urban Farm tour, and Jessie posted the photos quite a whle ago, but I just got around to posting the videos. Here they are:
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, http://hightunnels.org . Here's what I learned:
My friend Dean Gooddale has made me a believer in the importance of soil testing to organic gardening, and particularly to greenhouse gardening. You can't have healthy plants without healthy soil, and you can't necessarily tell what your soil needs without testing it.
Yesterday afternoon when I couldn't sit at the computer any longer, I went out and resumed collecting leaves for the sheet mulch in the front yard. This is not a small mulch bed...