Faster, slimmer carrots

Sprint carrot

[From 2-Jul-2013] One baby carrot…growing up fast! This is Sprint, a new Amsterdam forcing variety (good for growing in challenging conditions) that matures long and slender in a listed 42 days. That’s fast, over two weeks ahead of the quickest regular carrot we grow (the fabulous Nelson). I always find this new-better-faster hybrid stuff fascinating and a little freakish. Still, all things in moderation and…fun to try!

Sifting compost (every tool has its day)


[8-May-2012] Every tool has its day! I bought this metal mesh-bottomed soil sifter in my first couple of years of tiny farming, it seemed like something that would come in handy, but for years after was used only as a handy storage tray. Today, it caught a break as the perfect tool for an experiment with compost in the seedling mix. Took only 20 minutes to fill 1/3 of the can with finely sifted composted cow manure. Beautiful! Some things take time. (Nope, I didn’t finish sifting that whole bucket load, a little went a long way.)

Basic BELT (bacon egg lettuce tomato)


[From 8-Sep-2012] More incredibly simple and tasty local food: the basic BELT – bacon egg lettuce tomato – all local except for salt, pepper, butter, and mayo. Bacon from the farmers’ market. Eggs and veg – heirloom tom, second cut baby lettuces and a smattering of arugula – from here. Organic 7-grain bread from a mid-size local indie bakery available at both farmers’ market and supermarket. When you have INGREDIENTS, everyone’s an instant chef!

Choosing straw!


[From 13-Jun-2013] Mulching peppers with straw. So pretty! Plastic mulch is cheaper than straw, also, quicker to lay down and clean up, and generally more effective in suppressing weeds and retaining soil heat, but plastic is also less fun! Hahaha, those crazy business decisions. I’ve used plastic before, and like as not will again—in tiny farming, thinking small in 50′ and 100′ beds, flexibility comes easy. In any case, this year, we choose straw!

Enter the Riot Garden


[From 17-Jun-2013] Tried this a couple of times before, to varying degrees of success, a small garden within the market garden, a kinda test/demo back yard-sized plot. One year, it was an elaborate set-up we called Home Garden, masterminded by Shannon: after a great start, I think it eventually went to the weeds, being lower on the weeding list than many other things… This year, it’s a simple 10’x20′ rectangle, being measured, squared and staked out for tilling by Ashley. This version is called the Riot Garden because the plan is no plan, just throw in odds and ends of leftover seedlings and seeds, and edit as we go…what could be easier, right?!

Winter spinach


Later and later we go: More late season/winter harvest experiments, with four-week-old spinach transplants into the unheated greenhouse. Also trying out a trench approach to transplanting—a furrow about 6″ deep, made with a hoe—instead of putting them in one by one. Seems a little quicker, but it all takes time!