Belstar Broccoli & Cold Weather Cover Crops Planted
Village Farm Team,
Work continued on the North Farm this week as more brassicas were planted in our prepped rows. We now have graffiti cauliflower (a beautiful purple variant) and Belstar broccoli planted. If you’ve been by our rows on the North Farm you might notice that these two types of brassicas are planted at different spacing intervals. Our broccoli starts are spaced at 12-inch intervals while our cauliflower is spaced at 24-inch intervals. Broccoli typically needs 12 to 18 inches in between each plant to grow properly while cauliflower needs 18 to 24 inches. We’re hoping to harvest these beauties in about three months’ time.
As Mark Twain once said, “Farming is simply gambling with dirt.” Though we like to think all of our seeds and transplants will flourish, the process can sometimes seem like a gamble. Despite having high hopes for all of the seeds sown on the South Farm, a combination of factors including less-than-ideal moisture levels in the soil kept them from germinating properly. Ultimately the team had to make the difficult decision to re-till the beds and start over. This past week we re-planted the rows with carrots, beets, turnips, and radish. In order to ensure the best germinating conditions for our newly planted seeds, irrigation was installed along each row in the form of drip tape. Our priority is to now “soak” the soil so that we can provide an ideal environment for our seeds to germinate and eventually sprout.
New Zealand white clover seeds were planted this week in the area adjacent to the Farm Club plots on the North Farm. White clover is a cold weather cover crop that will help replenish nitrogen in the soil and attract beneficial insects. Once the white clover is eventually mowed down, it will act as “green manure” by adding healthy organic matter back to the soil. Planting cover crops is a controlled way to allow the land to grow fallow and control things like soil health and erosion.
The Agmenity Farm Team
Words & Photos by Courtney West