Seeds Germinating & Harvesting Tatume
Village Farm Team,
A couple of weeks ago we seeded several trays of cool season crops. We’re happy to report the seeds are showing great germination rates with some varieties already producing their first set of true leaves! With the help of our goats and chickens, we’ve been tackling the weeds that have grown in our black plastic beds. All of the cool season crops will be going in these beds once they get a couple more weeks of growth in. Here’s what we’ve got germinating: kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, mustard greens, pak choi, and a couple of different types of cabbage.
Though pickleworms devastated a number of our gourds and carnival squash, we’ve been focusing our efforts on harvesting our abundant tatume squash. A native of Mesoamerica, tatume is a variety of the species Cucurbita pepo. It grows well in our area as it tolerates heat, humidity, and pests better than most squashes. Tatume is a unique squash cultivar in that it can be harvested as either a tender summer squash or a mature winter squash. As it grows it is similar in appearance to a watermelon with mottled green skin and stripes. When young, tatume is a verdant shade of green but as it matures, the green turns darker and eventually it becomes orange like a standard pumpkin. We’ll have young tatume at the veggie wagon this Saturday if you’d like to try some!
Now that we’ve been experiencing cooler fall temperatures, our older flock members are beginning to molt. With chickens, this process begins once the animal reaches about 18 months of age and involves the loss and replacement of all their feathers. During this time egg production drops and it becomes vital to build up their nutrient reserves. We have been feeding them alfalfa hay for extra protein as well as mixing eggs into their standard feed.
Despite the fair amount of precipitation we’ve been receiving lately, the soil has dried out enough for us to begin clearing and shaping new beds for Farm Club. In November we’ll be re-launching Farm Club, a program available for residents of the Harvest Green community. Interested? Read more about it here.
The Agmenity Farm Team
Words & Photos by Courtney West