Transplanting & Digging Trenches
Village Farm Team,
We transplanted the first of many cool season crops this week! Pak Choi, Chinese cabbage, and Red Russian kale went into a couple of rows of our newly cleared and weeded black plastic beds. Once the transplants were in place, we gave them a bit of Oceans Harvest fertilizer to provide them with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Leafy greens don’t need as much space to grow as say a tomato or cauliflower. This allows us to take full advantage of the bed space by planting them closer together. As the greens grow up against one another, they will work to block out weeds. We expect to have our first harvest of greens in December.
Though the barrage of recent rainfall was threatening to keep us from fall transplanting, we came up with a solution. Since a lot of our rows were heavily inundated, we chose to dig a couple of trenches to aid with drainage. By simply digging a trench from the flooded areas down towards an existing drain, we were able to get our first fall transplants in the ground rather than waiting on the right sunny conditions to dry the rows out. Thanks to this simple yet effective method, we’ll be able to get farm fresh greens to your plates and bellies a bit faster!
After a much needed “fall cleaning” in the greenhouse, we were able to relocate all of our transplants. The second round of cool season crops we planted are coming along marvelously. Once we get all of the transplants from the first round planted out, it will be just about time for the second round. We’re excited to be growing a couple of new crops this fall and winter like Shungiku and Hon Tsai Tai. Shungiku is a type of Chrysanthemum (or “mum”) grown for its tender leaves rather than its flowers. In our Southern climate they are well adapted for fall transplanting. Shungiku has a mild, herbaceous taste and can be eaten raw or cooked. Hon Tsai Tai, also called Kailaan, is a member of the Brassica family. It produces purple stems, green leaves, and yellow flowers that are all edible. The flavor and texture is similar to broccoli rabe but a bit more tender and mild.
The Agmenity Farm Team
Words & Photos by Courtney West