We’ve been diligently working on filling the remaining rows on the North Farm since Chef Fest. Despite having to re-plant some of the rows we lost to the freeze, we only have 10 empty rows remaining that will be planted with peppers, eggplant, and okra. Here’s what we planted over the last week: Crimson Sweet watermelons, Edisto 47 muskmelons, Arava honeydew melons, Marketmore cucumbers, Suyo Long cucumbers, sunflowers (a large headed variety for seed and a multi-headed variety for cut flowers), and a few different varieties of summer squashes.
All of our tomatoes are in the ground and trellised! Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been seeing the first flowers appear meaning we’re even closer to tasting that first bite of juicy tomato. Along with our tomatoes we have tomatillos planted. Sometimes called husk tomatoes, tomatillos are members of the nightshade family like tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) but they are categorized in a different genus (Physalis philadelphica). When harvested early, tomatillos have that characteristic sour flavor that is present in salsa verde. When allowed to ripen longer tomatillos take on a sweeter flavor closer to that of a tomato.
We’ve been slowly adding flowering plants to what we’ve nicknamed our “pollinator patch”. Plants like nasturtium, marigold, lantana, and salvia will live in a few rows on the North Farm and serve as pollinator attractors rather than food crops. Since a good deal of our crops require pollination in order to produce, we want to make sure we are drawing in pollinators like bees and butterflies. The idea is to grow flowering plants that will attract pollinators and eventually program our area into their route to keep them coming back.