Planting a New Cover Crop & Pruning Herbs
Village Farm Team,
We’re loving the Listada de Gandia eggplant we’ve been growing on the farm this summer. Though this variety might seem quite a bit smaller than the Standard Globe variety you'll see in a grocery store, the flavor is much sweeter and the flesh more tender. They are also less bitter than standard eggplant and don’t require any salting prior to using in recipes. Plus, they have an incredibly beautiful variegated skin. If you haven’t had a chance to try this heirloom variety yet, make sure you pick some up at the farmers market on Saturday because its season will be ending in the next couple of weeks!
A couple of our vacant Farm Club plots were planted with a new cover crop this week: Sorghum Sudangrass. Rather than using it to fix nitrogen to the soil like we do with our Sunn Hemp, our goal with the Sudangrass is to combat drainage issues we’ve been having on this particular area of the farm. Once the Sudangrass reaches a few feet in height, we’ll trim it back to around six inches which will encourage the root system to grow deeper. Ideally, these deeper roots will help to loosen up the subsoil and make it easier for water to drain.
We’re working on pruning some of our perennial herbs like mint and thyme this week. It’s no secret that our summers can be stressful for plants, especially the window from now until the end of August. Pruning is beneficial for herbs because it cuts down on the overall plant matter that the herb has to keep hydrated. Aside from this major benefit, pruning also keeps our herbs from looking leggy and, if we prune all the way down to the soil level, it encourages new growth.
Remember our fall tomatoes and the first succession of winter squash we talked about last week? Both of these crops have shown incredible growth over the last week. Check out their progress below!
The Agmenity Farm Team
Words & Photos by Courtney West