Planting Luffa and Harvesting Big Jim Peppers
Village Farm Team,
We’re experimenting with luffa and Muscadine grape plants next to our chicken enclosure. We’ve planted a few transplants of each next to the southern wall of the structure in the hopes that these vining plants will have plenty of room to grow and sprawl. Last year, our luffa would have grown much taller if given the space so this setup should give the vines quite a bit more real estate. The secondary benefit is that these plants will provide shade for our chickens as they climb up and over the enclosure.
Though we still have plenty of beautiful rainbow chard, collards, and kale in the field, we know that their season is fleeting as the temperatures rise. In order to keep a steady supply of leafy greens throughout the heat of the summer and early fall, we’ll be planting “summer greens” this year like Malabar spinach and amaranth. Malabar spinach (pictured below) isn’t a true spinach but rather the succulent leaves have a similar mild flavor. As for amaranth, the leaves have a nutty and mild taste that is also reminiscent of spinach.
We harvested the first of our Big Jim peppers this week! Big Jim is a New Mexico chile pepper with a medium heat level and is similar to a Hatch chile. This variety is ideal for roasting, grilling, or stuffing. We’re harvesting our Big Jim peppers while they are green and have a more mild flavor. If left on the plant, these peppers will eventually ripen to a shade of red and have a spicier flavor profile. Make sure you stop by the veggie wagon on Saturday between 8am and noon so you can take some home to try!
The Agmenity Farm Team