Friday, November 27, 2009
Of the few I'd left on the vine as an experiment, two had gotten to harvestable state, and a third had already dropped, lying orangey in the dirt like the last leaf of fall (see photo)
I didn't touch the lettuce since it still seems to be coming along. There were tiny, gnat-like bugs swarming in the sun over the Tower tub, and noodling around the lettuce leaves at the Court was a black-and-white bee. It's nice to see some biological activity continuing, albeit at a slow space, even as things cool off.
Total harvest today: 15 ounces of tomatoes, mostly from the commingled items cut green for ripening on the stem
Sunday, November 15, 2009
- 6 oz tomatoes, harvested green a while back and ripened in newspaper (see photo)
- 6 oz mixed greens, from Tower Tub (described below)
On the plus side, the aphids seemed all gone. I'd never figured out how to get them off the greens, and I didn't want to give the food bank greens with bugs on them.
I got quite a few green tomatoes still on the stem, all cherry tomatoes except for one large tomato that had hidden out, green, in the foilage. These got wrapped very loosely in newspaper to control moisture, and set in plastic tubs in our apartment to ripen. Also, I got about 6 oz of greens which I'll drop off at the foodback tomorrow (Monday). I'll let the parsley go a little longer.
The lettuce leaves are mostly browned (see photo). Perhaps I could salvage some leaves by chopping off the brown parts but they aren't acceptable for the food bank.
One exception: the red leaf lettuce. These are too small to harvest today but they don't seem bothered by the weather so I'll check them again later this week.
I got fewer green tomatoes than at the Court. They should ripen up nicely newspaper (see photo above).
In Both Locations
The chard is coming along slowly. Looper worms and aphids had hit them pretty hard but now that it's cold, they seem to be coming back.
Friday, November 6, 2009
From the Tower tub I took two large green tomatoes, still on the vine, to ripen within newspaper. They should be ready within a week for the food bank.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
They had been pretty chewed up by the looper worms, and then the aphids were sucking away their precious bodily fluids, but it looks like the cooler and wetter weather have knocked back the pests.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I've heard you can ripen tomatoes if you wrap them in paper and keep inside. I'll experiment with both newspaper and brown paper bags. Newspaper gets the tomatoes dirty, but you'd have to wash them anyway. Today I clipped on branch with about eight green tomatoes on it, from the Tower.
The lettuce at the Tower is doing o.k. A few leaves of one species has started to grey and collapse; I clipped those off. It looks like a general thinning may be due next week.
Notice that the parsley is back- AGAIN!
On the other hand, the lettuce at the court is having problems. The species that has a few grey leaves at the Tower is completely absent at the Court, but there are a lot of grey and dead leave so perhaps we know where they came from . On the other hand, the red-leaf lettuce and the large paddle-shaped greens still do well, although the latter is still plagued by aphids.
At the Court I heard, then saw a chicadee. This is probably one of the crew eating the seeds from the sunflower in the overflow herb pot. While the primary goal of urban agriculture is food for humans, a few sunflowers for the birds may be appropriate, as well has contributors to absorbing sunlight and carbon, while providing nourishment to the human soul.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
As long as we're not getting frost, we'd like to keep trying to pink up the tomatoes that are still green. Eventually we'll have to bring the greenies indoors still on some long pieces of stem, and try to finish them in a box on top of the clothes dryer.
The greens which were the 2nd crop in the Tower greens tub needed thinning, which produced some nice baby greens. At the Court, the greens had started spottier, not as thickly sown I suppose, and grew into adulthood more quickly; we took a batch of adult greens from there. Some had aphids, which I tried to brush off, but I suppose we'll have to assume the recipients will rinse the greens before using.
From the Court
- Tomatoes 9 oz.
- Greens 11 oz.
- Tomatoes 3 oz.
- Greens 6 oz.
As I mentioned to Joel when he visited the site earlier this week, keeping up these tubs is not a lot of work; we just have to remember whose turn is whose. There was no weeding necessary, for which I am grateful. Checking the health of the plants was a nice quiet activity in the evening; the morning watering was also a pleasant ritual (...not to mentioned delightful on the hot days!) While the primary purpose may be food, the recreational benefit should not be overlooked!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The greens are moving slowly but still trying.
Those wormthings seem gone from the chard now, but is covered with little bugs. Still, it's struggling on. Perhaps the cold will eventually finish them off.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Today's photo shows the harvested parsley resting in its glory among its leafy friends.
More detailed notes on this week's harvest (to be dropped off at the Cherry Street Food Bank today)
At the Court:
- 3 lb of mixed tomatoes (large and cherry) plus 3 little hot peppers
- 1/2 lb of mixed greens
- 2.5 lb of mixed tomatoes
- 1/2 lb of cucumber (more than a foot long!)
- 1/2 lb of parsley
We've still got still plenty of unripe tomatoes on the bushes, plus a couple of tubs of greens still growing albeit slowly. It's exciting to see how long this goes!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
We pulled a couple of pounds each from both locations but I'll hold off waiting until tomorrow, since I think I can let the green go until the morning; the wind doesn't seem to bother them but the extra half-day might make a little difference in their freshness. The lettuce at the Court and the parsley at the Tower look magnificent! Unfortunately the aphids (or some suchlike) are chowing down pretty hard on the chard. I'll try to knock 'm off with the sprayer tomorrow but I don't see how that could really discourage them much.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The mixture of leaf colors and designs are attractive; a tub of mixed salad greens would be a nice way to dress up any way!
And it still keeps growing even in this fall's cooler weather. We may have to experiment with harvesting some leaves and seeing if the plants are happy to keep growing more.
However, the chard has some green bugs. What are they? What to do?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The lettuce continues to grow; some of it in the Court should be ready to go soon but much of it may need another week or two.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
We harvested another 1/2 pound of cherry tomatoes, about half from each location. Unfortunately one large tomato had split since yesterday and the crack was fuzzy, so we discarded it.
The greens tub at the Court has some lettuces growing to a pretty good size (as shown) and maybe almost ready to harvest. I had been concerned because the lettuce had been coming up kinda of sparsely, but perhaps I merely accidentally sowed them an appropriate distance apart.
The greens tub at the Tower has a more even and thick crop of lettuce, but the leaves are much shorter. It may be time to thin them. We found a half-dozen more looper works by checking leaves that had holes in them; mostly it was the chard but there's one type of plant in the salad mix that the critters seem to like too. This may be a continuing battle.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
They seem to have concentrated on the chard, but a few of the lettuce mix plants have bit marks too. Also, there are round, dark green nodes on the tops of some leaves that may be eggs.
What's the next step? This effort is strictly organic; we have no way of knowing when or if people who are sensitive may wander by or be recipients of the food via the food bank, we don't want to poison our community on general principles, and we don't want to disrupt our local micro environment which is already pretty hacked up by development. This is a test of brains: are we smart enough to figure out a solution?
Friday, September 11, 2009
- Tower: 3 oz cherry tomatos
- Court: 9 oz cherry tomatos
Sunday, September 6, 2009
- At the Tower, a few cherry tomatoes had fallen or were ready to pick: maybe 1 ounce of Cherry Tomatoes
- At the Court, more had fallen (including six or more greenies; perhaps their position near the end of the branches made them more vulnerable): 3 oz Cherry Tomatoes.
- Also at the Court one large tomato was starting to split so I harvested it; it should be fine to eat: one 4oz Tomato
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Today (Saturday) I picked some of the cherry tomatoes and will store in a clean shoebox for delivery Monday. We found out the hard way that storing them in bags mushed some.
- From the Tower: 7.5 ounces cherry tomatoes
- From the Court: 9 ounces cherry tomatoes
Monday, August 31, 2009
The tower greens are doing very well - it won't be long before we are harvesting a good amount of mesclun mix from the seeds that were planted. Today four fall/winter vegi starts were added to the planter to extend the season even further, mostly brassicas. I need to check with Carl to see which ones.
Totals for Tower harvest today:
Cherry Tomatoes - 20.5 oz
Sweet Peppers - 13.8 oz
Eggplant - 9.3 oz
Cucumbers - 2.1 oz
Basil - 6.2 oz
The Court planters are not spilling over quite as much as the ones on the Tower but they are still producing a good amount. The sweet peppers in particular are coming out very heavy. The herbs up here are doing great as well and today we got a good harvest from them. The seeds that were planted on the court seemed to have come up thinner than down on the Tower but what did come up looks very healthy. Four fall/winter starts were added to their ranks as well.
Total Court harvest for today:
Cherry Tomatoes - 15.2 oz
Basil - 4 oz
Sweet Peppers - 14.5 oz
Slicing Tomatoes - 11.3 oz
Cucumbers - 3.1 oz
Eggplant - 8.1 oz
Marjoram - 1.3 oz
Sage - 1 oz
Parsley - 1.2 oz
Add to those number 9.7 oz of Cherry Tomatoes from both the Tower and the Court that Randy picked this weekend and we have a great deal of ripening bounty!
We have had some losses as well. There were many split cherry tomatoes, probably from the bit of rain we had recently. One sweet pepper had a soft rotting spot on the side and one of the hot peppers had been discovered by some sort of pest (a small hole could be seen in the side of the pepper) and caused the pepper to rot out. Also, it seems that a couple of the hot peppers have gone missing at some point. They look a lot like sweet peppers, so someone might have had quite the "karmic" surprise. Still, I have been very pleased with how little vandalism and theft that there has been. It's nice to know that people can respect what we're doing with this project.
Ecologically speaking the planters have attracted a couple types of spiders as natural pest control as well as ladybugs. Not bad for a place right in the midst of the city. And the soil seemed to have come with some mushroom spores as well as there have been a few little ones popping up here and there - our own little ecosystem working itself out here on the rooftops at Centennial.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
- Eggplant 13 oz
- Tomatoes (cherry) 6 oz
- Greens 4 oz
- Eggplant 6 oz
- Tomatoes (1 big, 1 cherry) 6 oz
- Greens (mostly the parsley from the lettuce tub) 5 oz
- Cucumber (1) 7 oz
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Watering today, I sighted the first squash at the Tower.
Considering the size, I don't know why I didn't see it before. I hope that this indicates the last few days have been prime growing weather, and not that I'm going blind.
(An alternative explanation is that, at last night's Sustainable Belltown meeting included informal tours of the plantings at the Tower; it's possible the squash was teased out for better growing.)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
It was lightly raining yesterday morning, and today morning as well. The soil seems moist so I didn't water. Probably I should water tomorrow, regardless.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
(see photo; I was hoping we could record the seed packets' fronts in this photo but apparently not). The tub at the Court was empty. I planted a room of redleaf lettuce down the middle of the long axis, and two rows of a salad mix, one on either side. The seeds were 2 packs at $1.69 each, or about $3.50 total with sales tax. The only tool necessary (other than the water) was a simple slotted spoon.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
It looks like the tomatoes are spreading themselves to get as much sunlight as possible, which is good news for the walls behind them. The leaves on the squash are turning light brown; I don't know what the problem is but I guess it's time to ask for expertise. If you click on the photo, you'll get a full-sized pic which I hope will make the situation more clear.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The tomatos at the tower seem to be ripening a little slower than at the Court; perhaps it's just a different amount of sunlight. In both locations, some of the plants are putting out a very nice-looking chain of tomatoes progressing from flower to fruit, as in this photo from the Tower.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Since the lettuce and mixed greens beds were emptied out we now have two tubs to plant with crops to be harvested this fall. More details on that to come.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Urban Agriculture is an exciting prospect for sustainability, food and fun!
Here in Seattle, we're taking baby steps. The project for which this blog was first created is container gardening at Centennial Apartments in Belltown. We need a way to track progress and plan care.
Perhaps we'll expand. Let's hope so!