Monday, August 31, 2009

Ripening Bounty

Over 7 1/2 pounds of produce will be dropped off at the food bank today from this morning's harvest. The plants have gone crazy and are producing quite the abundance that is finally starting to ripen in larger quantity. I went down to the planters at the Tower a little before Randy was to meet me for harvesting and gave the tomatoes a good pruning and tying back. They really needed it! By getting them thinned out it will give more light to the things around them as well as help the tomatoes left on the plants to ripen up more quickly. Not that the eggplant seemed to mind having tomatoes drooping over the top of it. That plant is loaded with 3-4 inch eggplants even after we harvested the 5-6 inch ones. Amazing.

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.

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