Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Return of the Kale

The kale in the Tower tubs seem to be coming back to health.

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

Even slower production

The tomatoes are ripening very slowly now. Maybe one a day becomes ready, and if I let a few days go by between checks, there's often splitting.

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

Still Producing, Slowly - Sunday, October 18, 2009

Things have definitely slowed down. On the plus side, we don't have to water anymore, as the deluges of the last few days make excess moisture the concern, rather than the reverse. I guess we'll have to clear out some of the tomato foiliage to encourage evaporation, discouraging mold. The plants seem to be cooperating, by shutting down some stems.

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.
From the Tower
  • Tomatoes  3 oz.
  • Greens  6 oz.
It doesn't sound like so much when you express it in ounces, but it looks like the food bank'll be able to give out the makings of several nice salads - all organic too! I don't think the tomatoes are quick as sweet as during the hottest days of autumn, but they still have good flavor (... judging by the splitties; since we can't foodbank them, they had to be sacrificed to quality testing.)

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

And the Parsley is BACK! Again!

At the Tower, that parsley is growing new leaves, even in this cool weather. Will we get a 4th harvest?

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

Pounds of Tomatoes and the Amazing Parsley

I hope someone likes parsley because that one plant at the Tower has produced its third bunch of the season ... a half a pound this time!
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
At the Tower:
  • 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!