This month the Collective has a clothing swap, potluck and meeting and it was lovely to see so many of us all together! Days at the farm working together are a treat, but its also special to sit together just to talk and share a […]
This morning, I was delighted to return to the farm after being away for two weeks. It was delightful to see that the plants all looked like they were adjusting nicely. Everything looked much heartier and healthy! There was even a hefty patch of peas making their way up the trellis.
We spend the time watering, weeding and adding mulch where it was getting sparse. With the temperatures beginning to increase we all agreed that mulching was important. We also had some help from some new refugee friends who join us in mulching and weeding the onion rows.
We all talked about trying to come earlier in the coming weeks as it is getting to be hot by 10am. We will all try our best to get to the farm closer to 8am.
Chistina, Lauren, and I, enjoyed a lovely morning on the farm today. It was the first time during a Monday group that we didn’t have any of our little human sprout-lings dancing around. It was really quite therapeutic to really be able to apply all […]
This past Saturday many community members gathered at the Rio Grande Community Garden to help with the restoration planting project and a few of us Firewheels came to help. We planted at least a dozen different native trees and shrubs in basins that run along the western fence of the garden. These spaces will help attract native and beneficial insects and animals to the garden, will require little maintenance once established and can provide food and medicine native to this region.
Sean and Michael Reed of La Orilla farms gave demonstrations on how to plant trees and shrubs. And since every day is Earth Day, I have included the instructions and a small illustration below for our tree planting pleasure:
- Dig a hole that is 2-3 x the size of the pot your plant is in and as deep as the soil filling the pot.
- Square the corners of the hole as best you can. This discourages the roots from becoming root bound and wrapping around each other. This is especially important if the roots had become root bound in their pot. Stick the shovel back into the soil about 6 – 12 inches outwards from each side of the hole and gently rock the shovel to loosen up the soil, this creates cracks in the dirt around the plant and allows their roots to more easily penetrate in search of water and nutrients.
- Gently remove the plant from the pot and break up the roots, spreading them out (again, this is especially important if they have become root bound). Score the roots with your finger from top to bottom to gently break up the smaller roots.
- Michael Reed brought a powder called mycorrhizal and we grabbed a small pinch of this to sprinkle on both the root ball and in the hole. The mycorrhizal (myco – fungi, rhizal – root) will inoculate the plant with beneficial fungi communities that partner with the plant and perform functions like
helping the plants retain water and weather droughts to warning the plants of nearby pests attacking other plants of their same species, allowing them to set their defenses.Basically, beneficial fungi is so amazing that volunteers that day could be overheard asking to borrow the container of magic fairy dust.
- Finally, place the plant in the hole and back fill the hole with dirt until the plant is up to its root crown in soil (the place where the roots meet the stem or trunk of the plant. ** Michael was very specific to mention that it is better to plant your tree or plant on the more shallow side, leaving a small bit of root crown exposed than to plant it too deep and cover the trunk in soil which can leave the plant more prone to disease **
In desert climates you can leave this plant hole as a little basin to encourage the water to flow to the roots of your plants.
<< Ian and Michael putting the final touches on a planted tree.
In addition to planting trees, we weeded the basins and raked mulch in them and along the paths to retain moisture and prevent weeds.
Sean delivering mulch to one of the basins >>
Happy Earth Day!
This past Sunday brought warm and welcome weather, children in their Easter clothes and a couple papas who came to lend some helping hands. The garden felt full of potential and fertile energy. Discussing ideas for skill sharing and other events, we watered the beds, did […]
We had another happy and productive Monday on the farm. The skies were clear and the sun was bright. Temperatures are beginning to rise and everybody was feeling pretty warm by 11am. We might aim for an earlier start time next week.
We all helped in transplanting several kale, swiss chard, spinach and collard starts. All of the starts are in the first bed (the one with the pea trellis.) This row is named Calendula because Cat and Zhenya planted Calendula seeds at the North end of the row. The row next to that one now has Larskpur seeds at the head and so is aptly named Larkspur!
Heather brought a huge umbrella in order to have some shade in the field. Brilliant! The kids loved it!
We also watered all the beds, weeded out clover and mulched around the transplants and onions.