PennyGrows

So I decided to learn about farming


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Powdery Mildew on Lettuce

Many of the lettuces beds I have worked with over the summer have been affected by “Powdery Mildew.”  You can avoid this fungus by selecting varieties that are less susceptible or those that are resistant. Some non-chemical way to control…

  1. Remove infected leaves promptly to prevent spore release and contamination of the soil.
  2. Rotate lettuce crops to minimise the risk of infection from resting spores
  3. Do not overcrowd plants… high humidity increases the risk of infection

lettuce top

The mildew can be identified by yellow patches on the upper leaf surfaces, and are generally angular because they are limited by the veins.

lettuce bottom

A fuzzy growth of whitish mould on the underside.


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Holiday Monday in High Park

I spent this morning in an allotment garden at High Park.  There are quite a few allotments in High Park and they are coveted. For a measly $60.00 fee a year you get a little piece of paradise. Many people were out today tending and tolling, but it was really upsetting that many of these gardens have not been cared for. I have placed my name of the waiting list for years with no success and I was sad to see that some people have this wonderful privilege and waste it away.

May be later this year I will do some renegade gardening… a garden “take over” so to speak. What is the worst thing that can happen… someone else gets to eat what I grow… isn’t that my goal? I don’t think there will be much of a chance that I will be arrested… what would be the charge be… “planting without a permit”!

 

Hemit and John

Friend Hemit (plaid) and Farmer John (hat)

Lot 10

Toronto High Park Allotment Gardens

Garlic

John’s German garlic, and lettuces

 

 


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Red Pocket Farm

On Friday, May 3, 2013 I spend the day of Red Pocket Farm http://www.redpocketfarm.com with farmer Amy Cheng.

Amy has named her farm after the “… small red envelopes usually containing money or a candy treat…. given on special occasions such as Chinese New Year, birthdays and weddings as blessings for happiness, prosperity, health and good luck.  In farming, one certainly needs all four for a successful season.”

Amy’s farm is located at Keele and Sheppard in Downsview Park, Toronto. She grows, almost exclusively, organic Asian vegetables such as gai lan, bok choy and choy sum to name a few.

I don’t know where or how to begin to tell you what an amazing time I had on the farm!!! Amy is a great teacher and was very generous with her time and knowledge. My day was also very emotional as it was my first day on a farm since deciding this on taking this adventure, so I found myself smiling, kinda…. but not really, about to break into tears of joy, and giggling a little as I weeded, blended composts, planted, hoed, watered and set beds.

Things I learned…

  • If you take the time and do it right, care about what it is that you are doing, you will be rewarded
  • Vegetables that are loved taste better
  • Asparagus tastes WONDERFUL when picked and 2 minutes later eaten… and that says a lot for a girl who does really like green veg that has not been drowned in butter
  • Educate yourself on new planting methods (e.g. SPIN – small plot intensive) http://www.spinfarming.com/whatsSpin/
  • Have a plan (e.g. seed, beds, harvest…) and write it down
  • Take risks, but plan accordingly and write it down… and cover your plans with plastic inserts
  • When hoeing or shoving turn your blade inward toward the bed, so not to spill soil from the bed in to the footpath
  • The smell of fish emulsion is very…  super, difficult to remove from hands and clothes
  • Wear sun block, wear a hat, and clothes that you no longer care about.

GL

Gai Lan – Variety “Jade”

Field

Penny and Amy planted Gai Lan

photo (11)

Lunch – Freshly picked asparagus