Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Florida Weave Ain't a Haircut

It's a tomato staking/trellising method! I stumbled upon this lifesaver through my bandmate, Jessica, who used to work at Red Basket Farm. She couldn't recall the name of the technique, but gave a good 'nough description that given a little googling it was no problem to find. Eventually, I used the following website and went from there.


I'll admit hammering these 35 fence posts taught my right forearm a lesson, hauling around the straw bale for a stool, as these were six foot posts and even with my Chacos I'm still about a half foot short. Hindsight being what it is, next year, I'll do the post installation just after tilling. Besides this learning curve, the Florida Weave rules. I really couldn't imagine caging or staking 100+ tomato plants.

Also in the above photographs, you'll notice that some of that hardwork, me and Kuchna put in several months back with the perennial flower bed is actually paying off. There's a huge assortment of colorful legumes and a couple sunflowers in the photo. As of today, I've got some multi-colored poppies and some white starry asters springing up. When putting in a perennial flower bed for the first time, it's really difficult to discern what is and what is not a flower or weed. So, sometimes you need to let the weeds go a little extra long before you know for sure and pull them.

Ryan Kennedy and I also planted 29 raspberries along a 55 foot hedge two weeks ago. The raspberries were bare-root and have yet to break dormancy. I planted them at twice the suggested spacing. So even if I lose half of them, I'm still good. If you can't tell, I don't trust bare-root plantings.

Lastly, the weirdest thing happened to me on Friday the 25th. As a precursor to this story, I just want to clarify that when you do this urban farm thing, people stop and talk to you, like all the time, seriously. People ask what you're doing, where you selling the vegetables, do you have permission from the city, etc. And then in general, they let you know what you're doing is great.

However, Friday was a little different. I was doing an extreme morning watering, as I was about to visit Rhode Island for the weekend. Then some guy pulls up, and parks illegally on Sprecher, and is yelling something akin to an introduction. It turns out he was introducing himself as a delegate of the SGI Community Center that borders the farm. With the introduction came a booklet-the kind I thought until now that only evangelical Christians gave out to people or left in bathrooms.

Immediately there after, came the requisite, "what ya doing here?" I let him know I was putting in a farm. The reaction was a mocking scoff from this spiritual man, who still hadn't taken the time to even get out of his car. Then the tone got a little insidious, when he asked the next requisite question, "does the city know you're doing this?" Of course, and I let him know that I have a five year lease with the city.

Then his tone changed, like a complete one-eighty to overly friendly (though the dude never got out of the car), as he let me know about SGI. Apparently, they're a Buddhist group. Their spiritual leader has over 100 honorary doctorates. They believe in world peace. They want to change the name of Crossburn Park to their spiritual leader's name. AND THEY WANT MY FARM TO EXPAND THEIR ASPHALT PARKING LOT!

WTF? Really? Really.

Hopefully, SGI respects my lease and that's the end of it. We'll have to see.

Ending on a positive note, I went to Melt the other day and was more than pleased to learn that they had switched take-out containers to a 100% compostable type made from sugarcane fibers. Matt Melt pretty much does everything right, and it's great to see an example of such green leadership.

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