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Jun 152014
 

This year, I’ve decided to keep track of how much I harvest each month & see if it is enough or too much for a three-person heavy veg-eating family. My first planting was March 21.

Salad greens – 3+ kg

Here we have all sorts of lettuce including red leaf, oak leaf, green leaf, red romaine, plus nasturtium leaves and flowers, borage flowers, and spinach. For lettuce, I harvest the leaves, not the whole heads. I seem to be able to harvest leaves from a head of lettuce for about 4-6 weeks before it needs to be pulled and eaten. I have found that for a family of 3 heavy salad eaters, we need about 6 or so active heads of lettuce (that is, heads from which leaves can be harvested). So let’s say each human head needs two salad heads. As for spinach, about 5 plants per person every week seems about right. One can harvest a few leaves at first, but they mature so quickly, the whole plant must be picked within a week or so. My family seems to eat about 100 g of salad greens per day. During this time, even though I picked a lot of salad, I still had to buy one head of lettuce from the green market (ran out of garden lettuce). I also ran out of spinach — that’s to say, I didn’t plant enough.
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Snow Peas – 1.2 kg

I planted about 10 rows double rows of peas starting in late March and ending May 1. A double row means a trellis with peas planted on both sides of it. Since late May — about 2 weeks — I’ve harvested only from the first 3 double rows of snow peas. They are incredibly tasty. Three double rows equals about 100 plants and about 1m2. I estimate that each m2 (three double rows) will give about 2 kg of snow peas over about 3-4 weeks. I’d say a generous portion for one person is about 50g of peas. So 2 kg means about 40 individual servings of peas over about 20 or 30 days. So for 2 people — that’s peas every day; for 3 or 4 people — peas every other day. This is not a problem for me. If the peas keep going we will be eating peas every other day for the next 6 or 7 weeks. That might be too much…

In simple English: 100 pea plants produces 2 kg of snow peas harvested over 3 or 4 weeks.

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Strawberries 3.5 kg

I planted 15 plants last spring. These 15 plants became 30 plants. And then they became 45 plants or maybe more. Let’s say there are 50 plants. The mother plants give bigger strawberries than the daughter plants. There are still many more to be harvested. farm_0619_straw_IMG_1298

Asian brassicas / greens (savoy, tatsoi, hon tsai tai, pac choi, joi choi, bekana) – 750 g

Growing these tender little babies is a constant struggle as they are clearly the most favorite food of the SLUG. Even a good old Polish radish won’t distract them from these delicious greens. Picture shows 100g of greens. Not pictured is Savoy — a great green! These grow best in raised beds.

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Brassicas & chards (kale, collards, mustard greens, chard) – 2 kg

Quite early in the spring I was able to harvest quite a lot of chard and mustard greens which were planted last summer. I am pretty much the only person in my family who eats this stuff.  I love the brassica family! No picture yet…

Apr 122014
 

uo_logoTomorrow is the first event for Uprawiajmy na Ochocie, a series of workshops for Ochota residents.

We will be learning about how to get started with growing food in your apartment and on your balcony. Lots of possibilities from the easiest (onions in bottles, sprouts) to the more difficult (tomatoes, peppers). All you need to bring is a container (pot, bottle, old shoe??)

It all starts at 11 am in the common building at the Zelmot Allotment Gardens in Ochota (where Pixxe Garden is located). There may still be time to sign up. https://www.facebook.com/groups/603740809715692/

If you can’t make it, there are still two more workshops in May!

 

Apr 062014
 

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Today was the first big workday at the new SDK Community Garden. We started it with a quick lesson on Soil biology, texture, structure, acidity, and nutrition, then moved on to the big work of the day: fixing the poor-draining garden beds. One participant did it all in bare feet!!

First we removed all of the top soil — about 10 or 15 cm. The layer underneath is very heavy.
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Next we dug a few holes with the amazing dirt driller:
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The wholes were about 8 cm wide and 1 m deep.
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These we filled with landscape fabric “socks” filled with gravel.
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The finished drains looks like a cute bow tie:
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Next we broke up the hard clay layer as much as we could and mixed it with wood chips. A nearby stadium donated a huge amount of horse poop and straw. They even delivered it right into the compost bins:

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We added the straw-manure mixture:

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We decided to leave this and let the organic matter break down a bit. We’d like to build raised beds here…

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This is what it looked like when all was done — a bit of a mess!! That’s a work-in-progress.
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Aug 232012
 

2 Bikes. 2 Bike Carts. 5 Days. Nance Klehm, Jodie Baltazar and A BUNCH of other cool women, plus a few good men. 15,000 liters of waste. THIS was the SOIL GARDEN PROJECT! (And it’s not over! Every other Saturday we will continue…..) Photos by Nance Klehm, Jodie Baltazar, and Jen Knowlton.

EMPTY BINS AWAIT THE WASTE

EMPTY BINS AWAIT THE WASTE

BROWNS FOR COMPOSTING - STRAW, WOODCHIPS

BROWNS FOR COMPOSTING - STRAW, WOODCHIPS

FIRST WE TAKE THE BINS TO BANACHA MARKET

FIRST WE TAKE THE BINS TO BANACHA MARKET

IT'S NOT LONG BEFORE THE BINS ARE FULL

IT'S NOT LONG BEFORE THE BINS ARE FULL

WE LOAD UP THE CARTS WITH VEGETABLE SCRAPS AND CARDBOARD

WE LOAD UP THE CARTS WITH VEGETABLE SCRAPS AND CARDBOARD

WE RIDE TO THE GARDEN WITH THE PRECIOUS LOAD

WE RIDE TO THE GARDEN WITH THE PRECIOUS LOAD

WE CAN'T RESIST THE GARBAGE IN THE CARREFOUR BINS

WE CAN'T RESIST THE GARBAGE IN THE CARREFOUR BINS

THERE'S SO MUCH CABBAGE WE DECIDE TO CALL IT CABBAGE COMPOST

THERE'S SO MUCH CABBAGE WE DECIDE TO CALL IT CABBAGE COMPOST

WE TOP THE CABBAGE WITH STRAW, CARDBOARD, PAPER

WE TOP THE CABBAGE WITH STRAW, CARDBOARD, PAPER

IN THE AFTERNOONS NANCE LEADS WORKSHOPS ABOUT COMPOSTING

IN THE AFTERNOONS NANCE LEADS WORKSHOPS ABOUT COMPOSTING

THE FIRST THING IN THE NEW BIN: WOODCHIPS & CHUNKY YARD CLIPPINGS

THE FIRST THING IN THE NEW BIN: WOODCHIPS & CHUNKY YARD CLIPPINGS

HERE IS SOME WASTE FROM BANACHA THAT WILL GO IN THE BIN

HERE IS SOME WASTE FROM BANACHA THAT WILL GO IN THE BIN

BUT FIRST WE HAVE TO RIP THE WASTE

BUT FIRST WE HAVE TO RIP THE WASTE

AND WE HAVE TO CHOP THE WASTE

AND WE HAVE TO CHOP THE WASTE

SO MUCH TO CHOP. EVERYONE GETS A GO!

SO MUCH TO CHOP. EVERYONE GETS A GO!

SOME OF US PREPARE THE CARDBOARD

SOME OF US PREPARE THE CARDBOARD

THE TRANSLATOR DOES AN AWESOME JOB!! THANKS STAN!!

THE TRANSLATOR DOES AN AWESOME JOB!! THANKS STAN!!

NEXT WE ADD SOME HERBS LIKE VETCH....

NEXT WE ADD SOME HERBS LIKE VETCH....

...AND WHY NOT THROW IN SOME DANDELION???

...AND WHY NOT THROW IN SOME DANDELION???

NEXT WE MAKE SOME COMPOST TEA

NEXT WE MAKE SOME COMPOST TEA

ALL THAT WASTE AND THE BINS ARE STILL ONLY HALF FULL - WOW!

ALL THAT WASTE AND THE BINS ARE STILL ONLY HALF FULL - WOW!

May 032012
 

Miejska Zielenina - Urban Greens - May 5On Saturday May 5 at 11.00, we will be putting seeds and seedlings of herbs and veges into the “Urban Greens” boxes outside my apartment block.

Please come! In Ochota / Rakowiec at Pawinskiego 29 on the South Side of the building.

(W sobotę 5 maja 11.00, będziemy zasadź sadzonki w skrzynce “Miejska Zielenina” obok budynku w moim osiedle na Rakowcu — zapraszam!)

The boxes were vandalized only once, right after they were built. On Halloween someone threw all the straw out onto the ground, which was easy to fix. Yeah, I just put it back in. In six months, this is all the garbage I found in the boxes: two bits of paper, a cigarette butt, and a beer bottle cap.

A small bit of trashSo when people say you can’t do anything in public in Poland because someone will destroy it, well, it isn’t always true.

This is what the boxes, which we prepared in October 2011, look like now. The green manure in the more distant box is about 1 foot tall. The manure was a mix of winter rye, field peas, ryegrass, crimson clover and hairy vetch, but only the rye grass really took.Garden Boxes in May The straw shrunk down about 15 cm. Tomorrow we’ll do a dirt-straw-compost exchange between Railroad Garden, which lacks straw and compost, and here, which lacks dirt.

Today I cut down the rye grass in preparation and spread it over the bed. Rye Grass cut and spread over garden beds

See you Saturday! Do zobaczenie w sobotę!