It’s Friday, and I’m in love with the nice weather that has been bought our way lately! I joined the crew this morning for some harvesting action at the Lake Highlands Community Gardens, where the Worm Ranch cohorts have active garden beds. There was such a lack of winter this year, and such an influx of warmer weather patterns, that normal seasons of produce harvest have been slightly kiltered. In fact, quite a few of our produce in particular have sprung an early leap to keep up with the heated waves. Potatoes are already springing, when they usually take at least another month or so, and the garlic is so plump and juicy that any Italian chefs nearby better hurry and take their pick! Today I harvested some kale, chard, scallions, dill and sage for the market and the smell is heavenly. Cilantro hasn’t been a huge seller lately (which is crazy), plus there wasn’t too much to harvest, so it was left in the garden because it is good at attracting parasitic wasps and hornets to the area. These winged creatures are apparently ravenous munchers of pesky insects that bother the plants, so we invite them and others like lady bugs to not only detract some unfriendly visitors, but to make the gardens as diverse and immune as possible. The gardeners have a big compost and leaf pile near the beds, so today I shoveled some decomposing leaves into some of the garden beds as mulch. Apparently this serves as great nutrients for the soil biology, as well as protects the beds from too much heat or evaporation to occur. Whew, there is so much to learn about good organic produce growth!
We harvest our produce from the garden (and from the boss’s home) to prepare for the Farmer’s Markets, which are usually taking place each Saturday. I work at the market in Lake Highlands next to a gas station called the Green Spot. Never seen one of these places before- look like they belong in Austin, but its actually a rather eco-friendly gas station that serves biodiesel fuel. They also sell kombucha inside, along with some fair trade products and awesome organic, homemade burritos! The market has some great vendors, like a local olive oil producer, a lovely soap maker, some yogurt and coffee manufacturers, other produce sellers, and a bit more. Quite a sight to behold. Be back with some more wormy adventures soon!