Out at the farm something is always growing. We use season extension to start things early, and grow them late. We focus on spring and fall when the students are on campus and the dining halls are open. Most of our produce goes directly to the dining halls, but we also donate to the InterFaith Food Shuttle and other volunteer groups.
What's Growing On?
A Year At The Farm
Spring is alive with the promise of new beginnings. Some of our early spring vegetables have been transplanted, we are starting more things in the greenhouse and we are preparing the summer beds.
Some vegetables that are harvested in the spring are radishes, carrots, beets, kale, swiss chard, peas, lettuce, and spinach.
Vegetables that are planted in the spring for summer harvesting are beans, onions, and potatoes.
By summer, we are in the throes of harvest and planting!
Our summer crops include squash, peppers, tomatoes, melons, eggplant, and cucumbers.
In addition to lots of harvesting, we are trying to control weeds and garden pests. We start this process by rotating our crops and using cover crops to improve soil and suppress weeds.
We are still starting seedlings in the greenhouse for fall transplanting. Greenhouse work is never done and in the summer it requires lots of supervision so that the seedlings don’t get too dried or nutrient deprived.
Until the first frost there are still summer plants to harvest and fall plants to transplant. Most of the fall crops are similar to spring crops or overwintering crops. Our hoop houses are important for fall growing. Our first hoop house is an unheated plastic covered tunnel that is 30 feet wide by 90 feet long. This structure helps to protect crops from cold and frost. We can grow crops in the houses for longer in the fall, and start them earlier in the winter/spring.
Fall also means clean up around the farm as we winterize the equipment, put out winter cover crops, pull up drip irrigation, and add any soil amendments that are needed.
Winter is all about dreaming! We have recuperated from the heavy production seasons and are busy pouring over seed catalogs. Some of our favorite seed catalogs include Johnny’s, Fedco, High Mowing, Baker Creek, Sow True, Territorial Seed, Wyatt Quarles, Seed Savers, Seeds of Change, and many more.
We do have few things in the ground that can be overwintered. Some examples include; carrots, spinach, garlic, beets, radishes, turnips, kale, and swiss chard.
Some things that have a long germination period, or that will be transplanted in early spring are started in the greenhouse in the winter. A few examples include broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, cauliflower, herbs, lettuce, and some flowers.
© 2016 NC State Agroecology Education Farm -design by Matt Babb