We’re in our first week of December, and it’s finally gotten really cold here in Edmonston, MD, with the temperatures reaching only the 30s-40s during the day! At the entrance to the ECOfarm stand our solar panels with rooster perched on top. Some people from the College Park area are getting here by bike along the Paint Branch Trail.
This Saturday our volunteers included a group of 13 students and their teacher, Tim Barney, from a University of Maryland communications class that stresses community involvement. We’re very grateful for all the work they did. The city of Edmonston is delivering all the neighborhood leaves to the farm for composting. This week a major chore was to move these leaves in an endless chain of wheelbarrows to the hoophouses, where the steaming piles were deposited as windrows (linear piles of compost) inside and outside the walls to help heat the hoophouses. These students were leading the work on this front.
We are covering our plants in row covers. A row cover, also called garden fabric, is a breathable fabric that protects plants from the cold, blocks insects, and also lets in 70% of light. This fabric keeps plants warm during the winter months by trapping some of the heat the soil emits.
During break we get acquainted with the new volunteers and discuss the specific jobs we’ve been doing that day. Some regulars from University of Maryland’s Terps for Change group joined us on Saturday (on the left bench).
Here are our Urban Farmer trainees (from the left, Edson, Jose, Rose, Star and Jose) discussing a new project with Vinnie Bevivino, the head of urban agriculture. A drug rehabilitation program for women in Upper Marlboro, called Second Genesis, invited ECO to build a 45 foot long hoophouse on their 60 acres of land. The program will be using the hoophouse to produce food for their cafeterias, as well as for horticultural therapy benefits. Construction starts on Wednesday.
When the skies are gray, come warm up in our hoophouses:
Peace and carrots,
Natalya and the ECOcrew