It’s Good to Get Your Hands Dirty

It’s Good to Get Your Hands Dirty

The farm felt strangely empty after having welcomed 80 visitors last Saturday. Nonetheless, we had a great time and got a lot of work done! While PGCC’s Urban Commercial Agriculture class was learning part 2 of composting at the Cherry Hill Composting site, our regular volunteers and new quests from the University of Maryland’s Terps for Change program kept busy with weeding, preparing soil for our vertical hanging pots (maximizing growing space in the hoophouses) and thinning plants (to give them more space to grow).

Terps for Change Working with Coir
Here’s some of the group with Christopher Washington, our Business Operations Manager, breaking up coir (shredded coconut skin to add absorbency to the soil) for the potting mix.

Master Weeder!
Brian is our master weeder! We weed twice a week to keep away the creeping tough grass from the surrounding parklands.

Shoots
Our sunflower and pea shoots in hoophouse number 4 are almost ready to harvest and sell to local restaurants, that like to use the healthy shoots for salads or garnish. The compost bins filled with worms are right under the trays of shoots, so that when we water the shoots, the thirsty worms also get a sip.

Davey from Pick Up America
Davey Rogner from Pick Up America visited the farm this Saturday. The last time he was at ECO was when we were driving posts into the ground for the hoophouses! Pick Up America is a group of five young adults that are making a trek across America, picking up trash and educating people about minimizing waste. We gave him a container of red wriggler worms with some compost, so that the “Pick Up Artists” could also teach about composting at home. Check out their website and read this article about them!

Baby Radishes
Baby radishes

Red Kale
Red Kale

Pots with Mixed Lettuce
Vertical pots filled with mixed lettuce in hoophouse number 3.

Red Russian Kale
Red Russian Kale

Mustard Greens
Mustard Greens have a yummy, spicy, mustard flavor. Throw them in stir-fry, salad or a sandwich. One favorite recipe is to saute them with onion, garlic and eggs.

Getting Some Basil
After thinning the basil, everyone helped themselves to a bunch for that evening’s dinner!

On the Octocycle!
We finally went for a ride around the Edmonston neighborhood on the Octocycle!! It was exhilirating, especially since our driver didn’t have a driver’s license. We received many smiles from the neighbors, their kids and dogs, and made it back alive.

Riding in the Neighborhood
Here we are on Crittenden Street.

Returning Back to the Farm!
Back at the farm, safely!

In closing, here’s another reason to come volunteer with us: read this article from the Washington post about how it’s good to get your hands dirty! Mycobacterium vaccae, a harmless bacteria found in dirt, seems to reduce anxiety and improve our ability to learn.

Peace and carrots,
Natalya and the ECOcrew

About the Author

CEO, ECO City Farms