Come find us selling salad mix, baby spinach, beet greens, red and green leaf lettuces, radishes, red and green baby pac chois, swiss chard and more at the Riverdale Park Farmers Market on Thursdays at 3-7pm!

Mini-Hut and Builder
Happy May! We’ve started growing shiitake mushrooms!! Spring is a great time to start mushroom growing, because this is when trees send sugar up to their leaves, and so the wood is most energized and ready for plant life.

Close-up of Mushroom Log
Each of the logs has been drilled with holes every 4-6 inches all around and inoculated with mushroom plugs just below the bark surface. We then covered the holes with melted beeswax to help keep the logs moist and free of wild fungi. Amazingly, if kept in good condition one log can produce mushrooms for up to 8 years!

Volunteer Phil Shovelling Wood Chips
It is imperative that the shiitake mushroom logs are kept moist for the mushrooms to grow. The wood chips and cloth help to achieve this.

Herb Garden
In other news, we’ve planted herb gardens in front of the chicken coop/solar thermal array. Among the herbs are thyme, lavender, rosemary and oregano.

Planting Herbs
We’ve also planted mini herb gardens in front of each of the hoouphouses, maximizing space efficiency.

Room for Plant Beds!
All of the compost has been moved out of hoop house #4 to make room for plant beds. This long pile is decomposing nicely now.

LONG Compost Pile
Here is the empty hoophouse ready for planting. Stay tuned for more progress!

Chicken Territory
Though the chickens occasionally wander around our farm, we like to make sure they don’t wander off, so we’ve installed a fence around an area for them to forage in. (However, the cleverest and most sly chicken — which is also the smallest, incidentally — still finds a way out of the fenced area..)

Pretty in Red
The radishes are looking lovely. They’re also very delicious!

Adam with Radishes
Adam, farm boss, looking proud!

Also, check out the class ECO will be teaching at Prince George’s Community College. Register for Urban Farming Classes through Prince George’s Community College this summer! In May, there will be a course introducing urban farming, and in June and August, courses on Community Composting and Hoophouse Construction and Use. For the course catalog, click here, and to register for the courses online, click here.

Peace and Radishes,
Natalya and the ECOcrew

About the Author

CEO, ECO City Farms