After two seasons, Adam and Chelsea from Yummy Yards will be moving on to a new adventure. We are currently looking for farming partners for the 2017 growing season. Contact us if you are interested in finding out more.
Urban Edibles is pleased to be part of FarmCity Co-op's first ever harvest box program, starting this Spring! We will be contributing organically grown, local produce along with the eight other farms in the Co-op, delivered fresh to a pick up location near you. You will receive a wide variety of fresh vegetables, herbs, microgreens, honey and flowers all through the season.
For full details on the program, click logo below to visit the FarmCity website.
Converting old car top carriers into productive worm bins
I had a couple of old car top carriers that someone had donated and I decided to convert them to worm composting bins. The plan is to have the worms create vermicompost which can be applied to seedlings as well as catch the worm "juice" which is a by product of this process. The worm juice has several benefits including acting as a natural fertilizer as well as an organic pest deterrent. There are some great articles relating to the use of worm compost and juice in Cuba that can be found online.
The first step was choosing the location and setting up the bins. I recently built a shade house to keep potted plants in while growing until they are ready for sale. Naturally as soon as I finished the shade house, the rain came and hasn't stopped for four days! I will also apply a shade to hang in front of the bins as the worms don't like to get too hot and since there isn't much depth to the carriers, it's important not to let them get cooked by the hot sun that will surely return one day.
Here's a picture of my old system, two grower's pots placed inside one another. The bedding goes in the bottom and the worms work their way up to eat the green matter. A large saucer under the pots catches the juice. This is a good system to use if you want to get started. Another large pot placed upside down on top, covers the composting debris.
The new system is made up of 2 identical Thule rooftop cargo carriers.
I drilled some holes in the bottom and raised the planters up on blocks so the pails can slide underneath. Next, I transfered the mid process composting material from the large pots into the carrier.
With this type of a set up, you put the fresh material on one side rather than on top and the worms will move left to right and leave the finished compost behind. When you get to the end, you remove the finished compost and start placing the new material on the other side and let them work their way back. I'm using wood shavings for bedding because I have lots of it and I always add in coffee grounds since the worms seem to really love those.
Here are some of the worms at work. These are Red Wigglers and are better in container set ups than regular earth worms. You can purchase these but I've always just let them come to a compost pile by adding manure or coffee grounds. Just make sure your compost bin isn't sitting on a concrete slab or otherwise sealed off and the worms will come. Once you have them, you can cultivate them by feeding them what they like to eat.
One of the best ways to maximize your growing space is to use raised planters.
Advantages of raised planters include:
An early start to the season due to good drainage and warmer soil
Easier weeding and pest management
Easier accessibility, less bending over
We constructed 6 raised planters in total, these ones are 4 feet x 8 feet and 10 1/2 inches high. We used recycled cedar fence boards (unstained) and plain 2"x4" posts.
Planters are secured with stakes, then cardboard is layed over the grass to keep it from growing up through the new soil.
You can also use newspaper, coconut fibre (coir) or other bio degradable materials.
Here's a look at the completed planters filled with soil.
Gravel was placed over landscape fabric for pathways
The backyard transformation is complete!
A mix of plants will be grown, mostly veggies and fruit but some ornamentals as well.