I have planted Kale, Beets, Corn and Cabbage. It's late and my Tomatoes and Peppers are still quite small, but I will get Tomatoes in the ground here just before the Summer Solstice. Peppers, Mustard Mix, Parsley, Squash and Beans will follow. I didn't get Lavender and Wormwood from seed in the greenhouse, but I will try again in July on my deck for an Autumn planting.
The rain continued into May which is why my Tomatoes and Peppers are so small. I did fall a week behind in getting them started. I got very few Basil plants as well so I may have to purchase starts. Basil rot last season with all the rain and cool temperatures. The mornings are cool here in the beginning of June, so I think I'll be okay this late. I don't think I've ever gotten Tomatoes in before June 15.
We have been challenged managing A Farm for All! and White Pine Community Farm. We've decided to manage the space with a Core of four of us which means we learn what we can manage and then build from there. We used to have tenants in the house, but emptied out the space to offer Air Bnb. We have to make taxes by October. We haven't achieved tax exempt status on the land as a non-profit yet. We have to do more work with official low income entities. We are also researching grants for A Farm for All!
White Pine now has a microgreens business, Sharon Mountain Greens which should prove to be a sustaining moneymaker. At least two of us in the Core have been planting for White Pine, Burdock, Marshmallow, Chamomile and weeding Dandelion. White Pine is also an Herbal CSA.
We have gained a Hemp farmer and his partner who is going to use some land as a test site to learn how to grow. Very exciting as he is black. African-Americans have been locked out of the Medical Marijuana industry, but as CBD takes off these two partners seem to be at the forefront.
There is no industry African-Americans dominate in America. We may be part of the music and sports industries, but we do not own much of it. African-Americans were self sufficient in Tulsa, OK in a town called Greenwood until race riots broke out in 1921. Known as Black Wall Street, white residents killed up to 300 blacks and burnt the town to the ground. Some residents remained and rebuilt, but for the most part the town was obliterated. Some day we will learn how to manage this fearful, hateful, arrogant, hypocrite who has the audacity to believe this world was made only for him. If indeed Africa is the cradle of civilization, this European would be the last incarnation of humans, a rebellious teenager wishing to murder their parents. Perhaps woman should apologize for relegating man to breeding during matriachial culture and Black people should apologize for discriminating against the albino (to this day) and we would be on the road to allowing one another. Let me say it here. We are so sorry!
We have to start somewhere. We have to believe there is enough for everyone and there is! Basic Income Guarantee and free housing for the homeless have been tested and the numbers don't lie, but here we have this authoritarian victim who would like us to be as miserable as them. This focus on money and power above all else has produced this abhorrent psychotic character. They are us and we are them. A product of our evolution.
Having no children, my plants are my babies. Last Wednesday was perfect weather, 77 degrees, sunny with a breeze, so I lingered in the garden four hours. It's prep bed and plant season. To look back over a Cabbage bed planted is so satisfying, Cabbage (Brassica oleracea, Brassicaceae, Biennial grown as an annual, eastern Mediterranean, Asia Minor). Contains beta carotene and Vitamin C, outer leaves contain vitamin E. May be the origin of our ball games, used as the ball.
Kale (Brassica oleracea, Brassicaceae, Biennial, Europe) Our Brassica family of plants are derived from Cabbage so many of the plants are named Brassica oleracea and separated into different groups. Kale has been grown as far back as the Greek and Roman Empires. Contains calcium, iron, beta carotene, vitamins E and C. Considered a primitive Cabbage. I direct seed Kale in May. I make containers of cooked Kale for the Winter. We have Kale for Christmas after a good season. I started growing a 15' bed instead of a six foot bed last year so that I would get a pot of greens from one harvest.
Beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, Chenopodiaceae, Biennial grown as an annual for swollen root and young leaves, dates back to Assyrian times). A bit higher in carbohydrates than other vegetables, contains folic acid and potassium. I also direct seeded Beet in May. I have had digestive issues all my life and figured out the value of fermented foods quite awhile ago so I process pickles and make sauerkraut for Winter. I just love pickled Beets in January! Sargent-Downing is grown communally and Beet is one of the gifts a former member left me. Thank you Nicole!
Corn (Zea mays, Graminae, Annual, Mexico) High in carbohydrates and fiber, contains protein and vitamin B. What to say about one of our most denigrated crops. Grown for cows and not humans. Cows don't eat corn, but if you feed them corn for three months, they bulk up quick for slaughter. If cows eat corn for six months, they die. Corn may have been cultivated in Mexico in 7000BCE. The colonizers found Corn, Beans and Squash growing together in native fields. Known as the Three Sisters in indigenous culture, Corn, Beans and Squash were the staple foods of the natives providing, fiber, protein and vitamin C. I grow Corn, Beans and Squash at Sargent-Downing. I honor our native ancestors and wish to learn the old ways. Beans grow up the stalk of the Corn plant and provide nutrients to the soil, while Squash covers the ground with her giant, leaves keeping down weeds. The Three Sisters were grown in mounds and a fish was placed in the mound for fertilizer.
It's time to harvest Wild Bergamot leaves for tea, (Monarda fistulosa, Labiatae, Shrub, Turtle Island). The leaves get Powdery Mildew once the flowers develop. We can return and harvest the flowers for tea as well. Minty flavor with a cacao backbeat, aromatherapy, good for digestive issues and colds through Winter.
It's also time to harvest Garlic Scapes, the flower stalk of Garlic (Allium sativum, Alliaceae, Perennial, grown as an annual for bulbs, Western Asia). From the taste to its medicinal properties, Garlic is a plant universally loved. Good for the heart, infections, uterine tumors and even to ward of witches. I make a Garlic honey annually and pickle the Scapes, which taste just like Garlic. We have to cut off the Scapes to get the bulb to grow. By Winter I have bunches of Garlic hanging on my doors. No Vampires here!
I look forward to the warm Spring days to linger in the garden. Unfortunately, Mama is constantly weeping, overcasting our days, washing our mess away and reclaiming herself. We have no choice to take the ride and watch the show waiting to come out the other side.