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Throw Some Dirt on It!


Lunch happens every day right around 1pm, three hours after the 10am break. We prepare a group lunch and everyone pitches in before all sitting down in the shade of open air barn while a cool breeze washes over us. People will spend $80 or more for a barn dinner but for us, it’s a daily celebration. We’ve been eating “onion greens” sautéed with olive oil and tossed with scrambled eggs and other yumminess. I know, I had never heard of them either. Come to find out, they are the tops of yellow onions. Who’d a guessed. I’m totally into them. They’re mild and a bit sweet not bitter like chard or kale. Not sure how to get them at home though…ask your farmer or grow your own 🙂 Here’s a another fun fact about onions…scallions, or green onions, are just young bulbous onions. Let scallions grow and they’ll develop a bulb like yellow, white and purple onions. Maybe I’m the last to know this but I found it fascinating.

In other news…Yesterday I learned that hoeing has a dual purpose. Seems like most things do on the farm. Today, I learned that plastic tarps aren’t just for keeping weeds out but for also helping to generate heat for hot crops like melons, cucumbers and tomatoes. The tarps you see covering fields is there to generate heat while also keeping the soil moist. Pretty nifty! But then you have to sprinkle dirt around the base of the cucumber or melon plant so the leaves don’t touch the plastic. The plastic can get really hot obviously and can scorch the delicate leaves. You can’t just throw the dirt on there though, you have to carefully distribute the dirt so the base of the plant is free to breathe but no plastic is showing within a foot of the base. There is a lot of precision in farming. The melons and cucs we were planting were trials meaning we were only planting two or three of each variety in order to see which one does best in this climate. The winners will get to come back next year and have a whole crop of its own (Abbondonza is a seed farm too but I’ll cover all that in a different blog post – even cooler stuff).