Urban Farming

Yeehaw!!  Yesterday’s pickin’s were mighty fine, albeit sparse!  With my luck, everything will ripen the moment I leave for Mexico . . .  oh, did I mention that?  


Ken Hoage, the Garlic King!


 Just got this photo of our friend Ken and his 2008 garlic harvest — 42 head of garlic — easier to handle than 42 head of cattle . . . but so much more impressive!  Ken has the magic garden touch; perfectly formed turnips, tender collards, and now garlic!





Ever thought of growing your own sprouts? It is SO easy. I started a couple of months ago after contemplating the “cost” of sprouts. I’m trying to reduce our consumption of plastic — and of course, store bought sprouts come in plastic containers. More often than not, these containers can’t be recycled. I checked online for sprouting directions. Here’s this week’s batch of sprouts (8 oz). I sprouted mung beans purchased in bulk at Open Harvest.  Although some people think mung beans are difficult, I have found them to be easy to sprout. I also tried black lentils with good results.  Soybeans, however, were a failed experiment. Sprouting equipment: mason jar, jar ring, cheese cloth. Nothing to it! Soak the beans in water over night; drain the next morning. Rinse and drain. Set the jar on it’s side out of the sun; rinse again in the evening. During sprouting, rinse and drain every morning and evening. In few days you’ll have very pretty little sprouts. I “harvest” after about 3 days and throw them in salads. YUM! This is a great way to reduce materials and economize. For only a few cents per week, I get a great crop of sprouts. Give it a try!

Black Raspberry Harvest 2008

Here’s the harvest from my black raspberry bush for 2008! There’s enough to make crepes for two . . . yum! Fortunately, we don’t rely entirely on this single bush for our raspberries. In the fall, Tom and I venture 15 miles north of Lincoln to Martin Hillside Orchards (no relation) for raspberries and apples. Last year I was able to put up several jars of raspberry jam. The apple harvest for 2007 was bust, however, due to a freeze during the blossoming time. Jeez! For a transplanted Californian, I sure seem to know a lot about farming. Oh, BTW, the cool Italian Jug in the background was a gift many years ago from Maria de la Luz Ibarra, currently of the Chicana/o Studies Dept at San Diego State. It’s one of MY favorite things.

My Teensy Garden

Here’s a look at my garden — everything is growing nicely considering how much rain we’ve been having. I have no talent for root vegetables — no carrots, beets, or such. In my 2′ x 8′ raised bed I’ve crammed butternut squash, cantaloupe, tomatoes, bell pepper, green beans, chard, arugula, sorrel, sage, chives, oregano, thyme, basil, cilantro, and flat leaf parsley. Wow! seems like a lot in such a small space.

The backyard is way too shaded for a larger garden . . . my dreams of urban sustainability will never be realized in this spot. This is as much farmin’ that I can muster for the moment (at least until I’m tenurized). My big dream is to have chickens! Yes, Lincoln does allow 3 chickens within city limits — a friend and I are planning secretly behind our SOs backs to build coops and order chicks in the near future (shh, don’t tell!).

Credits: Have to give credit where credit is due. Tom built the raised bed for me two years ago. Although I would have been content with any old lumber, he used top notch ceder. He used every power tool he owns!

5 Responses to “Urban Farming”

  1. Thanks Carleen, that’s worth a Campari on me – Ken

  2. That is one adorable teensy garden you got goin on there! Does there happen to be some aubergine hiding anywhere?

  3. We don’t use the word “teensy” around here, thank you very much.

  4. Carleen- I just received my latest NE Herb Society newsletter and discovered that you are going to teach us how to do vegetable canning in August. You are a woman of many talents!! Patti

  5. oniontears Says:

    Wow I’m so jealous of your berry bush. I’m a berry fanatic and just looking at that picture makes me hungry

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