A typical Saturday in the life of your typical roof-top-farmer:
I didn’t think it would be easy. But I did think that once I got things rolling, there would be a little planting, a little weeding, occasional watering, and lots of harvesting. Unfortunately, there is a never-ending list of tasks. I could spend half a day just doing minor maintenance and cleaning. But no time for that, as I have to keep up with the planting. Things remain messy and one notch above “broken-down.” This is not a complaint. This is wonderful work—a privilege to do.
Anyways, here’s what I did today:
1) Vent the greenhouse to keep it from overheating
2) Transplant 16 tomato plants.
3) Cover the tomatoes with shade cloth to keep them from getting torched (they’re not used to direct sun, yet).
4) Plant 80 potatoes
5) Carry 12 cubic feet of soil up the stairs to cover the newly planted potatoes
6) Stumble back and forth wondering what to do next
7) Transplant 8 lettuce plants
8) Plant additional lettuce seeds where recently harvested plants have provided a little space.
9) Plant 8 rows of beans
10) Worry about the germination rates of recently planted seeds.
11) Water everything because it was hot
12) Water everything some more (it got to 103 degrees inside the greenhouse, and everyone was thirsty).
13) Worry about how hot it was in the greenhouse and try to figure out when I should pull it down for the season.
14) Drink coffee brought to me by the fearless Victory Garden Initiative leader, Gretchen—thank Gretchen!
15) Keep Chinook (my dog) from walking in the raised beds. CSA subscribers: if you see a paw-print on your lettuce, this is why. However, she does like to eat grass, so she helps keep things clean. Why she prefers grass to lettuce (not to mention sweet, sweet kale), I don’t know.
16) Cover up the tomatoes when it got cloudy so I could keep the heat in their beds.
17) Stumble back and forth wondering what to do next.
18) Worry about how to keep a consistent and evenly-paced supply of vegetables coming, 3 weeks from now, 5 weeks from now, 8 weeks from now, and 10 weeks from now, and so on.
19) Close up the greenhouse for the night.
20) Plant 6 rows of carrots
21) Plant some additional Swiss Chard (this is such a versatile plant and good in both the heat and the cold).
22) Water everything more
23) Curse the people who recommended that I make sure the raised beds have great drainage (it would be better if they held their moisture a little bit more).
24) Plant strawberry plants. These were previously in my raised beds, but they spread too much, so now they have their own place (a recycled plastic wading pool).
25) Start some new seedlings in flats (Jericho romaine, baby romaine, red-sails lettuce—thinking ahead to warm-weather greens).