links Community Nutrition Education Services
 
Community Nutrition Education Services Inc.
“Small Family Farm Project”
Installment #3

September - December 2013
Winter vegetables; cleaning and preparing land for end of season

The recommended end of the 2013 planting season was September 15, 2013. The winter vegetables of cabbage (plants), turnip greens/spinach (seeds) and garlic (cloves) were planted before the recommended deadline.

The cabbage plants presented the most challenges. There was a pest infestation, an early ground freeze in late September, and a later freeze in early December. The remedy recommended by a reliable internet site to control the pest infestation was a mixture of water, cooking oil, and dish soap which was sprayed on the plants.  This solution seemed to solve the problem. The range of temperatures over the time period of September through December ranged from 28 degrees above zero to a few days with temperatures over 100 degrees (see photos of frosty cabbage and greens). Even though the turnip greens and spinach seeds were both planted at the same time, the spinach never appeared. Of the 2 rows of turnip greens planted, 1 of the rows did grow. When it was noted that garlic was not available in garden stores, garlic bulbs were purchased from the grocery store. These were broken into individual cloves and placed in the ground. After 100 days of growth, some of the cabbage, turnip greens, and garlic were removed to prepare for eating. There is some of this produce still in the ground. Perhaps, there will be vegetables available for harvesting later in the winter time.

Cabbage Infestation
Cabbage Infestation
Cabbage Surviving
Cabbage Surviving
Frosty Cabbage
Frosty Cabbage
Maturing Cabbage
Maturing Cabbage
Early Turnip Greens
Early Turnip Greens
Frosty Turnip Greens
Frosty Turnip Greens
Maturing Turnip Greens
Maturing Turnip Greens


Produce
Produce(cabbage, turnip greens, and garlic) after 100 days of growth




The produce was used to make 2 recipes; the first was for coleslaw and the second combined the cabbage/ turnip greens/garlic by using a collard greens recipe. The fresh garlic that was used in place of the garlic powder really made the cooked cabbage/turnip greens taste great. Both of the recipes were fresh and sweet tasting in a natural way.   Please see the link for the nutritional value of cabbage and greens (see values for spinach same as greens) on the bottom of the Arkansas Fruits and Vegetables.

There were warm days during the 4 months that allowed for cleaning up and clearing of the overgrown brush and trees. The wildlife was in hibernation except for the deer and ducks so it seemed very safe to tackle these activities. During that time, naturally occurring plum and persimmon trees were revealed. There were a few days of heavy rain so the creek on the property began its run under the renovated road established earlier in the year.  Tulips and daffodils were planted in the newly cleared areas near the newly established garden. It is hoped that the area will generate beautiful blossoms early next spring.

Clearing bush
Clearing brush and trees
Trimming black walnut tree
Trimming black walnut tree
Prairie grass before
Prairie grass before
Prairie grass after
Prairie grass after
Plum trees
Plum trees
Persimmons
Persimmons

Water flows in creek after rain
Water flows in creek after rain



An additional benefit of the farming activities is the “built in” exercise received while gardening. The National Institute of Health lists gardening for 30-45 minutes among its recommended activities for moderate levels of exercise to combat obesity along with biking 5 miles in 30 minutes and walking 2 miles in 30 minutes. Gardening tasks that use the major muscle groups (legs, arms, shoulders, neck, back and stomach) build strength and burn calories. Stretching is achieved when reaching for weeds or tall branches, bending to plant, and extending gardening equipment that include raking, chopping weeds, etc. Resistance is accomplished through lifting bags of mulch/ organic soil and pushing the wheelbarrow.

I may be moving more toward being a resident of Arkansas rather than Los Angeles; I traded my 4 door sedan for a pick-up truck. My friends back in Los Angeles are still laughing about this change after 8 months working on the farm.

Well, the year ended and plans are beginning to shape for spring planting including what to grow, resources required, and other challenges that I have never even considered.