Monthly Archives: July 2011

Veggie Bike News

The veggie bike is taking a little break right now due to the start of our CSA, and we are cutting the hours a bit. The extra harvesting and planning has made it hard to be out there 6 days a week, but we should be there with veg for sale on most Fridays and Mondays after 12pm.

Also, if you want to know more about what a CSA is, this is a pretty good website.

http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

Thank you for your support!

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A CSA!

We’ve decided we’re going to offer 10, 18 week CSA shares for a total of $270.  The season would run from July 25th through November 21st and all shares would be available for pickup at the Chicago Ave garden (2805 W Chicago Ave).  Payment plans are available, encouraged and negotiable.  Email us if you’re interested–ChicagoPatchworkFarms@gmail.com!

Veggie Bike is back!

We delayed starting our regular veggie bike hours about a week while the plants recuperated from the storm… but it looks like we’ll have the bike up and running starting Thursday (12-4)!

Available this week!

Here are the veggies we will be harvesting this week, let us know (email or text) if you want to place a specific order for anything!:

Arugula

Easter Egg Radishes

Pac Choi

Herbs:

Cilantro

Sage

Oregano

Chives

Dill (and Dill Flowers)

Thyme

Mint

Before the Storm

On Wednesday, we met with our lovely lawyer friends from the University of Chicago’s Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship in the Chicago Ave garden.  They’re helping us navigate through all the legal questions and obstacles we’re coming across as we start this farm and business.  We mostly talked about the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating as a not for profit vs a for profit company.  We also talked about our name, and about the new zoning proposal in city hall We also showed them around the garden and they took some pictures.  Here’s a link to the photo album of the pictures they took:  https://picasaweb.google.com/118126636024804858691/PatchworkFarms?authkey=Gv1sRgCNfKp93A9ubFPA&feat=email#slideshow/5624397647722707346

Here’s a few of them; they are the last pictures taken of the garden before the storm.  I’m going to to take some pictures of how stuff looks today and compare them.

What the Hail!

Last night I sat with two friends in a pizza place and watched hail the size of golf balls fall for minutes.  It was exciting to see a storm so powerful and aggressive, but it was difficult to imagine what the storm was doing to the gardens.

On my way home I stopped by the garden on Chicago Ave first.  The first thing I checked on was the arugula I was planning on harvesting in the morning to sell to the Inspiration Kitchen in Garfield Park.  I was relieved that it looked like we could still get the 6# we needed.  That’s pretty much where the relief ended though.  Every row of the garden was dotted with golf ball sized indentations separated by only an inch or two–nearly completely covered.  Every tomato plant was more than half defoliated and often snapped clear in two.  Looking across to the tomatillos and peppers, I could see that entire yard-long sections were completely leveled.  Turning around to the squash and corn, however, I saw the worst damage.

The broad leaves of the squash plants that had looked so healthy the day before were almost entirely destroyed and removed from every plant.   We had had a hard time with our squash plants all season–they had damping off problems and had not gotten enough sun while in the greenhouse.  When we transplanted them they were yellow, stunted, and their stems were often more than half rotten.  We put a lot of time and energy into nursing them back to health, and it had paid off.  Last week we had pruned and plucked the flowers off of them for the last time and had decided that they were finally healthy and vibrant enough for us to leave them to grow, flower, and fruit.  And they were–there are more than a few small squashes!  Seeing them destroyed by the storm was probably the most depressing of all the crops for me.

Well, that’s how it went, I suppose.  Today I’m going to check our insurance policy and see if we have any coverage for hail damage.  Then I’m going to call a few seed companies and see if anyone has some overstock that they might be willing to send to us.  And I’m going to start to reseed all the areas that won’t bounce back.  I think most of it will bounce back though.  One of my favorite parts of farming is seeing the strength of the plants will to live.