It’s mid-February and according to our Wolske Urban Farm calendar it’s time to start gardening for 2016. The last of our leeks were only pulled from the ground 2 weeks ago, and there’s still a few parsnips hidden for us to enjoy as a late winter fresh harvest treat. The dreams of what we might plant, looking through seed catalogs online in person, and the planning of plots and ordering of seeds, now gives way to pruning and planting. Last weekend the grapes, fruit trees, and raspberry vines were pruned. Today the first 120 seed starts were made. Next week the hoop houses will go up and in 4 weeks or so the first transplants will go out. Within 8 weeks, another 250 seeds will be started and the first harvests of the outdoor plots will begin.
It’s taken us decades to get to this point of year round gardening, both with regard to skills and with regard to a mindset of constantly staying in tune with the living world around us. And there’s still so much traditional knowledge to rediscover! We’ve gone well beyond wondering if the effort is worth it. Now the question is whether we could be whole if we didn’t have our fingers in soil and micro-organisms, and our feet in chicken and rabbit manure. For these more-than-human associates are truly as much of our community as our neighbors, friends, and family. It all started with a few plants tossed down between apartment and sidewalk over 25 years ago as a young married couple in a small Highland Park, NJ, apartment.
For those wondering what a year-round urban farm calendar might look, or for those wanting some ideas of what they might start doing at what times in their own yards to mow less, pick more, here’s our evolving personal gardening calendar.
Thank the snow for replenishing soil moisture, the cold for helping to restore natural balance, and consider how you might take a step forward in this grand journey of meeting more of your own community in your own yard!