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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
The urban farmer (07/22/2012)
By Vicki Englich
Mid-Summer Report

Remember how we used to root for the rabbit when we were children? We were relieved when Peter escaped Mr. McGregor’s grasp and lived to plunder his garden another day. Now I tend to channel Elmer Fudd as I chase Peter (as well as Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail) from my veggies muttering, “Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit,” for my garden apparently is right on the bunny trail. I naively thought that foot-high raised beds would be deterrent enough. So, it’s time to spread the hot pepper flakes to make their lives more difficult. Another option would be to install some chicken wire inside the beds.

Despite my resident rabbits and the oppressive heat, the home garden is progressing. The zucchinis are thriving, as are the mustards, lettuces, cukes, and eggplants. The herbs are abundant! I also have tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and celery growing at the community garden site. The only problem I encountered was one with pole and bush beans. The seeds germinated and the plants began to grow normally, then something happened. The growth became stunted. The leaves looked as if there were little bubbles on them. I use no herbicide and could see no pests, so this situation baffled me. Stuart Shaw, a friend and Master Gardener, shared some information from the Master Gardener e-mail list serve since others have been experiencing this very problem, but others seem to be confused as well. My friend Tammy said she had the same thing happen and sprayed her plants with insecticidal soap thinking it could be a mite problem. Her plants did improve. I ripped mine out and planted new seeds in my community garden plot. So far, I have beautiful little plants emerging from the soil. I would be interested if anyone else experienced this problem with beans.

After I removed the defective beans, I planted runner beans seeds next to the trellises that I had placed in the center of each bed. These seeds germinated and began to grow, but Peter and his siblings found them, so you know the rest of my tale.

Urban Farm Tour

The Winona community has a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our very own urban farming movement on Sunday, July 29 from noon to 4 p.m. There will be demonstrations and information about raising urban chickens, building a wood-fired oven, worm composting, rain barrel construction, bee keeping, garden art, and I will be demonstrating food dehydration at my home. Locations and a map are printed on the tickets. Tickets are $10 in advance, and $12 the day of the event. Children 16 years old and younger are free. Tickets are available at Bluff Country Co-op, Paperbacks and Pieces, The Bookshelf, and the Winona Post. All proceeds will benefit Wapahasa’s Prairie Community garden. For more information call Catherine Cleary at 407-458-3213 or Jennie Rafferty at 507-454-0381 or go to winonacommunitygarden.blogspot.com. I hope to see you then!



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