Urban Farming, second week

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It was rainy this week when I was up at the farm. In fact, it even started hail on-and-off, so we all worked in the greenhouse. I’m not sure how many seedlings we transplanted, but there were a lot. Three of us spent hours doing this. I can’t remember everything we transplanted, but they included parsley, cilantro, ground cherries, tomatillos, red okra, and green okra.

I learned that Connor likes to plant by the phases of the moon. Some may call this folklore, but it’s actually a form of biodynamic agriculture. Rudolph Steiner, and Austrian author and philosopher developed the notion of healthy plants being tied to phases of the moon.

Here’s how it works. Lunar gravitational and light forces fluctuate throughout the twenty-eight day lunar cycle. As the moon waxes or becomes brighter each consecutive night, conditions become more favorable for foliage growth in plants. The other variable that changes as the moon cycles is relative gravitational pull between the earth and the moon. This is the same force that is known to cause oceanic tidal changes. As lunar gravity decreases plant roots are stimulated, and as lunar gravity increases root development slows.

The moon has four phases which last seven days each:

  • new moon (water gets pulled up so this is the best time for planting above ground crops.
  • second quarter (waxing or increasing light happens), the gravitational pull is less, but the light is still strong creating strong leaf growth.
  • full moon (waning of the moon), energy is drawn down so there is more moisture in the soil. This is the time for planting root crops.
  • fourth quarter (resting period), a good time to harvest, transplant and prune.

For Toronto, check out this link for 2012 planting dates. If you want information for another zone, check out the information from moongrow.com.

Last week, I had started seeding some kale. Check it out – they started sprouting already!

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