Today we had the pleasure of Professor Peggy Pollack and her summer Sustainable Botany Class at NAU return to the EcoRanch. Our raised beds are doing considerably well, better than we expected. Looking back at when we first planted, it was all such a blur. We were in a rush trying to build the raised beds fast enough and getting plants from seed, our starts, and the CSA starts program into those beds so we didn’t lose anymore of our already short growing season, that we overlooked some things. Some pretty important things like, how do we care for them once they start growing and how should we be harvesting them.
Many of the plants were flowering and becoming overgrown, so our solution was to have the students research, then teach the EcoRanch and each other about the plants on site. Peggy assigned her students to research one or two plants we are growing. After taking a tour of the EcoRanch, the students spent a few minutes searching for their plants. Oh yeah, we overlooked any kind of labeling too but most of the students were able to successfully ID their assigned plants. Next, we walked around the property and each student gave a presentation and explained how to grow and care for that particular plant and if the EcoRanch needed to make any corrections. The amount of information the students had was overwhelming and we learned a lot.
Following the student presentations, we harvested from the beds. All the produce we harvested was promptly delivered to the Flagstaff Family Food Center on N. 2nd Street in Flagstaff. In total we harvested 27.5 lbs of produce. Here is the list of what we delivered and the market cost.
- Onions – 3.5 lbs @ $1.99 = $6.97
- Radishes – 1 lb @ $2.49 = $2.49
- Basil – 0.25 lbs @ $4.39/oz = 17.56
- Mustard Greens – 8.25 lbs @ $2.99 = $24.67
- Kale (Red Russian/Lacinato) – 5 lbs @ $1.99 = $9.95
- Lettuce – 2.5 lbs @ $1.99 = $4.98
- Chard – 2.5 lbs @ $2.99 = $7.48
- Bok Choy – 4.25 lbs @ 1.99 = $8.46
- Spinach – 0.25 lbs @ $2.79 = $0.70
- Total – 27.5 lbs = $83.26
Thanks a lot to the NAU Sustainable Botany Class for helping us get fresh, local produce to people in Flagstaff who really need it. You can volunteer at the Flagstaff Family Food Center.