Early in 2018 we decided to start doing tours of our urban farm with anyone interested on growing their own food or interested in understanding how food can be grown in an urban setting. These tours have helped us gain a lot of new friends on this beautiful island and also let us know that we were on to something special. Our new found friends were the encouragement we needed to go forward with the formation of our non-profit organization.
Here is what we discuss during our tours:
Our urban farm has been off-grid since January 10, 2018. It took some adjustments in order to get the full benefits of the solar system. We explain how we deal with sunny days and cloudy days. The investment is well worth it for as long as you are able to be flexible and adjust to your micro grid.
An important function at our urban farm is getting the seedlings out of the greenhouse in a timely manner. During our tours we walk our guests thru the inner workings of our greenhouse and all the steps in between before our plants go into the ground in a grow area. The large capacity of our greenhouse is a key component to keeping our grow areas full. We grow up to 20% more plants in our greenhouse than we have room for. We do this so that we can replace plants in the garden if needed.
Every type of plant has a distinct needs. We explain how we grow many of the plants.
Having a greenhouse is a great investment for anyone looking to grow plants as it provides a controlled environment for optimal success.
We believe most who tour our farm leave with a better understanding of why a greenhouse is important and how much work they will ultimately save by starting their seedlings in one.
The place where all the seedlings turn into mature producers is a balanced area of proper soil and organic compost. We use many techniques to aid our plants for better growth.
The setup and layout of our grow areas are important. During the tours we explain why we constructed them in the way that we did and any mistakes we have made in past.
Crop rotation is a key element to keeping plants healthy. We keep track of where each variety is planted so that we are more effective with our planning.
Our guests often share what their gardens look like and ask for advice on what they could do better. We are more than happy to help them. We highly encourage everyone to grow their own food and to get to know their local growers.
For us harvest is a two step process. First we trim low hanging or dying leaves in order to minimize disease, then we harvest for consumption. What we harvest to sell at the farmers market is exactly what we harvest to consume at home. An important part of handling the harvest is to prepare it for storage, here is what we do:
- Spin dry
- Air dry
- Package and label if necessary
The above steps represent a pre-wash cycle that will get rid of most soil & debris that is collected during harvest. Drying the produce properly will extend it's shelf life up to 4 weeks, but we strongly recommend consuming fresh vegetables that is not older than 2 weeks. We include the date of harvest on all of our labels.
With each tour our guests leave with a better understanding of the process we go thru. It gives them a greater appreciation for the work that goes into getting fresh produce to the local farmers market.
Many folks will have questions on how we did certain setup, or they will share about their setup at home and ask for some advice. All questions are valid and we take the time to further encourage people to grow their own food and improve their produce quality.
To wrap up the tour we always take a group selfie to mark the occasion. This blog post is dedicated to all the guests that visited us in 2018. A special image collage was made with the photos we took with everyone. All these faces have become a part of our urban farm and we invite them all to come back again to see our progress. Thanks for your support and for being a part of our story.
We will be doing more videos of our off-grid organic urban farm. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Chanel to watch them.
Thanks for reading and we appreciate you sharing this with friends. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments section or on our fan page at Rossi Naturals.