what-what! i am very excited!
i have committed to a three month internship at DeepSeeded Community Farm located in Arcata, CA city limits.
Eddie Tanner, farmer at Deepseeded, is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to polyculture, sustainable farming. he has gone through local agricultural programs, taught courses in sustainable farming, wrote a gardening book tailored to Humboldt County, and is just an all-around fantastic person! Eddie offers two internships during the farming season: 1) april-july and 2) august-october.
seeing as i wanted a break from The Office, and would welcome any opportunity to get out into those first sunny days of spring as soon as possible- i chose the first shift! now, i didn’t really know what to expect out of this internship. i know, being partner to a farmer, that farming takes a lot of time, and eddie would be busy. but, this internship is basically a class! he spends so much time with us. he teaches us a ton about all the crops that we work with, soil structure and health, watering, planting schedules, organics, weed and pest control, seeding, etc.
so, i intend to create a little photojournal that highlights each lesson- complete with on-farm pictures, of course! we also are responsible for concocting a meal for all farm laborers every wednesday. my shift is in two weeks. so, heads-up for meal photos. here we go!
day one: carrots.
day one started with a great overview and orientation of the farm. Deepseeded is located adjacent to a neighborhood in Arcata and is a great example of keeping agriculture land uses close to other city amenities.
we got started talking about, and thinning carrots. carrots are a ‘direct seeded’ crop, meaning that the seed is planted directly into the ground (versus growing in seed flat before being transplanted into the field- more on that later). why is the carrot direct seeded? well, the part you eat on a carrot is the root, right? so, you want to mess with that root as little as possible. disturbing the root during transplanting would not be good. also, carrots like to grow very close together (same with spinach, and beets), so it works best to just throw a bunch of seed in the ground and thin out those beauties later.
what carrots are you familiar with? eddie told us that carrots found in conventional grocery stores are typically one variety (ugh! can’t remember. imperator? nantes?) because they LOOK the best. very carroty, if you will. BUT, there are other varieties that TASTE better. so, eddie grows these.
so, carrots need thinning. after weeding the carrots, we went down the rows and made it so that every carrot was approximately 1 inch from its neighbor. a coworker kept some of the bigger babies to eat! (the above photograph was taken of discarded carrots one week after thinning).
carrot day. done and done.