At the large outdoor garden we tend at Hannah and Friends, we’ve been harvesting our vegetables for weeks. Thanks to the wonderful Tomas Family and their team of volunteers, we’ve been rebuilding our raised beds to make them more accessible. We are scaling them up from an original height of six inches to three feet. At that height, these new raised beds can be accessed by people of all abilities and require almost no bending. That’s a big help for everyone! The raised beds now contain herbs, strawberries, cucumbers, and kale. While the other vegetables are reaching the end of their season, our kale is abundant and still going strong. As a new raised bed is built around the kale, offering protection during winter, we’re hopeful that our kale crop will keep going strong until spring. We enjoy kale not just for the great recipes, but because it’s a reliable and hardy vegetable the year-round for us.
Inside our aquaponics greenhouse, change is in the air too. Indoor temperatures inside the greenhouse have shifted from the 90s to the low 80s, with night and early-morning temperatures in the fifties and sixties. We work hard to adapt our crops to conditions inside the greenhouse as the seasons change, so we are switching what’s in our aquaponic grow beds to cool season crops. For the first time, we are growing “dinosaur” kale, and will transplant it into our aquaponics bed to replace our hot-weather basil. We also have two varieties of lettuce (Mirlo and Cherokee) that we planted for the grow beds last week that are sprouting already. Lettuce is a terrific cool weather crop that has done great for us during our Indiana winters. We can’t wait to share our progress with you!
- Chris Tidmarsh