The Bowery Farm is getting ready for a lush growing season. Last week we spent time helping Sharon Harris, the owner of the farm, map out new garden beds. We tilled the land and added nutrients based on the PH levels and a fertility assessment of last year's soil. Sharon has mapped out a plan for the rotation of the crops based on efficiency and companion planting that will help increase crop productivity with the added benefit of natural pest control. This groundwork was slightly more extensive than for the plots she had last year and will offer a more plentiful harvest, starting with a spring crop.
Lettuce, radish, and spinach were the first plants to go in, as well as a productive Japanese variety of bunching onions. Garlic is already in the ground and will start producing scapes soon. A 40-foot row of asparagus is thriving between the garlic bulbs and another row of garlic chives. This year will be the first harvest of asparagus after Sharon waited a full three years for a productive crop. We clipped seven spears the other day to start off the season. She also gave us a sixteen-foot bed where we will directly seed a crop of delicate herbs (chervil, cilantro, and tarragon) and a variety of edible flowers.
We are looking forward to sharing these Ashland-grown vegetables with our customers throughout the year as a display of the close relationship between farm and restaurant. If these heavy regulations on restaurants continue we will be offering some vegetables for sale on our online marketplace in the summer.