|Luscious spinach, ready for harvest|
We've already seen the results of their labor, harvesting bins of spinach and other salad greens for the Rainier Valley Food Bank.
Since creating healthy soil is an integral part of growing food, we spend a lot of time in the dirt. Here’s how we prepare a bed for planting while building the soil:
- We top off the compost with organic fertilizer and mix it all into the soil. If the bed still has cover crop leftover from the winter, we turn the soil, burying the cover crop. The buried cover crop then decomposes for a couple weeks, putting nutrients back into the soil. (If we’re in a hurry to plant the bed, we’ll just pull out the cover crop rather than wait for it to decompose.)
- Next we add compost to improve the soil structure and add nutrients for the plants.
- We then smooth everything out and use a hoe to make rows.
- After planting, we frequently cover the bed with a row cover. This fine-mesh fabric keeps the birds out, raises the soil temperature, and retains moisture in the soil.
- Then we keep the seeds moist while waiting them to pop their leaves out of the soil.