I didn’t write my usual blog last week because I took a week off to do some planting, but so far this is all I have to show for it: mud from the knees down.
My husband and I own a small organic farm called Downstream Farm Organic Produce. I was focusing on planting our red okra, which we sell at Ozark Natural Foods later in the summer. As well as growing food for ONF and local restaurants, my husband and I produce about 50% of our food. We do this to have the freshest, highest quality foods, and I find digging in the soil to be a therapeutic activity.
We keep our gardening as simple as possible so we can have time to grow the volume that we do. We amend the soil with our compost and organic nutrient from Nitron Industries. We mulch heavily and water with soaker hoses on a rotation. We weed and remove bugs mostly by hand. Mostly, our success is because we focus varieties that grow well with few pests in this region.
As well as the red okra, I find that a wide variety of peppers grow with ease here along with tomatoes, especially the Arkansas Traveler. But we round out the selection with onions, garlic, cucumbers, carrots, greens, sweet potatoes, tomatillos, dry beans, basil, and many other herbs. High Mowing Seeds have had an excellent germination rate for us in general.
My favorite gardening tool is actually this masonry trowel. I use it for mixing in nutrients when I set in plant starts, and it is great for weeding.
Even if you aren’t going to plant rows and rows of okra like me, plant a few herb or flowers. Do what you can to play in the dirt and enjoy its calming benefits.