Getting ready for the big chill

Hillary Deutsch fills us in on how the farm is working on extending our season as the New York winter gets closer. 

As cooler weather finally makes its way to the Northeast, all of us at the NYU Urban Farm Lab are more than happy to welcome the lower temperatures and embrace the changing of the seasons.

Students lay down remay over cover crops to protect them from the chillier temperatures.

Last week, we made the final moves on prepping all our beds, readying them either for our seedlings, the direct sowing of vegetable seeds, or for hardy winter crop covers. Over the past month or so, we have been carefully and meticulously caring for these seedlings, nurturing them into maturity in our makeshift indoor greenhouse (located in the Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health 5th floor New York City office on Lafayette, no less!) Once they were strong enough to be able to withstand natural weather conditions, we moved them outside and will soon be planting them directly into our freshly tilled beds.

Our little baby seedlings!

We will be growing a fairly large assortment of different winter vegetables: kale, cauliflower, carrots, lettuces, and kohlrabi, to name a few. Last week, we were able to begin to sow some cover crops, making sure that our soil will be protected and filled with nutrients over the colder winter months.  Using a combination of winter rye, hairy vetch, and other hardy grains and legumes, the NYU Urban Farm Lab soil is already showing signs of the organic matter that will help us make next spring and summer’s crops as tasty as this season’s.

Red clover cover crop
The Red clover cover crop we planted a couple weeks ago is already in great shape.

This week, our class also made a field trip to The Battery Urban Farm in downtown Manhattan.  We learnt all about how this one-acre farm functions as a source of education and community engagement, as well as the different tactics involved in running a successful urban farm.  With over 80 varieties of crops organically grown, we hope that our NYU Urban Farm Lab will soon be as successful as their gorgeous, Turkey-shaped farm!


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