Monday, March 21, 2011

A Tiny Urban Farm in Downtown Atlanta

I’ve put in a couple days a week at the Wolfscratch/Blackwell farms since beginning March 5th. It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work, not that I mind.  Thus far I’ve helped build deer fencing, learned to move the electric moveable fences for the goats, mucked the goats’ stall, turned the field with a shovel, and planted fruits and vegetables, among other things. Everything I’m learning on the farm I apply to my own tiny urban homestead—when we fertilize the vegetables there, I fertilize here.  After pruning blueberry bushes there, I came home and applied the same techniques to my blueberries.

Goats at Wolfscratch Farm
Last week we dug up an overgrown strawberry patch at Blackwell Farm, and I was lucky to come home with several plants.  Mr. Man and I amended the soil and carefully mounded the dirt around our new transplants.  Hopefully, come June we will see results in the shape of sweet, red strawberries.  We grow mostly in our backyard, where unfortunately there is no one location that gets a whole day of full sun, but we plant anyway.  While we don’t get the yield we would were we lucky enough to have full sun, we do get a decent crop. The trick has been in learning what grows best in the area we have.  This year we’ve planted lettuces (always a safe bet), lots of herbs, a variety of peppers, and eggplant.  The onions, planted last fall, are doing well. And the border of lavendar has managed to not only survive in our clay soil, but is budding and soon we should be rewarded with beautiful purple flowers.

Expanded beds (additional 32 sq. ft.)
We have decided to dedicate more space in the front yard, which gets full sun between 10am and 5pm., to vegetables.  Originally thinking this would be unsightly, we will work to keep and incorporate our existing perennials and roses among the vegetables—creating a true cottage garden.  Foundation work and planning has to be done this year—removing some foundation shrubs and moving a few roses.  This means we’ll probably only put tomatoes out front for now, but next year we are hoping to include carrots, beets and whatever else we can squeese in. We’ll have to be patient for now.  Of course, this will be helped by the harvest I’ll be bringing home from Wolfscratch/Blackwell Farms.

Shrubs to be removed

The pride of the spring garden
I’m on the lookout for three hens to add to our little flock, which will bring us up to six (having lost Buffy during the winter). More on that later.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,
    I'm a photographer from SF and I've been working on an urban farm photo project out here. I'll be in Atlanta from June 16th- 20th and would love to photo an urban farm... Found you guys on the web. Just wondering if you are interested please e-mail me @ I'm really interested in showing the down town aspect. Let me know if you know any other connections. I'd be glad to share photos-thanks!