Farm to Table at The Town Hall Restaurant
Here We Grow has partnered with The Town Hall Restaurant at Cedar Creek to create two cutting-edge farming projects. One is a farm-to-table market garden, and the other is our hydroponics & aquaponics modern farm commercial greenhouse. Take a look below and follow along with our progress with both the market garden and the greenhouse.
Our Garden Process
Follow along with the development of this young garden, as this is the first year of production.
Stage 1: The Design Process. Observe and gather information about the garden site, create a zone and sector map, and then create a base map of the layout.
Stage 2: Physically map the site with flags, marking the beds and furrows.
Stage 3: Establish Irrigation goals, purchasing materials, and getting the seeds ready.
Stage 4: Physically forming the beds by rototiling the furrows. Carving the furrows allows us to create permanent raised beds with little to no disturbance of the beds themselves.
Stage 5: Prepare the beds with cardboard and straw. Cardboard is a bio-degradable option for weed control and straw can serve multiple purposes, including moisture retention and organic material further breaking down into accessible nitrogen.
Stage 6: Create our soil to start our seedlings. Creating your own soil is a great way to have control over every input to gardening. From purchasing (and creating your own) ingredients, to actually putting the seeds into the soil blocks.
Stage 7: We built our own seed table outside with loose plastic covering to create a greenhouse effect.
Stage 8 to Present: Once the seeds were ready to transplant (2-3 weeks), we carefully followed the planting plan we created based on the three-sisters companion planting, and planted away. It took two working days for the two of us to transplant the corn and cucumber. While we transplanted, we direct seeded the bean next to every corn.
Five weeks after transplanting the first half of our garden, it seems to be flourishing. We have since planted the other half with a 60/40 blend of direct seed (40%) and transplanting (60%).
Pollinators, Beneficials, Not-so Beneficials
While observing the garden day-by-day, I have come across a resurgence of insect life on the garden plot. It's as if my garden is a newly built town for insect life and almost every insect order has taken up residence. For every insect order, and sub-order, I have observed the subsequent habitat and food source that the insect relies on.
For pollinators like bees, butterflies, flies, and even moths, it is the pollen on the stamen of the flowers that subsist them. For beneficial insects like the lacewing fly, it is a plethora of small plant-eating larva like aphids that it feeds on. There are other pollinators that are new to us and others we have seen time and time again.
There are also non-beneficial insects that feed on the leaves and fruit of the plants by sucking or chewing with their mouths, leaving a trail behind them. One pest that continuously makes it on the list of usual suspects are the blister beetles. As an extremely hardy insect, this species survives across North America.