Reaping what we sow: Prospect Farm’s first harvests!

It’s been 2-3 months since seeds/starter plants went into the ground, and by last week the Farm was finally ready to beginning harvesting some of the bounty! The members harvested on July 7 and July 9 (see many more pictures here).

For me – a new Prospect Farm member who had never set foot in a garden until this spring – the harvest was a  chance to draw connections in my brain between the soil, the labor I’ve put in, and the delicious food I get to eat. I also learned a lot about process – how to tell when the peas are ready to pick, the proper technique for pinching leaves off of kale or collard plants, and that it’s okay to eat the green cherry tomatoes that have fallen off the vine prematurely.

All year long Prospect Farm will be recording the bounty of its harvests for a project called Farming Concrete, whose goal is to measure how much food is grown in NYC community gardens. We’re keeping a tally of how much of each crop we harvest. Here are the first week’s approximate totals (July 7 and July 9 combined):

Cherry tomatoes: 4 lbs 3 oz (about 180 cherry tomatoes)

cucumbers: 3 lbs 10 oz

zuccini: 10 lbs 12 oz

curly kale: 10 oz

regular kale: 1 lb 7 oz

collards: 12 oz

chard: 3.5 oz

mustard greens: 5 oz

peas: 1 lb 4 oz

basil: 2.5 oz

sage: 0.25 oz

oregano: 0.75 oz

squash blossoms: 0.6 oz

Total food harvested in week one: about 23 lbs 6 oz.

Each farm member chose to take evenly divided shares of some or all of the crops harvested on either Wednesday or Saturday. For my part, I left on Wednesday evening with 15 cherry tomatoes, a few sprigs of basil and sage, a few pea pods, half a large cucumber and more greens than you could shake a stick at. I enjoyed the food all week long in tomato sauces, sage-buttered pasta, sauteed greens with garlic and lemon juice, salads and more. It’s been a delicious week and I’m looking forward to my next harvest!

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