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  • Winter Program at Red Wiggler January 30, 2020

    The Winter Program is in full swing here at Red Wiggler, and we are busy with lots of activities!  Check out some of the great things happening here on the farm.

    SEEDING AND GROWING MICROGREENS

    During the winter, we grow microgreens in our greenhouse. Here, we are preparing soil for seeding by breaking up clumps of soil and adding water to condition it.

    Preparing soil for seeding by breaking up clumps of soil and adding water to condition itConditioning Soil 1Conditioning SoilAfter the soil is conditioned, we will put soil into each cavity in the trays, and we will then seed each cavity. This winter, we planted microgreens, such as kale, pea shoots, and spinach. The seeds will germinate and will grow to baby leaf size. We will then harvest directly from the trays.

    Trays ready for conditioned soil and seedsHere, the peas are starting to germinate and grow. The trays in the middle, on the metal rack, have just started germinating. Shoots are starting to grow to the left, and the shoots are ready to harvest to the right.

    Peas germinating (middle), sprouting (left), and ready to be harvested (right)Here is a close up of the pea shoots ready to be harvested.

    Pea shoots ready to be harvestedOUTDOOR WALKS AND FIELD TRIPS

    One of our winter goals is to encourage everyone to maintain a good level of fitness by staying active and getting outside as much as possible. We go on field trips and walks on Thursdays. Here, we are at Black Hills Regional Park in Boyds, MD.

    At Black Hills Regional Park in Boyds, MD At Black Hills Regional Park in Boyds, MDWe also had a wonderful visit to the Brookside Gardens greenhouse in Wheaton, MD.

    Brookside Gardens greenhouse in Wheaton, MD Brookside Gardens greenhouse in Wheaton, MDBrookside Gardens greenhouse in Wheaton, MDCONTINUATION OF OUR POPCORN EXPERIMENT

    You may recall that we experimented with growing, harvesting, and drying popping corn. The kernels have finally dried enough, and we shelled popcorn by hand. After shelling popcorn, we then weigh and bag it. It’s hard work, and we have enjoyed eating freshly popped popcorn. Our popcorn experiment has been pretty fun, and it’s great for everyone to see what is needed to have dried popcorn kernels.

    Shelling popcornGrowers and volunteers shelling popcorn by handShelling Popcorn Shelling popcorn by hand Shelled popcorn Weighing and bagging shelled popcorn

    DRIP TAPE BAGS

    Red Wiggler uses drip tape for irrigation out in the fields. As animals will eat holes into drip tape, drip tape typically only lasts 1 to 2 seasons. Each fall, we assess whether we can reuse drip tape or not. This winter, instead of throwing out old unusable drip tape, we decided to make drip tape bags out of them. Growers and volunteers were taught how to weave and make reusable bags, and we have been testing them. Here are some photos of Growers and volunteers making the bags.Prepping drip tape for weaving them into bagsPrepping drip tape for making into bags Prepping drip tape for making them into bagsMaking drip tape bags

    Weaving a drip tape bag

    Weaving a drip tape bag Weaving a drip tape bagWe are so excited about these drip tape bags, and we will start selling them this spring. Be on the lookout for them, and be sure to purchase a drip tape bag later this year!!A finished drip tape bag filled with books. Available for purchase staring in spring!

    We hope you have had a great winter!