Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Harvest - Urban farming project in Oslo

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | |
The Harvest sounds like the title of a scary movie. The only thing scary in this post will be me harvesting vegetables in unusual positions ;-) LOL.
Gorgeous radishes 'Easter Egg' in Oslo
Gorgeous radishes 'Easter Egg' in Oslo

In July we were lucky to 'inherit' an allotment from a family who moved away from the city. The previous owners didn't have time to harvest what they already had sowed in April. That meant that we took over their produce, including potatoes and sage.

We also planted the following vegetables and herbs in mid-July and August:
  1. Radishes (two rounds)
  2. Aragula
  3. Dill
  4. Cilantro
  5. Salad
  6. Red beets
The first round of radishes took five weeks before they were fully grown. The purples ones were larger than the light radishes, and a few of them had some cracking. We had read that radishes is supposed to be easy to grow, and I must agree that the first round went pretty well considering the cold summer we had in Norway.

Some of our allotment neighbors had trouble though with their radishes. It's the same soil (compost), and the same weather so it's impossible to say what went wrong.

Me and my boyfriend visited the allotment 3-4 days a week to water the radishes regularly, because apparently radishes hate thirst.  

The second round of radishes on the other hand, took seven weeks to grow into dinner size! We were lazier with the watering, and the weather was colder (sowed in mid-August).
Radishes right off the ground
Radishes right off the ground

And as you can see, the dill and cilantro went well this year :-) They had a pretty slow start, but now they've grown into a considerable size. And the taste is remarkably fresh and delicious.

Next year we'll be planting them in pots or on the balcony (if we manage to get an apartment with balcony).

With a tiny allotment, it's unnecessary to use the space for growing herbs when you can easily grow them at home. Or at least grow them in pots, so you can move them around in the allotment.
Dill and cilantro from our allotment
Dill and cilantro from our allotment

The potatoes were harvested a bit early in mid-August. A few of them were large enough, but the produce was minimal since we only had four potato plants. We used them for dinner the same day, and they were small, but delicious :-)
Harvesting potatoes in downtown Oslo
Harvesting potatoes in downtown Oslo

The aragula and salad have not gone well this year. The aragula is about 6 cm long after 11 weeks in the ground!!! The aragula is supposed to be easy to grow, according to what I've heard and read. We don't know what went wrong. We had our hopes, but now we can officially announce that the aragula was a total failure this year :-(((

The salad have grown into considerable size, but bitter in taste after 12 weeks in the ground. And frankly it's not tempting to eat them when we had a bad case of large cabbage butterfly larvae lurking next to the salad.

Fortunately there has been no snail attacks, but the presence of the bad larvae was intense a short period in early September.

The red beets are still in the ground. We took a chance when we planted them in mid-July, and there's no guarantee that they will grow large. Red beets can handle a bit cold, but need protection against frost. We're going to give them a couple of weeks :-)

Read more about the red beet project here.

Continue to read:
What can we do to exercise urban sustainability?

Crash course to eco-labels and environmental certifications.

Have your say about what you just read :)

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