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Chickweed: Who Needs It?

Posted 11/10/2016 7:32pm by David Zemelsky.


Doesn't everyone like to go on vacation?  Upon returning to regular routine a whole wrath of emotions can come up, depending on how you might feel about that life.  For  myself, I love going away and love just as much coming back.  There's always something that has changed. Plants will have grown bigger, or gotten a disease, or gone by or maybe even just looked more beautiful than before.  Once, when we went away to visit our daughter, who was living in California at that time, I remember getting a phone call from our neighbor that our hoop houses were beginning to collapse.  Luckily, we were able to prevent a catastrophe by getting a crew to cut the plastic on the houses and relieve the pressure on the frame.  Upon returning, that was quite a change, too!  But what I'm really talking about is chickweed going on vacation for the warmer months.  Chickweed, for those of you unfamiliar begins to show itself as Fall comes on and Summer starts to wane.  Cooler nights inspire the seeds from last year to germinate. As an aside, I must mention that it is so amazing that there are some seeds that like the cold to germinate and others need warm temperatures.  So, as early September comes around, so does the very tiny leaves of the chickweed.  They are so small that one could be lulled into thinking that they are not a problem for growing Fall crops.  Wrong.  Every idea starts out small.  Before too long, this weed will grow way out of control and smother everything in sight.  Ones only hope is to figure out a way to get your crop to be well ahead of the chickweed, giving it little or no sun.  This is a hard job as chickweed has a strong sense of survival.  Often, my best bet is to encourage the chickweed to germinate and start growing.  I'll water an area pretty intensely for 10 days.  At the end of that time, out comes the trusty flamer.  This would be a pretty good sized torch that throws out a big swath of flame killing the little young (and tender) chickweed youths.  I know. It sounds a little blood thirsty.  Truth be told, this job would satisfy the killer instinct in all of us.  A twelve year old would love this job, but its way too dangerous.  But they would love it, just the same.  Mostly, we're planting spinach now.  The timetable is: prepare soil, then wet it , then wait for the chickweed to thrive and then flame it.  After that , I plant wide rows that will be easy to cultivate.  T-tape gets laid into the rows and that will drip water only where the spinach seeds are and not encourage other areas to promote weed growth.  After about 10 days, the spinach will have emerged in nice rows.  At that point, we'll cultivate and even slightly hill the rows and in so doing-smother the chickweeds.  It works, but not perfectly.

A word about what's available this week.  More than once, I've said the following: cold weather means extra sweet vegetables.  You can count on that.  As usual, let me know by 8AM on Friday what you'd like.  Your order will be waiting for you in the shed after 2pm Friday.

Here's the list:

This week,  we’ve got
red kitten spinach $6/bag. Glorious , glorious!
salad $6/bag                                                                                                                             lettuce heads (see photo)                                               

arugula $6/bag
pak choi $4/bunch
hakeuri turnips $4/bunch. I LOVE hakeur! Eat them like a radish raw or roast.
potatoes $5/lb
carrots  $6/lb
ginger $10/lb(you can do 1/4lb increments)
tumeric $16/lb(you can do 1/4lb increments)
thyme $4 /bunch
sage $4/bunch
pea tendrils $6/bag
baby kale $6/bag
big kale$4/bunch
maybe more red tomatoes-put it down and we’ll see where it goes $3/lb
tokyo bekana NEW!- that really nice chinese cabbage, crunchy, light green $6/bag
italian and rainbow chard  $4/bunch

Here are some photos that I'd love to share with you:

Look how beautiful and amazing the spinach and greens are that we're growing in the hoop house right now!

This is a cosmic tasting head of lettuce that is available at the store this week.  Crunchy, sweet, too.

Here is the amazing hakeuri!. And freshly out of the ground.  It taste like nothing else, raw.

Here is the Red Kitten Spinach.  It really taste just as good as it looks.

Lastly, here is my picture on my "day off" (should have been working!) last week with our daughter on the top of Mt. Monanack in NH.