Flint Michigan Area Urban Agriculture Report September 25, 2015
Current updates about urban and semi-rural small scale diversified vegetable farm fields, hoop-houses and market gardens in the Flint area.
According to the Michigan State University Enviro-weather station in Flint Michigan, temperatures for the past month ranged from a 43.8 degrees Fahrenheit low to an 90.3 degrees F high, a warmer than average September. We are at 2742.6 GDD base 50 (Growing Degree Days); the past two year at this time (near the end of September) we were a bit lower in terms of degree day totals. The rainfall total for the year to date in Flint is 20.47 inches; we had 3.1 inches recorded at the Flint Enviroweather station in the past month; a drier September than average. Although our urban growers have spent more time watering this fall, the weather has been great for planting and completing other tasks on the farm.
According to research done in the hoop-houses located at Michigan State University’s Student Organic Farm and Michigan State University Extension educator observations from the field, fall crops are being planted and warm season crops are being harvested out of area hoop-houses due to the season extension technology used by many of our area growers. Growers report that the cooler nights have helped fall planted greens to grow well.
In Flint area hoop-houses and market gardens, growers continue identifying pests and diseases, harvesting and removing numerous warm season crops. Fall crops being planting include Napa cabbage, Bok choi, head lettuce and kale along with other cool season vegetables in hoop-houses. Outdoors, growers are harvesting numerous crops in their market gardens.
One grower has lost some fall crops to rabbits and is using this experience as a reminder to finish installing barriers (like chicken wire) around her hoop-houses to exclude pests in the winter months ahead. Insect pests such as grey aphid on Brussels sprouts, tomato hornworm on tomatoes, and cabbage worm on cabbage family crops are present, and flea beetle pressure has continued through the season when it usually tapers off by this point in the fall.
Going to area farmers markets now:
According to a Michigan State University Extension food systems educator, area growers are harvesting cherry tomatoes, assorted peppers, and basil from area hoop-houses this week. From farm fields cabbage, chard, eggplant, carrots, beets, potatoes, salad mix, and radishes are being harvested.
For more information on what is available at fresh markets now, the Michigan fruit and vegetable availability chart (including season extension availability) can be accessed on the Michigan State University Extension Michigan Fresh website here.