Over a month ago we forged our partnership with Green City Farms and asked them to help us turn our 800 sq-ft patio into an urban farm oasis. During the first week of September, we installed a 20-tower aeroponic garden, which would be pesticide free and use approximately 90% less space and 98% less water than traditional growing methods.
Almost immediately, the extreme summer heat forced us to jump into the Flea Beetle vs Organic Farming battle. We couldn't understand why our seedling arugula appeared as if someone was taking a small pellet gun to it, until we looked more closely…. our fledgling arugula crop was under attack!!
Over the past two years, we've faced arugula shortages in the store during the hot summer months -- our organic leafy green farmers telling us stories about losing full crops to this arugula-loving pest. Because we are farming pesticide-free, our only line of defense was to shake them from our towers, basically trying to coax our new squatters to a new home in our concrete jungle. It was a steep uphill battle until two weeks ago when the temperature started to cool. We've since replanted our arugula crop, the sun loving beetles have gone away and the arugula is flourishing.
With the beetles fixated on the arugula towers, the other towers were left to mature and this week we celebrated our first harvest of lemon basil and baby greens. Our signature 'beautiful salad', a lunch-time favorite with roasted chicken, is now made exclusively from our patio-grown lettuces. They are the softest, most flavorful salad greens we've tasted and we can't wait until next week when we'll be harvesting our baby kale and romaine.