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The Top 10 Ways to Tell An Urban Farmer Has Spring Fever

Updated on May 8, 2016

Spring Fever Means Several Things

The weather has warmed. The nights are still cool and the body wants to get moving after so many months cooped up in the bitter cold. This is the time of the year we catch up on the cleaning tasks that have been saved for later. We tidy up our homes and air out the rooms and ready ourselves for the activities to come. The Urban Farmer goes several paces beyond this.

What is an Urban Farmer?

Urban Farmer is the term for individuals who practice gardening within a city or urban sprawl. Their lives revolve around producing foods and plants that are healthy and clean. They eat, breathe, and dream gardening.

How To Tell If You Are An Urban Farmer

Which one of the following statements reflects your experience with gardening?

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The Symptoms of Spring Fever

The following habits or terms relate to evidence of Spring Fever.

Are there seed catalogs everywhere?

Seed Soaking

Soaking is a common technique for starting plants with large or hardened seeds.
Soaking is a common technique for starting plants with large or hardened seeds. | Source

#10 - Catalog Obsession

Seeds are important to an urban farmer. They collect them. They stock the best money can buy and they mull over them dreaming of their ultimate garden. The beginnings of a lush, edible plot start with a tiny grain often the size of a small beetle. Seed catalogs offer not only items for purchase but material for planning.

They ask themselves the following questions:

  • What does my collection contain?
  • Is there a species not already in the seed box or planting area?
  • What do I want to work with this year?
  • Are my seeds fresh and with in the expiration date?
  • Which seeds can I soak and sprout now to ready them for planting?

Seed catalogs allow for garden planning when the months are crisp and cruelly cold.

Seedling Development

Hard seeds like beans and corn need added moisture to develop quickly. Soak the seeds overnight in warm water and drain in the morning. Set in potting soil and water regularly. Transplant when the plant has at least three tiers of leaves.
Hard seeds like beans and corn need added moisture to develop quickly. Soak the seeds overnight in warm water and drain in the morning. Set in potting soil and water regularly. Transplant when the plant has at least three tiers of leaves. | Source

Is your normally tidy friend grubby and dirty during their days off?

#9 - Your Friend is Playing in the Dirt

Readying a garden plot is an essential activity for supporting a successful set of edible plants or attractive flowers. Care must be given in the way of clearing weeds and rocks. The soil must be absolutely the best and it must be nutrient rich for things to grow properly and produce to set forth. The old soil must be turned and additions paired. Where this author gardens a high amount of moisture retention material must be stirred in to protect and feed tender roots.


Healthy Soil

Soil mixes are easily identified by the supplements within them. The left pile contains pearlite which helps maintain moisture and is commonly seen in container potting soil. The dark pile on the right is organic gardening soil.
Soil mixes are easily identified by the supplements within them. The left pile contains pearlite which helps maintain moisture and is commonly seen in container potting soil. The dark pile on the right is organic gardening soil. | Source

Does your friend quote odd activities according to the day and time of the month?

#8 - There is an Old Farmer's Almanac in the Bathroom

The Old Farmer's Almanac 2016 by Almanac, Old FarmerÂ’s(September 1, 2015) Paperback
The Old Farmer's Almanac 2016 by Almanac, Old FarmerÂ’s(September 1, 2015) Paperback

The Old Farmer's Almanac is entertaining and informative. It is a treasure trove of information. It provides needed recommendations about planting and harvests in a month by month reference guide. It charts moon phases and sun positions. Scour the pages for odd activities within the guide about things like cutting your hair to encourage or discourage growth. It is a must have for anyone who grows living things. The almanac also includes helpful articles on farm related life.

 

Seedlings, seedlings everywhere and not a space to spare...

#7 - Seedling Nurseries Are On Every Available Surface

Seedling trays are a valuable tool for starting healthy, strong plants. The peat pot allows the delicate seedling to grow to its transplant potential and can be closely monitored for any issues that may arise.
Seedling trays are a valuable tool for starting healthy, strong plants. The peat pot allows the delicate seedling to grow to its transplant potential and can be closely monitored for any issues that may arise. | Source

Healthy Seedlings are a Priority

Starting a garden requires a set of very healthy plant items. Whether flowers are the theme or vegetables, a seedling nursery is the best way to give young plants a fighting chance. The simplicity of a peat pot nursery adds valuable space and moisture to fast growing roots and aids in convenient transplants later. The tiny plants may be monitored carefully and moved with ease. This activity is essential to a great garden project.

Once the seedlings are healthy, strip away the outer fabric carefully as not to disturb fragile roots. The seedling may now be set in a garden plot or another container to continue its journey.

Is your friend announcing the arrival of creepy crawling things?

#6 - They are playing with bugs

Certain insects are important to the growth and protection of healthy plants. An urban farmer understands this. They seek for the company of helpful creatures like the praying mantis and the ladybug or ladybird beetle. The mosquito hawk and these other miniature fighters devour aphids and moths. These are insects that would lay certain threats to the health of plants that have so much time and energy invested in them.

Helpful Insects

Ladybugs are the earliest of the garden warriors to appear in a healthy garden. They eat up unwanted pests.
Ladybugs are the earliest of the garden warriors to appear in a healthy garden. They eat up unwanted pests. | Source

Are they joyfully complaining of body aches and pains?

#5 - Every Waking Hour Is Dedicated To Yard Work

The individual actually WANTS to do yard work. There is a lot of prep work in the field of the urban farmer. They must ready the growing area for proper plant growth and health. The better the beds are planned and primped, the more spectacular the results.There is digging, raking, hoeing, and back breaking weed pulling. There may be hay bales to condition and soil to rotate. Old dirt replaced with new dirt and, in this author's case, soil bags to be dragged in and placed. The rake and shovel and hoe are within an arms length of this person and they gladly comment about joyous aches and pains from the toil. They know this work is totally worth while!

Every discussion is related to soil nutrients and dirt topics...

#4 - Their Vocabulary is Garden Related

The following terms have become part of the urban farmer's vocabulary:

  • Peat Moss
  • Organic Soil
  • Compost
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Mulch
  • Perlite

Nutrient rich soils grow the best produce for harvest. The start up garden plot is a back breaking effort in the way of digging or raised bed building. Once these areas are established and well maintained, they become a simple source of routine. The better the soil preparation the sweeter the result.

The dark matter in garden soil is composted materials such as animal manure. This rich soil is ideal for gardening as it contains nutrients that the plants will leach from it as they grow. Turning the garden plot and rotating plant crops allows for the soil to be replenished with necessary building blocks that the plants can use to develop strong stalks, leaves, and tasty produce. A home gardener may compost leftover meal items like fruits and vegetables and produce their own soil additives. Chicken droppings may also be composted for the addition of nitrogen rich matter.

Exactly how many strawberry pictures can one have?

#3 - All Their Cell Phone Images Are Plant Related

Title says it all....

Are their social media walls and pages covered in plants?

#2 - They are Singing The Praises of Their Efforts in Every Post

Every post on every one of their social media pages is garden related. They update daily sometimes twice a day progress reports and bragging rights. Social media is a great way to journal the growth of a plant and its developing produce. Tracking a tomato or a vining vegetable is a fun way to record time-lapse images and successes. It can also help a gardener develop fixes for those occasional failures.

Instagram Images - M Burgess

This author is a guilty urban farmer and, yes, nearly every one of my Instagram images is garden related.
This author is a guilty urban farmer and, yes, nearly every one of my Instagram images is garden related. | Source

Are they talking about that ONE vegetable, again?

#1 - They Want to Taste That ONE Vegetable

You know that vegetable. It's that odd green thing that almost no one has heard of, but this person longs to have it on the table and on the menu once more. If you garden, you'll know the item. That item is an Armenian Cucumber in this author's personal lineup. They can be purchased at the market, but they taste extra amazing when they are homegrown.

We gardeners grow for challenge and relaxation, taste and healthy variety. There is a vegetable the urban farmer longs to taste again and it is a top priority once Spring is rounding the bend once more.

Armenian Cucumber

This farmer craves the taste of Armenian cucumbers when she thinks of gardening. It has been my passion to grow a full arbor of these vines and last year I succeeded with a half arbor of the plants. This year will be dedicated to the complete project
This farmer craves the taste of Armenian cucumbers when she thinks of gardening. It has been my passion to grow a full arbor of these vines and last year I succeeded with a half arbor of the plants. This year will be dedicated to the complete project | Source

Your Friend Isn't Crazy, They Are an Urban Farmer!

Now, that we have the symptoms and some explanation of the activities your friend is up to, you'll know they aren't losing their mind and soon you will be sharing in the rewards of their project. They will share, I promise. Stay supportive and give seeds, or containers, or something that will help them further their gardening habits. In the meantime, may I suggest you start your own garden and join them in their madness?

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