Wichita Urban Farming: The Beginning

This  is a log of my urban farming activities.  I had many urban gardens when I lived in Kansas City in the 80’s and then in Ames Iowa when I was in graduate school in the 90’s.  Then when I graduated and moved to Texas and Maryland I did not have opportunities to garden.  In August 2008 I moved from Silver Spring MD where I lived in a house surrounded by oak trees and mountain laurel and had too much shade for very much gardening.  We moved to Wichita where land is much less expensive and forests are few and far between with most of the land being former prairie.  We purchased a home that was undergoing foreclosure and I dug a couple of beds there in Spring of 2009.  On March 8 2009 hoping to get a jump on things, I planted potatoes that I bought from Ronniger Potatoe Farms.   The variety is Kerr’s Pink Organic.  I really expected to have lots of potatoes but not even a single one came up.  I also planted the Stampede variety of  Jerusalem artichokes.  Well it turned out that I planted the potatoes on the low side of my plot, it was a rainy spring and the potatoes must have rotted in the rain-soaked soil.  The Jerusalem artichokes did great on the high-side of the garden and we enjoyed many batches of them.    We also got a few tomatoes, lots of arugula and some beets.  2009 was a “learning year” for our new Wichita farming activities.   I hope we do much better this year.

Even though the potatoes did not grow, I think Ronniger’s is a great place for buying potatoes, garlic and jerusalem artichokes.  This year I purchased four types of potatoes, 1 kind of garlic and two types of Jerusalem artichokes.



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