How Arlington’s Only Commercial Urban Farm Shifted To ‘Community Supported Agriculture’

Thanks to changes brought about by the pandemic, Arlingtonians can now get farm-to-table produce delivered right to their door.

Tucked into an unassuming strip mall on Lee Highway, Fresh Impact — which we profiled in October — is the county’s only commercial urban farm. With no signage or disclosed address, Fresh Impact has been growing specialty ingredients such as edible flowers and microgreens for chefs in the local restaurant industry for over three years.

This past February, according to founder Ryan Pierce, the farm had its most profitable month yet. But a few weeks later as COVID-19 began to spread in the D.C. area, ultimately shutting down all dine-in restaurant service, Pierce said Fresh Impact lost every single customer.

“We were faced with a choice: do we shut it down and try to ride it out, which would have meant laying off our staff, or do we try to pivot to the consumer market?” said Pierce.


How to grow tomatoes: Gardening tips and tools

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While building a sandwich, have you ever thought to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just pluck my own tomatoes off the vine to slice up and pile on this, Ina Garten-style?”

There’s no better time than now to get started with seedlings or small plants — which you can pick up at your local farmers market or plant store — and enjoy the fruits, so to speak, of your labor. When planting, wait until after the last frost of the season. If cooler weather is looming, cover pots with burlap sacks or frost cloth for protection, or bring them indoors. The best times to plant tomatoes are early in the morning or late in the day so the plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun right away.


Safety Considerations for Indoor Gardening


It is most likely that your indoor plants will be safe from hard other than the odd garden pest. But if you have young children or pets in the home, the danger can be for them. There are many plants that are not recommended for indoors (or outdoors for that matter) when children or pets are present. Some plants are poisonous, even fatal if ingested. Listed below if a few of the more popular plants that aren’t safe to have around.


Plants That Should Be Left Outside

When you are an indoor gardener the same rules apply to your plants as they do to any other type of gardener. Your plants will need water, food, and plenty of light as does the ones grown outside or in a green house. Of course there are special considerations such as temperature and humidity control but they can be overcome with relatively minor adjustments. With that being said, there are some plants that are best left to the outdoor gardener.

The type of plant that won’t do well indoors is really dependant on the climate you live in. If you live in a warm area and have the air conditioning or fans on during the day a plant that is used to higher temperature will not do well inside your home and should be left outside. The same goes for the opposite, if your house is overheated a plant will most likely dry out from lack of moisture in the air.


The Best Pots for Indoor Gardening

You have researched the benefits of having an indoor garden and found the best plant for you home now what do you put it in? From Terra cotta pots to decorative ceramic ones, there are many choices available and in various sizes. Not only do you want to choose a pot that looks good in your home but you want one that is the best size for your plant too.

You want to look at the long-term growth expected in the plant you have chosen and use that information to pick an appropriately sized container. If you pick a pot that is too small your full-grown plant the roots will not have enough room to grow and the plant will be come root bound. This is a rectifiable condition with re-potting, but it can put the plant through unnecessary stress and creates more work for you. Your plant may look unbalanced at first in a container that is out of proportion but you will be glad you thought ahead as the plants continues to grow.


Indoor Gardening With Foliage Plants

Plants grown primarily for their leaf characteristics and utilized for interior decoration or landscape purposes are called foliage plants. As our society becomes more urban, living plants as part of the interior landscape increases. The use of live foliage plants brings individuals closer to an outdoor type of environment, and the large variety of plants gives us the opportunity to select species that will serve as attractive additions to interior decor. Foliage plants are excellent for indoor culture since they are able to survive environmental conditions unfavourable to many other plants.

Most avid gardeners continue to grow plants year-round. We start seeds in the living room, grow ferns in the bathroom, bring in begonias from the outdoor garden year after year, and have pots of herbs in the kitchen. Today there are so many interesting plants that can be grown indoors that there’s simply no reason for a gardener not to be surrounded by plants all year-round.