Thursday, September 7, 2017
Monday, September 4, 2017
We are always frustrated by infiltrations of bad bugs but are also grateful for the teaching moments they bring with them. Aphids have moved into a very small Hosta and Hydrangea garden. Our beneficial insects to the rescue! The plants are covered in ladybugs, ladybug larvae and pupating ladybugs. Two of my special little kiddos visited today with their mom. They loved watching the ladybugs and learning about their life cycle. Mother Nature has a way of taking care of us out here on the flower farm! Join us for our open house this weekend. Flowers, food, fun...and a few very happy ladybugs!
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Thursday, August 3, 2017
We've harvested lots of 'Amadeus' broccoli from the garden and it's still producing! It's delicious eaten fresh or steamed and it's so easy to freeze for later use! Harvest the heads and soak in a sink of cold, lightly salted water for about an hour. This process kills any hitchhikers that may be hiding among the florets. Rinse, cut into desired pieces then blanch for 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately plunge the broccoli into cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and place into appropriate freezer containers. A steamer is a useful tool for this process on hot and humid days when you want to avoid using the stove.
Broccoli is also makes an excellent ferment! Don't hesitate to include the woody stems. The fermentation process softens them and they are just as tasty as the florets!
Monday, July 31, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
These zinnias were growing in our gardens yesterday. Today they have been perfectly preserved and are ready to use in our arrangements,wreaths and swags! In addition to our freeze-dry machine, we use a sand-vac machine to dry our flowers. The sand-vac machine dries flowers by burying the blooms in silica gel, placing them under a vacuum and applying heat. A cycle in the freeze-dry machine can take 10 days to 2 weeks to complete. A cycle in the sand-vac machine takes 24 to 48 hours. The sand-vac machine works beautifully to preserve flowers that do not dry easily in the freeze-dry machine. We keep all of our equipment very busy at this time of year!
Monday, July 24, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Our first tomato and it's a Cherokee Purple! Ken's favorite! Harvest tomatoes when they are beginning to show color. This is the time when the fruits have received all of the nutrients they need from the plant and they will ripen perfectly indoors. This method also protects the tomatoes from grasshoppers who are attracted to the ripening fruit.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
This Bumblebee nest fell from a birdhouse that was toppled in the storm a few weeks ago. It's easy to see where the term 'busy as a bee' came from. They are constantly flying in and out of the hive intent on doing their jobs. Occasionally two will meet at the entrance fluttering their wings in some sort of Bumblebee communication. This morning the queen was on the outside of the hive doing some housekeeping...moving all the bits of fiber and leaves into a perfect mound. It's been fun to get a glimpse into the life of these beautiful pollinators.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Remember to get registered for Saturday's 'Lacto-Fermenting 101' class! Learn to make an assortment of fermented foods and beverages! Samples of fermented foods to taste and everyone attending will be making their own jar of veggies to take home and ferment! Detailed instruction sheet included. Guest speaker Jennie Dunavin Fremont Hy Vee Registered Dietician. July 15 from 1 to 3 pm. Class fee $10.00. Limited seating. Advanced registration required. Contact Sue Fase at firstname.lastname@example.org, send us a message or call (402) 654-2058.
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Friday, July 7, 2017
After much strategic planning the remaining part of this giant Ash tree damaged in the storm is now on the ground. No people, animals or plants were harmed in the process. Whew! You will hear the sound of a chainsaw when you visit us tomorrow. Feeling grateful!
It's Second Saturday on the flower farm! We'll be open tomorrow from 9 to 5! To celebrate we have a huge sale on our succulents...only $2.99 (reg. $3.59)! Stop by to see how the gardens are growing and check out the new treasures! Freshly baked Tomato Basil and Ciabatta bread, too! Hope to see you!
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Have you ever tried growing Cucumbers in a container? A few years ago Squash Bugs and Cucumber Beetles were obliterating our harvest in the veggie garden. We love fermented and refrigerator pickles and came up with an alternative method to insure our harvest of tasty green Cukes! 'Jackson Classic' is a pickling-type cucumber and is perfect for growing in a container! Place 3 to 4 plants or seeds in a large container with a topiary. As the vines grow they can be tied to the topiary making the fruits easy to harvest. Keeping the vines off the ground seems to deter the pests. We plant two of these containers among our blooms on the flower farm and will successfully harvest over 70 cucumbers to enjoy. This is also a great way to grow cucumbers in a small space and it's a fun project for the kiddos! It's early enough in the season to give this method a try!
You may notice a few tattered leaves on this plant. It was upended in our storm two weeks ago. The cosmetic damage is definitely not affecting our harvest!
There are some gorgeous Day Lilies blooming here on the flower farm!
Don't forget! It's time for our July Second Saturday! We'll be open this Saturday, July 8 from 9 to 5! To celebrate we're having a sale on our huge collection of succulents. One day only! Choose your favorites for only $2.99...regularly $3.59! Hope to see you!
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Monday, July 3, 2017
Some of our Hakurei turnips are ready to harvest from the garden! These turnips are delicious eaten raw, roasted, steamed...and of course...fermented! We found some beautiful broccoli, cauliflower and carrots while visiting the farmer's market. Perfect for adding a bit of color! A half teaspoon of mustard seed, dill seed and minced garlic will add tons of flavor to each quart jar. A kale leaf from the garden is covering the veggies. Two kale stems are criss-crossed and forced under the shoulders of the jars to insure that everything stays submerged below the brine. The brine ratio is 1 tablespoon finely ground pink Himalayan sea salt dissolved into 2 cups of water (3 to 3 1/2 % ratio).
I spent a total of $7.00 at the farmers market and yielded 13 quarts of fermented veggies. The last time I checked the price of a name brand fermented kraut it was around $10.00. At that price my 13 quarts of fermented food would have cost $166.40. Fermenting your food at home is economical, easy and an investment into your nutrition and health. If you need some extra veggies to ferment...remember to visit your farmers market! By doing so you are supporting your local farmers who choose to raise their products in a healthy and sustainable manner!
One more little tip for our veggie gardening friends! We use this adorable antique wire egg basket for harvesting our root vegetables. Makes it so easy to rinse the dirt from our harvest before bringing it inside!
Our next class is scheduled for July 15! Hope you can attend!
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Friday, June 9, 2017
We'll be celebrating our June 'Second Saturday' tomorrow and will be open from 9 to 5! It's going to be warm but the prairie winds are keeping us cool, we have plenty of shade and the a/c is on in the shop. We have a great sale going on in the greenhouse and veggie plants are 'free to good home'. We love our succulents and have a great selection to choose from! We've been busy planting, harvesting, preserving and designing on the Flower Farm! Come watch us grow!
Thursday, June 8, 2017
You know you're a gardener when you plan for the seasons ahead! Getting ready to plant these baby mums for some beautiful fall color! Don't forget! It's Second Saturday on the Flower Farm! We'll be open this Saturday from 9 to 5! There's a Second Saturday sale going on in the greenhouse, remaining veggie plants are free to good home and there are lots of new treasures in the shop! Extra goodies, too! Freshly baked Tomato Basil and Ciabatta bread along with fresh dill weed and oregano for our foodie friends! Hope to see you!
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Friday, May 12, 2017
And it begins! So excited to begin planting! We've had many requests to be open more often...so this year we will be opening on the second Saturday of every month during the growing season! Hope to see you tomorrow from 9 to 5! Lots of unusual plants, succulents and treasures!
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Thank you to everyone who attended and helped with our Spring Open House! It was such a beautiful weekend and we are so grateful for your love and support! A major topic of discussion this winter was how to address all the requests we've had to be open more often and we are happy to announce 'Second Saturdays'! We will be opening on the second Saturday of the month from 9 to 5 during the growing season. Our first 'Second Saturday' will be this weekend! If you're out and about or missed the open house stop by to see us! We've planned ahead for this event and still have lots of amazing plants and treasures to choose from! This gorgeous flower was my early morning surprise! Our Night Blooming Cereus or Orchid Cactus was a special gift from my Auntie. Looks like I will be propagating some of these to share, too! There are so many amazing plants out there!
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Final day of our Spring Open House! Hope you can stop by to say hi and check out the treasures! Still a great selection including some our favorite unusual plants like this gorgeous snail vine! Lunch and refreshments served on the patio! Today's hours are from 10 to 4. P.S. We'll be sharing a little surprise with you next week!
Saturday, May 6, 2017
It's another gorgeous day! The Spring Open House continues! Today from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 10 to 4. Come enjoy lunch on the patio! Lots of unusual plants, succulents, gorgeous arrangements and treasures! A special thank you to Jessica at First State bank...we can now accept credit and debit cards again! Whew!
Friday, May 5, 2017
What a beautiful morning! Our Spring Open House begins this morning! Today and tomorrow from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 10 to 4. A reminder that of all times...our credit card machine crashed yesterday. Despite our best efforts we will be unable to process debit and credit cards. We are grateful for your understanding!
Thursday, May 4, 2017
The festivities begin tomorrow! Spring Open House Friday and Saturday 9 to 5 and Sunday 10 to 4. An update to share...our credit card modem died this afternoon. Ugh! We are working on the problem but at this point we may be able to accept only cash or checks. We're grateful for your understanding!
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
The rain has stopped, the sun is shining and we are excited for this weekend's Spring Open House! We are so grateful for the support you show to us and the non-profits who join us for our celebrations! Thanks to everyone who donated such cute purses for our 'Planted Purse Project' to benefit The Bridge! Hard to believe we are in our sixth year of this project! Here are a few of the purses featuring our gorgeous dried flowers. Other purses are planted with blooming annuals and will be centerpieces on the tables in our TLC Bistro area where lunch and refreshments will be served to benefit Nebraska Communities United. The Douglas County Master Gardeners will also be joining us on Friday with a few of their treasures. They have an amazing cookbook! Trinity Lutheran's Katie Comfort Dog will be spending a bit of time with us, too! We love Katie and her team! Lots of treasures, unique plants, garden art and beautiful freeze-dried floral arrangements featuring blooms harvested from the gardens on our flower farm! Friday and Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 10 to 4. Hope to see you!
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Brrr! We're thinking spring but Mother Nature appears to have other ideas! We are under a frost warning while neighbors to our north and west are under a freeze warning. If you've had a case of spring fever and have planted some tender annuals it's a good idea to cover or bring them in tonight and keep an eye on the extended forecast. Today, I visited with some of our gardening friends who are under a freeze warning and are concerned about their tender perennials. Here's how we do it...Flower Farm style! It's impossible for us to cover everything. We monitor the temperatures during the night. It's a long night but worth the sacrifice. Just before the outside temperature reaches the freezing mark, we mist the gardens with water. The water forms a layer of ice on the foliage which will protect the plant from freezing temperatures. I have 'not so fond' memories of us walking around the gardens at 1:00 in the morning with a flashlight in one hand and a hose in the other. We saved everything! In the meantime, our tender plants are staying safe and warm in the greenhouse including this show stopper... Dalechampia dioscoreifolia aka Bow Tie Vine.