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!