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TINY HOUSE SCULPTURE 1

Monday June 25, 2018

Dear Friends,

Joel Here

David is returning tomorrow however, he is having phone issues so please email me directly with your orders as emails to David may get overlooked.

smithbissett@yahoo.com

 

When the days are getting long and hot and fireflies and mosquitoes swarm at night you know summer is near.  Around the farm we have our own ways of knowing the beautiful days are coming.

Some are bad, like flea beetles, aphids and leaf miners.  While some are good like cucumber plants outgrowing there intended area, garlic plants forming scapes and potato plants beginning to grow taller everyday.  While some things are just down right overwhelming such as the amount of weeding which must be done and a tomato jungle just screaming to be pruned and attached to strings so it can grow straight and tall.

Meanwhile I sit and wonder how I can balance all these things and many more while still finding the time to get a swim or two in each week.  But don't let me distract you with my problems instead choose from the list below and reap the benefits of our work after all that's why we do it.

Salad Greens $6/bag

Arugula $6/bag

Large Kale(if you want lacinato, just mention it when you order ) $4/bunch

Swiss Chard $3/bunch

Radishes $3.50

Hakeuri Turnips $4/bunch

Garlic Scapes $2.50/ 1/4pound

Braising Greens $6/bag

Pea Tendrils $6/bag

Pak choi $3/bunch

Green Onions $3/bunch

Collards $3/bunch

Glorious heads of lettuce $3/head

Still plenty of tomato plants and herbs and especially those miniature sunflowers $5/plant.  Our plant sale is going into it's final stages and we are now offering a buy one get two special.  If what plants you want aren't available we will choose a replacement and please suggest one.

Please send me your request by 8am tomorrow.  Your order will be in the shed at 54 Fowler Ave.(to the LEFT of the house) after 2pm tomorrow.  Payment goes  in the payment jar.  If you come after dark, bring a light.

Thank you so much for thinking of us and remember this week send your order to me smithbissett@yahoo.com

Joel

Posted by: David Zemelsky
6/13/2018 12:24 pm

Dear Chefs

David is away this week so we ask that you send all orders to me Joel at;

smithbissett@yahoo.com

203-213-8495

 

Here's what we have to offer you this week

Arugula- $13/lb

Salad Greens- $10/lb

Mizuna- $10/lb

Baby red Russian Kale $10/lb

Pea Tendrils $10/lb

Swiss Chard- $10/lb

Big Kale- Nash's, Siberian, Scarlet and Tuscan - $10/lb

Collards $10/lb

Garlic Scapes $8/lb

Hakeuri Turnips- $4/lb  Another one of those "you got to try it" experiences

Radishes- $3.50/lb

Pak Choi- Rosie and Shanghai Green $10/lb

Cosmically Wonderful Heads of Lettuce- $2.50//head

Beets with splendid tops, Limited Amount-first come $5/lb


Thanks again and don't forget to contact me directly to ensure your order is received Posted by: David Zemelsky
6/12/2018 10:28 pm

 

I really don't like the phrase ;"America: Love it or Leave it" because there's no middle ground.  For me, any time its either "this or that" only, I get suspicious.  Same for the phrase above- I don't see any middle ground.  Now, sometimes there isn't any middle ground, but we're not going to get into that now.  But as far as weeds go- yes there can be a certain tolerance for their existence.

One very essential thing about soil-it needs to breathe.  If it is compacted too much then all the bacteria and other good stuff in there stops functioning.  Think about a carrot.  Once its yanked out of the ground, there's a big gaping hole.  The soil is now loose and ready to accomodate air and water from above.  Once there's an abundance of both, then soil magic takes place.  I'm probably the very wrong person to tell you what that magic does and how it does it, but what I do know is that what goes on under the ground is a miracle.  Not just the chemistry, but the little microscopic creatures that endeavour to make a wonderful environment for our plants to thrive. 

And just right there is the beginning of understanding how organic farming has it all over traditional agriculture.  In traditional agriculture, the plant is fed , not the soil. In a scenario like this eventually the fauna of the soil get discouraged and die off.  With trace minerals and compost, the soil remains intact and ready to serve the plants. 

So, what does this have to do with weeds? Plenty.  Weeds are one of the main ways that soil ges broken down.  They provide pathways through their intricate root system.  These pathways can delivery nutrients, water and air.  Of course, if you leave the weeds in for too long, they're also going to wreck havoc with your garden hence their bad name in backyard gardening.

At Star Light, I must say, the weeds are there.  We keep promising every year to make sure none of them go to see, but that never works out.  My best method is to gently harrow the ground and make it look like there isn't any weeks.(There are, though).  Not a rototiller.  Throw that away.  Once the ground is bare, wet it and encourage weed growth.  That should take about a week.  Then, I take our flamer (propane fired, and lethal. One needs to pay attention) and kill all the new weeds.  And at the same time endeavour to not disturb the soil.  That's because, you don't want to uncover weeds that are below the surface.  If they aren't exposed to sunlight, they won't germinate.

Let's talk about the shed activities.  We're back to Thursday.  For anyone who was confused, I am very sorry.  For new comers to the mailing list, this is an opportunity to get great, fresh organic food that is locally grown (Star Light).  Read the list below.  Email me back exactly what you want by 8AM tomorrow.  We''ll be processing your order and it will be ready and put in the shed by 2pm tomorrow.  Payment goes in the jar on the table.  If you come after dark-bring a light.

Salad Greens $6/bag

Swiss Chard $3/bunch

Big Kale $4.bunch

Pea Tendrils $6/bunch

Spring Garlic $2.50 each

Green Onions $3/bunch

Carrots- $5/bunch

Radishes $3.50/bunch

Hakeuri Turnips $4/bunch

Braisiing Greens

Pak Choi- $4/bunch

I hope that your week is wonderful and full of great nutritious food.  Talk to you soon.

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
5/30/2018 1:48 pm

 

Its a good time here today.  But I usually feel that way anyway about what goes on around here.  My only wish is that we had tomatoes to offer you right now.  Patience and acceptance.  Whenever a customer comes up to me at the market in April and ask if there are tomatoes yet, my first iinclination is to snicker or laugh.  Of course not.  But they don't know how long things take to reach maturity.  If they did, they wouldn't bother to ask.  Anyway, if someone came up with that question in April, it would give me a "teaching moment" to explain that we start tomato plants from seed in the middle of Winter and can't plant them out until it gets warmer and that if we're lucky, we'll see tomatoes in July. But just maybe.  Once they arrive, though, it feels like heaven has actually fallen at my feet.  We work real hard on these tomatoes, trying to keep the plants healthy.  One very important procedure that we do that really enhances the flavor is to spray the whole plant with a seaweed spray.  There are so many trace elements that get absorbed through the tomato leaf.  Not to forget the salt in the brew.  Its like pre salting your fruit.

An important and gratifying job around here that I reserve mostly for myself is to prune the tomato plant.  This serves to help produce bigger and healthier fruit.  A properly pruned plant will benefit from the airiness created by the culling of leaves.  Also , in between each branch is a sucker that needs to be removed.  Suckers are what makes for a densely  branched plant. Its a lot of work, but I believe that by doing this, we are growing the very best tomato possible.  I hope you agree.

This week at the store we will be having the following items.

SPECIAL: 4 pack of Juliet or Striped German tomatoes. $12.  Usually, plants are $5 each.  So that's a substantial saving

Plenty of herbs: majoram, basil, thyme, chives, savory, chives, cilantro, rosemary  $5/plant

Tomato Types;  $5/plantuse this address to see choices.http://www.starlightgardensct.com/showcase/spring-plants

Baby Sunflower: These will not get big, which is awesome for some growing conditions

Arugula- $6/bag

Salad Mix- $6/bag

Glorious heads of lettuce--$3.50/head

Pea Tendrils- for pea tendril pesto and Asian cooking $6/bag

Big Kale- $3.50/bunch

Carrots- $5/bunch.  Sweet, first of the year

Spring Garlic- $4.50 /plant.  Use the whole plant

Swiss Chard- $3.50 bunch

Spinach $6/bag

Radishes- $3.50/bunch

Haukeri Turnips- $4/bunch

Pak Choi- $3/bunch

Orders in to me by 8AM Thursday.  Pick up Thursday after 2pm in our shed at 54 Fowler Ave.  The shed is just to the left  of the house as you face it. Payment goes in jar.  Bring a light if you get there after dark.

Lastly, we'll be hosting our art show of Ty's work this Saturday from 1pm to 5pm.  Hope to see many of you there.  We'll be opening up the home and her studio with the work that she's dedicated herself to over the past 30 years.  While, we've decided as a family, to not sell anything as yet, you should come anyway and let us know what interest you.  We're also having a raffle to raise money for the scholarship in her name: Ty Zemelsky Raising Artist Fund which will benefit a CRHS graduating senior who intends to pursue the visual arts.  The winner of the raffle gets a free CSA membership.  Tickets will be $15.  Good luck, too!

Thanks and have a great week

Posted by: David Zemelsky
5/16/2018 1:07 pm

I'm really happy with how things are growing now. Wouldn't have said that a few weeks ago.  The cold weather, the cold weather and the rain, the cold weather and sun.  It didn't matter.  It was just cold.  Now, one would have to be a stick in the mud not to enjoy this kind of weather. 

Here's what I want to talk about this week-carrots.  In some circles, I am known as the Carrot Scientist.  I have to admit, no one but myself gave me this title.  At Star Light, we do have a passion for crunchy, sweet carrots and after a while, assuming the title (Carrot Scientist) was irresistible.  When the tomatoes come into season, then I'm the Tomato Scientist.  My favorite is Watermelon Scientist. Anyway, back to carrots.  If one plants carrots 12 weeks  before the  length of day becomes just under 10 hours(November 13), then the following happens.  The carrots will germinate in the late late Fall and basically just sit in limbo, neither dying or growing, but staying alive for the rest of the Winter.  In the Spring,  with warmer temperatures and a lengthening day, the carrots start to grow again.  The result is early carrots.  Which gets me to this weeks offering.  We have some of those early carrots now.  Not a huge amount, but will sell a bunch to the first four people who are ordering other food from us.  I've been munching on them all day and they are good-real good. The other thing to mention about growing these carrots.  We grow them in short low tunnels covered with plastic and weighted down with sand bags.  It works well.  Here's what one of the carrots looks like that I dug up today.  It was delicious

So  lets start with our list.  And remember, Thursday Thursday after 2pm in the shed at 54 Fowler Ave. your order will be waiting,  If you come after dark, bring a light.  Your order will be marked with your name and the amount that you owe.

Carrots-first four people who are ordering other things $5/bunch

Pea Tendrils- Dear People, you've got to try pea tendrils.  Whether in Asian cooking, or Pesto (yes pesto, its better than pesto made with basil) or add to salads, it shouldn't be missed.  $6/bag

Arugula- $6 /bag

Salad Greens- $6/bag

Spinach Special-  all  we can fit in one bag $11 (less than last week) or $6/bag

Spring Garlic-  these are aromatic and wonderuful.  Can be crushed and used like regular garlic.  Leaves are particular  delicious.  $3/bunch

Hakeuri Turnips- $4/bunch.  Another one of those "you got to try it" experiences

Radishes-still the crunchiest thing going $3.50/bunch

Pak Choi- $3/bunch

Plants: Mother's Day Home Run.  Consider the Dwarf Sunflower.  Or one of the many tomatoes eggplants, peppers or herbs.  Compact Genevese Basil, stays in a small pot. Cilantro,parsley, marjoram, sage, rosemary, thyme.  If you'd like to discuss tomatoes before a purchase, please feel free to call me.  I live to talk tomatoes.  Cell 860 463 0166.  Here's a picture of some of the plants ready to enter your household.  They're happy and also certified organic.

Swiss Chard- $3/bunch

Big Kale- $3.50/bunch

Cosmically Wonderful Heads of Lettuce- $3.50//head

Reminder-CSA is still the most economical way to buy awesome vegetables. If interested, call (see number above) or just sign up on the website.

Second reminder- Ty's Art Show is a week from this Saturday.  Check out her Facebook Page, which is still up.  There's a sneak look at what the house looks like.

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
5/8/2018 4:19 pm

 

Introduction:  Technically, this paragraph isn't an introduction.  I just wanted to introduce (that's almost introduction) the concept that we're selling some glorious glorious plants.  See the literature about it at the link here:http://www.starlightgardensct.com/showcase/spring-plants

Remember about two weeks ago that my subject line was "Stop Complaining"?  And the first line was to tell you that I wasn't suggesting that you stop complaining, but that I should stop it.  Same for this week.  Its not all about tomatoes.  Something that I need to remember.  Its hard though.  Tomatoes were started in the first few days of the new year-almost 4 months ago.  Its a long long road to a tomato(Title of a book of the same name,and a good read). There's also pest and disease , not to mention the art of pruning.(more of that later in the season) And they are good (so very good).  I wouldn't want to diminish that.  But lets not forget some of the farm's "co-stars".

Let's start with lettuce.  We've been trying some new lettuces this year that are crisp, sweet, drop dead gorgeous and available now.  We'll have mini heads this week and also incorporate them into the salad mix.  Heads/$2.50  Salad Mix $6/bag

Then there's spinach.  We are going to make available to you spinach to freeze for later.  These are big leaves and perfect for the freezer.  Freezing is simple.  Just blanch for 30 seconds and cool off in ice water and then into zip lock bags.  Done.  If only parenting was that simple!  So one huge bag probably weights over two pounds or might be three.  $!3/bag

Hakeuri Turnips- $4/bunch.  Like radishes only unique in flavor.  The greens are great for soups or braising greens.

French Breakfast Radish-  why do they call these french breakfast radish?  I've actually heard that its been served on buttered toast.  Sounds civilized to me!  $3.50/bunch

Swiss Chard- which is impossible to beat for a flavorful, colorful , bountiful, mindful experience.  $3/bunch

Arugula- speaks for itself. $6/bag

Pea Tendrils-  try this.  You'll be amazed how much a tendril taste like those flavorful peas that we all love.  And pea tendril pesto is just every bit as good as pesto made with basil.  $6/bag. 

Spring Garlic-  get the fresh taste of garlic bulbs early.  It is best used by cutting up in slices and frying.  Won't go through a garlic press.  $2.50/bunch

Pak choi- the all time best for a side dish or part of a stir fry.  $3/bunch(which might be one plant or two , depending on the size.  We'll be generous.

Red Mustard- spicy, and not over the top with heat.  Beautiful to behold $6/bag

Mizuna- intricate flavor with some of the excitement of discovering you can whistle.  Try it.  $6/bag

Yu Choi- another all time best green to stir fry.  $3/bunch

Now, a word about our plants.  We've got a huge selection of tomatoes, kales,herbs, baby sunflowers(so cute, you'll want them all).  The link is worth repeating here:http://www.starlightgardensct.com/showcase/spring-plants

Here's the tomato plant update: This is the one that I've been taking a picture of every week.

I see lots of good new growth.  Before the end of next week, it will be necessary to do some more pruning.  A good sign!

If you'd like anything that we've talked about, let me know by 8AM Friday. Order will be waiting for you in our shed at 54 Fowler Ave. in Durham.  After dark, bring a light.  Payment in the payment jar.

I hope that all of you have a healthy time. A reminder: May 19th is the Art Show for my wife, Ty.  Most of you already know that she passed away on February 14th of this year.  My family and I are putting on a show of her work, which I know she would have loved to have happen.  It will be at the farm between 1pm and 5pm.  Any and all of you are welcome.  The farm, will also be running a tour in mid afternoon.  Consider coming.  If I've never met you face to face, this would be a good time, too.

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
5/3/2018 10:18 am

 

If you look up the last possible day for a frost in our area, you're going to read that its April 23.  And indeed, that day we had a very strong frost.  Took me by surprise because it didn't feel that likely when I went to bed.  The other part about all this is that weather is no longer a product of the elements, but our activities too play a big hand.  On this Wednesday after Earth Day, we need to remember humans footprint in the way weather goes down.

The pace of growth has expanded considerably since last week.  Lets take claytonia as an example of this.  We're now looking at a very exciting and edible phase in its life.  The small white (and tasty) flower has really started to take off.  This week, it is tender, sweet and fun to eat.  Next week-well, we'll see.  But for now, it is on my recommended list.  There's a lot of it, so look below for a good price.

All those little white flowers are great to eat.  This is a very happy stand of claytonia.

Other activities this week include planting beet transplants along with kale plants, too.  Kale, as everyone knows is big in the world of foodys.  Now, thanks to a big effort by Joel, we've got 800 or so kale plants growing outside.  This should be enough to satisfying everyone's kale needs for this season.  One day, I'd like to write a book about kale....

A reminder about our CSA.  There are several pluses about the CSA to consider.  First, you'll be getting a discount on the price of our produce.  Second, you'll be able to get what you want, not what I want to give you.  For example if you'd like to take all your value out in tomatoes for one week-we'll be able to accomodate that.  Interested people should check out the fine details at starlightgardensct.com

Offerings this week will include live plants.  There is still time to take advantage of the sale which is buy one and get one free.  I'll keep taking care of your new plants until you want them.  Normally, we sell plants for $5 each-so that's a pretty good savings.  Here's the link to see what's available. http://www.starlightgardensct.com/showcase/spring-plants

Here's a photo of our tomato plant that we're keeping track of.

Progress! You can see the dead leaves that I pruned lying on the weave cloth at the bottom of the plant.  Almost no signs of frost anywhere.  Keep posted for its inevitable explosion of growth.

Here's our offerings for this week.  Orders emailed back to me by 8AM on Friday.  Your order will be available after 2pm on Friday (April 27) at our shed at 54 Fowler Ave./Durham.  If you arrive after dark, bring a light.  Payment goes in payment jar. Checks are ok.

First, the specials

Spinach- $6/for six oz bag. BUT 1lb for $8.  2lbs for $14.  This is a good opportunity to freeze spinach, which is SO easy.  Basically, blanch, cool and freeze.  Couldn't be simpler.

Claytonia-i'm not going to encourage you to get a large amount of claytonia.  It will keep for over a week, but it isn't a good candidate for freezing.  But a lb is not a crazy amount.  So here's the offer.  $6/for six oz bag and 1lb for $9

Salad Greens- with kale,lettuce,spinach, claytonia $6/bag

Arugula- $6/bag

Pak choi-also known as Bok Choi $2/bunch

Radishes - $3.50/bunch (quanities limited)

Hakeuri Turnips- $4/bunch

Swiss Chard- $3/bunch

Spring Garlic-$3/bunch  Use everything that you see in the photo.  Roots, stem or white part.

Mizuna- $6/bag

Enjoy the weather.  We'll be talking soon

 

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
4/25/2018 10:28 am

 

No, I don't mean you! Mostly, a mantra to myself. "Stop Complaining"!  This came to me yesterday while transplanting beets outside.  This, by the way was one of the first outside plantings of the season.  Anyway, I was uncomfortably stooped over the tray of little plants, and a bit grumbly because the plugs weren't coming out easily. It was a bit on the cold side, too.  And then I realized that all of this was far better than the scorching heat of Summer.  Hence, the "stop complaining" thought entered my head.  There's almost always a situation that makes the present one seem like a piece of cake.  Anyway, I'll spare you all the usual "Spring is here!" stuff.  Just know that working outside when its cool is far better than mid-July!

Our tomatoes continue to recover.  They all survived, which is a testament to the resilience of plants.  Think back to when they were frosted about 5 weeks ago.  A terrible morning and a reason to complain.  What ever damage that happened was limited to the existing leaves and buds.  The "to be" buds were safely locked inside the main stem of the plant and not yet developed.  Over the next several weeks, they emerged from the dead foliage and now are flourishing. Here is my weekly picture to help illustrate:

Pretty cool, right?  You can still see some of the damaged leaves.  In a few more weeks, you won't even be able to see where the damage happened.  To help speed things along, we sprayed the plant with a kelp/fish mixture.  It is important to not overdue this, too.  Too much encouragement of leaf growth and the plant turns into a factory that only produces leaves, not fruit-which we obviously don't want.  Still, over all, we're set back a few weeks because of the event. So I say, "Stop complaining."

We're close enough to outdoor planting season to start talking about available plants that we'll be selling.  As a promotion for you, we're offering the following.  Buy and pay for a plant right now and we'll take great care of it for you till you want it and you can get another plant for free.  A two for one sale!  We've got a lot of amazing plants. There's tomato, pepper, eggplant, basil,parsley, rosemary, chives,thyme, cilantro, baby sunflowers, kale, summer savory, majoram.

If you want to see my catalogue click here.  

The store this week:  Please send me all orders by 8AM tomorrow (Friday) Your order will be ready after 2pm Friday.  Self service at our shed. Bring the correct amount of money, as there may not be enough change in the payment jar.  If you come after dark, bring a light.

Spinach- lots of glorious spinach on sale.  Single bag $6 or double bag for $10.(actually, we'll put tons in.  More than twice the weight.  Its worth it. )

Salad Greens- with lettuce, claytonia,kale $6/bag

Arugula- $6/bag.  A really fine crop, too

Claytonia- now with edible white flowers.  The claytonia is of high quality and I can now see that the end will be coming in 3 weeks or less.  If you haven't ever tried claytonia, its season is NOW.  Not to be missed.

Hakeuri Turnips-  this week, the experience is more about the greens than the actual turnip.  They are the best mustard type greens ever.  Bright color and taste.  $4/bunch

Pak Choi- $3/for two.

And don't forget the plant sale.  This is a good opportunity to get great organic plants for a good price.  I'll be running this sale this and next week, only.

Have a great week.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
4/19/2018 10:31 am

 

Dear Friends,

As you already know, Ty died this last February.  My family and I almost immediately came up with the idea of creating a show of her works, so that many other people could see the beauty and passion of the visual world that she created.  Please take the announcement  above as an invitation to join me and my family on May 19 at the farm.

Many farmers that I know have already started working outside.  At Star Light, we've had both spinach and carrots growing since late last fall.  Carrots, if you time it properly can get a start growing before Winter sets in and then when warm weather begins, start growing again.  By doing this, we'll probably have carrots by Memorial Day. If you start them too early in the Fall, then they don't form carrots, but rather just make a big bush of carrot tops that goes to seed.  Not what you want! The best time to plant is 12 weeks before a 10 hour day. 

This picture shows the size of the carrot plants right now.  These carrots were grown outside covered with short hoops and plastic (that is held down by sand bags)Just get ready for the sweet taste of fresh carrots.

Tomato report.  Every one of them are still alive and the tops are regenerating, as I promised they would.  I'm more than optimistic. Fact:even so, they have been set back a few weeks.  Here's what the same plant looks like this week.  Compare to last week.  Lots of growth.

 

CSA remains our best bet to get all the right food at the best price.  C.S.A.-Community Supported Agriculture, in case no one ever told you.  Our brand of CSA enables you to pick out the produce that you want, not what the farmer want you to have. Its a good system.  We tried it last year and it worked like a charm.  If interested, you can find a sign up on the home page of the website.

This week, please consider the following items to take home.  Just email me back by 8AM on Friday and your order will be waiting in the shed at 54 Fowler Ave. after 2pm on that same Friday.  Checks ok.  Bring a flashlight if you come after dark.

Salad Greens : with red lettuce, claytonia, spinach and kale $6/bag

Kale, Claytonia or Spinach $6/bag.  AND, for spinach, if you buy a double bag, the cost is $10.  We'll really stuff those bags and make them more than double!  A word about claytonia-now we're getting little white flower.  They taste good , too.  It also is a signal that we can expect the claytonia to start go out in about 3 weeks.  In the meantime, its awesome.  If you haven't tried it, this would be a great time.

Arugula-first cut and very tender, beautiful, aromatic and so tasty. $6/bag

Pea Tendrils- $6/bag

Pak Choi-some of the first of the season. Its young and tender. Either in salads or stir fries  $3/bunch

Radishes and Hakeuri Turnips are coming soon.

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
4/10/2018 10:26 pm

There is a tendency for people in my position to paint a rosy picture about how everything is going so well on the farm that one just can't believe it.  In my humble opinion, as I start my 20th year of farming, if someone is trying to convince you of that-be skeptical.  The truth is, that things do sometimes go well and likewise maybe not so good.  We had a setback this year in our growing process, but we're past it now.  It bears no resemblance in magnitude to when the greenhouses caved in.(How did we ever get past that one?).  This one has to do with tomatoes (and a few peppers).

We started our first group of tomatoes on January 9th, in our basement under grow lights.  They did a great job of germinating and an even better job of growing.  After 8 days, we take them off their heat mats (the heat mats warm the soil and help the seeds germinate so much faster) and let them enjoy the artificial light.  When they got too big for the shelves, I was faced with a problem to solve.  Normally, we'll take them outside to  the nursery and let them enjoy natural light until late March, when they'll get planted directly in the one hoop house that has a furnace in it.  However, the little furnace that we use in the nursery had failed to measure up.  Because of end of winter budget restraints, a new furnace was not in the cards.  I then hit on the idea of asking a nearby fellow farmer if I could "borrow" some space from them.  This farmer was very agreeable, especially when I told him that I'd babysit his nursery while he went  away for a week.  So far, so good.  This particular nursery has a temperature sensor that will telephone the farmer on his cell phone, no matter where he is.  In this case, that would be California.  So, around 1:30AM, the vacationing farmer called me up and said that the sensor has phoned him-low temperature.  Ok, an adventure- I can do this.  I got dressed, got my flashlight and drove over to troubleshoot the problem.  I won't bore you with the details of what we collectively tried to do to fix the problem.  Whatever we tried, it didn't help.  So Plan B was to fire up his auxiliary heater. Problem solved temporarily.  During the day, the furnace repair man came over and gave the furnace a clean bill of health after looking at it.  That night-same scenario.  Low temperature reading.  MayDay! So over I went.  Etc. Etc.  And gave the auxiliary heater another go.  Problem solved again.  In the morning, more stuff was tried and another bill of good furnace health was issued.  I went to bed that night with trepidation.  However, no phone calls.  In the morning, as I approached the greenhouse, there was something erie going on-too quiet, especially considering how cold it felt on that day (March 10).  My feelings proved correct because when I opened the greenhouse door, I could tell that it was too cold.  My glorious plants had been frosted.  I swore, but that apparently did no good.  But here's where the story gets interesting (in case, it wasn't so far)- I decided that there was still hope for these plants.  True, many leaves and the top growth was done in.  But from past tomato plant frostings (yes, there've been others), I observed that new growth can happen.  The actual stem probably didn't freeze, just the leaves.  I continued to care for the vacationing farmer's plants and mine as well.  By the time he returned, I told him to keep watering them, that things would work out.

I've been over there several times since then, and saw after about 4 days-new growth.  The plants have lost most of its lower leaves, but there is now new growth.  They live!  Probably, this mishap has set the plants back by 2-3 weeks, but still-who cares?  I'm just glad for life.

Where you see lush, healthy looking growth at the top of the plant-that's all new growth.  This picture saids to me that this tomato plant will be ok. The damage is clearly visible, too.  Where it look brown and withered- that's where the frost nailed it.

To finish this story, I'll need to thank Joel, who got it in his head for some reason that these tomatoes had to be planted all today. And they now are!

Still room and time to sign up for the CSA.  This is probably the most cost effective way to get great food at a substantial savings.

Shed News: Order by 8AM Friday and pick up in shed at 54 Fowler Ave. after 2pm.  Checks ok.  Bring a light if you come after dark. Self service.

Special on Spinach!  A regular bag is $6.  For $3 more, we'll give you at least twice as much, maybe more.  This would be a real stuffed bag.  These are really happy plants, making tasty, sweet spinach for soups, salad and stir fries.(The three "s")

Salad Greens- with spinach,shocking red lettuce, kale, claytonia $6/bag

Claytonia-its still the height of the season.  I've already seen signs that there is an end, but not yet.  My current estimate is that we'll make it through the end of the month.  After that-we'll see.  $6/bag. Unique taste, look and texture.  You might want to try this one.

French Fingerling Potatoes- white, tender flesh.  Great for hash browns, soup, or roasted $4/lb

From Farmer Peter:

Famous Northfordy Tomato Sauce $10/jar

Sun-dried tomatoes $5/package

Bay Leaves $4/package

Red Raspberry low sugar Jam- $8/jar.  This is something to consider seriously

 

 

 

Posted by: David Zemelsky
4/5/2018 9:07 am