Heirloom Tomatoes

TomatoSeeds_croppedNineteen… count ’em, nineteen packages of different varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Some for eating, some for selling, and some for preserving seeds. We should easily get over three hundred plants, so we’ll be pretty busy next month when it comes time to start the seeds on a warming pad under the grow lights. Any of you local folks who’d like to grow something special this year in the way of tomatoes, keep us in mind. They’re usually safe to plant outside around the first part of May.

Paper Pots for starting seeds

PaperPots_croppedIt’s still December, but the seed catalogs are already arriving in the mail, and we’re making lists of the favorites we’re going to plant again, and new varieties that we’d like to try. Somewhere in our ramblings we ran across a youtube video describing paper pots for starting seeds (search on DIY: Newspaper Pots), so we’re going to do an experiment to see how well they work, and if they’ll actually last until planting time. We’re great fans of soil cubes (search youtube for How To Make Soil Cubes for a video I made last year) since there’s no transplanting shock, but this might work just as well. We also encourage all of our gardening friends to check out and join Regenerative Agriculture on FaceBook for information, tips, and news of people all over the world who are doing great things in small scale agriculture.

Hardwood Cuttings

HardwoodCuttings_croppedWe’ve had a couple of good freezes, and now it’s due to rain, so we’re starting a stick garden (aka hardwood cuttings). We’re using fruit trees that have already dropped all of their leaves and have gone dormant, such as Asian Pear, Chinese Haw, Azarole, and Nanking Cherry. The whole process is basically pruning the trees, and hopefully getting a bunch of free trees in the process from the cuttings. We trim near a bud, scrape an inch or so off the bottom to expose the cambium layer, dip it in some rooting hormone, and stick it in some sand. Pretty easy…

When artichokes go to seed

artichoke_croppedThis is what happens when you don’t pick your artichokes. That’s not a bad thing however. Since this is one of the plants that’s proven that it grows well on our property, we’ll let it dry out and then harvest the seeds for next spring. When you’re pulling the stamens, it almost looks like a dandelion that’s gong to seed, so we’ll probably leave a few for the wind to blow around and see if we get any plants in random spots. The rest we’ll stick in a paper bag and overwinter in the greenhouse. The plants themselves we’ll trim to the ground and cover with hay to protect them. We may separate a few of the shoots and transplant them as well.