Thursday, November 21, 2013

Frost Snap? More like Frost Murder

Hey now! Welcome to another edition of lost in the farmer’s market, today’s topic is about winter preparations and I’ve got some good photos for you all that I think you’ll like of a certain awesome plant blooming. But first let’s talk about what a winter garden looks like.

The container crops as seen from the driveway side.
 As you can see here a considerable number of plants comprise the container portion of  the test garden. Each of those pots are 14" fluted pots because the wider top presents more surface to absorb the suns rays where the bulk of the crop plant's fibrous roots are in the soil thus a better overall growth rate. The soil mix is made of compost, topsoil and either black hen or black kow composted manure. You cant see it here but I often dust the soil surfaces with mulch to improve moisture retention.

The container gardens as seen from the firepit area.
Clearly not all pots are filled yet, In fact there are three large pots that need filling and a final fluted pot that needs filling but so far the gardens are off to a good start. What are the crops you ask? Well, in the pots on the ground it's a mix of Japanese Red Giant Mustard and Dinosaur Kale. If you noticed the hanging baskets in the picture before last you might have noted they had something in them. That is a bumper crop of Radicchio for salad greens. Now the empty pots once filled will be planted out with Napa Cabbage and the odd Morris Heading cabbage-collards that seemed to resemble Kale more then cabbage. Out front there are three planter bowls two are planted with cilantro and the other lettuce. The raised beds are getting a bit of a rest this winter so they are planted marginally with Red giant mustard, some cabbages and whatever else I can manage to stick in the ground. But enough with the delay heres some blooming plant shots!

Adenium obesum - Desert Rose
Perhaps one of my most prized plants, the desert rose as some of you may know is a plant I spent three years looking for at least. Finally bLowes had them for sale late last winter, and here it is blooming for the third time since I've had it. The flower is completely worth it though. As far as plants go they're sort of symbolic, here is a succulent that doesn't act like one. It has no thorns and takes patience Much like the traditional garden rose waiting for the bloom is always worth it. As a gift, it's the sentimental item you would give to someone who really matters.

Euphorbia milli 'Fireworks' - Crown Of Thorns
I thought this one was just plain cool. I got it months back and it's a euphorbia which means it's a succulent and is related to Pencil cactus, Devils backbone and Poinsetia. Normally crown of thorns main features are that their stems are covered in large thorns, and that when they bloom the flowers come out in ringed clusters which from a biblical perspective resembles a bloody crown of thorns. Draw whatever conclusions you want but this one has variegated leaves and this is a double interest! Time will tell what the blooms are like though.

Homo sapiens trasbaggians - The future Human
 Yes we spotted this one last weekend as it moved through the market grazing on treats offered by the locals. Apparently this pollution immune advanced breed of human prefers sweets in the from of carrot greens, turnip skins and anything you might generally compost. No one knows whats under that defensive coat of plastic-shopping bag-like body fur however as it shuffled through it did seem to avoid drains and flash photography. Just a note...don't say 'Yolo' around it, it seems to view that as a territorial challenge for mates and food sources. One poor market goer made the mistake of doing so and was promptly trampled to death.*

But moving on from the organic debate, this weekend I will be at the Fayetteville City/Farmers market on Saturday. The Fayetteville farmer’s market is located at 325 Franklin Street on the property of the Fayetteville transportation museum. The market runs between the hours 9:00 am and 1:00 pm and you can find my both over by the art studio side of the market. As always the plant list for this week is below:

6x Spineless Prickly Pear

Salad & Fixings:
3x Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
1x Cilantro

Cole Crops:
3x Georgia Collards
7x Morris Heading Cabbage-Collards
2x Stonehead Cabbage
2x Charleston Wakefeild Cabbage
2x Savoy Cabbage
1x Napa Cabbage

Available Soon:
00x Swiss Chard
00x Cilantro

And this concludes another fine episode of LITFM, as a weather warning it has been forecast that we may have a night time low temperatures as noted below.
Saturday 11/23:  31 degrees
Sunday 11/24: 22 degrees
Monday 11/25: 33 degrees

And the rest of the thanksgiving holiday week goes about the same. Remember your basic protections for plants exposed during such weather. Water all new plantings and any plant you cannot move thoroughly. Refrain from applying fertilizer during the cold period as this may promote new soft growth. If you cannot move potted plants to safety consider covering them with a plastic tarp or old sheets propped up by sticks and weighted at the corners with stones or bricks. The fact is that it seems we are headed for another heavy cold snap and must be ready for it. There is no telling what winter has in store but losing crops is not part of the plan! With that said, Keep ‘em growing!

*PS this is all a joke the person wearing the outfit was encouraging keeping Fayetteville clean by recycling and not littering. I thought that was a awesome costume and wholly support the message :D

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