Friday, December 12, 2014

Really November?! Real nice one you are!

Welcome back to another episode of Lost in the Farmer’s Market and we start off with some ‘splainin to do. While it is the holiday season sometimes bad things happen and apparently it was our turn. On Friday the 28th of November someone decided to break into the Headquarters. Whoever it was they decided to try and kick in the front door, and succeeded in effectively destroying the lower third of the door. Fortunately nothing was stolen but they did ransack one room in the headquarters and left. I discovered this had occurred when I arrived home that night and the rest is pretty self-explanatory. So take a peek at the first two pictures of the damage and consider yourself lucky this didn’t happen to you.

Interior shot taken while the police prepared to take finger prints from the outside of the door.
Interior shot showing how the door looks in general.
Front door as seen from outside.
Normally after a break-in of this sort most might put a peice of furniture in front of the door or use plywood. I barricated the door by using deck screws to lock the door frame in place then I stacked 600 pounds of parking divider, steel case and cinder block in the way preventing any form of front door access.

Long story short this could have been far worse, if it had I might not have anything to write this post with. Although it’s awful what happened it’s the cleanup detail after that’s dreadful. The cost of replacing a door is rather significant and the new steel door I had installed ran in the 500.00 range with labor which was well, not an expense I predicted or wanted at this time of the year. Unlike the last time the HQ was broken into (June 2013) I decided that the show must go on and so aside from a little fortification things went on as normal with brief gaps for allowing the workmen to fix the door and other security related measures. All in all, as some of you saw, I still made it to the market and the Hanukkah Bazaar so life goes on.

Switching the topic to a better one all of you gardeners know how much of a drag the winter months can be.  Honestly Christmas can be a point of dread to because if your like me, you sit there cringing when it’s time to bust open some presents and look about the room as those you care about and think to yourself in a Samuel L. Jackson voice “Ok which one of you *expletive*s got me another d*** Chia Pet?” Seriously I’ve received five of those, and well I’m sure you garden aficionados that read this blog have gotten similar or worse. You try and remember that they meant well as you struggle to say thank you and act surprised and that it’s what you wanted while that Samuel L. Jackson voice in the back of your mind is going ballistic. It’s just how the holidays are…well no, it doesn’t actually have to be that way. At the booth, as long as the temperatures allow we are offering Holiday potted plants that are plenty festive but non-secular so they work for any gardener regardless of what December holiday you celebrate.

I mean think about it, what’s the best thing for that gardener you know other than something they definitely don’t already have? More so they can then brag about it to their garden-friends. You on the other hand will be the hero of the day for finding something strange, rare and unique that starts so many conversations. There is also that other gardening itch being scratched here, sometimes houseplants are more than just air purifiers. As some of you who visited the booth during august found out, Aloes, Gasteria and Haworthia all have medicinal properties found in the gel within the leaves. In the case of a house plant that I’ll be offering later on, Cuban Oregano, a relative of Swedish Ivy, doubles both as a trailing house plant and its leaves are used as a substitute for oregano/basil in cooking. Not bad really, but other house plants have interesting uses as well and that makes for the fun of finding a living gift for that special gardener on your shopping list. In short it’s always good to consider getting something outside of the normal conventions of gift giving when you’re getting something for a gardener. When in doubt there is the option of a gift card especially if you know say what seed catalog they prefer. But anyway switching to some nice pictures so you know what I’ve been rambling about.

Friendship Plant - A member of the Pilea family this cheery little plant has purple leaves streaked with silver bands and grows at a medium speed. It is very easy to grow.

Checkerboard Aloe - In a 6.75" painted clay pot this aloe is mostly considered for decoration but bears limited amounts of medicinal gel.

Silver Ridge Aloe - This aloe is almost completely care free, it lives on limited amounts of water, and blooms every simmer if put out for the warm season. During periods where it receives the right amount of moisture it produces a decent amount of medical gel.

Blizzard Aloe - I offered these in August as part of Sparklitis month and they are back for the holidays in nicer pots and larger sizes. Blizzard aloes have white-green leaves that really stand out. The leaves yeild a moderate amount of medical gel.

Gator Aloe - Gator aloe is one of those odd structural aloes that finds general use as a accent, and limited medicinal use as an herb. The curling leaves of this aloe make it resemble some strange sea creature at times making for a fine conversation piece with it's 4" festively painted clay pot.

Black Dragon Haworthia - Don't let the small size fool you these little plants can gain size pretty quick over a summer especially if fertilized regularly from may through august.The short leaves resemble scales and the plant's winding growth can make it resemble a reptilian critter with age.

Teardrop Peperomia - These semi-succulent plants are perfect as a  gift for a special gardener you know. They come in 5" ornamental buckets that bear a 1/2" layer of gravel at the bottom and are pre-drilled to allow drainage.

Gator Aloe - We only have a few gators left and this one comes in a 6" plastic pot in a terracotta color with a dressing of black river stones. The pot comes with an attached drainage tray.

Blizzard Aloe - To show off this specimen we put it in a black plastic pot that has an integrated drainage tray. Blizzard aloe in this use really stands out and makes for an excellent accent plant.

White Arrowhead Vine - This house plant is a incredibly easy to grow plant that is pretty tough as far as house plants go. While not as a durable as the philodendrons it is pretty close and the bright foliage is quite nice.

Holiday Cactus - For those of you who missed the bazaar, there will be a hand full of these for sale shortly from cutting stock, so stay tuned and you could get your reds early and at some discount.

As some of you might already know the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market is a year-round affair on Saturdays. The market runs from 9:00 am to 1:00pm on Saturdays and unofficially runs on Wednesdays between 1:00pm to 5:00 pm. The farmer’s market is located at 325 Franklin Street in downtown Fayetteville. Personally I may or may not be doing the Wednesday events

Southward Skies: A northern guide to southern Gardening
Southward Skies is a pocket-sized guide to gardening in the Carolina region. It will guide you through the process of having a productive garden in our region using a year-round format that matches the timing of what you should do and what time of the year you should do it. Unlike a lot of garden guides Southward is written in a way that can help even the most discouraged gardener to find success. Southward Skies has been tested by gardeners in other states ranging from as far south as Naples, Florida, as far north as Dorset, Vermont and as far west as Reno, Nevada. As a general guide you can’t lay hands on a better collection of tips, tricks and methods. The book is available on as a digital book for the kindle and makes a good gift in print or digital format. The book costs $25.00 and we do take checks for this item, you can even have it signed.

Cold Season Crops
6x Mustard Greens, India - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Mustard Greens, Japanese Red Giant - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Cabbage, Copenhagen Market  - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Cabbage, Savoy – Perfection Drumhead  - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Collards, Georgia Southern Creole - 3.5” pot ($3.00)

Fresh Foods
5x Bordeaux Blend Soup Kit – ($6.00)

After quite a few discussions with visitors to the booth and other Sustainable Neighbors the lack of a locally available soup-making package seems to be an unaddressed need at our local markets. The Bordeaux blend soup mix contains carrots, purple top turnips, red potatoes, celery, parsnips, red onions, and an included seasoning pack which contains a seasoning pepper, oregano, rosemary, rue or basil and tarragon. In short, it’s the last word in soup kits because all you need to add is bullion and meat or beans. The best part is that all items in the kit are organic and as much of it is home grown as is possible. Any item that is not homegrown is sourced within the state.

1x Lavender - ($3.00)
3x Pesto Basil - ($2.00)
4x Rosemary - ($2.00)
3x Santolina – ($2.00)
2x Eucalyptus – ($ 2.00)
3x Eucalyptus Bundles – ($2.00)
6x Mixed Sweet Potatoes – ($3.00)

Holiday Splendor
2x 6.75” Checkerboard Aloe – ($10.00) –SALE
1x 6.75” Friendship Plant – ($10.00) – SALE
1x 6” Arrowhead Vine – ($8.00) - SALE
1x 6” Gator Aloe – ($8.00) - SALE
1x 6” Blizzard Aloe – ($8.00) - SALE
2x 4.5” Silver Ridge Aloe – ($6.00)  - SALE
2x 4.5” Gator Aloe – ($6.00) - SALE
3x Bucket Teardrop Peperomia – ($8.00)
1x 4.5” Silver Star Aloe – ($6.00) - SALE
2x 2.5” Black Dragon Haworthia – ($3.00)

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