Friday, April 17, 2015

A Delightfully Soggy April

Welcome back to another episode of Lost In The Farmers Market. This week is a pretty important one because it marks two major events. The first event happens on Saturday and is the opening day of the Fayetteville City Market which is expected to be pretty big. At the end of this post I’ll have the first formal plant list for what is for sale at the booth on Saturday.  In addition to this the 4th annual Sustainable Neighbors Garden Tour is about two weeks away.  For those in the know, the Garden tour is a fine tradition started about two years ago that has grown into a twice-per year event. The spring tour draws the most visitors while the fall tour tends to be a more laid back educational event. As it stands we have five locations this year, If you opt to take the tour in order, they are the following;

1.      The Arsenal Bridge Gardens (Marsha Howe)
2.      The Food Bank Garden (Marsha Howe)
3.      The Celtic Gardens (Melissa Brady)
4.      [TBA]
5.      The Test Gardens (Thomas Clark)

The “To be announced” listing is there because the applicant hasn’t sent in his information yet, but the good news there is that it’s  none other than the Suburban Hermit of Fayetteville. You can hit up his blog here:

As if that’s not enough blogging action, the Celtic gardens now has a blog of its own and that’s over here:

Whew, the number of residents in blog-land is steadily increasing not that it’s a bad thing! But you all ought to go over and take a gander. Perhaps this is a spoiler alert, but you might see some cool stuff early if you do.  Now I do have a few pictures this week to answer a question I commonly get at the booth on Saturdays. More often than not I get asked how big a mature size of a plant being sold is. All the gesturing and description of spread and height in inches or feet can’t do a photograph justice so I went out and snapped a few pictures of mature size winter and spring crops to better illustrate the point.

Parris Island Lettuce in a 12" pot, at harvest size.

Dino Kale, Collards, Savoy Cabbage, all also at harvest size in three gallon pots and 14" pots.

Japanese Red Giant Mustard plants, all ready to harvest.

What is this? Some super large bird's droppings?
This folks is a common spring sight; a slime mold, the high production bed has one emerge in it yearly. Slime molds are largely harmless but some find them unsightly. In the case of this one it emerged overnight where the citronella geranium was, and has an entire corner of the high production bed covered in what looks like giant bird crap.

I cut a section out to show the interior composition.
 It's been theorized that slim molds which are comprised of a mass of cells that posses a sort of simple intelligence as a communal organism of sorts. A article that explains this theory better can be found at the link below.

Wild Lupine.
 This was one of the great experiments of 2015, I've always wanted lupine plants in the garden, but the seed  of the common Russel hybrids, and the Tutti frutti mix are terribly unreliable. Literally I had two successful plants out of hundreds of seeds. Worse yet lupines much like milk weed have very long taproots and absolutely hate being transplanted. I needed a Lupine species that either was sold mature or, had less finicky seed. When the seed catalogs came in for 2015, I found my objective in one, and ordered four ounces of 'wild lupine mix'. If you've never seen a lupine in bloom it's quite spectacular, as they bear tall spikes of pea-blossoms in shades of blue. I've seen reds, oranges yellow, white and pink as well as deep purples but, I'd take a stand of hardy lupines in blue that are reliable over all that any day of the week. These guys were sown in late February, and were up by mid March, Now they are at a stage where I can apply fertilizer and hopefully they can take over the bed they are in and grow alongside the four 'o clocks that are there.

With all that said, I have to mention the particulars of the Fayetteville City Market. The city market runs on Saturdays between the hours of 9:00 am and 1:00 pm and  Wednesdays roughly between 12:00 and 4:00pm. The market is located at 325 Franklin Street in the parking lot of the Fayetteville Transportation Museum. The Saturday market runs year round but this Saturday opens the official season.

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. A copy of this book costs $25.00 and we do take checks for this item, you can even have it signed. The EBook version costs $10.00 and is available through Amazon.

4x Thai Basil - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
5x Sweet Basil - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Lavender, Lady Anne - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Sage, Common - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Rue - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Oregano - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Artemesia - 3.5” pot ($3.00)

Spring Greens:
6x Lettuce, Parris Island - 3.5” pot ($2.00) ON SALE!
4x Radicchio - 3.5” pot ($2.00) ON SALE!

Summer Vegetables:
6x Eggplant, Early Black Egg - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Okra, Red Burgundy - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Pepper, Ancho - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Pepper, Flashpoint - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Pepper, Sweet Banana - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Tomato, Black Krim - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
6x Tomato, Brandywine - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
5x Tomato, Traveler 76 - 3.5” pot ($3.00)
7x Tomato, Underground Railroad - 3.5” pot ($3.00)

Coming Soon:
Bloody Dock
Purselane, Golden
Purselane, Red
Aloe Vera
Fig, Negronne
Fig, LSU Gold
Fig, Ischia
Grape, Copper Muscadine
Milkweed, Orange

Needless to say, the season officially starts with a bang! That’s right, come on down to the farmer’s market this week and lay hands on the best GMO-Free, organic garden plants in the region. You never know what surprises are in store but you can check back here for your weekly dose of garden information and the plant list. See you in the field!

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