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Archive for February, 2014

vegetables-basketAs we’re starting tomato and pepper plants, we thought thought it might be beneficial to you if we made a custom order form of the varieties we want to make available to you while supplies last.  It’s possible that we’ll have some other varieties or some ‘leftovers’, but it’s probably better to let you choose in advance. This is a great time to get your order in, so we can plant accordingly.  Tomato and Peppers will, depending on Mother Nature, be ready for planting in mid April.  Later we will have some SUPER HOT pepper varieties that will be ready a bit later in April.

Here is a description of what we can plant and in what quantity. I’m also attaching an order form.  At this point, we are only accepting cash and checks.  You can download the order form, completed it and email it back to sam@eastofedenfarms.com and we’ll get started right away.  Please send a 20% deposit to James Burton, 1223 Taylorsville Macedonia Rd, Taylorsville, GA 30178.

We may also be able to provide you with a custom order for Squash, Zucchini, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Pie Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, Ashley Organic Cucumber, Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Sage, Gourmet Mix Lettuce, Buttercrunch Lettuce, Baby Bok Choy, Black Beauty Eggplant, Florida Market Eggplant. Email me at the address above and I’ll send you a quote.

Here are the Tomatoes and Peppers we can plant for you:

EARLY/SHORT SEASON

Ace 55 – very popular smallish early tomato similar to Early Girl – Limit 12 per order – determinate

Bush Early Girl II – limit 1 per order – limited supply – determinate

Bloody Butcher – very limited supply – limit 1 per order while supplies last – determinate

CHERRY TOMATOES

Large Red Cherry – A very popular traditional cherry tomato with clusters of 5 tomatoes that will produce long into the year. Tomatoes are about the size of a golf ball. Great in salads. Limit 12 per order – indeterminate

SAUCE TOMATOES

Umberto – A very old, very rare heirloom.  It is said a single plant can produce up to 250 pink, meaty 2 oz fruits.  Very limited supply.  I have only 10 seeds and am keeping two for myself. Limit 2, first come, first served, while supplies last. Indeterminate

SLICING TOMATOES

Beefsteak – Name says it all. Limit 12 per order –

Rutgers – This popular heirloom is 80 years young this year.  Popular for slicing, cooking fresh and canning. Limit 12 per order. Indeterminate

Homestead – perfect for slicing or canning. Very Limited supply – Limit 2 per order while supplies last

Giant Belgium – Very large Beefsteak. Fruit rumored to reach 2 lbs or more. I’ve never grown them. Fruit said to taste like Brandywine tomatoes.  Extremely limited supply. Limit 1 per order while supplies last. – Indeterminate.

Golden Jubilee- Yellow Gold Beefsteak variety. Very meaty.  Extremely limited supply. Limit 1 per order

PEPPERS

BELL

California Wonder Bell-  Limit 12 per order

Mini Bell – Limit 2 per order

SWEET

Good as Gold – Very sweet when ripe – Limit 1 per order, extremely limited supply

Marconi Golden – Another sweet golden Italian Pepper – Extremely limited. 1 per order

Costa Rican Sweet – Red and very sweet – 1 per order

Sweet Banana  –  Very popular – limit 12 per order

MILD

Mulato Isleno Pepper – Matures to a deep chocolate color – 1 per order

HOT

Early Jalapeno – Very prolific producers. If you keep picking, they keep producing. Limit 10 per order

EXTREMELY HOT

We are planting a collection of some of the hottest peppers in the world.  Sometimes they take a while to germinate.  Once we know for sure what we have, we will make a few available for the true chileheads out there.   Full Disclosure:  These plants will cost more, but boy howdy, they will provide bang for the buck.

Tomato Pepper Order Form

 

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TraySpring is in the air. Sure, that evil Polar Vortex is still hanging around, but he won’t be here forever, thank goodness.

If you’re anything like me, spring can’t get here soon enough.  Down here in Georgia, we’re almost ready for our early spring gardens.  I’ve noticed the big box store garden centers are already selling greens and cabbages.  How cool is that?

A word of warning, though. Here in GA, we are still having unsettled weather, so be careful if you’re planting outside.  If you can be patient, wait a little longer.  If these beautiful days we’ve had have gotten the better of you and you’ve already planted your cabbages and broccoli outside, be sure and cover them the next few nights.  It’s going to get really cold for GA.

Here at East of Eden, because of the weather, we are really just starting our seeds.  I started some sugar snap peas that look good in the greenhouse and will move them outside this weekend.  They are almost ready to trellis.  I have about 80 snap peas going so far and will plant more very soon.

I also have a few turnips, green onions and rutabagas going in the green house.

For those of you who are looking to buy starter plants from us, please be patient.  We’re a little behind the big National Companies, but we believe it will be worth the wait.

By mid March, we will have cabbage, lettuce, swiss chard, cauliflower, baby bok choy, mustard, endive, and maybe spinach.  The spinach is fighting us.

We expect tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, zucchini, melons and pumpkins to be ready for your mid April Garden.  We learned last year, that planting too soon can be a disaster.  If you remember, we had a big frost after April 15 and it killed off a whole bunch of things.  If you have questions about when to plant your spring and summer garden, just use the comments section to ask.

I took a couple of snapshots in the greenhouse yesterday while I was planting and transplanting seedlings, to give you an idea on how we do things and why I believe the starter plants we provide for the home garden may well be superior to the commercial ones, even if they are a bit later to arrive this year. And…yes, I’m biased.

Vermiculite

Vermiculite

All our seeds are started in straight coarse vermiculite, watered with water directly from our Aquaponic fish tanks. Vermiculite is pH neutral and retains moisture nicely.  Since many of our plants will be grown aquaponically or hydroponically, this eliminates transplant issues later.  (in case you’re wondering how well vermiculite works, this tiny Red Swiss Chard seedling is just barely old enough to transplant and as you can see from the photo, it is 10 inches long from leaf to the tip of the roots.

Chard Root

Chard Root

Once the seedlings are ready to transplant, the ones going in the ground or will be sold to you, will be transferred to single or six pack grow out cups.

The grow out media is a mixture of Organic planting soil (some we buy, some we make).

Planting Mix

Planting Mix

We amend it first, by spraying it with humic acid (liquid humates), to help the soil process nutrients better. Then we add a little perlite and coconut fibers to aerate it and keep it from compacting.

Liquid Seaweed

Liquid Seaweed

The plants will usually stay in the cups for two to four weeks, depending on the plant, and are watered with aquaponics water and fed weekly with a light mix of liquid seaweed and fish emulsion.  Sometimes they also get a dose of Epsom salts.

Folks, that’s it. That’s the list.  Our seedlings are not just organic, they are beyond organic.  We treat your starter plants just like they were our own.  In fact, any that don’t sell, will go into our garden.

I don’t mean to imply there’s anything wrong with the plants you can buy from the national companies. I’ve grown many of their varieties quite successfully, but if you can improve on good, with better, and better with best, why not give it a whirl.

Beginning March 7, we will make a limited number of 6 seedling trays available for purchase.  We will have, Spinach, Dutch Flat Cabbage, a few Early Jersey Wakefield, Baby Bok Choy, Gourmet Mix Lettuce, Butter Crunch Lettuce, Mustard and some Endive.  The price will be $3.50 per 6 pack.  If you contact us in advance, we can mix and match at no additional cost. We just need to know what you want before we transplant.  By mid March, I think we’ll have Kale as well.

We love to hear from you, so do write in with your comments.  You’ll also get a head start on the March Giveaway.  Everyone who comments on Our Edible Suburb will have her/his name entered to win a copy of Ed Smith’s fabulous book, “Incredible Vegetables From Self Watering Containers.”  We’ll unofficially begin with this post.  Look forward to hearing from you and helping you grow your BEST GARDEN EVER.

 

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veggiesThis afternoon, as I came in from the greenhouse, Brittan was on the phone with someone who was asking about our CSA.  She found us on a Google search and had some questions.  We like questions.

The conversation reminded me that we’ve had several questions lately about our CSA that I thought I should answer here.

1. What IS a CSA?  Excellent question. Sometimes, we who have been around the movement a while, forget that we have a lingo and not everyone understands it. CSA means, Community Supported Agriculture.  Essentially it’s a partnership between a farmer and his/her customers.  Instead of going to Grocery Stores or Produce Stalls, a customer will purchase a ‘share’ in a harvest. Share prices vary depending on the region, the length of the arrangement and the amount and varieties of produce the farmer is growing.  The upfront cash provides cash flow to the farmer so she/he can purchase seed, etc to get the season going.  In return, the customer gets a weekly or bi-weekly basket of vegetables and/or fruit for the duration of the arrangement.  Some CSA programs are a whole year, but most are 20 to 24 weeks.  Some also include eggs, dairy and meat or have those as add ons.  The risk to the customer is that weather, illness or disease can cause the harvest to be small or even non existent.  On the other hand, a harvest can be plentiful and the customers may have more vegetables than they know what to do with.

2. How long does East of Eden Farms’ CSA program run?  Technically, 20 weeks; From June 1 to October 31, because that’s the number of weeks for those on a payment plan.  For those who get in early, baskets will begin as soon as produce start getting ready.  Examples: Some things, like lettuces, salad greens, radishes, beets and sugar snap peas will be ready in April and May. Those members who are paid up by then will receive early ‘bonus’ weeks.  In those very early months baskets will be sparse. In July, August and September they will be larger,maybe very large. October will be a bit smaller.  If the harvest continues into November, which is likely for things like kale, cabbage, beets and turnips, we will continue to add ‘bonus’ weeks at the end.  There is no set amount of food each week, it depends on the harvest.

3. Where do we get our baskets? They will be available on Saturdays (times and locations to be announced later).  Obviously, one of the locations will be here at the farm.  On Thursday or Friday each week, we will email all members and let them know what will be available that weekend.

4. How much is a 2014 membership and how do I pay?  First, there are a limited number of shares available this year and since its our first CSA program we are offering an incredible price. Therefore, the earlier people sign up, the better the chance of taking advantage.  The 2014 membership is $400.  Members who pay in full by March 25 will receive a $50 ‘earlybird’ discount  ($350 total).  After March 25, the membership reverts to the $400 price, while they are still available.  There is one other option. Memberships can be reserved with a $100 deposit and paid in 20 weekly installments of $17, from June 1 – October, making the total $440.  If you have questions, use the ‘contact’ button or email sam@eastofedenfarms.com.

5. What are you growing this year? That’s an awesome question.  Who knows what the weather will do, but here’s what we’re planting:

LETTUCES AND GREENS:

Buttercrunch

Gourmet blend of leaf lettuce

Red romaine

Red Swiss Chard

Mustard

Endive

HERBS

Basil

Cilantro

Chives

Dill

Cumin

Caraway

Fennel

Oregano

Sage

Thyme

LEGUMES

Green Beans

Sugar Snap Peas

Lima Beans

CABBAGE FAMILY

Dutch Flat Cabbage

Early Wakefield Cabbage

Baby Bok Choy

Collards

Kale

SQUASHES

Yellow Squash

Zucchini

Butternut Squash

Acorn Squash

Cucumber

MELONS

Cantaloupe

Sugar Baby Watermelon

Honeydew Melon

MISC.

Okra

SLICING AND CHERRY TOMATOES (by color rather than variety)

Red

Pink

Yellow

Orange

Green

Striped

Purple/Black

SWEET PEPPERS

Bell

Colored Bell

Mini (Lunchbox) sweet Bell

Sweet banana

New Mexico (Medium)

HOT PEPPERS

Jalapeno

Cayenne

SUPER HOT

Habanero (Yellow, Red and Chocolate)

Moruga Scorpion (Red and Yellow)

Butch T Scorpion

Jolokia/Ghost (Red and Yellow)

Carolina Reaper (Hottest pepper in the world)

ROOT

Beets

Turnips

Carrots

Sweet Potatoes

Green Onions

There may be some last minute additions, but I know we’re planting these.  Please tell your friends, and do let us know if you have questions.  We’re excited about this and can’t wait to share our harvest with you.

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CDC_greenbeanUndoubtedly, you have been waiting with baited breath for the results of our “Most Popular Vegetable on earth”?  Of course, it’s a mystery to me why you are eating bait, but we’ll save that for another day.

The survey produced a good number of visits to the website, but we didn’t get the quantity of votes we’d hoped for.  Still, we decided to do the drawing and give the prize, anyway.  Who knows, perhaps a packet of seeds is not as inspirational to some as it would be to me!  🙂

Anyway, without further ado, the most popular vegetable in our survey was… Green Beans!  Zucchini got a few votes, too, but I was the only person who opted for sweet potatoes.  What a shame.  You probably need to re-examine your priorities.

Moving on to the drawing.  The winner of our first ever giveaway is……Jennifer Ciarletta!  Jennifer wins a packet of Butter Bean (Lima) seeds.  Surprisingly (?), Mrs. C was the only person who voted for Butter Beans, which is another shame.  Jen, if you will send me your mailing address by email, or PM on Facebook, I’ll send you a packet of seeds.  And, as I promised, I will also grow a batch of them in your honor.  In addition, I will do a ‘spotlight’ blog post on Butter Beans, sometime this summer.  Congratulations!

Thanks for playing, everyone, and watch for our next giveaway next week VERY soon.

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plant licenseHey, Y’all.  We got some great news today. Our application for a live plant dealer’s license was approved.  I’m proudly displaying it here because I’m pumped about it.  It means we can now legally sell starter plants through retail outlets and directly to the public.  Sure, we’re not going to be able to offer all the things that the big national plant companies do, but we’ll be right here to help you make the best choices for you and your garden.  And..we will have some special varieties they won’t have.

For example, we’ll have about a dozen varieties of open pollinated and heirloom tomatoes, many of which won’t be available from the big box store garden centers.  Or, what if you want to grow one of the mega hot varieties of peppers, like Jolokia or Moruga Scorpion? Where will you get those? East of Eden Farms, that’s where.  We will make a very limited number of super hot seedlings available.

Ok, one more.  For zucchini and cucumber lovers who have to grow in greenhouses or in the house, we will have a few plants that don’t require a pollinator, which means you won’t have to get up early and take a paint brush into the greenhouse to hand pollinate your flowers!

It’s just one more way we can help you and your family get the freshest, best tasting produce in North Georgia.  You can join our CSA share program where we’ll do all the work and you can pick up your weekly basket of veggies, complete with recipe ideas. You can visit us at the Cartersville Farmers Market and buy a la carte. You can come to the farm and choose something here. And now, you can grow your own garden with plants that we’ll start for you.  It’s ALL good.

Later this month, I’ll post a list of varieties and prices so you can pre order for April planting.  In the meantime, don’t forget to enter our ‘most popular vegetable on earth’ poll. Just go to the comments section of the blog and let us know your favorite vegetable variety. We’ll announce the winners on Friday of this week. You could win a packet of seeds of your personal favorite veg along the way.

I’m so very ready for spring. Must.Stay.Patient!  Aaaarrrrggghhh!

 

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vegetables-basketHappy Monday, Y’all.  I want to play a game.  And I’d love as many people as possible to play, so I need your help.  I’m trying to discover the absolutely, positively, without a doubt, dead certain, most popular vegetables on the planet.

Please use the comment button and let me know your favorite veg.  Here are some hints and ground rules:

1. Baked Beans is not an answer.

2. Neither is Fried Chicken.

3. Tomatoes is too broad.  Early Girl Tomatoes, or Beefsteak tomatoes, or Black Krim are more specific and help a lot more.  Same with peppers. Try and be specific.

4. Green beans will work for me, but if you have favorite varieties that’s even better.

5. This poll/survey will last through Thursday of this week.  On Friday I will announce the winner.

6. If we get over 100 comments on the blog, FB and Twitter don’t count (geez, I’m bossy today), I’m going to put all the names into a hat and draw out one of those names.  The name I draw, will receive a packet of seeds of her or his favorite veggie, along with instructions on how to grow them.  I will even help you with questions you have.  I will also agree to grow it in my own garden and take photos of it along the way.

7.

So…I need you to vote. I need your family to vote. I need your friends to vote. I need your in laws to vote. Please, repost or share this with everyone you know. Tweet out the link.  I’d like as many votes as possible.

I’ll play too.  What is Sam’s favorite Vegetable?  If you said, Ghost Peppers, you’d be absolutely…..WRONG!  I do love them.  I love them a lot.  My favorite, though, and there were so many options, is the mighty Sweet Potato. Beauregard, is my favorite variety of them, if you want to be picky.  Sweet potatoes are a super food and can be enjoyed so many ways; Baked, fried, boiled, candied, in pies, in souffles, in soups and stews, as a pudding. The list goes on and on.

Now it’s your turn.  Thanks for playing and spreading the word. This could be fun…or maybe not!

 

 

P.S. The gorgeous veggie basket is from http://www.agricorner.com.

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