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Posts Tagged ‘organic vegetables’

budget groceriesLast week I was speaking with a young couple who are trying to get serious about living on a budget and eliminating debt. Hooray for them. I’m in their corner. I wish everyone would get serious about such things (and maybe buy my book about that in the process J ).

During our conversation the subject of groceries came up, as it always does in budget talks. These two young people are passionate about eating well and are very conscious of eating organic and grass fed. As parents of two small children, they want to make sure those kids are eating healthy, whole and natural things. How awesome is that?

The need to be on a tight budget for a while, though, means they may have to make some compromises in their food budget, so they wondered what advice I had on matter.

I thought it might be a good idea to share my thoughts on this issue with all of you, as well. Especially since it comes up in conversation all the time.

First, what usually happens is a family either, A. gives up on organic entirely, saying it’s just not affordable or B. gives up on the budget because they can’t bring themselves to make any sacrifices at all on their eating plan and can’t make a budget work without sacrifices, so they choose to keep steering the ship towards the rocky shoreline of debt.

Yikes! I don’t find either of those choices appealing; or wise. Let me suggest a better way.

Most people don’t get into financial difficulties because of their grocery shopping. It’s usually because we make poor spending choices across a wide spectrum of categories. I know this is going to sound harsh, but most of the time, we get into debt crisis because we selfishly want what we want and we want it NOW. We don’t want to think about things like, ‘delayed gratification’. We want our big house, our nice car, our fancy vacations, toys and clothes, and to heck with those who counsel moderation.

When you add in student loan debt and medical emergencies, and many of us are in a heap of hurt. I feel deep empathy for anyone in that situation. My wife and I have been there. I feel your pain. The tough truth, though, is there’s no way out of debt without sacrifice and compromise.

I can’t begin to count the number of individuals and couples who are just not willing to pay the price to gain real financial freedom. But…that’s another topic for another blog.

Since this is food post about groceries, I’ll stick to that issue so that this article will not become a book.

What do we do when our desire to eat right collides with our desperate need to live on a budget and eliminate debt? Does one category have to lose?

The answer is no. We can win at both, but sometimes, when we’re taking the long view, we make some short term sacrifices for a lifetime of happiness and health.

Chess players know that occasionally a piece on the board has to be strategically sacrificed to set up a winning plan. Military strategists are familiar with a ‘strategic retreat’ in order to gain a long term advantage and victory.

Keep in mind, when eliminating debt; many of our most extreme sacrifices are short term. Once we’re debt free we’ll have more expendable cash to invest in our healthy diets, so I recommend getting focused and getting the tough job done as quickly as possible.

When we’re on a tight budget, we are going to stop eating out, or at least seriously curb the practice. We are going to buy cheaper cuts of meat and have a lot more casseroles rather than surf n turf dinners. It’s just part of the process.

There are going to be some foods we will have to eliminate for a while or choose traditional rather than organic options (remember it’s temporary).

There are some things I would recommend NEVER compromising on, if at all possible. Those would be root vegetables and soft fruits. This is because they are most susceptible to transmitting chemicals to you and your children.

Root vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, turnips, etc. sit in the soil and soak up all the chemical soup that is sprayed on them, whether fertilizers or pesticides. For those kinds of foods, I would not eat conventional, even if the conventional options are considerably less expensive. The risk is just too high for my tastes.

The same is true for soft fruits, like berries, apples and peaches, etc. Those fruits are sprayed like crazy and the chemicals are absorbed into the flesh of the fruit. This is not as true for things we shell or peel like nuts, bananas melons.

Most veggies, like, lettuce, cabbage, peppers, etc. we can wash thoroughly and be ok with for a period of time, while we get ourselves on financial track. Root veg and soft fruit, though, I’d adjust my budget to account for.

I also recommend growing your own, when possible. It’s pretty cheap to grow carrots, turnips and potatoes. You’ll save a ton of money, get some exercise working in the garden and home grown food just plain tastes better.

(Side note: I did an experiment with purple potatoes this spring. I planted 4 seed potatoes in a small garden bed and got ten potatoes for every one I planted. That is a terrific rate of return by anyone’s standard. If I’d planted earlier, I would have had an even BETTER return. Think about it.

For the record, this is the same advice I give everyone who says organic is just too expensive. It bears repeating one more time. If you can only spend a small amount on organic food, start with root vegetables and soft fruit. Later you can begin adding other things. And, of course, growing your own is always a win/win.

Remember, I crave feedback. I’d love to hear your tips on how to transition to a healthier way of eating while on a budget. Also, feel free to send your budget questions as well as your gardening ones. Send them via the comments section, or email me. Please follow this blog and recommend it to all your friends and family. After all, we’re in this together.

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Zephyr Squash. Did it make the list?

Zephyr Squash. Did it make the list?

As I was looking through my seed library the other day, I finally accepted the reality that I’m a hoarder. I not only have seeds for varieties I’ve never planted, I have seeds of things I’m not even sure what they are.

Mostly though, the excess comes from the fact that while I know I’m going to grow certain standard, favorite varieties, I like to try a few new things each year. Unfortunately, seed packets come with too many seeds for most of my ‘tests’, so I end up with lots of left overs.

Seed catalogs don’t help. All they do is make me want to try more and more, encouraging my experimental nature and feeding my hoarding tendencies.

In nearly every type of fruit and vegetable, there are so many varieties to choose from, I could almost become indecisive. If that’s true for an experienced gardener like me, what’s a beginner supposed to do?

Since ‘Our Edible Suburb’ attracts a large number of beginning gardeners in addition to all you crazy garden addicts, I decided it would be a good idea to add a new twist and review new varieties from time to time. I will do the reviews as YouTube videos and link to them here on the blog. I’m kind of excited about it. Stay tuned.

Today, though, I’m going to highlight some varieties that would be my pick if I could only grow one type of each veg. To be fair, these might not necessarily be my favorite, but for one reason or another, if I could grow only one, these would be my choices.

  1. Tomato. Most years I grow from 15 to 30 varieties because Brittan and I love tomatoes. We love them
    Large Red Cherry Tomatoes

    Large Red Cherry Tomatoes

    fresh, canned and dried.  We like to can as much of our own sauce and paste as possible, and variety is the spice of live.  I would be hard pressed to choose my favorite, though ‘Aunt Ruby’s German Green’ comes to mind as a real possibility. If I could only grow one variety it would be ‘Large Red Cherry’.  Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Large Red cherry is an indeterminate variety so it keeps growing and producing all season. The tomatoes grow in nice clusters of usually 4 to 8 one to two inch fruits. They are full of great tomato flavor, with enough juiciness to enjoy fresh, but meaty enough for roasting, grilling or canning.  They are small enough to put in your salad, yet just big enough to slice onto your summer sandwich. The plants are extremely hardy and seem to be resistant to blossom end rot.  And, because they are indeterminate, they get lots of suckers, so I’m able to get all the cuttings I want for second season tomatoes (yes, we have two seasons here. Three if you start your seeds in a greenhouse in January, like I do.)

  2. Hot Pepper. Everyone who has read this blog for very long knows I’m a true heat lover. Growing hot peppers is my very favorite part of gardening. I grow a wide variety of them, from Early Prolific
    Biker Billy Jalapenos

    Biker Billy Jalapenos

    Jalapenos to Carolina Reapers, and I think I love them all.  If someone stuck a gun to my head, I would say yellow Jolokia (ghost peppers) or yellow Moruga Scorpions are my favorite and that Serrano peppers are the most versatile for cooking.  If, though, I could only grow ONE hot pepper, I would choose the ‘Biker Billy Hybrid’ Jalapeno. Biker Billy’s are prolific producers with a heat level somewhere between a Cayenne and a Habanero.   They make outstanding poppers, and if allowed to completely ripen are great for roasting. They make a darned fine pepper jelly.

  3. Sweet Pepper. I’m only just now learning to appreciate all the nuances of the different sweet peppers, having spent most of my gardening years thinking ‘a sweet pepper is a sweet pepper’. Though I have grown several varieties, I’ve grown mostly California Wonder and other mixed colored Bells. Still, if I was limited to only one variety, I would choose the Giant Aconcagua, due to its size, versatility and sweetness. Aconcaguas are the perfect stuffing or roasting peppers and are fantastic sliced into rings for a salad.
  4. Zucchini. This one is really easy for me. I would choose Partenon hands down if I only had one choice. That’s because I’m really lazy and Partenon has been bulletproof in the three years I’ve grown it. Partenon is, as the name suggests, Parthenocarpic, meaning it can grow fruit without pollination. Because of this, I can plant early and often.  I frequently start planting in January in my greenhouse and with a good plan for sequential planting I can harvest through Thanksgiving.
  5. Cucumbers. Right now I would choose Socrates for the same reasons I’d select Partenon as my Zucchini/Squash.  Plus, the plants produce heavy numbers of cucumbers, so it only takes a few plants to keep us in Cukes all year. I love cucumbers and truly enjoy many varieties, but Socrates would be my pick if I could only grow one type.
  6. Beans. I’m not sure I could name all the varieties of beans I’ve grown over the years. It’s mind boggling to think about how many kinds there are. I know most people seem to prefer pole beans for small spaces, but I’m a bush bean guy. I like the low maintenance and the fact that I can continuously plant in different parts of the garden after other crops finish, which is good for the soil and good for our larder.  As I thought through which would be my ONE choice, I came up with a tie, because ‘beans’ is such a generic term. I would pick Fordhook Lima and Kentucky Wonder, both in their bush varieties.
  7. Lettuce.  I absolutely hate salad. In fact, I don’t have the vocabulary to describe how badly I hate salad. But I love growing lettuce more than I hate eating it. I enjoy growing ‘blends’ because there are so many surprises that come from the seed packets. Romaines are fun because they get so big and impressive in the garden. Buttercrunch is another visually appealing variety, but if I could choose only one, it would be Black Seeded Simpson. BSS is a well known, but often neglected heirloom. It can be picked as a leaf lettuce or grown out as a head lettuce. It grows beautifully, gets quite large, and for a lettuce, tastes pretty good.
  8. Cabbage is almost too easy to include. My choice would be Baby Bok Choy. It is ready for harvest about 30 days after germination. It germinates easily and I can grow it all year in my hydroponics systems.
  9. Potatoes. I know that potatoes seem to be politically incorrect in our low carb world, but I think that’s rubbish. If potatoes are grown organically, they are full of vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy and the right kinds of carbs to keep our energy levels high during those winter months when we need plenty of fuel to stay warm.  The pages of history are filled with stories of societies and people groups that have been literally saved from extinction because of the lowly spud.  And if I could choose only one type, it would be Yukon Gold. It grows well, has a good balance in its texture, tastes great and is versatile in how it can be adapted for cooking.
  10. Herbs. I think I’ll make this the last one for this entry, because it’s getting pretty wordy. I don’t think there is a single herb I dislike. Some are tastier than others. Some are prettier than others, but all are wonderful additions to our gardens, larders and/or medicine cabinets. If I had to limit myself, I would
    Oregano

    Oregano

    choose Sweet Basil from that family, Garden Thyme from the thymes and Common Oregano.  All are beautiful, fragrant and delicious.

Ok, it’s time to stop. There’s just not enough time to cover every type of vegetable. Perhaps I’ll come back to this theme another time.  If you’ve read through to the end, I hope you’ve heard some of your favorites and maybe learned of some new ones. Now it’s your turn because I’m desperate to hear about your favorite varieties.  Please add your comments and share what tickles your taste buds and shows up regularly in your garden.

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Fresh-Garden-Vegetables_Natural__IMG_5191-580x386It’s garden planting season all over the Northern Hemisphere; aka, Spring.  Seasoned gardeners have been pouring over seed and plant catalogues for months, deciding which old favorites will grace their gardens for the umpteenth time and which new varieties we’ll try.

Those of us in the more moderate to warmer climates have the majority, or even all, of our gardens totally planted. A few of the most fortunate are already enjoying early harvests.

For thousands of beginning gardeners, and those in the northernmost zones, it’s just now decision time.  We’ve studied our hardiness zones and prepped our beds, but deciding on plant varieties seems almost overwhelming.

As we look through catalogues and websites, the options make our heads spin. How can there be this many kinds of tomatoes, green beans, or cucumbers, etc. to choose from?

Among the areas of confusion for new gardeners is the misinformation that hybrid varieties are all bad, while heirloom varieties are all good.

The confusion lies in the mistaken idea that hybrids are synonymous with GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) varieties, which is simply not true.

Hybrids are merely cross bred varieties that are created to emphasize certain traits like size, shape, seedlessness, disease resistance, or any number of other characteristics. While hybridization crosses different strains, it does not introduce foreign DNA into the plant.

A GMO, on the other hand, has had its DNA tampered with in a laboratory environment. The most hyped kind of GMO is ‘Round Up Ready’, which means the DNA of the seed has been ‘enhanced’ chemically to resist the introduction of the herbicides found in Monsanto’s ‘Round Up’.  Fields of Round Up Ready crops can be freely sprayed with Round Up, without, theoretically, damaging the crop itself.

A hybrid tomato, then, is comparable to a designer dog, like a Labradoodle, while a GMO tomato would be more like something from ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’.

veggiesCurrently, there are no GMO seeds being sold to the general public from seed catalogs or garden centers. The same is true for starter plants.

Most gardeners are familiar with Bonnie Plants, who seem to have displays in nearly every garden center.  Bonnie offers a wide selection of both heirloom and hybrid varieties.  You are perfectly safe choosing which varieties you like.

The biggest downside of growing hybrids is that they are not good for seed saving. Chances are, the seeds will not breed true to the same characteristics of the plant the seeds were saved from.  Apart from that, the only other negative is that some people think hybrids lack the flavor complexity found in heirloom varieties.

I disagree.  While it used to be true, and in a few tomato varieties, hardiness trumped flavor; these days many of the hybrids taste just a great as open pollinated, heirlooms. I would go as far as to say, the sweetest sweet corn and melons come from some of the hybrids. My absolutely favorite Jalapeno is the ‘Biker Billy’ hybrid, which has great Jalapeno flavor with more than double the heat of the traditional ‘Early Prolific’ variety.

My favorite cabbages are heirlooms, while my favorite cauliflowers are hybrids. I love heirloom basil and hybrid cantaloupe. I could go on, but you get the point.

Grow the varieties of fruits and vegetables you and your family love to eat and don’t worry about the heirloom vs. hybrid myths. Unless you’re planning to save seeds, the whole catalogue is open to you. Have fun. Experiment with different types. Find your old favorites and see if there are some new favorites out there.  Rest easy. Hybrids are not the devil.

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tomatoesI was reading some ‘tomato growing tips’ online this morning and realized yet again how many myths and how much inaccurate information is out there.  I know that much of it is well intentioned material that’s been handed down by good people over the years, but I still feel compelled to bust these myths and free you up to grow the best tomatoes ever, and to grow the varieties you want, even if you’re limited to tiny spaces.

Myth 1. If you’re growing in buckets, you are limited to determinate varieties.   I’m not sure where that came from, but it simply isn’t true.  I’ve grown my tomatoes in buckets and other containers for years,  and I grow lots of indeterminate tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets.  In fact, I grow the smaller determinate varieties like Tumbler and Tiny Tim in 3 gallon buckets.  In the commercial hydroponic world, many growers use 3 gallon ‘bato buckets’ for indeterminate varieties.

The secrets to successful container tomatoes are: a. loose soil/growing media for root development, b. plenty of moisture and good drainage, c. consistent nutrient supply, d. good support for the plant and fruit.

My soil mix is a blend of rabbit manure worm compost (with lots of straw) from my worm bins, coco peat, sphagnum peat and perlite.  I do sometimes supplement with potting mix purchased from a local garden center. The key is to keep it nice and fluffy so the roots can spread and grab moisture/nutrients.

My containers are simple 3 and 5 gallon buckets sourced from local grocery store bakeries, big box stores and leftover buckets from my wife’s soap business.  I also use Earthboxes purchased off the internet or from the Earthbox Center in Florida (it’s right down the road from my in-laws).

Myth 2. You need to drill lots of holes in the bottom of your buckets for drainage.  This timeless myth has cost us all many gallons of water and many pounds of nutrients as it drains away into the earth beneath the buckets.  (Full disclosure: I used to do this and a few of my old buckets that are still in use have bottom holes.)

I’ve found that self watering/wicking containers  are more water and nutrient efficient. I will make a video of this very soon, but all you need to do, is drill two quarter inch holes about 3 inches up from the bottom of the bucket.  Fill the bucket up to the holes with lava rock, river rock, or whatever you have access to. I find lava rock to be inexpensive and light weight. This layer becomes a reservoir for holding water. If the water level gets too high, the water drains out through the holes, but doesn’t all run out through the bottom.

Cover the rock layer with some landscape fabric, burlap or even an old tee shirt. This forms a barrier between the grow mix and the reservoir.

Put about a one or two inch layer of coco peat or sphagnum peat for wicking, then fill the rest of the bucket with your favorite grow mix.  You will save gallons of water this way and your plants will love you.

In a future update, I’ll explain how and what to feed your tomatoes to maximize your harvest.  For now,  because I know most of the country is getting their tomatoes out, I  wanted to dispel a couple myths that keep container gardeners from enjoying their favorite indeterminate varieties.

I love to hear from you, so please use the comments section send your questions and favorite tomato tips to me. We’re in the together.

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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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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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