Category: Garden Resources

About Parsley

Parsley Seeds
22 Mar

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) Both the curly leaf form (P. crispum) and the Italian flat-leaf form (P. crispum var. neapolitanum) of this useful herb are members of the carrot family Apiaceae, and share a close botanical relationship to their cousin the parsnip (although the similarity in names is coincidental). As with most other members of this…

About Leeks

Varna Organic Leek Seeds closeup LK443
19 Mar

Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum, var. porrum, syn. A. porrum) This member of the Allium family is thought to have been in cultivation since the 2nd century BC, from ancient Egypt to Mesopotamia. The Romans believed that eating leeks imparted a sonorous voice — to the point that the emperor Nero had leek soup served to him…

About Cress and Watercress

About Cress
16 Mar

Cress (Lepidium sativum) & Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) Cress (sometimes called garden cress, garden pepper cress, pepperwort, or pepper grass) is a leafy annual herb from the Brassica family. It is harvested when immature, around one to two weeks after germination, but will grow to a height of around 60cm (24”) if left undisturbed, and then…

About Cilantro

About Cilantro
15 Mar

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) This annual herb is known officially as coriander just about everywhere outside of the Americas. We often think of the fresh leaves as cilantro, and the seeds (which are very easy to harvest) as coriander. Cilantro is the Spanish name for coriander. The plant is native to North Africa and Mediterranean Europe,…

New Raised Beds

New Raised Beds
14 Mar

It’s already the middle of March, 2017, and spring seems hesitant to start this year. Despite the rain (and melted snow), we know that fairer weather is coming. So we’re building twenty raised beds in between the big red barn and the blue garage. Once filled with organic soil, these will be used by our…

Waiting to Transplant

Waiting to Transplant
12 Mar

Many plants benefit from a head start by sowing indoors during late winter and early spring. For a few crops, notably peppers and tomatoes, this indoor start is an absolute requirement if growing from seed. These tender, tropical plants will be killed outright by frost, and will show immediate signs of distress if exposed to…

Growing Food in Part Shade

Growing Food in Partial Shade
8 Mar

In our relatively short growing season, we need to grow most food crops in a fairly intense way. We need to select crops that mature quickly. Some crops, like mescluns and salad greens grow so fast that we can take several harvests in a single season. Other plants, like pumpkins, use most of the growing…

About Catnip

About Catnip
7 Mar

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) This perennial member of the mint family is native from eastern Europe eastward to China. It is a bushy, branching herb that grows to 50–100cm (20–39″) tall. Like many mints, its stems are square in cross section, and its leaves have a soft texture, being covered by minute hairs. Its white to…

A Year in Mason Bee Keeping

Keeping Orchard Mason Bees
6 Mar

Learn about keeping orchard mason bees. In late winter, hang your mason bee nest against a wall in a sunny location that has morning light. Placing it about eye level is best. That way you can watch them coming and going. Consider putting the cocoons out near or on the nest in early March. Choose…

About Cauliflower

Multi-Colour Blend
5 Mar

About Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea Botrytis group) Modern cauliflower has been grown since the 15th century, and it was grown almost exclusively in Italy until the 16th century when it gradually migrated to France and then to American gardens 100 years later. The Italians grew a variety of different kinds, including the traditional white and Romanesco,…

List of Edible Flowers

List of Edible Flowers
2 Mar

Before you venture out to the garden and harvest a bunch of flowers for the dinner table, it’s important to remember that some flowers are poisonous. Make sure you’ve made a positive identification of each variety you’re using. Obviously, you should avoid flowers that may have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals, so either…

About Tomatoes

About Tomatoes
1 Mar

There are some very interesting facts about tomatoes. No one can say for certain, but the ancestor of all modern tomato varieties appears to have been a scrambling vine that was native to the highlands of Peru. Archaeological evidence suggests that these wild plants were harvested for their small green berries. The first domestication of…