by in Garden.

Sunny Point Garden TomatoesTomatoes! So many wonderful varieties.

Fresh tomatoes are one of the great joys of having a vegetable garden. Yes, the plants can be tricky to grow and take a lot of care, but when harvest time comes along it is all worth it. In our opinion, eating a fresh tomato is one of the defining tastes of summer.

Visitors to our garden remark on the wide variety of tomatoes we have growing, often in colors they have never seen. Each year we plant a different combination of tomato varieties and there are always numerous volunteer plants that come up around the edges of the garden. At harvest time, the spread of colors, shapes and sizes is beautiful.

Our recent harvest basket containing the following varieties, shown clockwise starting in the upper left: Egg Yolk (round, yellow), Indigo Cherry Drops (round, purple/orange), Blueberries (smaller round, purple/orange), Blue Beauty (large irregular, pink/blue), one of our volunteer plants (large round, red), Black Vernisage (medium round, striped red/green), more Indigo Cherry Drops and Blueberries, Black Beauty (medium irregular, deep purple), Atomic Grape (medium oblong, striped green/yellow), another volunteer plant (small oblong, red), and Micheal Palin (medium pear, striped yellow/green).

 
by in Garden.

What’s that white stuff on the plant leaves?

Visitors to our garden often ask us about the white powder on the leaves of various plants, and no wonder, it does look foreboding. But fear not, it is an organic insect repellent made from kaolin clay, a naturally occurring mineral.

We are using a product called Surround W.P. which is made from 95% kaolin clay. Mixed with water and sprayed onto plant leaves it dries to form a white film that repels bugs. Surround can help control a wide variety of pests on fruit trees as well as vegetables. In our garden we are using it on the cucumbers, squash, and bean plants.

Kaolin clay on the Sour Gherkins growing up the fence near the top of our garden.

The list of pests that Surround can help control is long and includes caterpillars, beetles, worms, and flies. The pests we have seen the most attacking our cucumbers, beans, and squash are Mexican Bean Beetles, Cucumber Beetles, Bean Leaf Beetles, and Squash Beetles.

Surround is not a pesticide, it doesn’t kill bugs, it repels them. It sticks to their body parts and encourages them to move elsewhere. At harvest time, the white film can be removed simply by rubbing it off or washing the produce.

We combine use of kaolin clay with good old bug patrol by our garden staff. Each day we look carefully on the underside of leaves for eggs and larva – squashing them as we find them. Adult beetles, which we squash as well, can be found on and under leaves, as well as along the stems of plants.

 

 

 
by in Garden.

SP-garden-squirrel-w-sunflowerIn one word, sunflowers.

We are often asked how we keep squirrels out of the garden. We don’t, instead we distract them. We have found that they absolutely love sunflowers, as do many visiting bids, bees and other insects.

Sunflowers are located all around our garden perimeter and periodically throughout the garden. They are terrific companion plants, attracting beneficial insects and have a long bloom season. They add height interest to the overall garden and the squirrels love climbing up the stalks to bite off a seed head and carry it away. The squirrels are happy, seldom bother other garden plants, and as they are messy eaters they spread seeds for next year. The large group of sunflowers near the greenhouse was entirely squirrel and bird seeded.

Having troubles with squirrels, plant sunflowers next year is our recommendation.

 
by in Garden.

SP-garden-3bluebottlesThroughout the garden there are many upside down glass bottles. What are they for?

The bottles in our garden are covering rebar which is inserted into the ground to prevent our garden staff from inadvertently dragging a watering hose across plants. Rebar alone would present a hazard, so the glass bottles provide a decorative way to safely cover the metal and as an added bonus the hose slides better across the smooth glass.

There are references to bottle trees in Southern folklore and literature as wards against evil spirits. Legend says that evil spirits are attracted to the glass shining in the sun, in particular blue bottles, and climb inside the bottles and are trapped. Many private gardens in our area have bottle trees, keep an eye out for them as you travel around. We think it is kinda cool that an effective practical solution to a problem turns out to be both attractive and has its own legend.

 
by in Awards.

SP-headers-Shrimp-Grit-Stoobie-Award2016There are awards, and then there are AWARDS. The Stoobie Awards is one of the latter. Needless to say we were thrilled to receive…

2016 Stoobie Award for Best Shrimp ‘n’ Grits

“…if you want really good shrimp ‘n’ grits, you have any number of choices in Asheville, but if you want the BEST shrimp ‘n’ grits, you gotta go to Sunny Point Cafe on the West side of the river….” – excerpt from the 2016 Stoobie Awards, Part 1.

Read the full article in all its glory here.

What is the secret of our Shrimp & Grits?
We start with a bowl of our creamy chipotle cheese grits. (Yes, they do have some spicy kick to them.) We top the grits with blackened shrimp, roasted tomatoes, a white wine Dijon cream sauce, and garnish with our crisp maple black pepper bacon.

Shrimp & Grits can be ordered anytime we are open, so you can enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch.

See our daytime menu hereevening menu here.