by in Garden.

FarmersMarket1The land of western North Carolina is rich with beautiful and highly productive farms. We are lucky to live in a region so chock full of great local food, not to mention awesome farmers!

As the season is progressing, I would like to send a shout-out to our many area farms and farmers. These individuals work very hard to provide produce, flowers, meats, cheeses, etc. of excellent quality. Thanks for all you do!

There are two excellent means of procuring lovely local produce and goods: the area farmers markets and C.S.A’s (Community Supported Agriculture).

The farmers markets are a “come one, come all!” situation, in which consumers can shop around and get what they need for their household and support a number of farmers and local crafts-people. Say, you just want some berries, lettuce and goat cheese.

Or one can join a C.S.A, and this creates a direct relationship between the customer and one farm and its farmers. Generally, a C.S.A lasts the length of the season (approximately May through October) and participants pick up a box of fresh produce once a week, opting for a full share or a half-share, according to the size of your household. Typically, one would sign up as a member of a C.S.A before the season begins, but you can always check with a farm to see if they have open spaces. It’s always nice to have options, but the fundamental importance here is supporting our local farms.

 
by in Garden.

SP-Garden-Lettuce

We grow a wide number of lettuce types and other salad greens in our garden throughout the season. Since we start our own seedlings we can experiment with unusual varieties and plant many kinds of lettuces. If you visit us throughout the season you’ll probably notice that we regularly harvest and replant. We’ll try to remember to add photos throughout the year of the different varieties we grow, so do check back if you have an interest in salad greens.

 
by in Garden.

Allium1

The large purple “puff balls” flowers are Allium plants, a member of the onion family. It is a perennial that grows from a bulb and blooms in spring. The globe-shaped flower heads are comprised of a cluster of florets up to 5 inches in diameter atop 3 foot stems. A fun addition to our fence line planter boxes.

Once the florets have died back the remaining cluster still makes for an interesting addition to cut flower arrangements.

Allium-arrangement1

 

 
by in Garden.

As spring is turning into summer, I would like to say thank you to the spring bulbs that graced us with their presence. We planted a bunch of new bulbs last fall in the planter boxes adjacent to the fence and throughout the landscape. They were really lovely this year and brought a lot of spring-time joy to the garden. In fact, we could be found wandering along the edge of the garden in the morning, coffee in hand, looking to see what opened up over night… Here are some photos I wanted to share:

 
by in Garden.

pea-shootsIf you’ve been in the garden lately, you may have noticed that some beds are full of peas-a lovely spring crop. We are growing sugar and snap peas vertically along some of the fencing panels in our raised beds. We are also growing pea shoots, these are planted in thick bands and the seeds are placed close together to maximize the yield.

The shoots are the first part of a plant that appear above the soil line as it develops from a tiny seed. The pea shoots are grown for their nutritious and tender seedlings. The young greens are delicious and can be used for salad mixes, garnishes, or eaten alone (as I do in the garden!). The shoots of peas offer a sweet-tasting flavor that is becoming more and more popular in culinary dishes. Keep an eye on our evening specials menu for a spring pea-shoot salad, straight from the garden…