Sunflower Pollination

In sunflower seed production, pollen from a male row of sunflowers must be moved by bees to a female row. Most honey bee workers specialize as either nectar or pollen foragers. Nectar foragers tend primarily to visit female rows, while pollen foragers visit male rows. If few bees cross between rows there will be poor seed-set. Most native bees, on the other hand, collect both pollen and nectar on each foraging trip and therefore tend to cross between the rows, pollinating the female flowers in the process. These native bees also make honey bees more efficient because the natives come in contact with honey bees and literally chase them between rows.

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Autumn’s amber waves

Sorghum is currently the fifth leading cereal crop grown in the world. It has been and is used in a variety of ways, from cracked grain and flour to sugar syrup molasses to alcoholic beverages. It is easy to grow and is a relatively drought tolerant plant that uses 1/3 less water than corn to produce and as a result reduces soil erosion which is high in crops such as corn and cotton. The bright green stalk resembles corn until about four feet in height when it sets its open seeded head from the center, which contains hundreds of ‘berries.’ The plants can be grown tightly spaced allowing for greater yield on less ground.

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Tomatoes!

This has been a pretty good year for us tomato wise. Here at the nursery we planted three varieties, ‘Crimson Carmelo’, Roma, and ‘Sun Gold’ Cherries. The Romas have been so so, kinda small this year, but the Crimson Carmelo and Sun Gold have been great! We are just shy of 60 lbs from 10 plants with plenty more to harvest. Have you been blessed with an abundance of tomatoes this year? Not sure what to do with them all before they rot? Personally there’s just so much salsa, sauce and soup I can do in a season. Solution, Freeze em! They will keep this way for about three to… Read More

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Nature’s kaleidoscope

While drinking tea in the garden with a friend yesterday we remarked upon the seemingly endless variations that nature presents to the world. I never seem to tire of it. In fact it is this variation, sometimes a kaleidoscopic cacophony of color, form, growth and motion that delights me most. Within this apparently chaotic symphony however, there is, upon closer inspection, order, patterns, balance and harmony. Whether in the arrangement of leaves, the perfect spacing of gills on a mushroom, a spiral of growth, or the simple elegance of a rose flower, there seems present the potential for a deeper mystery that my mind cannot fully comprehend. I am in… Read More

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Meditation in miniature

Most of the folks that know me or have visited the nursery have heard me preach, perhaps incessantly, on the virtues of growing plants for food and health in the form of plant medicines, plants that may assist us in our spiritual paths, as well as creating self sustaining gardens that benefit not only ourselves, but the environment and all the creatures we share our specific locations on the planet with. However there are many other facets of my love of plants and gardening that I do not always readily highlight or share. So today I thought I would like to show you all one of those aspects in a… Read More

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Faeries in the garden

Recently here at the nursery we were blessed with a visit from a delightful young lady who is gifted with the ability to see and speak with Faeries. She taught me that many of our plants are useful to the Faerie folk such as that the Physalis, Ground Cherry husks are used as lanterns. Also, she insisted that Faeries are present in our nursery, which I can believe as true since many of the Faerie Strawberries that were out that day mysteriously disappeared! Still I was not completely convinced of their presence until just the other day when I saw this awesome fellow, who I’m quite sure if you look… Read More

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Grow edibles in pots

  I was recently impressed with a list on facebook of 66 edible plants that can be grown in containers from Homesteading/Survivalism’s page. Here for your entertainment, perusal, approval, (or not), and commentary is a list (not in any particular order and common names only, please contact me if you want the botanical names) of an additional 70+ plants which, yes, I have grown or am at this time growing in containers! 1 -Lemon verbena 2 -Chervil 3 -Mints 4 -Horehound 5 -Lemon balm, Sweet Melisa 6 –Yerba Buena 7 –Tarragon 8 –Sorrel 9 –Chamomile 10 –Epazote 11 –Cilantro 12 –Curry plant 13 –Lemon Grass 14 –Oat Grass 15 –Leeks… Read More

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Alpine Strawberry Tea

“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” – Lin Yutang 6-8 fresh or dried strawberry leaves (Fragaria vesca) 2-3 ripe Alpine Strawberries, slightly crushed Place in tea pot and cover with 1-1 ½ cups boiled,(not roiling) water Steep covered for 10 minutes. Serve in cup with 1 or more Alpine Strawberries Enjoy!

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Peppermint Lavender Tea

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis 
on which the world earth revolves 
- slowly, evenly, without 
rushing toward the future; Live the actual moment. 
Only this moment is life.” -Thích Nhất Hạnh Here at the nursery we like to make tea for our guests in the “Tea Room”. We especially like to make tea from ingredients picked fresh from the garden. This summer my ‘signature’ blend has been a simple one: Peppermint Lavender tea. I have found that too much Lavender added to foods can be a bad if not awful thing. After much experimenting I think that 3 heads, and only three, seems… Read More

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Fall seed workshop

Last Sundays workshop, August 26th, on fall seed planting was a wonderful success thanks to the great participation and hands on involvement of all who attended. Thank you! One of the main topics was how to use recyclable materials to create biodegradable seed starting pots (which could also be used for starting plant cuttings). This technique allows for the starting of seeds that would be resistant to or difficult to transplant from traditional plastic pots or seed plug trays: seeds such as beans, corn, peas, nasturtiums, sweet peas and others. Additionally this method serves as an alternative to direct sow methods to protect seed starts from insects and bird predators.… Read More

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