It all starts here… Unfortunately our open door policy is closed due to the covid 19 pandemic.
February 3, the 1st Wave: There are 7 insulated, well lit shelves in our basement where Tammy seeds & sprouts all our plants. Peppers & Eggplants are showing well, as are early varieties of tomatoes. Sweet Potatoes are set to sprout.
Growing Tips #1: Make sure you have ample light. Do not over water, try to keep trays evenly moist. If possible, water from the bottom, not the top. This will reduce damping off. Transplant into larger containers when they are 2-3″ tall.
February 24-28: We transplanted the first wave and moved them to the 3rd floor grow room, making space for the next wave of seeds.
Growing Tips #2: Re-circulating the air is as important as proper lighting to develop strong, healthy plants.
March 1-5: Now we seed Wave #2– all our indeterminate tomato varieties and an early crop of basil. Indeterminate tomatoes grow like a vine and require staking. Ours grow to approx. 12 feet high, which is 1/2 the length they could grow given a longer growing season.
Growing Tips #3: If you are transplanting tomatoes, remove the two sprouted leaves, and transplant deeply into the next sized pot. Extra roots will form on the stocks that are covered by soil. A good root system is vital to a healthy plant.
March 11 & 12: All the shelves are full, and we have to babysit seedlings & plants, but still there is so much more. Now we expand into other spaces that are cooler… Wave #3. It starts with cabbages. So many tiny seeds. 5 Types this year: Green & Purple ox-heart, Green & Purple round storage varieties, and the Large, flat Dutch. This is a cold weather crop and can be transplanted into the garden towards the end of April.
April 1: We start transplanting the determinate tomatoes & start Wave #4. All the determinate (bush) tomato varieties need to be seeded so they are ready to transplant at the end of May. 1200 plants are required for this wave, and space inside the house is now at a premium. I can’t wait till wave #1 moves to the greenhouse to make space.
We take pride in our gardens
It is said that “We should eat vegetables of all colors to get the best nutritional value.” In keeping with this philosophy, we are proud to offer produce in all spectrum’s of the rainbow. It is also our choice not to use chemical fertilizers or pesticides, choosing instead to use a mixture of compost and elbow grease to nurture healthy, plants filled with vitality.
In 2019 we had a very tasty year with 170 varieties of Tomatoes (most of them heritage.) In 2020 we will have all the favorites back along with a few new ones. We have increased the number of determinate varieties substantially to meet the demand for fresh market and canning tomatoes.
Vegetables for 2020: Other than tomatoes we will have 8 types Egg Plants, 15 varieties of Sweet Peppers, 10 types of Hot Peppers, Peas & Beans, Kale, and 5 varieties of Cabbages. New additions are Cauliflower, Broccoli & mini versions of both, Okra & Celery. Summer & Winter squashes (too many to count) will make your eyes pop, and your tummy rumble for more. Root vegetables include: Onions, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots & Beets with the addition of Parsnips & Turnips. 6 Varieties of Garlic. lots of Herbs which includes Basil, Parsley, Cilantro, Dill, Thyme, Winter Savory, Rosemary, Mint, Chive, Lavage & Horseradish. Pulses: end of the season dried baking beans: Black, kidney, soldier & saddle
In fruit we have Rhubarb, Black Raspberries, Yellow Raspberries & Black Berries.
Yes, it’s a lot of produce, and it is a handful to manage.
For the vegetables not listed, we depend on a network of local farms to fill in the gaps. We bring in local Strawberries from the beginning of June all the way to October, Red Raspberries from July to September, as well as Wild & Domestic Blueberries from July to September. We also have a driver that goes to the Niagara Region 3 times per week to bring back tree-ripened fruits as they come into season: Cherries, Plums, Apricots, Peaches, Nectarines, and Pears. Corn starts the middle of July and is brought in fresh-picked each morning until the first hard frost. There is an organic grower who provides Carrots & Beets to back up our own, and a regular supply of Onions, Potatoes, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and all the salad fixings you could imagine throughout the entire growing season.