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Spotlight on seed: Giant Red Mustard

Giant Red Mustard is a staple green in our kitchen. This is my husbands favorite leafy green by far!

Perfect for companion planting with slow growing vegetables or flowers, mustard is a true “cut and come again”. Harvest individual leaves for sandwiches, salads or a stir fry. The large leaves can be used as wraps for a low carb and gluten free bread replacement.

Mustard is excellent combined with sweeter greens in “wilted” salads and perfect for some flavor in smoothies.

This variety is very cold hardy and withstands frosts with ease. Mustard is perfect for shade gardens and those that are a bit cooler.

Fall in love with flavor with an old fashioned green.

Shop now: https://seedsandsoilorganics.com/product/mustard-giant-red-brassica-juncea-var-integrifolia/

Alaska sown-Alaska grown

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What seeds are we starting this week

Chives!

One of my favorite “stacking” plants…chives have so many functions within the garden ecology and they are one of the easiest plants to grow with a little attention.

A hardy herbaceous perennial (zone 3 to 11) that serves as an edible perennial, pollinator attractor, biocontrol, cut flower, edible flower, self seeding plant that can be divided in the fall every 2-3 years. I don’t think it get much better than that.

We intensively plant chives around our Apple trees to outcompete the grass but to also attract pollinators and beneficial insects.

Start in flats or cell packs. Sow 1/4″ deep with germination occurring within 10-14 days. Once chives reach about 5″ in height, give them a nice trim to 2″.

Don’t forget to feed them every 3 weeks while growing indoors.

Yes! We do have seeds available: https://seedsandsoilorganics.com/product-category/shop-seeds/

Happy Growing!

Alaska sown-Alaska grown

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Give me shelter from the storm

People have basic needs: food, air, shelter and water. The plants that we grow in our gardens and farms also have the same basic requirements.

The beneficial insects and “pests” have these same needs too. When we observe our growing space at the start of the season, we reflect and ask are all their needs being met and if not… how can I meet those needs?

If an issue arises such as an infestation or disease, it is a time to pause and determine if all needs are being met at the proper amounts. An overabundance of water may have some not so desirable results and too much nitrogen can be a detriment to a plant’s system. Too much food and water may inhibit proper growth.

Now is the perfect time to design which elements can be incorporated into our growing spaces to invite life back onto the landscape. Maybe some shallow dishes filled with stones will provide the local pollinators with a drink of water. Another option would to pile rocks with damp leaves so that ground crawlers can seek refuge. Even adding some mulch on top of the soil to reduce evaporation and retain moisture will aid microbial life and provide an opportunity to thrive.

Systems thinking… we become a part of the system in which we grow.

Alaska sown-Alaska grown

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Garden Design Dreams

My dreams started in the garden…

I remember gazing over the blank slate each Spring with a vision of an overflowing edible cottage garden. A place where butterflies, bees and birds congregated to enjoy the landscape together.

It has taken a long time, a lot of labor, many costly inputs and laughable failures to arrive at my dream garden. When sized up to the space in which we grow seed and vegetables for our small farm business- my garden pales in comparison. Yet, I have a piece of refuge that is one of the most valued growing spaces on our landscape.

There are many other attributes to appreciate outside of girth. When I close my eyes in my garden I can hear the hum of life. I can smell the perfume of the flowers and the oils of the herbs. The song of the Pine Siskin echoes in my ears as a gust of the Palmer winds nearly knock me over. This space is a reflection of my spirit and I all the things I wish the world to be.

As we begin to design, outline and prepare for the growing season, I am drawn to my exceptional parterre and the moments of peace I will find there. I reflect on the tenets of garden design, color application and edible landscaping. It is apparent that we have borrowed these themes from the original architect.

The sun is returning and now is the time to observe all the charm that nature has to offer. The components of diversity, structure, shape and color are the details I would like to replicate into my garden.

I am incorporating more local flora to allow this cultivated space to transition seamlessly into the surrounding forest. As a mirror of my life I wish this space to be less structured and more wild and free.

Happy Dreaming!

Alaska sown-Alaska grown

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What seeds are we starting this week?

Celery and Celeriac!

Celery and celeriac have a very long growing period. Seeds should be started 14-16 weeks before temperatures stay above 50F. Celery and celeriac are temperature sensitive!

I soak my seeds overnight prior to starting- I am careful to label them as these two twins are identical.

We start our celery and celeriac in 2″-4″ pots. Although they take months to grow to a transplantable size, I have found that minimizing rehoming is what celery and celeriac prefer.

Sow seeds 1/8″-1/4″ deep setting the containers on a heat mat set at 75F. We use a dome cover or plastic wrap to ensure consistent moisture during this critical germination period.

We keep these beauties under lights, provide air movement and we feed them every 3 weeks or so.

I will be keeping my eye on the calendar come May for consistent temperatures above 50F.

Alaska sown-Alaska grown