Thursday, July 10, 2014

Buffman and Gram's Vegetables for Vitality: Lima Beans


As many of you know Allen, Sterling & Lothrop's fourth generation has been getting more and more involved in the business.  You may have met Jenn's (AS&L's seed room manager) daughter Nadia running the front with her grandmother, Shirley, or  you may have had one of Shawn's boys help you with a Christmas tree.

This year Buffman (Shawn's middle son) has joined forces with his grandmother, Shirley, to bring you their thoughts on the healthiest vegetable's you can grow.  They consulted Shirley's vast knowledge of gardening and nutrition and   www.whfoods.com
---------------------------------------------------------

Lima Beans can prevent blood sugar levels from rising. When you combine lima beans with grain such as rice it can provide virtually fat free high quality protein.
Lima beans grow vigorously in any worked soil. Lima beans are slow to bear. Bush lima beans bear sooner than pole, but pole limas bear for a longer period of time.
Lima beans can be harvested and shelled like English (Garden) peas. Before washing lima beans, lay them out on a surface to check for small stones or damaged beans. Rinse the beans under cool running water. To shorten the cooking period and make it so you can digest them better, soak them first.
Try making a simple succotash-- by mixing equal parts of cooked fresh (or frozen corn) and cooked lima beans-- add butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bill's Gardens in July!!


 Finally with the sun and this ample rainfall our gardens are coming into their own!!


Garden spirit keeps an eye on this sweet bed! 
My favorite pot!
 

Bleeding Heart and Hosta--each having a record year!
 
 
 
 
 
 
It has been a very strange year, to say the least; large established trees and shrubs seemed to have more problems coming out of winter than perennials.  Indeed, most of the perennials in my yard (i.e. hosta, bleeding hearts, etc.) are performing the best I’ve seen in years. 
Gorgeous yellow Day Lilies and a spectacular Clematis 
 
 
I have been taking advantage of all the recent rain (free water!) by replacing the plants I lost over the winter. Through this harsh winter, Mother Nature has opened up space and has allowed me to revamp some of my beds –replacing dead plant material with new plants that I’ve been wanting to try or replanting some of my favorites.  
Kiwi in full swing!!
 
When customers come into the nursery and we begin discussing plants—of course we love to recommend our favorites!  And, I have most of my favorite plants in my garden at home.  My regular customers and I have standing joke: Bill—if you love it…it must be in your garden. 
 
 
So, this month I’m attaching some pictures of a few of my “favorites” …from my garden that I’m always telling people about…the tri-colored beech, kiwi vine etc.
Lovely Lily of the Valley
 
 
 
We will be adding more next month to show people what a mature specimen may look like.  Stay tuned.



Sedum & colorful Angelina really "pop" on this old stone wall.
REMEMBER: With the combination of warm sunny days and the rain it has been a great season to plant, just remember when the warm summer days get here—water weekly, deeply for all newly planted trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. 

 




Thursday, June 12, 2014

Buffman and Gram's Vegetables for Vitality: Spinach



As many of you know Allen, Sterling & Lothrop's fourth generation has been getting more and more involved in the business.  You may have met Jenn's (AS&L's seed room manager) daughter Nadia running the front with her grandmother, Shirley, or  you may have had one of Shawn's boys help you with a Christmas tree.

This year Buffman (Shawn's middle son) has joined forces with his grandmother, Shirley, to bring you their thoughts on the healthiest vegetable's you can grow.  They consulted Shirley's vast knowledge of gardening and nutrition and  www.healthdiaries.com
----------------------------------------------
Spinach aids in digestion and promotes healthy skin. It is high in vitamin A. It also helps strengthen white blood cells.  The vitamins in spinach serve as powerful anti-oxidants. One boiled cup provides over 1,000% of the RDA of vitamin K. A raw spinach salad is a quick and easy way to add a lot of food value to any meal. This is a great dressing to put on your spinach salad…

  1. 1 clove of garlic (minced or pressed)
  2.  ¼ cup vinegar (apple cider, sherry, red wine, etc.)
  3.  ¾ Cup extra virgin olive oil
In a bowl combine Maple-Sweet Pepper and garlic. Which in vinegar and add olive oil slowly while whisking constantly (by adding the oil slowly, the oil and vinegar will stay combined in a suspension). Or combine everything in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and shake the dressing well. You may want to adjust seasoning by adding some salt.
(Maple-Sweet Pepper can be found at ReginaSpices.com)
         
Spinach is also delicious lightly steamed, with a little salt and butter.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Buffman and Gram's Vegetables for Vitality: Carrots



As many of you know Allen, Sterling & Lothrop's fourth generation has been getting more and more involved in the business.  You may have met Jenn's (AS&L's seed room manager) daughter Nadia running the front with her grandmother, Shirley, or  you may have had one of Shawn's boys help you with a Christmas tree.

This year Buffman (Shawn's middle son) has joined forces with his grandmother, Shirley, to bring you their thoughts on the healthiest vegetable's you can grow.  They consulted Shirley's vast knowledge of gardening and nutrition and  www.whealth.com
-------------------------------------------------
Carrots are easy to grow and high in nutrients; in particular vitamin A.  They are very high in beta-carotene, which helps slow down the aging of cells. Carrots help with the good health of your skin. Some say that eating carrots regularly can help reduce LDL cholesterol level.
When planting carrots work the soil good and deep. Take out any rocks or clods of soil. Improve the soil with lots of compost for larger sweeter carrots. As carrots start to grow thin them to 2 inches apart. 
Carrots are an amazing vegetable that can be eaten either raw, or cooked.  Did you know that carrot tops are edible?  Try using carrot greens as a vegetable or as an herb like parsley.
Carrots are essential in stews, soups, boiled dinners etc.  Try cooking them in a skillet with butter, add a good handful of freshly chopped parsley just prior to serving. 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Bill answers common early spring questions

A common site this winter...

video

This season has definitely gotten off to a slow start!  It has been a particularly challenging winter that left us with a lot of winter kill, deer & rodent damage.  If your plats are experiencing winter damage—(i.e. stress) this is a good time to fertilize with Holly Tone, Plant Tone, etc. We also recommend using a product called PHC Bio-Pak Plus which adds a lot of micro-nutrients to the soil and is a root stimulator.  We have found this works very well on stressed plants. 

One question I am frequently asked this time of year –Is it normal for my conifers to be shedding needles on the inside?  Just as deciduous trees shed leaves, conifers shed needles before pushing new growth. 

If you have had winter kill or deer damage now is the time to prune back the plant to encourage the dormant buds to grow.  In the case of rhododendrons you may be pruning off some of this year’s flowers; but, I believe it is better for the plant to be using its resources to produce new leaves and new growth.

Another great thing to do this time of year –as I was just discussing with one of our customers—weed early and often;  try to get the weeds before the weeds have a chance to set a good root system. 

In the case of rodent damage on trees and shrubs girdling the bark (hopefully they have not gone completely around the plant) you can remove lose bark and possibly use Tree Kote or Tree Wrap to protect the tender bark.  Unfortunately, if they have created a continuous cut around the trunk it is impossible for the plant to draw water and nutrients and the plant will not survive.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Buffman and Gram's Vegetables for Vitality: Kale



 
As many of you know Allen, Sterling & Lothrop's fourth generation has been getting more and more involved in the business.  You may have met Jenn's (AS&L's seed room manager) daughter Nadia running the front with her grandmother, Shirley, or  you may have had one of Shawn's boys help you with a Christmas tree.

This year Buffman (Shawn's middle son) has joined forces with his grandmother, Shirley, to bring you their thoughts on the healthiest vegetable's you can grow.  They consulted Shirley's vast knowledge of gardening and nutrition and www.wiki.com
----------------------------------------------------------

 
Kale has the second highest antioxidant concentration of other vegetables. It is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin c, and rich in calcium. It contains sulferaphane which is a chemical with potent anti- cancer properties.
Kale tastes sweeter and more flavorful when it has been exposed to a frost. You can eat it raw; the new tender shoots are good in a green salad. Kale can be baked or dehydrated so it ends up with a consistency of a potato chip, also can be seasoned with salt. Kale can be steamed and eaten with butter and salt, or used in soups and other casseroles.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Over-Seeding and Spring Lawn Care


Over-seeding & Spring Lawn Care[1]: While it’s important to attend to your lawn in the spring, serious renovation should be done around Labor Day 

 
1.       What kind of lawn do you want?

a.       How are you planning to use it?

b.      How much time and money are you willing to spend on it?

 

2.       Know you square footage.

 

3.       Test the pH (see pH handout).

 

4.       Mow the lawn shorter than usual—about 2”

 

5.       Remove as many weeds and as much debris as possible.

 

6.       Thoroughly rake or dethatch the lawn.

a.       Thatch:  is comprised of living and dead material (i.e. grass clippings, grass stems, and other debris)—usually hidden by the grass the material accumulates and decomposes over time.  Many cool weather grasses don’t create heavy thatch.  Warm weather grasses, like bluegrass do create heavy thatch.

                                                               i.      Thatch can prevent fertilizer from reaching the soil.  It can also play host to insects and fungal diseases.

b.      Usually, using a hand rake will do all you need for dethatching; however, some lawns may require the use of a dethatching machine.  The machine makes vertical cuts into the lawn and pulls the dead material to the surface.

 

7.       Based on the pH results add the soil amendments.

a.       Lime

b.      Fertilizer

c.       In that order

 

8.       Over-seed with grass seed at about half the normal rate (for instance, most AS&L lawn mixes are applied at a rate of 1lb per 200 sq.ft. for a new lawn—for over-seeding use 1/2lb. per 200 sq.ft.)

 

9.       Water daily until established.

 

10.   Create a regular maintenance plan.




[1] Based on Paul Tuckey’s The Organic Lawn Care Manual