Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tomato varieties

Starting a couple years ago we transitioned to all-organic tomato seeds for our starts, and have tried lots of new varieties.
              Started from Organic Seeds
      The All time Favorite at WeeBee Farms
EXCELLENT, sweet flavor! Has produced huge amounts every year at WeeBee Farms under all kinds of conditions. Medium to large tomatoes that are fabulous in salads and also our favorite for salsa-making.  An older French market tomato. Disease-resistant, and resistant to blossom-end rot. Open Pollinated Organic Seeds.
75 days,  Indeterminate

    Started from Organic Seed
Favorite Early Tomato at WeeBee Farms
Developed at Latah County at the University of Idaho . Very early bright red tomato that average about 2 inches across. The flavor is very good and better than many of the super early varieties, although it doesn't produce heavily. Indeterminate, regular leaf foliage. Light, airy foliage, small plant.
50 Days to maturity. Good for Containers

See all our tomatoes by clicking "Read More" below

Thursday, April 3, 2014

First Market on Saturday, April 5th

Come say hi and check out our cool-weather plants. We'll have onions, leeks, chives, lettuces and a few different types of kale. Also a few salad bowls...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tips for growing cold weather greens and Salad Bowls

Our "salad bowl" planters are ready to put on your deck or porch. Here are some quick tips.
Buy one before Mid-May, as they love cold weather and won't be bothered by frost, but do not do well in heat. Harvest about half of each plant when the plant is around 6" high or so. Lettuce will be fairly long-lasting if you keep using it. Harvest often, by pinching off outer, bigger leaves.
Here are a few veggies that may be in your bowl:
  • Mustard (Osaka purple, mizuna or komatsuna, ruby streaks): short-lived, eat leaves while small.
  • Kale and chard: eat leaves while small, do not let it get big or it will take over the whole bowl.
  • Spinach or Arugula: short-lived, eat small young leaves.
  • Chives: a long-lived perennial. Harvest by clipping or pinching. Replant outdoors when bowl is done.
  • Garlic Greens (sometimes marked by a stick if they haven't come up yet) Pinch off leaves and use in salads or with rice, eggs, stirfries, soup, etc. Bulbs will be tiny and not fully formed- not worth waiting for.
  • Italian Red Bunching Onions - eat green part, or wait and use little bulbs like scallions
Keep the bowl well-watered in a place where it gets at least a half day of sun. It will probably be finished growing in June. Bowls can be re-used for years or returned to us.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The early garlics (Tzan, Shantung, Uzbek Turban) are getting huge! Seems like they grew a couple of inches last week...

 Now it's time to do some weeding and then put on the drip lines
Persian Star garlic is still small.

A garlic admirer

Monday, March 24, 2014

Getting ready for the first Boulder Farmer's Market Coming Up On April 5th

Things are growing- but a bit slowly because of the cold nights....
onions growing

onions with their little seeds still attached

Saturday, March 15, 2014

March in the greenhouse

lettuce and kale

onion seedlings

tiny lettuces

"Freckles" lettuce seedlings
Things are growing like crazy in the greenhouse. Lettuces, kale and onions will be ready for the first market April 5th. Maybe a couple of salad bowls, too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Exposed garlic

On Feb. 25th
The middle row of my main garlic field had a lot of garlic that heaved out of the ground this winter. This photo was taken on Feb 25th, before I pushed them back into the soil. The heaving was caused by extreme cold (-16 degrees) and wetter than usual soil (from September flooding). On top of that we had our usual high winds after the snow melted. The largest cloves were affected the most.
Most of the cloves had roots that were still semi-attached to the soil. These ones should be fine since the garlic cloves will actually pull themselves back into the soil. Others had no roots, or the roots were totally exposed. Most of these garlics will still grow, but I expect the bulbs to be smaller.
The heaved up garlic is about 10% of the crop, so hopefully the other 90% of the harvest will still be bountiful!
My smaller field has early garlic with about 3-4" of growth that looks beautiful.

Same row March 21st
What a difference a month makes!
Look at the updated photo taken on March 21st! Almost all the garlic is back to normal.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Early Garlic on January 25th.

Between snowstorms, and right on time!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hot Water Treatment for disease prevention at planting time

I am spending a lot of time in the bathroom these days! Specifically- soaking bags full of garlic

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Warning about straw mulch, manure

Many of you remember that WeeBee Farms has some herbicide contamination of our Spring seedlings due to contaminated worm castings 2 years ago. We lost 1200 potted tomato and pepper seedlings.
Recently a few of my gardening customers have told me they have had confirmed herbicide contamination, and many more are telling me stories that lead me to believe they probably have had herbicide damage. (Garlic not coming up and tomatoes with gnarly, twisted leaves etc.) Usually they say they purchased straw from a local farm for mulch.
I have started advising my customers NOT to mulch your garlic unless you know for sure that it is not contaminated. Many farmers now use the long-lasting herbicides, and herbicides are commonly used on barley crops which are sold for straw. Newer herbicides can last 2-7 years and can remain that long in the manure of the animals that eat the crop that was treated. These herbicides are becoming common in lawn and garden products as well.
It's not too hard to test soil for contamination, but it takes about 3 weeks to find out. I now test my worm castings every Spring using tomato and pepper seeds as they are the most vulnerable to the herbicides used.
Here's an article link on how to test:
Testing the actual straw would be trickier and would take more time. You could chop it up and mix it with moist soil and let it compost a bit before testing the soil. If you have some straw now, you can compost a small amount over the winter then test it before using it in the spring.