Thursday, December 1, 2011

How Boulder county Farmland policies affect me and you. (Repeat of August 19th blog entry)

I used to think I could grow organically on my own small farm and not worry about what other people were doing. Never did I want to become fanatical or political! Then 2 things happened.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

No GMO's on Boulder County Open Space! Endorse this policy by Dec 8th

A Citizens group (GM-Know) has written a policy for the Boulder County Open Space agricultural lands that does not allow for GMO crops to be planted on our lands and addresses healthy soils, local foods and much more. I have reviewed it and agree with the recommendations and have signed it. This is an alternative policy to the one the Croplands Advisory panel came up with which continues to approve the use of GMO's.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Garlic planting almost halfway done before Big Snow

I got almost half of my 350 lbs of garlic planted by Tuesday afternoon. Then we got 15 inches of snow! Luckily I'm used to this. There's always a blizzard or two in the middle of planting. If we get warm weather I could resume planting again as early as next week.  There have been many Thanksgiving days over the years that I have been out planting the last of my garlic, I remember 2 or 3 where it was close to 70 degrees. I don't anticipate going that long with planting this year, but I'll try to keep my schedule flexible just in case.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Last Day for Garlic Sales will be Saturday Oct. 22nd!

Yesterday was a record-breaking day for garlic sales. Mostly people wanting to buy for planting. Yes, now is the time! I have some left to sell next Saturday, and may be sold out by noon or so. I do have plenty of the "variety bags" to sell at this point. These are 6 different garlics, color-coded for identification, and the cost is $10.50.
I will have lots of planting instructions on hand to give out. It's great fun to grow your own garlic- and not that hard. I can't seem to grow enough garlic for everyone in Boulder County- so if you really love garlic it's worth growing your own.
See the Sept 22nd post for planting instructions

How much water does garlic need?

The biggest mistake people make is not watering enough- the garlic comes out really small with insufficient water. We keep the sprinkler going on the garlic bed for 8-12 hours after planting. (It's an oscillating sprinkler that goes back and forth over a large area. For a smaller area, maybe 2-4 hours would be sufficient.) This soaks the ground deeply and protects it through an average winter until February, when we water again. During an extra-dry, windy winter we do an extra watering in early January or so.
When Spring comes, treat garlic like your other garden vegetables, watering as much as lettuce or tomatoes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New garlic for Saturday 9/24

For Fall cooking this one will get your attention!
• Siberian- An outstanding strain originally grown by European peasants for market. The fat, dark brown cloves peel easily and taste strong. Good roasted and in stir fry, soups, stews and potato dishes. Will store through December.    YELLOW
(note, during the last few weeks I used YELLOW as the color-code for Georgian Crystal, but Yellow will be used for Siberian for now on)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to plant garlic

Plant garlic in mid-October (earlier for high elevations.) Select the largest cloves from the largest bulbs. Original bulb size determines the size of your garlic, as well as how much water it gets.
How To Plant- Plant in good enriched soil in FULL sun. Separate cloves, plant each clove 2 to 2 1/2” deep, and 5” to 7” apart, with the pointy end up. Use only large cloves. Don't worry if the cloves are soft or have no skins. Mulch 2” to 4” with straw or grass clippings (no herbicides or pesticides.) Water very well after planting- we water for 12 hours after planting.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Honeybee News- Dan Rather Report

Most of you know I am a hobby beekeeper besides being the "garlic queen". I have become deeply concerned for the future of the honeybee and the crops that they pollinate. The cable TV show "Dan Rather Reports" had a segment on honeybees and pesticides in Colorado on 9/20. It features my friend Tom Theobald - the Boulder County beekeeper who "broke" the story about the EPA being negligent in protecting honeybees from the newest pesticides.
Here is a link to watching the story  OR
I have been told that almost all commonly used GMO seeds are coated with these pesticides, besides being genetically modified. (Another reason not to support GMO's in Boulder County).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Garlic Descriptions for Saturday September 17th. Last day Oct 8th or 15th?

I will have the same garlic as last week plus these:
•  Dukanskij-  A delightful hardneck, originally from Kazahkistan. Raw, its starts smooth but finishes with a bite. Sweet and pleasant when baked or roasted. Fat cloves are easy to peel. Will keep through December. BROWN

• Shatili- Excellent in green chile & curries. Intense, spicy flavor stays strong through cooking. High in medicinal compounds. Gorgeous hardneck, originally from the Republic of Georgia. Keeps through December.  BLACK

Usually I sell out of garlic in early October.  October 8th or 15th will likely be the final market for selling garlic this year. I will keep you posted.

Friday, September 2, 2011

GMO update- new research. Monsanto Corn Plant Losing Bug Resistance

This recent news should help inform the upcoming decision in Boulder county. Pests are becoming resistant to BT, through exposure to GMO crops. This will greatly affect organic farmers, since we depend on BT for organic pest control. Even worse is that Monsanto and other companies are trying to compensate by through a technique called RNA interference, to make crops deadly for insects to eat, turning off one of its essential genes. Here is the link to the article from the Wall Street Journal:

Garlic Descriptions for Saturday September 2nd

We will have 10 different garlics to choose from in the bins, plus a few more in our variety bags. There are some new color codes. Purple and Green have changed- so keep your eye out for that. Most of the garlic is plantable, and will be marked as such.
•Persian Star- Spicy, exotic, and very flavorful. Try on salads, in dips or in pesto. Great with green beans and veggies! Slice thinly and serve on crackers. Originally from Uzbekistan. Stores through December. GREEN
• Shantung Purple- Extra-flavorful chinese softneck has 6-8 beautiful rose and beige cloves. Cook for a strong earthy flavor, or eat raw for a fiery heat you won’t forget! Stores to November. PURPLE
• Georgian Crystal- Delectable sweet and spicy flavor. Best used raw or cooked less than a minute. Try in salad dressing and garlic bread. 4-7 fat cloves are very easy to peel. From Republic of Georgia. Will store to November. YELLOW
• Tzan -Tangy and flavorful in sauces, with pasta and for oriental cooking. Also a good raw garlic for those who love adventure. Collected from Shandong province, originally. Will store through December. GREY
• Uzbek Turban- Delightful flavor - rich and smooth. Excellent choice for gazpacho, bruschetta, fresh sauce. A hardneck Turban from former USSR. Stores to Nov. LAVENDER 
• Killarney Red- The ultimate garlic for garlic bread! Mix with butter and olive oil and spread on warm french or sourdough bread. Mellow, smooth flavor when cooked. A Rocambole hardneck variety that peels easily. Won’t keep, eat by October. NO COLOR
Also Inchelium Red, German Extra Hardy, Chesnok Red, Malaysian, Colorado Black, Chicago Italian and Guatemalan. See descriptions and colors from previous weeks.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Seed garlic available this week!

I will have several varieties of garlic that is suitable for planting (large or medium sized garlic from a plot without disease problems).
I will have large heads of Chesnok Red, Tzan and Inchelium Red for $2 each. Also I will have medium sized heads of German Extra Hardy, Uzbek Turban, Malaysian, Georgian Crystal, Colorado Black, Chicago Italian and Killarney Red for $1.75.
Here are the garlic descriptions for 2 new garlics I am selling this Saturday, Aug. 27th:
 • Killarney Red-  The ultimate garlic for garlic bread! Mix with butter and olive oil and spread on warm french or sourdough bread. Mellow, smooth flavor when cooked. A Rocambole hardneck variety that peels easily. Won’t keep, eat by October.      GREEN

Georgian Crystal- Delectable sweet & spicy flavor. Best used raw or cooked less than a minute. Try in salad dressing & garlic bread. 4-7 fat cloves are very easy to peel. From Republic of Georgia. Will store to November.        YELLOW

Friday, August 19, 2011

GMO's on Boulder County Open Space affect us all!

I haven't been updating my blog as often lately, because my computer time has been spent on the GM issue in Boulder County. The culinary gardener group I belong to has been helping me get inspired and informed on the issues.

I used to think I could grow organically on my own small farm and not worry about what other people were doing. Never did I want to become fanatical or political! Then 2 things happened.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Garlic Descriptions for Saturday August 20th

• Uzbek Turban-  Delightful flavor - rich and smooth.  Excellent choice for gazpacho, bruschetta, fresh sauce.  A hardneck Turban from former USSR. Stores to Nov.  PURPLE

• Chicago Italian- A great-tasting garlic with a spicy aftertaste when sliced raw.  Perfect for dips, pesto and garlic bread (see back). Nutty and smooth when cooked.  Easy to peel. Stores thru October.       BROWN

• Malaysian -So mild and sweet, you can enjoy it without cooking it. Makes smooth aioli, baba ganoush.  Easy to peel. Stores through September.             ORANGE

• Colorado Black-Heirloom from Colorado. A superior taste that starts off rich and mild, then builds a little heat. Good raw in hummus, bruschetta. Cooks well. Stores to Oct.  BLACK

• Guatemalan- A flavorful and mild garlic that compliments veggies of all kinds.  Pretty on the inside with 6-8 large burgundy cloves. Easy to peel. Stores to October.        GREEN

Friday, August 5, 2011

August 6th Garlic

Making guacamole or pesto? We will be bringing our famous "Malaysian Garlic" on Saturday. You can buy it by the bulb ($1.75) or in bargain bags ($4.25). It will also be in our variety bag - 6 different types of garlic, with color-coded description sheet- for $10.50. We'll also have the 6 other garlics from last week.

• Malaysian -So mild and sweet, you can enjoy it without cooking it. A perfect garlic for pesto, guacamole, fresh pasta sauce, salads and sliced very thin on a cracker. Makes smooth aioli, baba ganoush, and hummus. Original seedstock from Malaysia. A very easy to peel rocambole variety. Stores to October.               ORANGE

Friday, July 29, 2011

Garlic descriptions for July 30th market

• Inchelium Red- A softneck variety that is excellent for roasting.  Discovered on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington State. One of the best-tasting softneck garlics with a mild but lingering flavor. Will store through January or longer. RED

• Tzan -Tangy & flavorful in sauces, with pasta and for oriental cooking. Also a good raw garlic for those who love adventure. Collected from Shandong province in China originally. Will store through December. GREY

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Garlic sales start July 30th

Garlic for eating will be sold
   starting July 30th.
Seed Garlic will be sold later

Some of July’s garlic harvest is cured, cleaned sorted and ready to sell. We’ll have Inchelium Red, Chesnok Red, German Extra Hardy, Tzan and Siberian.
Jumbo size garlic will be sold as well as our regular size.
This garlic is for eating, not planting. This is because some diseased garlic was found in the plot that it came from. The diseased garlic has been thrown out, and the garlic we’re selling is beautiful and healthy, but may have a few spores on the roots which could infect a plot it was planted into. We’ll sell all of this garlic early, and then sell the planting garlic afterward.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Muddy Garlic

Boulder has had almost 3 inches of rain which makes it challenging to harvest garlic. However, it's best to dig it up in spite of the mud. After you dig it up, you can rinse the bulb part in a tub of water to get off some of the mud. Then spread it out in the shade to dry. Make sure they are spread out well enough to dry out. After a few days you can condense it into bundles to keep drying.
In a couple of weeks you can rub off the outside layer of dirt and mud to clean it up.
Every leaf on the garlic represents one layer of bulb skin, so if you leave them in the ground too long they'll deteriorate quickly and won't store long or look appealing- although they'll be fine to eat.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Garlic Harvest is Done!

Here at WeeBee Farms we got only a half inch of rain- but we could see the storms over Boulder pouring down rain (We're 10 miles North of Boulder). The harvest started in late June with the Tzan and Shantung garlic, and was finished on July 12th. The last part was a bit muddy- the digging was easy, but it was time consuming to get the big clumps of dirt and mud off the bulbs.

It was mostly a very successful crop and I'll have lots of beautiful garlic to sell. The bad news is finding disease in one of my plots. More on that in a later post.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Last week for plant sales and garlic curlies. Watch for garlic bulbs at end of July or Early August

Come get your garlic scapes while you can. This is our last week to have them, in fact we'll be gone from the market all of July- to harvest and sort garlic and maybe squeeze in a camping trip.

To finish off your vegetable garden come get basil and squash plants and some beautiful morning glory starts and other flowers.

Early garlic is being harvested now

Most of our garlic won't be ready to harvest until June 30 through July 10th, but our earliest garlic varieties "Tzan" and "Shantung Purple" were harvested on June 21st. These are Asiatic garlics that mature earlier than the others.
It's so good to finally smell the unique earthy combination of garlic and dirt again!

How can you tell when to harvest your garlic?
Harvest- Dig up when half of the leaves are brown, usually June 25- July 10. Shade immediately. Hang or put on ventilated shelves for 3 weeks to “cure” with stems on. They must have good air circulation and shade.
How To Store- Clip off the stems after they are cured. Store at room temperature or cooler, out of direct sunlight. Cool basements and garages can work well for storage. The bulbs need air circulation, but storing in paper bags can keep them from drying out too much. Hardnecks generally store up to 5 months. Softnecks up to 9 months.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Garlic "Curlies" are here!!! In season for 3 weeks only

Tomorrow (June 11) WeeBee Farms will be selling lots of garlic curlies (scapes). These are a great vegetable for all sorts of uses, and they keep in the fridge for a month! We'll only have them for 3 weeks so get them while they're in season.
• Chop and add to cooked beans, chili, eggs, omelets, quiche, soups, stir fry, tomato sauce and veggies.
• Chop and sautee in olive oil for a minute. Serve generous amounts over pasta or veggie dishes
• Chop fine and eat raw in cold salads, potato salad, tuna or salmon salad, hummous, tabouli
• Roast on the grill whole with a little olive oil and salt 
You can use the whole thing including the blossom, maybe slicing off part of the tougher end.

Also we'll be selling squash and pumpkin plants- with some interesting heirloom varieties, cucumber plants and basil plants for your garden.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Salad Bowls for Mom!!

This weekend is Mother's Day weekend, and we will have lots of salad bowls to choose from. Moms have been admiring them for a month now- and would love to have one of their own!

Salad bowls are a way to have homegrown salads with a mini-garden on the deck or patio. They are filled with lettuces and other cool-weather greens that have been hardened off and are ready to keep outside. Usually you will harvest a salad a week, or more, by picking off the outside large leaves, and leaving at least half the plant. Most of the greens will be done by the end of June when it's too hot for them to survive.

Care of your salad bowl: Keep in a cool spot if possible. They love sun when it's cool, but it helps to move them into the shade when the weather is hot.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wild Strawberries!

There's nothing like the taste of wild strawberries! They are so much sweeter and delicious than regular garden strawberries- there's no comparison. This year we got seeds of Alpine Mignonette wild strawberries from Renee's seeds and have plants to offer starting May 7th. They are hardened off and ready to plant.
from Renee's garden website
Information from Renee's Garden website: Alpines can grow in full sun, although in very hot weather areas (Colorado), they will also thrive in half day sun or an area of dappled shade. Like other berries, they love a rich, fertile, and above all, well drained soil. Alpines need little special care beyond consistent moisture and occasional feeding. Mulching the plants to tuck them in and keep roots moist is a good strategy unless snails or slugs are a menace in your garden.
They will produce fruit the first year in the garden.
For more information visit  

Friday, April 29, 2011

Plants that love cold and snow! NO need to protect them during the cold snap...

Tomorrow the forecast calls for a high  of 45 and possibly snow and rain. Great for the plants!! Terrible for the humans!! I will be there with LOTS of plants that are ready for your garden

Luckily all of the plants I am selling are cold-hardy. Kale, chard, lettuce, parsley, lettuces, broccoli, collards, cabbage, onions and pea plants will all survive just fine in cold and snowy weather. Just leave them alone and they will pop back soon. The weather that is hardest for these plants is wind and heat.

Salad Bowls- leave them on the patio or deck in cold and snowy weather. At this time of year they can be in a spot in full sun. As the weather gets warmer they would love a slightly shady spot to keep them cooler.

Cold weather greens hardening off outside
Plants in 2 inch pots. Only plants in the 2 inch pots should be brought in because they are less able to withstand harsh weather. Never leave the 2 inch pots out in full sun and wind unless you can water at least twice a day.

Friday, April 15, 2011


25 Different Kinds- The time to plant is now!

2011 Spring lettuces from WeeBee Farms

Australian Yellow looseleaf tasty, bright yellow/green

S Bronze Arrowhead looseleaf Gorgeous, taste test winner

Buttercrunch butterhead very sweet and crunchy

S Canasta crisphead red tinged, very sweet

Crisp Mint romaine compact, upright, excellent flavor
S Flame looseleaf taste test winner, heat tolerant
S Freckles romaine a favorite!


Swiss Giant snow peas
My son Caley grew his own pea plants to sell, and I grew some too. Now is a good time to plant them outside.
Norli peas (photos from

Types of Pea Plants that WeeBee Farms is selling:
                             Type                      height trellis?
Progress #9           shelling     58 days    18"    no
     heirloom, superb flavor, 5" pods
Green Arrow          shelling     65 days    24"     no   
     high yields, 4" pods, disease tolerant
Wando                  shelling     68 days    24"     no
     heat tolerant heirloom

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WeeBee Farms will be at market this Saturday April 9th with cold-hardy plants for your home garden

We've had the plants out in the hot and windy weather for hardening off, and now we'll be ready to sell some on Saturday.
We'll have 6 different kinds of kale, swiss chard, lots of lettuces, baby bok choi onions and pea plants. Salad bowls will be there too. Come down and visit!
Salad bowl for sale

Garlic field "A" on 4/6/11
Lettuces in the greenhouse

Greens to sell April 9th

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Onion Plants For Sale

New this year. Try growing onions in your garden from transplants. Transplants are better than sets, especially for the sweet onions like Walla Walla. We'll have Italian Red Cipollini onions and Italian Red Bunching Onions too. Read on for the instructions and list of varieties we'll be selling:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

WeeBee Farms is getting ready for market

Greenhouse starts- ready to harden off
                          Onion Starts- Copra, Candy, Italian Red Cipollini, Red bunching onions, Leeks

Can't wait to get there. I'm busy hardening off plants to sell. We have peas, lettuce, kale, chard and onion starts- started in our new greenhouse. The garlic looks great, too. I've been watering it like crazy in this hot, windy weather.