Saturday, December 1, 2012

Water your garlic!

Check your soil and if it isn't moist, it's a good time to water. If you watered deeply at planting time you could just give it a little soaking, but if not, you should water very deeply to get it through the winter. See the planting instructions October posting.

These garlics want to grow!

Every year I save some garlic to plant on Thanksgiving. The weather is usually warm and I love being outside in late November. This year I admit I planted some of my "leftover" garlic just yesterday on November 30th. I did a hot water soak for disease prevention and this sped up the root emergence. These were soaked 6 days ago and were looking ready to grow! It's ideal to have the root buds be just barely starting to show, not growing long like this at planting time, but luckily only a few had such long roots and I was able to plant them very carefully.

I dipped each clove in a special fungal powder that will help it combat the fungus "white rot" that has infected 2 of my plots, and some mycelium powder that will help the roots grow bigger and help fight off general disease. Cross your fingers that I can keep my remaining plots clean and continue to sell garlic for planting!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Garlic coming up in November

If you planted garlic in mid-October, you may have some garlic sprouts or leaves starting to show now. This happened to me last year, and has happened in other years where we have a warm Fall. "Turban" type garlics like Tzan or Shantung Purple are especially likely to come up early.
Although it is not ideal to have it coming up now, it won't affect the garlic you harvest next summer very much. Mine that came up early last year seemed to be pretty normal sized, or just a bit smaller than usual. I think the extra root growth that the garlic is developing helps compensate for the green leaves that will freeze and die back when the weather turns colder.
There isn't too much you can do about it. Just make sure your garlic doesn't dry out during this time. If you didn't do a big watering right after planting, do it in the next week. The moisture we had last weekend was nice, but the ground was very dry to start with and it will help to soak it down deep to keep it from drying out in the winter when it is often dry and windy.
Something else you may notice in the late winter is some garlic cloves showing on top of the soil, especially if you haven't mulched. This happens because of frost heaves. This, too is not something to worry about as the roots actually pull the garlic back into the ground!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sold Out!

Now we can concentrate on planting garlic! (My husband and son are separating the bulbs into cloves right now, while watching football.)
Thank you to everyone who came to visit and buy garlic. It was a such a pleasure meeting so many fellow garlic lovers and gardeners. We look forward to seeing you next season. We'll be at market in April selling vegetable plants for your home garden. Then we'll have scapes in June and garlic bulbs in late July.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Will be selling garlic tomorrow (10/27) 8am til noon

We have the same garlic types as last week, but just 50 or so bulbs of each type. We'll be at market tomorrow at least until noon and then may pack up and go home. Brave the cold and come early! It will be in the 20's or colder first thing- so I may look like the Michelin man in my big black down jacket and 12 layers of clothes!
Denverites needing market info see

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Color Codes for garlic sold in October

Inchelium Red - RED This is the long-storing white softneck that is sweet and delicious.
Chesnok Red- PINK, Shantung Purple- PURPLE, Dukanskij- BROWN, Shatili- BLACK, Tzan- YELLOW
Rose du Lautrec - TURQUOISE. This one is the very longest storing and tastes fabulous. It is originally from a farmer's market in France and is one of the loveliest garlics ever with small cloves that are gorgeous pink. Although it is hard to peel (part of being long-storing) it is a great garlic to have at this time of year. Check out the previous post on Rose du Lautrec from 9/2/10.

Friday, October 12, 2012

We will be at market October 13th- will you? Our 2nd to last market

Tomorrow's forecast: mostly cloudy, cool and breezy.  We will be there selling garlic and there will be a fair selection for eating or planting. Dress warmly and enjoy a Fall market that may not be as crowded! I think we will probably sell out next week, the 20th.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Not at market this weekend- See you next Saturday

We will skip tomorrow's cold (and snowy?) market but will be back on Saturday, October 13th. Hope to see you then!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Detailed Planting Instructions- Plant before Thanksgiving

Plant garlic in mid-October up to Thanksgiving (earlier for high elevations.) The idea is for the roots to start growing in the warm soil while not having the tops grow. However some years the tops do come up in November and the garlic does fine anyhow.

Choosing Garlic to plant- Start with locally grown garlic, adapted to our environment. Garlic from California or China or other parts of the world may not grow well here. It also may have been treated with an anti-sprouting agent. Our bulbs average 8 plantable cloves per bulb. 10 bulbs would plant 80 heads. After your first crop, keep the best garlic to replant in your garden.

Site Selection and preparation- Choose a site with full sun and good access to water. Garlic is not too finicky about soil, but it will grow larger with good amended soil. Use organic amendments and/ or cover crops to enrich the soil 3-4 weeks before planting garlic. For fertility and soil health we plant cover crops from organic seed. The last crop is tilled in a month before planting. Our plots are rotated yearly, with cover crops grown on them in between planting years.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Garlic not storing as long as usual

The early harvest and hot, dry summer are taking a toll on the garlic this year. Some garlic that is usually rock-hard at this time of year is starting to feel a bit soft. We have it stored in a root cellar, covered in burlap to keep in some moisture. Even with that it looks like the garlic will dry out earlier than usual. Check your stored garlic often to check for softness. When a clove or two feels soft that usually means the bulb won't store too much longer.
What to do with soft garlic
You can pull off just the soft cloves and use those in cooking-they're still yummy, just not as crispy. To rehydrate soft cloves just put in in some hot water for a while, or microwave in water for a few seconds. You may also want to process some with olive oil and freeze in cubes or packets for later cooking. You can plant soft garlic, even if it has no skin. It will rehydrate in the soil.
Sprouting garlic
Our Turban type of garlics (Tzan, Shantung Purple, Uzbek Turban) are unusual in that they stay firm for a long time, but sprout early. You can use the sprouted garlic (with or without the green sprout) just fine, and some of the bulbs may still store for a long time with one sprouted clove. Just squeeze the bulbs once in a while to check for firmness.
How to store your garlic for the winter
I recommend a cool place such as a basement, cold closet, or garage (if it doesn't freeze in there). Room temperature works fine too- just be sure to keep it away from the heat of the stove and out of direct sunlight. Storing in a paper bag is ideal- it keeps in some moisture but the garlic can still breathe.
Can I store it in the fridge?
Although I haven't tried it myself (too much!) a few reliable sources have said it works well. Keep it in a paper bag in the vegetable bin.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seed garlic running low

All of the publicity we have gotten lately has been great (2 stories in the Camera last week, one in the Denver Post on 9/8)! So many people want to plant garlic in their gardens for the first time. It's exciting and sales have been super. We are running low on larger garlic, and on many varieties.
Luckily we have plenty of the 2 most popular garlic types: Chesnok Red and Inchelium Red and will probably have those for at least 3 more weeks.
Chesnok Red is the strong flavored hardneck that is great for sauteeing, roasting, marinating, tomato sauce, pickling and all sorts of cooking. We have a good supply of Chesnok Red for eating and for planting. It has always grown well here at WeeBee Farms and usually stores til December.
Chesnok Red garlic bulb
A little trivia about Chesnok Red- "Chesnok" is the word for garlic in Russian. Chesnok Red is a highly medicinal type of garlic with its very high content of Allicin.

Inchelium Red is a mild and sweet softneck that tastes really good in just about anything and grows extremely well. It's consistently good-sized, always good-tasting and is a long-storing type that usually stores til January.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Denver Post Article

Thank you to all of you who saw the article in today's Denver Post and came by to visit and buy garlic! It was great to see so many of you who adore garlic as much as I do and plan to plant it in your garden this Fall.
If you missed me today, stop by next Saturday at the Boulder Farmer's Market between 8am and 2pm.  My stand is located in the middle section of the market on the East side. I will be selling garlic there every Saturday until it is sold out which usually happens sometime in October.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Garlic descriptions and color codes

Here are the types of garlics I am selling  Sept 1st thru Sept 8th, with the color code that goes with each garlic. Remember that the colors change slightly from week to week.

• Siberian- An outstanding strain originally grown by peasants for market. The fat, dark brown cloves peel easily and taste strong. Good in stir fry, soups, stews and potato dishes. Will store through December.  ORANGE

Monday, September 3, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

How and When To Plant garlic (look for seed garlic starting September 8th)

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” 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 the bed with a sprinkler for 12 hours after planting (the sprinkler goes back and forth giving the bed about 2-3" of water total.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Sept 1st- some seed garlic available

We will have a variety bag made up of 5 different large/med garlics suitable for planting (Tzan, German Extra Hardy, Shantung Purple, Inchelium Red, Chesnok Red). These variety bags will be $11.
Also there will be some "Deluxe" variety bags of 8 small/ med size garlic for $13.50. These are smaller bulbs so you will likely harvest somewhat smaller bulbs planted from these, but you can get them to "size-up" over the years by continuously choosing the largest cloves from the largest bulbs and replanting them.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 11th garlic update

We'll be selling 13 different types of garlic this Saturday. We'll have Chesnok Red (Pink), Tzan (also known as "Mexican Red") (yellow), Inchelium Red (red), Siberian (orange) and Persian Star (green)available in good quantities in our regular bins. In smaller quantities will be Georgian Crystal, Uzbek Turban, Guatemalan, Romanian Red, Thai Purple, and Shatili. I'll also have just a few bulbs of Colorado Black and Killarney Red.
These are all still for eating, not planting with the exception of Guatemalan which came from our other field.
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Great Garlic for Pesto!

We will have several types of garlic that are ideal for pesto! Not too intense, super flavor and easy to peel. We'll be selling garlic on Saturday July 21st, and will NOT be at market the following week July 28th.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Garlic is here early! Come see us July 7th!

We have garlic cured cleaned and ready to sell on Saturday. Inchelium Red, Chesnok Red, Thai Purple and more...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Why is some garlic labeled Eating Garlic- Not For Planting?

Normally you can plant cloves of any garlic we sell to grow your own garlic. This year (and last year) we have found a few diseased bulbs in one of our garlic plots (White Rot, a disease mainly affecting garlic and onions). Although the diseased bulbs have been thrown out, there is a chance that a few spores could be on the roots of the garlic we are selling. These spores could infect your garden eventually (affecting only garlic, onions and other alliums). This doesn’t affect the quality, flavor, health benefits or storage life of the garlic we are selling.

Just to be safe- we recommend that you don’t plant garlic from this area into your garden, especially if you grow on a large scale, or plan to sell your garlic. We will sell seed garlic later from our clean plot (no sign of disease this year) to plant for growing.

We are working on trying to eliminate the white rot using organic methods, and have started a new, clean field where we will plant garlic from a disease free farm.

Planting garlic (also called "seed" garlic) will be sold a little later and be labeled as such. It is always best to use the bigger cloves from the large size bulbs for planting. Your bulbs will be much larger if you start your garlic this way. Planting is best done from October 10-Nov. 15th.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Time to eat Garlic Curls!!!

We will have loads of garlic curls - scapes- to sell on Saturday! $1.50 for a generous sized bag ($1.25 if you use your own bag).
Use them in eggs, potato salad, beans, stir fries, rice- anything you would use garlic in. You can even make pesto from them- just whirl up with a little olive oil. Great brushed with oil and salt on the grill! They store in the fridge for 4-5 weeks. We will have more next Saturday, and then they will be gone.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Garlic Is Early This Year!

Because of the unseasonably hot April weather, the garlic is 2 weeks ahead of schedule. In fact we have already harvested the early kinds: Tzan, Shantung Purple, Uzbek Turban and Thai Purple. These Turban type of garlics usually get harvested in mid-June. The others that we usually start to harvest July 1st look like they'll be ready by about June 12th - 15th.
When half the leaves are brown, including the ones that have fallen off, are brown it is time to harvest.  If your garlic is falling over, it's definitely time to harvest, maybe a bit past the ideal time. If you have scapes (only on hardneck garlic) you snap them off when they make a full loop. We have harvested about a third of ours, so far. This gives more energy to bulb-making, so they will be larger. However the ones with scapes left on do store a bit longer.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

CreekFest Weekend! Come to market early!!! Garlic Curls, Pepper Plants, Tomatoes, Basil..

If you love Corn Dogs- come anytime! If not, come between 8am-Noon to buy plants and fresh veggies. WeeBee Farms will be selling a huge variety of plants. Peppers, Tomatoes, Eggplants, Cucumbers, Basil, Squash, kale, lettuce (heat tolerant varieties), Salad Bowl planters and more. The first of the garlic curls are here (about 2 weeks early!) We will probably pack up around noon or so to escape the craziness.

It's Time to Buy Tomato Plants from WeeBee Farms

Carmello Tomato
We plant our tomatoes outside around May 31st, when the ground is good and warm! They seem to do just as well or better than planting them earlier. We are excited to offer many new varieties this year- all grown from organic seeds. Tomato plant descriptions:

Carmello- WeeBee Farms favorite for the last several years! Good for fresh eating and for salsa. Very consistent, disease resistant and productive for us. The French Carmello is among the most productive tomatoes ever bred. It is popular in European markets because of it's exceptionally fine flavor. De-hybridized by TomatoFest over a 5 year period. Bears large crops of heavy, juicy tomatoes with flavor that just doesn't stop. Another favorite because it consistently produces great tasting fruit, even in cooler weather. Good for slicing in salads, sauteed, or as an integral part of any dish.
Days: 75   Size: Indeterminate   Color: Red   Season: Mid-Season  Type: Open Pollinated Organic Seeds

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pepper plants for sale

We have the best pepper plants we've ever grown. Come see! Lots of hot peppers, Italian Sweet peppers and some sweet Bell peppers. Many of them started from organic seed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Oats and Peas- Cover crop

This field will have garlic planted in the Fall, but for now the oats and peas are thriving. These are a "cover"crop to be turned in to add fertility to the soil. Then buckwheat will be planted for a summer cover crop.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Alpine Strawberries.. the sweetest strawberry ever!

There's nothing like the taste of wild strawberries! They are so much sweeter and delicious than regular garden strawberries- there's no comparison. We're growing Alpine Mignonette wild strawberries from Renee's seeds and have plants to offer now. They are hardened off and ready to plant. Last year we planted some of these in planters outside, and we got lot of delicious berries in the first year. They were SO good... They don't send out runners like the big strawberries, but the clump gets bigger fairly quickly. You can plant them about 10"-12" apart in the ground or in containers.
from Renee's garden website
Information from Renee's Garden website: Alpines can grow in full sun, although in very hot weather areas

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tomatoes and Basil are here! Protect from the cold!

We will have Dwarf Greek Basil (Karen's favorite tasting green basil), and several kinds of heirloom tomatoes which we are growing from Organic seed obtained from Tomato Fest. Tomato Fest also sells Carmello tomato seeds. The Carmellos are our long-time favorites- always producing LOTS of sweet tasting red tomatoes for us.
Remember, the night-time temperatures are often still in the 30's. Tomatoes and basil will die at 32 degrees, and must be protected at night. They prefer soil temperatures above 50 degrees, which doesn't usually happen until June. We plant our tomatoes out on June 1st, but Boulderites can get away with planting around mid-May usually.
Peppers will be sold starting May 12th, but they are even more cold-sensitive so we recommend waiting unless you have a way to keep them warm.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Growing Onions From Transplants

WeeBee Farms will have Onion starts late April through mid-May. Here's how to plant them:
Choosing the right site-
Onions love to grow in full sun in light, well-drained soil that's high in organic matter.

When to plant- to get to optimal size onion transplants should be planted 2-4 weeks before

Monday, April 23, 2012

Protect cool weather plants and Salad Bowls during hot weather!

This week is unusually hot and sunny for April. The salad bowls, lettuces and mustard greens are wilting in the heat. Make sure to water them like crazy, and if possible, give them shade during the hot part of the day!! Freshly planted seedlings are more vulnerable to heat because their root system has not spread out yet. Even more vulnerable are plants in little black pots. Keep these in the shade on hot days, or plant them in the evening and water them deeply.

Friday, April 13, 2012

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.

Friday, April 6, 2012

9 different kinds of kale plants for sale! Come to our first day April 7th!

Delaway        O    Karen’s 2011 favorite. Very sweet and productive
Dinosaur        O    Also called Lacinato, Tuscan, Black Nero. Delicious, gorgeous
Red Winter    O     Very hardy, pretty and good tasting. Eat small or medium leaves
Judy’s Kale    O     Tall, broad leaves, good for bunching. Excellent taste

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


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. Peas are very cold hardy, and it's best to plant them in April or early May.

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bees and peach blossoms!

Our two beehives made it through the winter!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Garlic is up and growing

My family took a vacation in January (yay!) and came back on January 29th to see some of the garlic already an inch or more above ground. The warm mid-January weather usually does that. There have been very few winters where cold and snow has kept the garlic from popping up in late January.
The garlics that were up are the "Turban" types (Tzan, Shantung, Uzbek Turban and Thai Purple).  These garlics are always up first and they get harvested first, too, in mid-June.

Cold February kept the garlic from growing any more, and the tips are still about the same, with just a few of the other garlics barely visible. The snow helped protect the garlic for a while, but of course it got windy and dry and now the tips are a bit naked. A little mulch would have protected these tips from the harsh climate, but it's too darned windy here for us to mulch our huge garlic beds. Anyhow, I know from experience that everything will be fine, and as soon as it warms up a bit (tomorrow?) the garlic will continue to grow and the weather-beaten tips won't affect the growth. The cold nights are fine for the garlic, even with the tips above ground, although it would probably do a bit better without the extra challenges they face.

With the winds, and the warmer temps on the way we'll be planning to water all the garlic beds soon. Now is a crucial time for them to stay moist.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's being seeded in the greenhouse?

We've planted 6 varieties of kale for April sales at the market. (don't forget to make room for planting kale in April - it's VERY cold hardy). My new favorite is called Delaway. It isn't as beautiful as the others (looks big and cabbage-like), but is the very sweetest. It's the one I constantly nibble on as I work. Broccoli diCicco is up and growing fast, as well as Swiss chard (gold, red and silver), lettuces of all colors and a few other cold hardy plants.
Next week Caley and I will be starting pea plants that will be ready to plant out in April.
We also started lots of strawberries this year. Regular strawberries from our patch, and lots of the "wild" Alpine strawberries that are so delectable.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Greenhouse planting begins

Greenhouse in October 2011 snow

Photo: Onions in April 2011
We started planting onion seeds in the greenhouse at the beginning of February. We've sowed lots of my new favorite "Red Cippolini" These are the Italian flat-shaped onions that have fabulous taste and store for quite a while. For yellow storing onions we're growing Cortlands and for Australian Brown. Both of these seeds have been grown organically. We'll grow a few Walla Wallas but they came out pretty small last year. I hear these can be grown over winter for bigger onions so I may try that next year. We won't be growing any "Candy" sweet onions this year because Monsanto now owns all the seeds for these.  I won't support Monsanto and am upset that they have bought the rights to some of my favorite vegetable seeds. Check out the following link for more info  and another link to learn about Monsanto's history
It's almost time to start sowing seeds for chard, kale and lettuce- hard to believe!