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Unbelievable that it's already July! We are well into the summer season which should mean lots of goodies on the table at market. But sadly the drought conditions that we're experiencing are setting us behind a little. That being said, we still have a nice variety of native plants for sale.
The nice thing about perennials in general is that you can them right up into fall. As long as the roots have time to get established they should make it through the winter with very little stress. We're also planning to have lots of native available again next spring, so keep us in mind if you are preparing for a new bed next year. Let us know if you have any special requests and we'll see what we can do as we try to keep expanding our selection.
In spite of the dry weather the sweet potatoes are loving the heat. We are also on track for fall carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and winter radishes. And the ginger is looking great too!
Now the first outdoor markets of the season are under our belts. Planting season is upon us and while we try to get our own crops into the ground here on the farm, we're also very busy getting tomato, pepper, herb and native plants potted and ready to go into your gardens. We're still working on some of the varieties of natives, growing them to a size that's best for transplanting. We hesitate offering plants too early because we want them to grow well for you, so please be patient and keep checking our on-line store. We really do keep adding more varieties for you!
Can you believe it? Outdoor market in both Winona and Rochester begin Saturday May 1! This is as early as it can get, but that's ok because we've been anticipating an exciting and very busy spring season. Most of our plants are ready to go. We'll be adding to the store almost daily as they become ready to find new homes in your gardens, weather they are for vegetables, pollinators or butterflies.
We also have some produce for market and will be adding more items as the spring progresses. Spring lettuces and greens, snap peas, early carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi will be coming your way soon. As you shop for your plants or food either on-line or at market, remember that all of our products are organic. We are certified organic and will soon be certified Real Organic as well. You may wonder why that is important. To us, providing products that have not been treated with harsh chemicals are fundamental to a healthier community and environment. These certifications can help those of you who do not personally know us have confidence in the products that you purchase and know that it was grown with those ideals in mind.
So here are a couple of bits of information that you may find interesting. A lot of potential customers ask if we "spray" our products. Lonny is fond of saying that the wrong question is being asked. Almost all organic growers use some type of sprays. But these sprays are always carefully vetted and must be approved for organic use before we can use them. Please note, though, that we will only use these sprays as a last resort when all other methods have not worked and a major crop is threatened.
Another topic that I would like you to think about is when you are asking a grower if they are organic, they may not be certified, but may tell you that they use organic methods. This may well be the case, and we did that for many years. But there are sometimes little shortcuts that may be taken that you may not be aware of. One of these is not making sure that the seed used is either organic or untreated. Why does it matter if the seed is treated or not? Some seed treatments use the very neonicotiniods that are known for harming our bee population. These pesticides are systemic and remain in the plant as the plant grows. Pollen from these plants can kill the very bees that we are trying so hard to save. If the grower grows out some of their plants from purchased plugs and the plugs are not organic, they may have also been grown from treated seed.
On that note we would like you to know that we start all of the plants that we sell, either from seed or root division. And we never use treated seed!
Keep checking back with us for updates and news from the farm. And please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or requests. We love hearing from you and we look forward to seeing you at the Winona Farmers Market and the Rochester Farmers Market this spring!
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