September Color

This is such a beautiful and exciting time of year! Summer and Fall merge, in a glorious display of color.

You can find pumpkins, strawbales, gourds, apples, and apple cider at Kirby's. A great start to the Fall season!

 We love growing a variety of pumpkins and gourds...

This giant gourd variety grows into some very interesting shapes and colors.

 

Little orange and white pumpkins are adorable, in just as many shapes and sizes.


Our large Mums are exploding with color!

And there are a lot of colors to choose from. Complement your mums with some interesting foliage plants from our perennial area. Perennials are all 25% off!

Produce Update

Tomatoes are at their peak, while peaches are beginning to come to a close. Right now we have Cresthaven peaches, which are a freestone variety that's excellent for baking, eating, freezing, and canning. We also Babygold, a clingstone variety that is our personal favorite for canning. They have excellent flavor, you don't have to peel them, and their firm flesh holds up well in a jar.

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applecrates

Apple Varieties Available now:

Honeycrisp, Autumn Crisp, Gingergold, McIntosh, Paula Red, and Jonamac

Other homegrown produce in season:

Sweet and Hot Peppers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Kale, Beets, Broccoli, Garlic, Cauliflower, Plums, Pluots, and Nectarines.

Locally grown produce in season:

Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Parsnips, and Shiitake Mushrooms

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NEW Gift Shop Items, & Mother's Day Gift Ideas

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May is here! Our doors are open and the market is ready for a new season. Everything is cleaned and polished, out on display, and waiting for you to visit! Just in time for an important holiday...

We have a bunch of new things in our gift shop this Spring, and so many perfect Mother's Day gifts.

These rustic bottle vases are a lot of fun, and we ordered a huge variety. Single double or triple, tall or short. They're perfect to add a little cheer to any corner of the house, with a single flower or a small bouquet.

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Or, if you'd like to take a break from the usual flower arrangement, just pick out a container (shiny, rustic, or wooden) and plunk a beautiful plant or two inside. Our greenhouse is full of pretty and interesting plants, with lots of color and texture to choose from.  You've made a little bit of instant beauty that Mom can  enjoy as a centerpiece, and then plant in her garden to enjoy all year.

We also have tools and gardening gloves for the avid gardener. If you really know your gardener Mom's taste in plants, there are some gorgeous perennials in bloom right now. Bleeding Heart, Garden Phlox, Tiarella, and Brunnera are a few colorful examples. Or you could go with green and pick out a hosta or fern from our collection.

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Are there just too many choices? Gift Certificates from Kirby's are a very popular Mother's Day gift.

It's a lot of fun seeing them come back through the rest of the year, exchanged for plants, fruits and veggies, baked goods, jams, or a fun home accessory.

A few more gift ideas for Mother's Day: Dishes and bowls from local potter Rose Vantyne; battery powered candles; pretty mugs and bowls; or votive holders with a locally made soy candle from Sandy Creek!

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Replacing Impatiens

It's a sad day, as we  say goodbye to garden impatiens. If you have a shade garden, you've probably heard of or experienced the issues that Garden Impatiens are having in our area. Did you have a patch of impatiens that wilted and died no matter what you did? Powdery Mildew is most likely the culprit.

First, Powdery Mildew  causes the leaves to yellow. Then the flowers drop, and soon there's nothing but sickly stems where your beautiful impatien was growing and blooming.

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impatien

Powdery Mildew was first spotted in Minnesota in 2011, and has since been found in 32 states, including New York. It spreads through the soil, water, and it will even travel hundreds of miles through the air. Once your garden or plants are infected, there's no way to get rid of it. A similar downy mildew that effects Sunflowers remains in the soil 8-10 years after infection.

This is the first year that we completely removed garden impatiens from our roster.

It was hard to let go of a plant that brought so much color to shady areas! Last year we had a fraction of our usual numbers for those that were still able to grow them in the area. But after seeing how far the mildew has advanced, and how devastated gardens were by the infection, we realized it was time to try something new and say goodbye to regular impatiens.

The good news is, there are replacements available.

New Guinea Impatiens are the closest match. They have a similar height and growth habit, with a good selection of colors. They prefer some sun, but will tolerate full shade fairly well.

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The best solution might be to select a mix of annuals for your shady garden beds. Visit the shade aisle in our greenhouse for a good selection. We have Torenia, a shade-loving plant that produces beautiful flowers, and attracts hummingbirds. Ajuga is a perennial ground cover for shade, with colorful foliage. Annual foliage plants like Coleus will provide color as well as some height. These are just a few examples. Ask one of our helpers in the greenhouse and we'll assist you in finding the right plants for your garden!

Growing in the Greenhouse

This time of year, when Spring has barely made it's presence known, the greenhouse is an inspiring place. Warm sunshine falls on thriving green plants, and flats of sprouting seeds.

One small seed placed in the soil, one of thousands transforming into tiny, tender sprouts breaking through and unfurling in the light... after a long, cold, snowy winter like the one we've had, we're all waiting for a chance to branch out in the warmth!

We start our plants by seed, plug, or bare root transplant depending on the type of plant. Vegetables destined for the field are started from seed (tomatoes, peppers, brcooli, etc), as well as enthusiastic annuals (marigolds, allyssum, lobelia, for example) and perennials.

The photos below in the center and on the right show our broccoli seedings. Every two weeks, another crop will be transplanted into the field, giving us a constant supply of broccoli from June until November. 

Most perennials that come in as plugs (young plants growing in trays) are planted in smaller quart pots. Delphinum, Columbine,  and Dianthus are pictured below on the right, growing happily in quart containers. Look at that green!

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All bare root transplants are put in gallon pots to give these large root masses plenty of room for an equally large plant. Some particularly vigorous plugs like hosta and helleborous are planted in larger gallon pots as well. Pictured to the left, for example, is Heleborous Ivory Prince with striking red stems and graceful, blue-green leaves.

Below on the left and in the center is Hosta Sum and Substance, one of the largest hostas on the market. It grew so well in the tray that they were impossible to pull out and we had to cut the tray to pieces! Look at all those roots. To keep them from becoming root bound, we sliced off a layer of the bottom of the roots. On the right is Pineapple Lilly, an exotic looking plant with  long pointed leaves and a tall flower stalk.

New Annuals for 2014 at Kirby's

Here are a few of the new annuals we'll have in the greenhouse this Spring. They're all Proven Winners, which you can count on for easy care and "vigorous, healthy, vibrant, and unique" plants. We're looking forward to trying out these gorgeous colors in hanging baskets, garden beds, and brand new combinations!

Superbells Spicy and Superbells Pomegranate Punch Callibrichoa

Superbells® Pomegranate Punch - Calibrachoa hybrid
Superbells® Spicy - Calibrachoa hybrid
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We added Spicy and Pomegranate Punch to our already long list of Superbell color choices. They look pretty spectacular! Those hot colors will pair wonderfully with purples, reds, and chocolate folliage.

Superbells Callibrichoa are a type of petunia with a finer foliage and many small blossoms. They are amazing in hanging baskets, container gardens and garden beds, and they can get very, very large!  One of our favorite things about superbells and supertunias is that, unlike traditional petunias, you don't have to remove the dead flowers. They'll bloom all season long with plenty of water and regular feeding.Growing Tips: If they get too big, they do respond well to being cut back. Because of the airy habit of the plant, it's best to protect them from high winds to achieve a better overall shape.For best bloom, don't let them dry out!


Supertunia® Flamingo - Petunia hybrid

Supertunia Flamingo, Petunia

A soft salmon color with delicate veining, Flamingo is a very robust Supertunia. It joins the ranks of some of our favorite annuals, including Royal Velver Supertunia, Priscilla SUpertunia, and Bordeaux Supertunia.

This beautiful plant has the potential to grow up to 18 inches high and two feet across! Like all Supertunias, Flamingo is beautiful in hanging baskets and container gardens. And you don't have to deadhead. It's always nice to avoid that sticky, unpleasant task!
Click here for more details.


Senetti® Magenta - Cineraria - Pericallis

SENETTI ELECTRIC MAGENTA, OSTEOSPERNUM

Osteospurnum, (or African Daisies) have been grown in our greenhouse every Spring for many years. This season we added Senetti, an African Daisy with smaller, prolific flowers. The color is intense! 

Growing Tips: Similar to the Symphony Orange and Yellow African Daisies we usually grow, these annuals will bloom heavily in cooler weather, but will retreat in the intense heat of summer. When July comes around, be sure to put them in part shade and water often to encourage bloom.

However, these beautiful flower are frost tolerant!

We're looking forward to seeing what they do in the Fall.

Click here for more details.


SUPERBENA VIOLET ICE, VERBENA

Superbena® Violet Ice - Verbena hybrid

Lavender purple flowers on dark green folliage. This plant will bloom all season until frost, with proper care. Excellent in hanging baskets, containers, and garden beds, Violet Ice will also blend well with other flowers in combination pots.

Growing Tips:  Superbena are heat and drought tolerant!

Superbena® Violet Ice mono

Expect impressive results with regular watering and fertilizing. Verbena is another plant that you must deadhead, traditionally, but they were developed to avoid all that itchiness. Violet Ice will bloom for the entire season whether you remove the dead flowers or not.

Click here for more details.

Coming Soon.... photos from the Perennial House, and new perennial varieties for 2014!

2014 CSA Information

March is here, and that means that Spring is right around the corner. The greenhouse is already toasty warm and filling up with green plants. We're savoring these first moments of warmth and growing things! In July we'll look back and wonder where the time went.

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And now for the news you've been waiting for!  The CSA Store is open and ready to accept your membership for the 2014 season.

Prices are posted on our website (here), along with updated FAQs.

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Registration Deadlines

Early Sign Up Bonus: 

All members that register and whose first payments are received by April 1st, will get an early sign up bonus.This year the bonus is your choice of a six pack of annuals. Any six pack we grow - so you can choose flowers, vegetables or herbs! Paying online with your credit card is the easiest way to make sure your payment is received by April 1st (a little more reliable then the mail) but if you would like to send a check, please mail it early enough to be sure we receive it in time.

Regular registration deadline is May 1st

(You can still join later in the year if we have space, but a $20 processing fee will be added for all late registrations.)

 

July Blooms in the Perennials

I ran outside to capture these beautiful flowers yesterday, when the sun finally peeked through the rain clouds. So many gorgeous varieties of lilies are in full bloom right now, along with butterfly bush, lavender, hydrangea... and many more!

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buddleiabee

July Field Update

Early sour cherry variety.
Early sour cherry variety.

Hello from the farm! The persistent rain this Spring is a continuing challenge. It slowed things down and delayed the harvest on Spring crops like peas, lettuce, and beets. And then, it shortened the strawberry crop! I don't mind waiting for peas, but I am disappointed that strawberries are already done here.

We've said good bye to Spring crops of Rhubarb, Strawberries, and Spinach - it's time to embrace Summer!

To help you keep up with the changing seasons, here's a loose prediction of what the next month or so will look like.

Peas, Regular and Edible Pod

: Right now we're in our third planting with one more to go. We should have peas for two more weeks (mid-July)!

Lettuce: Our fresh lettuce will be available until mid-July.

Zucchini and Summer Squash are here now and will be until at least the end of July.

Sour Cherries showed up at the end of June. There isn't a lot of the first variety, so they won't be around too long. Later varieties will be here in mid July, and should last about 2 weeks.

Sweet Cherries arrived on June 28th, and they'll be around just into the beginning of August.

Broccoli

Fresh broccoli crowns, available by the pound.
Fresh broccoli crowns, available by the pound.

: our broccoli plantings are shaping up to be pretty epic this year, with a total of about 400,000 broccoli plants in the field.  We're in the first harvest right now! 

Recipes: 

Broccoli SoupBroccoli Salad, and Roasted Broccoli

 

Coming Up:

Pickles

will start showing up in about two weeks.  We're doing a planting each week for the entire month of July, with the last one going in on August 1st. This means we should have a steady supply for all of August and well into September, if Mother Nature cooperates.

3,000 feet of Beets were planted two weeks ago. We're looking forward to having lots to pick in about six weeks!

In our next update, we'll have news on tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, and peaches.