August Snapshots

August is a beautiful month at the market.  Produce, perennials, and great food! Mouse over for captions, click for larger images, and enjoy!


Helenium "Copelia"

Hot peppers, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and sweet pepper combine for a beautiful palette of summer color!

Gentian "True Blue" and Heuchera "Obsidian" are a beautiful summer perennial pairing for your garden!Ratatouille, ready to go in the oven! Eggplant slices alternate with zucchini, tossed with garlic, olive oil and sea salt.Every year we grow a a rainbow of gladiolas in the field. They are usually available right up to Fall!Fresh, Kirbygrown sweetcorn, a summertime essential.Another planting of homegrown beets are here.Sungold yellow cherry tomatoes and Sweet 100's cherry tomato are like a little bowl of sunshine!Rudebekia triloba, an adorable little black eyed susan, frames the entry next to a stationary display.Gladiolas are one of the best flowers we can grow for arrangements. Every bud will open, even the tightest one. Just keep trimming from the bottom as the older blooms die, and keep the water fresh.

A reminder that Fall is right around the corner! Every tree in our orchards is loaded with apples, some of them nearly ready for picking!

Does this cool weather make you think about Fall? It will be here before you know it! Make sure you take full advantage of the wonderful summer produce filling the market throughout August and September!

JULY Perennial of the Month

Hostas Perennial Manager Jaime Brennan tells us about a plant with leaves of endless variety, Hostas, the July perennial of the month here at Kirby's:

"What is a shade garden without a Hosta or two? They come in so many shapes, sizes and colors. My biggest challenge every year is selecting just a few new varieties.

One of our new varieties this year includes possibly the largest known Hosta, 'Empress Wu', growing up to three to four feet high and wide with leaves measuring more than 1 ½ feet wide and long.

It has a strong upright habit with pale reddish violet flowers starting in early summer.I only wish we had more shade to plant one. At the other end of the scale we have 'Love Pat' a 14” Hosta with intense blue, deeply cupped and puckered leaves. White trumpet shaped flowers bloom from mid to late summer.

When I first started gardening I used to challenge myself to design shade gardens without any Hostas. They were too common for me at the time, but now I have come to appreciate the gracefulness of their leaves, the texture and variety of color that help to brighten any shade garden. It is also a joy to watch the hummingbirds dance from blossom to blossom.

We carry 24 varieties of Hostas: Hosta plantaginea; 'Blue Angel'; 'Blue Mammoth'; 'Dancing in the Rain'; 'Elegans'; 'Empress Wu'; 'Francee'; 'Frances Williams'; 'Ginkgo Craig'; 'Gold Standard';  'Hadspen Blue'; 'Honeybells'; 'Love Pat'; 'Niagara Falls'; 'Northern Exposure'; 'Pauls Glory'; 'Peanut'; 'Remember Me'; 'Robert Frost'; 'Sagae'; 'Sum and Substance'; 'Thunderbolt'; 'Tokudama Flavocircinalis'; and 'Wolverine'.


Plant Sale!

I know a lot of our customers have been waiting for this moment. Our greenhouse still has plenty of beauitful plants in it,  including big hanging baskets, geraniums... and lots more.

Starting Sunday, July 3rd, all Hanging Baskets will be 25% off and all other annuals will be 50% off!


Perennial of the Month for June: Baptisia

Talking about getting in under the wire....! There are still a few days left in June, plenty of time to talk about this star of the Spring, Baptisia. We have several plantings in our display garden, some paired with classic orange poppies, and they are attention grabbers.

>>> And as a special bonus, a selection of Spring Blooming perennials is on sale NOW, including some Baptisia! Follow the signs to our "Back Mat" (where we keep our extra perennials) to find a stash of bargain Spring Bloomers.

And now, a few words about Baptisia from our perennial manager Jaime Brennan:

"Baptisia is one of my absolute favorite perennials, being a native plant is one of the reasons why. I only wish it bloomed all summer, but it does produce attractive seedpods that last all fall and through the winter. There are some newer varieties that have longer bloom time.  Baptisia australis is growing in the garden bordering the west side of our parking lot. They have become large beautiful bushes that have attractive light blue green leaves. Right now (June) you can see what a wonderful combination they make with oriental poppies. We have one beautiful plant of Baptisia alba located in the east garden at the edge of the road. There have been many requests for this plant that has dark stems with contrasting white flowers. My fingers are crossed that we will be able to offer them this year (several years ago I ordered Baptisia alba but they all bloomed blue).

Baptisia has a very large taproot that helps it tolerate the heat and drought we can experience here in NY at least once a summer. Their tall spikes have flowers that resemble that of a pea flower, which is not surprising because it is a member of the pea family. One interesting function that pea family plants can do is make their own nitrogen. If you've ever wondered what those small nodules on the roots were for – now you know."

MAY Perennial of the Month

It's too cold out there for planting annuals, but stop by the market this weekend (our displays will be complete by Saturday, May 7th) and find a gorgeous spring blooming perennial for your garden! These hardy plants will survive a WNY winter so you know they won't mind a little Spring chill in the air.

Perennial Manager Jaime Brennan tells us about Amsonia hubrichtii, Thread-leaf Blue Star, the perennial of the month here at Kirby's:

"The Perennial Plant Association has chosen Amsonia hubrichtii, Thread-leaf Blue Star to be recognized  for 2011. This beautiful and graceful perennial is also a native plant. Long lived, bug and pest free, it's flowers emerge in May and June with clusters of steel blue. The long narrow leaves give the plant a look of a bottle brush that turns to a golden yellow in the fall.

Amsonia is a beautiful addition to any garden. It keeps a nice bush shape and I have seen many early butterflies enjoying it's blooms in our garden along the east side of the greenhouse. Stop by to meet Amsonia today!"


Some examples of perennials that are blooming in our displays right now:

(Mouseover for the name of each plant. Click for a larger image)

Marsh Marigold - a native plant that loves wet areas.Helleborus - one of the very first perennials to bloom. This plant comes in many colors, including a rich purple-red.Crested Iris - a short iris with great flowers in a gorgeous blue.Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) - a unique flower with fern-like foliage.Lewisia - a hardy alpine plant that is great for walls and rock gardens!Pulsatilla - large purple flowers appear in early Spring among soft, fernlike foliage.    Cimmicifuga (chocolate colored foliage), white Bleeding Heart, and a Hosta in the background create a unique Spring arrangement.Virgina Bluebells! A medium-tall plant with large clusters of blue flowersColumbine - comes in a wide variety of colors, some short and some tall. We have a very prretty double pink this year, along with classic colored single blooms.

New Annuals for 2011

Every year we add a handful of new and interesting plants to our selection of Annual bedding plants. Sometimes they can get lost among the many beautiful varieties that fill our greenhouse. It's great to have this space to feature them. We hope you enjoy!

"Zion" Osteospernum

Beautiful sunset-like colors.

Likes full sun or part sun.

Height: 16"

Care: Remove spent flowers. Allow soil to dry between waterings.

Uses: Containers, borders, rock gardens



"Butterfly Deep Rose" Penta

Attracts butterflies.

Likes full sun,

Height: 18" - 24"

Care: Heat tolerant, drought tolerant, fertilize regularly.

Uses: Containers, borders, garden beds



"Mini Famous" Calibrachoa Double Salmon, Pink, or Blue

Likes full sun or part sun. Produces lots of flowers!

Height: 4", Trailing

Care: Keep soil moist on hot days. Fertilize regularly.

Uses: Containers, window boxes



"Beth's Blue" Star Flower

Likes full sun

Height: 12" - 14"

Care: Heat tolerant, deadheading not necessary, fertilize regularly.

Uses: Containers, landscapes


"Fiber Optic Grass" Scirpus cernus

Creates a unique texture!

Likes full sun or part shade. 

Height: 10" - 14"

Care: Heat tolerant, fertilize regularly.

Uses: Landscapes and containers


"Picobella Carmine" Petunia

Likes full sun or part shade. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds!

Height: 8" - 10"

Care: Heat tolerant, remove spent flowers, fertilize regularly.

ses: Containers, landscapes



"Butterfly Deep Rose" Penta

Likes full sun, attracts butterflies.

Height: 18" - 24"

Space: 10"

Care: Heat tolerant, drought tolerant, fertilize regularly.

Uses: Containers, borders, garden beds



End of the Year Sales

Today marks the beginning of the end of the season for us here at Kirby's! There are only five more days left until we close for the winter at 2pm on Friday, December 24th. It is traditional for us to run sales the last week of the year. As a special Holiday thank you, our Poinsettias are 25 % off. It's time to stock up on homegrown produce for the winter! As of today, our Kirbygrown apples are all 25% off.  While you're here, don't forget the keeping potatoes from Rush's - they'll store very well and last for months.

All gift shop items  and jams are 20% off.  Finish up your Christmas shopping and save a little money at the same time!

We hope you're enjoying the holiday season, see you soon!


The Twelve Days of Gift Hunting

Are you starting to feel the crunch? Today is December 12th and sadly, we no longer have twelve days until Christmas. The deadline no longer creeps, it looms. In addition to deadlines, we have  the usual WNY winter weather, long lines, crazy traffic at the malls, and the guarantee of at least one challenging person on our list to contend with. Kirby's Farm Market is here to help! As I posted on facebook today, there are definitely benefits to taking your holiday shopping to the country.

* We have gobs of talented crafters out here creating quality gifts (by quality I mean the made-with-love-talent-and-pride type of quality). If you don't have time for homemade, then handmade and local is the next best thing. (More on these talented people in a moment.)

*There may be a lot of myths about the country but this one is true - we're all pretty laid back! Traffic is a tad more low key and lines are just a bit shorter (non-existent!) out here on the very Western edge of Monroe County. In the market the sound of Christmas music is relaxing, the glow of little lights and scent of balsam candles soothing.... sip a cup of hot, mulled cider as you wander, browsing in our gift shop.

*And finally, you know you can find something unique at Kirby's for just about anyone on your list.  I have twelve suggestions.....


1. In the year that Tranquility Herbals has been around, we've seen a huge variety of herbal products come into the market. Jaime (Kirby) Brennan has been studying the art of herbology and applying it to the benefit of our every day lives. Nourishing teas to relax or invigorate, rubs for aching muscles, and a wonderful lip balm, just for a few examples. Show someone that you care about their health and well being by putting an herbal gift under the tree this year!


2. Men! They like to eat. For the men on your list we have a variety of mustards from Nunda, NY-  Peppercorn, Tangy, and Honey Brew are just a few options. Seawards Chocolates are always a good bet whether they like milk, white or dark, caramel, sponge, or assorted.We also have over 35 types of jams, butters, and preserves. From Apple to Quince, we've got your morning toast covered.


3. A Taste of NY! We will definitely start this gift off with a nice stash of Kirbygrown apples, and Kutter's cheddar is always a perfectly complement to a  crisp, empire. Maple Syrup will be perfect alongside New Hope Mills Buttermilk Pancake Mix. Finish off this treasure trove of delicious NYS flavor with a jar of Doan's Honey and some Maple Sugar Candy.


4. A Day at the Spa - you might not expect to create a Spa package at a farm market, but the price tag will be the most pleasant surprise. A bar of luxurious goat's milk soap from Nanny Naturals, a hand-knit washcloth, Miracle Grains facial scrub and herbal facial steam from Tranquility Herbals, comes to a grand total of $20. Every bit of it is made in Orleans County.


5. Afternoon Tea - we now carry a selection of 25 different teas from Tranquility Herbals. Unique gifts for the tea-lover on your list includes a collapsible infuser (strainer),  a variety of lidded cups with tea infuser included, the "perfect scoop" to measure out loose leaf tea, and tea sets and mugs in hues of green and blue from local potter Deborah Wilson. Throw in a decorative and indestructible teabag saucer for good measure.


6. Windchimes! Definitely a unique gift.  I will be the first to admit that while we all know someone with half a dozen windchimes in their backyard, not everyone appreciates the musical partnership of mother nature and a set of metal pipes.  All we ask is that you stop by and play around with the dozens of windchimes we carry from Woodstock (another NY based company). Not only will the joyful poking and prodding of something that makes a lot of noise remind you of your childhood, the results of Woodstock's creative material combinations may just win you over. Prices start under $10 with an adorable set that is also perfect as a tree ornament!


7. Holiday Color - a splash of red, an armful of blooms, poinsettias make excellent holiday gifts for the people on your list that don't really need anything. Easy to care for with extremely long lasting 'flowers', they'll brighten any room.  We still have a good selection of poinsettias in our greenhouse, but don't wait too long! Certain colors are selling out.


8. For the organized person on your list (or maybe someone that could use a little more organization in their life) we have beautiful stationary. Notepads of all sizes, all under $5 and perfect for stocking stuffers or as a little gift. Tiny pocket sized; medium purse sized with matching pencil; and one with a magnet, perfect for jotting notes in the kitchen. We also have special calenders designed to sort out the events of the week, and big desk calenders, handy folders for phone numbers... even recipe cards! All with great art, all under $20.


9. For new arrivals - An adorable package from Tranquility Herbals created for new mothers and their little ones! Contains a hand-knit, organic washcloth, Rosy Bottom Salve, all-natural Baby Powder, and Cradle Cap Oil.


10. Scent with Love - Our collection of scented items has really grown this year.  We were excited to add Sandy Creek Candles of Kendall, NY in 2009 and 100% Essential Oils of Aura Cacia this year. Sandy Creek crafts wonderfully scented votive and jar soy candles that last 50% longer then traditional paraffin candles.  Holiday scents are Balsam, Cinnamon Strudel and Christmas Cabin. Or put together a little package of diffuser reeds, essential oil and a vessel of your choice for another way to scent the holidays. It's as easy as that!


11. Sweet and Simple - pair any of our festive mugs with a carton of delicious hot chocolate mix from Aspen. We have 10 holiday mugs to choose from, as well as a selection of mugs that will be great for any season.


12. Haven't heard the right one yet? A gift certificate from Kirby's Farm Market is like giving someone hundreds of opportunities to choose from. Whether they decide on a gorgeous flowering plant next Spring, a basket of the world's juiciest, freshest fruits in Summer (no, I'm not biased), or a wagonful of gourds and pumpkins in the Fall, we are here to show them the joys of homegrown. With four gorgeous WNY seasons, and hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables to choose from, they'll have a lot of fun with that little piece of paper. Gift Certificates are available at Kirby's in any amount.

* We would be happy to help you but together a special gift package. Place an order over the phone (585)637-2600 or at the market, and we'll have it ready for you by Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Holidays at Kirby's

Mixed greens wreath with Holly, Pine, Cedar, and Fir.Kirby's Farm Market is open right up to Christmas. Get ready for the holidays with wonderful gifts and ornaments, quality produce, wreaths, poinsettias and the perfect Christmas tree. And we can help with your last minute shopping on December 24th too! Homegrown and Locally Grown: For the rest of the season we'll have apples, potatoes, onions, cabbage, garlic, and winter squash. Ask us about our apples that have been in special storage to keep them as crisp and juicy as the day they were picked. You don't have to eat soft mealy apples just because it's December.

Decorating for the Holidays: poinsettias! Our greenhouse is full of beautiful holiday color.  We have hundreds of plants in a range of sizes. 4.5" pots are the perfect gift for teachers and friends while 10" pots create an impressive  splash of color for home and office.  Choose traditional red or white, marble (pink and white swirl), jinglebells (red speckled with white) or pink.

Find the perfect Christmas Tree! Take a stroll between the market and the greenhouse where an evergreen forest has sprung up over night. We have over 100 trees to choose from.

We also make our own wreaths in a variety of styles. Our specialty:  luxuriously full wreaths  handmade at Kirby's with mixed greens; artfully arranged holly, cedar, pine, fir and eucalyptus create a truly unique display. For those with an interest in holiday sparkle, we have wreaths decorated in combinations of  red, gold, silver, blue, green and white. Or just plain, sweet-smelling greens with a bow. Talk to us about having a wreath made for your home - we would be happy match the holiday theme of your choice.

Open til December 24th!

Like us on FACEBOOK to keep up to date on our end of the year specials and sales!


June Produce

Almost everything is early this year so we have to keep you informed! That warm weather early this Spring gave everything a little bit of a head start.

  • Cherries: in the market since 6/20, we'll have sweet cherries for several weeks yet. Sour cherries will be here before July, we hope. A little later and with a shorter season then sweet, you definitely want to catch some before they're gone. We like to eat them fresh, make some into a cobbler and of course... cherry pie!
  • Strawberries: I picked a few quarts this afternoon and there are plenty of big beautiful berries out there.  If you're not interested in picking your own, we have plenty in the market already picked.
  • Lettuce: fresh Kirbygrown lettuce is so tender and crisp. (I have been tempted to eat an entire head for lunch on more then one occasion, dressed simply in a cider vinagrette). Red leaf, green leaf and buttercruch!
  • Peas: Sweet and Edible Pod are here at the moment. Our second planting is just getting started.
  • Coming soon: zucchini, summer squash, early peaches.

As always, call ahead if you're coming for a specific item! You never know when we might sell out of something and we don't want anyone to be disappointed. Feel free to place an order by phone or in person ahead of time and if it's in the field we'll have it ready to go at any time, on any day.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Ah, the first warm sunny holiday of the year. Picnics, boating, visiting with friends and family.... and gardening! It's finally here, the official "safe-to-plant" date. The cut off for frosts and damaging temperatures. From now on,  warm and sunny! ....Right? Well, we hope so. The weather in Western New York likes to surprise us. My Grandpa Kirby could remember a year when it snowed in July, a year without a summer, with a frost every month. That puts last week's chilly rain into perspective, doesn't it!

Because everyone knows Memorial Day Weekend as the weekend to buy plants and really get started on gardening, it's a very busy weekend for us. And we're ready! The early warm weather had everything growing like crazy in early May and our greenhouse is full of gorgeous colorful annuals.

Angelonia, Lobelia, Bidens and Millionbellsangelonia supertunia and osteospernum

Over the years we've developed a reputation for having big, beautiful, hanging baskets and great, colorful, container gardens. This year is no exception! The selection is really wonderful out there. I swear, I must say "Wow, what a great basket!" at least a dozen times a day as I watch people bring their purchases through the market. The size and bloom are just phenomenal.

Many people garden almost entirely with annuals, but perennials are a great way to add lasting structure to your garden. They're also more economical since they come back year after year. If you haven't tried gardening with perennials before, there are a lot of benefits (an upcoming post!). Take a walk in our perennial area and you're bound to be inspired by the great textures and colors out there. Planting with perennials for structure and durability combined with annuals for color is a great way to go.

If you're thinking about buying plants this weekend, try to get here early if you can. The lines can get long. Even though we have a good system at the register, sometimes there's a little bit of a wait as we sort out each purchase. If you can come before Friday, even better!

Have a great holiday everyone and happy planting!!

Opening Day!

It's an exciting time of year here at Kirby's Farm Market!

I must confess, I say that a lot. It's hard not to - after Spring comes Summer, and then Fall and Winter... how can I restrain my excitement with an endless parade of seasons, each more delicious then the last? Asparagus, strawberries, peas, then peaches, tomatoes, peppers, and sweet corn, apples, squash... oh my! Hungry yet? And that's just the beginning. I'm sure you all know how I feel. We saw the signs when we posted about the arrival of our first annuals on Facebook, back in April. Even though there were weeks and weeks to wait, we know you're just as excited as we are.

May 1st. May 1st is a phrase that's heard frequently, December through April. Everyone wants to know when the market will be open, when will they get that first peak in the greenhouse? Or that first taste of fresh Kirbygrown asparagus? Even as we close our doors in December, "May 1st" is spoken about a hundred times to customers wanting to know when it will all start up again. A new year, a new season, a new array of challenges, accomplishments and miracles.

As I write this post, May 1st is just a few days away. And let me assure you, there's quite a hustle going on right now! So many things to pack into this last week. So many displays to make just right. One thing that was finished right on schedule, ready for opening day, are the renovations to the front of the market. Maybe you noticed a little bit of construction going on at the market if you've driven down Ridge Road lately. Our usual displays of garden tools, country gifts and Spring décor will look especially nice with new windows and doors as a back drop.

The greenhouse is so gorgeous this time of year, full from wall to wall with perfectly beautiful plants. It's hard to resist filling your garden with color right away, but we all know the danger of frost in this area. Don't worry, you can visit the greenhouse whenever you want to, until it's safe to plant! If you must buy now, you can join the group of determined gardeners that move their plants in and out of garages until the time is right. There are a few annuals that tolerate cooler temperatures - check back for a post on the subject in the near future!

Meanwhile, on the farm: it was only about three weeks ago that the warm weather had asparagus shoots beginning to poke out of the ground. Last week some of the stalks were amazingly tall, as tall as I've ever seen it! There will definitely be plenty of asparagus to start us off this year. As asparagus season goes into full swing, we'll be keeping a lookout for recipes. Do you have any favorites you would like to share?