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Whew…what a week! I’m kinda glad it’s Friday and hoping that next week and this weekend go a little bit more smoothly!

Above you are looking through the Goldfish Greenhouse (named that because it is right next to the goldfish pond, which no longer has goldfish because the blue heron ate them all – good for the blue heron, as we really didn’t need any goldfish here to begin with!). This is a 96′ long greenhouse and it is half full at this point with small plants that are to be planted in our flower seed crop production field this spring. All sorts of cool crops like Echinacea angustifolia, scarlet tanager gazania, more agastache rupestris, two kinds of Alliums and a whole lot more. These were transplanted from plugs about 3 weeks ago and they have grown a lot already. The goal is for them to have some good size to them when they get planted in our field in April or May.

We’ve been struggling all winter with overly abnormally warm temperatures and NO moisture. It’s getting pretty scary because our water shed isn’t any better off in the mountains than we are here on the farm. We are keeping our fingers crossed that some good moisture will start happening and soon!

So, a week ago Sunday, Chris finally had to irrigate. He called for irrigation water to fill our pond and while he was irrigating the orchard and the pollinator pastures, I started the rotation of watering gardens, hedgerows and trees with the hoses. We still have the desert garden and the greenhouse hedgerow, plus the flower seed crops, to irrigate before we will be finished. If you are also living with abnormally dry conditions, it’s time to water your trees and shrubs and perennial gardens.

This coming Sunday we are supposed to get some snow, so we are hopeful that it will amount to some good measurable moisture. We did have ice and snow last Monday, but it was mostly ice and the snow was so light and dry that it only yielded 1/10″ of moisture, which really isn’t anything to get very excited about. Keep your fingers crossed that good moisture starts adding up here soon.

This is the ditch that carries water from the main ditch on the road into our pond. From the pond we can either drip irrigate the parameter trees and the flower seed crops or run hoses with low sprinklers to the gardens and hedgerows.

Chris spent the last week or so cleaning the equipment shed and his workshop. Once it was clean, he began an upgrade project in the workshop that he has been wanting to do for a while now. This makes a much more usable work space for him.

And then there was our heater disaster on Monday night…major yikes!

Sometime in the night on Monday the heater in the lizard greenhouse blew a fuse and stopped running with outside temps at -1 degrees F. When I went in to water the greenhouse at 8am, there was frost on the inside of the door and the thermometer said it was 20 degrees F inside. Twenty degrees does not make for happy plants and indeed the entire new cape violet crop and a couple of other varieties froze and died (above).

Many of the plants, like the scented geraniums (above) and the ginger (below) were hit pretty hard, but we’re hoping that by trimming off the damaged growth, they will re-group and start to thrive again. We’ll see what happens. There were some varieties that were more badly damaged than others by the cold, but it could have been so much worse. I think we lost a couple thousand dollars worth of plants in this event, but that house easily is filled with $18, 000.00 worth of  plant inventory. If most of it grows out of the damage, then we will consider ourselves very fortunate. Time will tell.

Needless to say, next week we’ll be planting replacement crops of the varieties that died. Those plants may be a bit late showing up in the Farm Stand store, but I think we’ll still be able to have them for sale in May, but probably not in April.

So, what do you do when you feel like crying. You take a long afternoon walk with your husband and the dog. Well, an hour-long walk feels pretty darn long at this time of the year when we are very busy. Shrek, Chris and I headed up to Oil Well Flats near our farm and had a nice walk and it did help us to let go of some of our heater frustrations, re-group ourselves, and prepare to get back to work the next morning. These trails are great for hiking and the mountain bikers and horseback riders also frequent them a lot. This trial is called the Fire Canyon Trail.

Do you ever feel like your being watched? Hmmm…I think Pal is in a spying phase these days and the bathtub seems to be a favorite hideout to spy from.

Have a nice weekend. Tammi

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I just finished posting up all the information about our upcoming Open Farm Days this spring. I also posted the schedule for all the free workshops that will be held during Open Farm Days, plus other events that are scheduled so far in 2018.

If you go to the “Open Farm Days” and the “Classes & Events” pages on this blog you will find all the details about when our farm will be open to the public this spring. You’ll be able to visit our Farm Stand Store and Nursery to shop for more than 1400 different varieties of plants – including all types of herbs, heritage and heirloom fruit and vegetable plants including heirloom fruit tree varieties, loads of native plants and wildlife habitat-friendly plants, edible and old-fashioned flowers, and other unique kinds of plants for your gardens, patios and porches or inside your home.  The free workshop titles and dates are there along with the teacher’s name who will be presenting the workshop. We have amazing guest teachers this year again and we are very excited about their offerings. Chris and Tammi will also be teaching workshops on a variety of topics.

Open Farm Days is a great time to visit the farm. You can explore the wildlife viewing and birding opportunities while you are here, stroll the gardens, bring a picnic and eat your lunch or enjoy a thermos of tea to drink. You can walk through the flower seed crop production field and see what is starting to come up or may even be blooming. You might see frogs in the pond and hopefully the heirloom fruit tree orchard will be blooming when you visit.

Take a look and start planning to visit during our Open Farm Days here at Desert Canyon Farm….Your Invited!!!!

With Green Thoughts, Tammi & Chris and the farm crew family

This past weekend Chris and I were busy in the greenhouses introducing some beneficial insects. Above, Chris is applying Hypoaspis mites, which help manage thrips and help a little bit with fungus gnats.

Below are the empty packets of beneficial nematodes that I applied with a water soil drench. These nematodes feed on the larvae of all sorts of pest insects, but especially fungus gnats and shore flies. During the winter time, when the temps can be cold and the weather cloudy, with high moisture in the greenhouses, that is a good environment for the gnats to start happening. We use only beneficial insects for our pest management protocols (also called IPM or Integrated Pest Management)  in Fall, Winter and early spring, so much of what we do is preventative. When you are certified organic, the best gift you can give yourself is to prevent problems before they happen, as this is an easier way to handle things rather than deal with problems after they are in place. So, we keep the greenhouses clean and weed free to prevent diseases. We water carefully, especially in wintertime when it is far too easy to over-water plants and then insect problems can start happening. We use beneficial insects as predator patrol insects in all the greenhouses so that they will stop any pest insects that might show up dead in their tracks. Beneficial insects are notoriously expert hunters and if there is a pest insect around, they will find and eat it…end of story.

Chris is continuing to arrange for jazz music to happen at Ito’s Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Restaurant in Florence, CO. There will be jazz music there every Friday and Saturday night throughout January and February from 5:30 to close. Chris will be playing on several of those Fridays and Saturdays, and he has arranged for some excellent jazz musicians and singers to play on the other Fridays and Saturdays. Visit Ito’s website or Facebook page to find out the specific schedule.

This was last weekend when Chris, Rich and Kimberly were the jazz event of the night.

We are settling into the new year. This is Chris’ slower time of the year, although he has plenty of farm work with building and equipment maintainance in winter, but he gets a bit of time to focus on his music more, ski (if there was any snow to ski on :-{{ ) and some hiking and biking. His days this week have been occupied with cleaning out the workshop, the equipment shed and the garden house where we keep all our farm hand tools. To some, this might not seem like a big deal, but believe me, it is a huge task!! So far he has been at it for several days with still a couple more long days before this task is finished and crossed off his list.

This is how Chris sometimes watches the football game and practices guitar all at the same time. Works pretty well!

This is not my slow time of the year (for me that is mid-summer and fall) and the greenhouses and office work is at a full-blown pace! Lizz and Beki are back to work and we are putting in long full days with planting and other farm work. For me, I will be working every single day now until the middle of June with no days off and a very full work schedule. This isn’t unusual, it’s like this every year, but that doesn’t mean it is any easier to settle into the work pace when I’d rather be doing something for myself. Thankfully, I like my work with plants, so onward I go.

That said, I’m doing my best to keep some perspective, at least for the month of January, so on Sundays after I finish the greenhouse watering chores I’m trying to take a couple of hours off to either go for a hike with Chris and Shrek or sit a while with my needlework. Sadie and I finished a project a week ago Sunday that was for M’lissa. I packaged it up and posted it off to her last week.

This Sunday I started a new project. I’m needle felting a picture using the milkweed roving that Lizz made for me for my solstice gift. All of those little colored balls of roving are made with milkweed floss she collected here on the farm this past fall. She dyed them lots of bright colors and it’s going to be perfect for my little garden wheel project below.

We also had a hike with our friends, James and Michelle, in Deer Haven. Many of you know James from the Open Farm Days free workshops, as he teaches several of them. We did finalize the workshop schedule this past week, so now I just need to get it typed into the “Classes and Events” page of this blog. I’ll do that soon.

James, Chris and the three dogs (Shrek, Tessala and Rollie) went hiking this week too and had a great time! Of course, Shrek and Jame’s dogs all think any hike or even a good walk is a great time!

James is an amazing photographer and he focuses a lot on nature photography. He was up at the farm over the weekend taking some bird photos.

The curved billed thrasher was very interested in being the subject of a number of James’ photographs. Here my favorite one he took of the thrasher!

The sharp-shinned hawk was also here when James was taking photos, but she thought she would stay high up in the Peace Tree (aka: the honeylocust tree) in our back gardens. I still think this photo is amazing! You should have seen how high up she was and James was below the tree looking up with his camera. As an FYI… James is going to be giving a photography workshop on photographing plants, especially flowers, during our Open Farm Days this spring.

So, I think that is most of the news I have to tell for this week. Enjoy a great week yourselves!

This last week of 2017 has been full of activity around this homeplace. On Christmas day we enjoyed some great company! We had a wonderful day of visiting, eating a taco feast instead of a traditional Christmas meal, playing with the kids and just having good old-fashioned fun.

M’lissa and Luke and their kids, Gabe and Lyli were here.

My parents were here.

We all ate far more tacos than we really needed too, but they were delicious!

We have been spending a lot of time doing maintenance and clean-up tasks around the farm and in preparing for the new farm year coming quickly.

It’s been far too dry here and although the plants and wild critters seem to be holding their own so far, we are hoping that some good moisture starts to happen very soon! That said, the desert garden looks beautiful in its late December glory.

The curved billed thrasher and all the rosy finches enjoy that garden very much and the thrashers make their home in the large cholla cactus.

Honestly, this isn’t my most favorite week of the year because as soon as Christmas day is over I begin the daunting tasks of year-end office work. That involves all the year-end employee payroll tax papers like W2’s, withholding tax payments, sales tax payments, estimated tax payments for Chris and I, and on and on the list seems to go. Yuck! Once that is done, I start preparing all the files and documents for the coming 2018 year, such as this payroll log I have to keep to record all our payroll information. There are wholesale customer files to get ready for 2018, the planting schedule to finalize, the seed sourcing chart I have to keep for the Colorado Dept of Agriculture for our organic certification, new propagation logs to get ready, a  greenhouse temperature log to create, and on it goes. If all that weren’t plenty enough, our 2018 organic certification renewal application arrived two days ago and is due to be turned in the early part of February. That task requires both Chris and I to work on it and it will easily take us a solid 2 weeks to complete all the information they require. So, I’ve been spending a lot of my time this week in the dungeon (aka: my office). I wish I could say that I’ve gotten all of it done, but no such luck. This office work will likely continue for a while I think.

We realized a few weeks ago that our farm sign is getting worn out, so that is also on my list. I need to finalize the digital file of the sign art and then arrange with the sign-maker to create a new main farm sign. I’m hoping to get that done this coming week.

Lizz will be back to work on Tuesday after her holiday break and then we will begin moving plants into the next greenhouse. From the first week of January through the rest of that month we will go from having 2 heated greenhouses and one vernalization greenhouse (unheated with perennials under frost blankets) filled with plants to filling up 9 greenhouses full of plants and 8 of them will be heated. Beki comes back to work on the 8th January and then things really kick into high gear!! Spring is happening around here inside the greenhouses anyway! We’ll be planting our bare root fruit plants, taking cuttings and sowing seeds like crazy women, transplanting seedlings and plugs in mass,  preparing for Open Farm Days which start later in the middle of spring.

Which reminds me, I need to finalize the free workshop schedule for our Open Farm Days. Once I get all the workshops picked and scheduled, I’ll be updating the classes and events page of this blog with all that information. I’ll also update the Open Farm Days page of the blog too at that time. Oh, and M’lissa is working on getting the plant databases on this blog updated with all the new plants we hope to have available in our Farm Stand store this spring and there are a boat-load of new plants coming down the pipe. I think your going to love all the new plants we will be growing this coming spring.

I do want to let you know about this 2018 Kansas City Garden Symposium that is going to happen in early February. I will be one of the speakers at this fantastic event. Here is the link to the website Kansas City Garden Symposium | Practical, Inspirational, Thought-provoking . If you can register to attend, you’ll have a great time and learn a ton of great information, be able to network with like-minded plant people. It will be a good time for all. They will be selling my books too. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

Do you ever feel like no matter what you do, it’s not a choice? I think that is probably what was going through Shrek’s mind earlier this evening. Willow thinks Shrek is the next best thing to a bite of cheese or a saucer of milk and he insists on showing Shrek all the time how much he admires his big dog brother. I’m glad they love each other, but sometimes I think Willow can overdo it a little bit.

Talk to you again soon.

 

Last week I went to some BLM land near the farm and set myself to work creating my solstice wreath for our back porch door (which we use as a front door). I harvested some piñon pine branches, artemisia, rabbit brush, sunflower heads, some juniper and blue gramma grass and wired it all onto a grapevine wreath I had in storage.

Here is the nearly finished wreath with a background of the local scenery where I was working on this project.

After I got home I added some rose hips and ribbon and it was finished. It smells incredible with the boughs. Now when visitors arrive they are greeted by the wreath and its wonderful solstice fragrance!

Normally, I don’t really decorate much for the solstice season, except the back door wreath with is a tradition of mine. However, this year we are expecting Luke and M’lissa and their kids, Gabe and Lyli, to come for our Christmas Taco Feast, so I decided that in honor of the young ones I would put out my snowmen collection and a little solstice tree. My friend, Diana, crocheted the snowflakes and they are a perfect addition to the tree. I’m enjoying it and I think the kids will too.

While we were out for a hike on Saturday we walked past the mother Hackberry tree that we harvest seed from to grow the little native hackberry trees we sell in our Farm Stand store in the spring. This old mother tree is very old and she has been through a lot, but even in her winter bare branches, she is beautiful in my eyes. There are over a hundred of her children in our greenhouse and they are thriving.

Hackberry trees are very hardy and durable trees. They are perfect for the arid climate of Colorado and New Mexico where winter temps can be quite cold and summer temps extremely hot. Drought doesn’t bother these trees too much either, which is good with climate change knocking on our doors! The trees produce little berries the size of a small cherry. They have a big seed and the outer flesh is not juicy, but it is tasty. I like to chew the pulp off the seed and then spit out the seed. It is a great hiking snack as I’m walking along. Hackberry trees are a perfect native tree for wildlife habitat gardens, hedgerows and dry locations in your landscape.

Well, Chris is on a “Guys” ski trip this week, so I decided to take advantage of having the house to myself and get a huge project done that I’ve been avoiding for a couple of years. The inside of our house has been badly in need of fresh paint. Last winter I did the kitchen and bathroom. This week my goal is to get the living room, Chris’ studio, and our bedroom painted while Chris is away and I can make a mess and not worry about anyone else being bothered by it. You can see from this living room picture that is exactly what is happening. I finished the living room today on my lunch break, so now I need to clean up that mess tonight and tomorrow I’ll tackle Chris’ studio, the hallway and prepare the bedroom. It all has to be accomplished within a couple of days, on top of normal farm work, so wish me luck!

This past Sunday was the annual Christmas Bird Count that the Audubon does and they always make a point to come to our place and walk the land here looking at the bird community. When I noticed they were here I went out to chat for a few moments and I was telling them that we have a huge flock of Piñon Jays that has been coming every day and spending most of the day here. Of course, they wanted to see the jays, but just because they wanted to see them, the jays were no where on the farm to be found. They left and said they might come back by later in the day. At 11:00 am the Jays arrived in full force, carrying on in their racus ways. The bird counters returned at 11:30am and the jays were again nowhere to be found, so the birders left, and wouldn’t you know it…at 11:45 the Jays returned and stayed the rest of the day. Crazy! I guess they weren’t into being counted this year.

For any of you that are birders or wildlife watchers, please visit the page on this blog that will share with you the opportunities we have here on our farm for wildlife viewing and birding. We’re part of the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Birding Trail and you will find us on their website also. Here is the link Desert Canyon Farm – Colorado Birding Trail

Something else we’d like to share with you is the work our neighbor Lee Ann is doing to preserve her land directly to the south of our farm. She is working with the Central Colorado Conservancy to do this and here is a bit of information you may find interesting. If you can help Lee Ann accomplish this, that would be great. If not, no worries, just hold her in your thoughts for this good work she is doing.

Desert Canyon Farm’s neighbor Lee Ann Oliver is working to protect the beautiful hay meadow to the south of our farm. Lee Ann and her family are donating a conservation easement that will forever prevent development of their eight irrigated acres. Lee Ann wants to be sure that the Smith family’s land will remain forever open for wildlife habitat, agriculture, and scenic views. She also hopes that walking paths can be added sometime in the future. Central Colorado Conservancy, a local non-profit organization, will be entrusted with the conservation easement. Protection of this property will create a permanent undeveloped buffer adjacent to our farm.

The Smith family needs to raise $10,000 to help pay the transaction expenses for this conservation easement donation. Through the kind help of friends and neighbors, the family so far has raised more than $4,000, with assistance from the Conservancy. The family and the Conservancy plan to complete this project in April 2018. Please consider helping out with a tax-deductible donation through Central Colorado Conservancy – Protecting the Lands and Waters That Sustain Us , where you can click on the “Smith property” green box on the bottom left-hand side of the homepage to make a contribution.

Have a wonderful winter solstice this week and a Merry Christmas.

With Green Thoughts, Tammi

 

 

 

 

This week Chris and I, along with Shrek, spent time in Cedar Mesa, Utah. We camped, hiked, and enjoyed the plant community and a bit of archeology.

We usually make this trip in mid-late November and that is a better time to go. This time of the year the plants are mostly dormant and although the days were pleasantly sunny and in the mid 40 degree range (good hiking temperature), the nights were brutally cold! Our little pop-up camper doesn’t have a proper heater, so we were relying on a hunter’s blind small propane heater and our cook stove to try to keep from turning into human and canine blocks of ice. The low was around 0-3 degrees each night and although the tiny heater helped, we still woke up each morning to a 1/4″ of ice on the inside of the camper windows. Still, we had a blast on our trip and beyond the cold at night it was really good!

Here are a few of the plants we enjoyed when hiking in the canyons. Above is Shepherdia rotundifolia, also called Silver Buffaloberry. This is a favorite of both mine and Chris’. We have this shrub growing in our desert garden here at the farm and with a bit of luck we will have a few plants of Sherpherdia for sale next spring in our Farm Stand store.

Below is a Ephedra nevedensis, which is a blue-green colored Ephedra, sometimes called Morman Tea. There are other Ephedra species that have that common name too, including a bright green species, Ephedra viridis, which we also saw in the canyons. I really think the blue Ephedra is so attractive. All the Ephedra species have medicinal value, mainly for the respiratory tract. We will have several species of Ephedra for sale next spring here at the farm.

One of the dominant species is Tall Sagebrush (often called sage, but it isn’t a true Sage species). This is Artemisia tridentata. It is pictured below. There are few plants that smell as good and the fragrance of this plant instantly brings the deserts of the southwest to mind. I add this to wreaths and make it into smudge bundles. It is considered a sacred plant and a strong medicine plant by tribal peoples. We have quite a few of these planted here in our gardens and some of them are starting to get some good size to them now. If you are interested in growing this variety of Artemisia, plant it in a sunny place that doesn’t get too much water and it will probably be very happy. We will have these for sale as well.

There were some very sweet and small Townsendia plants loaded up with seeds, so we picked a bit of seed so that we can get this little plant established here in our trough gardens. Then we will have an on-site farm supply of seed for the future. We still have to double-check the species of this Townsendia. It is a little different from the species that grows on wild lands near our farm. Sometimes these plants are called Easter Daisy.

We so enjoy looking at all the plants that grow in this habitat, but we go to this area each year also to enjoy looking at the Indian ruins that have been in these canyons for hundreds of years and still they are there preserved by the harsh arid desert climate. This ruin was in Fish Canyon. We hiked for three days and everywhere we hiked we were able to see ruins and rock art. The ground is covered with pottery shards and tool chips, petrified little corns, and there are grinding stones still in place. The cardinal rules are treat these places with the utmost respect and honor and don’t take anything from where you find it. In this way, you can enjoy experiencing it without harming anything. We think about how life must have been for these indigenous people who lived here all those years ago.

Below is some rock art that was in the back of one alcove we visited.

The cottonwoods that live in the bottoms of each canyon and the dry washes are quite old and have experienced a very harsh life, but still there they are surviving, and providing homes for wildlife, preventing erosion and even providing a bit of appreciated shade for hikers like ourselves.

When you live in this kind of place, in a southwestern desert environment, life is not easy and the trees of all kinds show you this. They are gnarly, twisted and rugged. Their branches and trunks are massive, but they only have the branches and leaves they need to support a good life, rather than supporting anything extra. This is true for the cottonwoods certainly, but we also noticed it in the piñon pines and the junipers.

For me, these trees are great teachers of what it means to stay grounded and strong, but also to remain flexible for whatever life brings your way both good and challenging. Trees surely must have some of the greatest patience ever, at least in my view. They live such a long time. Just imagine all that they have seen and experienced in their lifetimes.

We returned home to the farm last night and today we unpacked our camping gear and put everything away until next fall. We feel invigorated and relaxed from this time spent away from people, electronics, laundry and such, and farm chores. Now we begin to settle back into our normal routine. Last night we slept warm and cozy for the first time in a week…ahhh!

Tonight, Chris went off to play a gig. Shrek and I and the cats are about to light a woodstove fire to warm up the house. We’re thinking about some popcorn, apples and cheese for supper and then time with my needlework.

Sometimes life feels overly full! It can be filled with so much good and sometimes it is challenging and difficult. Each day brings its new agenda. This has been a very nice week for Chris and I, and life feels simple, joyful and good. We are in gratitude for all the gifts and blessings our lives are filled with. May it be the same for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thanksgiving holiday is past and we enjoyed it with our Nebraska family. We had such great fun visiting with everyone and watching all the youngsters playing with their cousins. It was a good trip and we always have plenty to share with each other on the long drive home as we catch one another up on all our family conversations we each had during the course of our visit.

Several weeks back we began to increase our beneficial insect pest management program for the winter months. We use beneficial insects in our greenhouses to control any problems we might have with pest insects like aphids. We use some beneficials year-round, but in the fall, winter and early spring we seriously increase our beneficial program. It’s not that we have more problems during these seasons, but rather we are increasing the amount of planting we are doing now in a big way and we want to make sure we prevent problems from happening.

So, one type of beneficial we use are tiny mites that live in these little paper sachet on sticks ↑. You can see them stuck in the seedling plug flats above. They look like small white  rectangular packets stuck in the flat near the plant labels. These mites eat thrips, which is a pest insect that can damage the way foliage and flowers look on plants. So, if the mites are on patrol and eating any thrips that they might come upon, then we don’t end up having any thrip damage on our plants. Perfect!

Another predator beneficial insect that we use is an Aphidius wasp that stings aphids and turns their bodies into little mummies. These wasps are so tiny you can barely see them. They come in the bottle above and you can tell from the picture below how small they are. There are 500 wasps in this little 3″ tall bottle that I’m holding in my fingers. These wasps do not sting people or animals, only insects like aphids, so no one has to worry about them being in the greenhouses or on the plants.

When we rely on beneficial predator insects to take care of our pest management here at the farm, then we do not have to use organic pesticides on our plants. Full disclosure is that we do sometimes use organic OMRI pesticides like soap sprays or neem oil extract. There is a spray we use that contains rosemary oil and another one that works by contacting the soft-bodied insect like an aphid with cinnamon oil. There is a place in our organic production for these types of organic pesticides, but we prefer to let beneficial predator insects do most of this management work for us. We use all types of beneficial insects…several types of tiny mites, lady bugs, lacewings, nematodes, praying mantid (these just show up on their own and we are always happy to have them around eating grasshoppers, crickets and such), and others.

We finished boxing up the seed crops and sent them off to Jelitto Perennial Seed Company in Germany!

The shipper picked up the seeds yesterday and we were smiling as we waved the driver off to take the seed shipment to the airport for their long journey to the other side of the world!

Lizz has been busy propagating for next spring. She is seeding a lot and also working on cuttings like this Vietnamese coriander. She finished the first crops of all the specialty lavenders, sages, oreganos and thymes. She got the Jerusalem artichokes (also called Sunchokes) divided into 1 gallon pots too.

Here’s a taste of some of the perennial flowers she seeded recently. Just think how beautiful all our gardens will be next summer with some of these planted! Here is a Desert Bird of Paradise ⇓. Hummingbirds really love this plant.

Mojave Sage ⇓ Smells good and also attracts many kinds of pollinators.

Several different types of Milkweeds ⇓ Great for butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects.

Some munstead lavender ⇓ There are endless ways you can use lavender, plus bumblebees love the purple-blue color!

The greenhouses are starting to fill up with baby plants now. It may be December, but inside our greenhouses it’s beginning to feel a lot like spring.

Meanwhile, M’lissa is working on plant signs for all the new varieties of plants we will have for sale in our Farm Stand store next spring. The process of creating a beautiful and informative sign for every variety of the 1500 different types of plants we grow takes a lot of time. She has been working on the signs since early in the fall and hopefully she will have them all created by the end of December. Then we’ll print the signs and laminate them and they will be ready when we stock the Farm Stand store with plants just before we open in mid-April.

As a FYI: In January I will be updating the information on this blog about our Open Farm Days and the free workshops we will be hosting next spring.

I think that is all the news for now. I’ll be back in touch the end of next week.

With Green Thoughts, Tammi