Wall Flower Studio Garden

  (Algonquin Highlands, Ontario)
Organically Grown ~ From The Garden
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Heirloom Beets - Two Great Favorites!

You can't beat Beets!

Beet "Chioggia", also called the "Bulls Eye beet" for obvious reasons is an Italian heirloom dating back to the 1840's. The Chioggia Beet has a mild flavour and it's solid green tops have a smooth, delicious taste. This beet is particularly best harvested young and they may make a nice baby vegetable because the tops are also best young, especially when used in salad mixes. I like the fact that Chioggia matures early and requires less cooking time then most other beets. It's origins are from Chioggia, an Italian coastal town.
Days to Maturity: 55-65 days
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Beet "Early Wonder" - Also an heirloom that can be grown in containers. I really like that!
The greens are tasty and abundant, and every bit as good as chard or spinach, and of course, just as nutritious. These roots are flavourful and produce earlier which makes it a great choice for a small garden!
Days to Maturity: 48
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Beets, (beta vulgaris), are a member of the chard family. Chard is really grown just for its leaves, and beets are more well known for their edible roots. Some people aren't aware that every bit of a beet plant is edible! These wonderful heirlooms are becoming very popular at market gardens, and are prized in salads and other dishes with many chefs!
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Visit Wall Flower Studio's blog @ http://wallflowerstudioseeds.blogspot.com
Happy Gardening!
 
 

Purple Carrots ??! Actually a very tasty heirloom!


Admittedly, when I first learned of this variety of carrot, my first thoughts were that it was some nasty GMO creation. Being the curious sort that I am, and after some digging, (pardon the pun), for further information, I was amazed to discover that it's an heirloom dating back to the 1800's!
A truly stunning heirloom carrot in fact. The Purple Dragon produces bright, dark-purple coloured carrots with an orange interior.

The beautiful deep reddish-purple exterior provides an amazing contrast with the yellowish-orange interior when peeled or sliced. Beautiful food!

Beautiful to look at, and even better to eat! It's been stated as one of the most refined carrot you can grow and a real specialty at Farmer's Markets!
The flavour, I can tell you, is slightly spicy, but also sweet!
A winning combination if ever there was.


Culture:
80-90 days - Sow seeds thinly. 1" depth in trench. Cover half full with soil medium and keep watered. They should be planted outdoors before your last frost date. (Please see my links at the side. Scroll down to "USDA and Canada grow Zones/frost link" for more info).

To purchase these carrot seeds, and many other heirloom and open-pollinated varieties of garden seed, please visit my Local Harvest Store (and/or) my Etsy Shop. Thank you!

Happy Gardening : )
 
 

Borage - Borago officinalis - Beautiful Blue!

 

 Borage - Borago officinalis

I just love this picture. Those showy little blue star-shaped flowers attract bees, butterflies, and all kinds of good pollinators to my garden.
I use Borage for companion planting. It's well known that growing them near your tomato plants can not only to improve their growth, but also to make them taste better and to repel the tomato hornworm. Who can argue with such wisdom?! A wonderful addition to any kitchen or herb garden, and the edible flowers have a delicate cucumber flavour. Marvelous in salads, sandwiches or as a pretty garnish!
Borage is an annual herb that prefers to be grown in full sun.
I especially admire them since they are an heirloom, and have been cultivated since at least the year 1440. Such a historic plant.
In folklore, this lovely herb was thought to bring courage to the heart. The ancient Celtic people believed borage helped bring courage to face enemies in battle.
When planting seeds in Spring, soak the seeds in wet paper towel for the twenty-four hours first, then sow directly into the garden. Borage will grow to a height of 3 feet.
To purchase Borage seeds please visit my LocalHarvest Store. : )
Thanks for visiting, & as always, Happy Gardening!
Karen Sloan ~ Wall Flower Studio ~ http://wallflowerstudioseeds.blogspot.com
 
 

Grow A Victory Garden

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A grass roots movement, or a renaissance toward Victory Gardening, is happening here in North America, and around the world.

Victory Gardening, which usually refers to small-scale farming, and a way of supporting community based agriculture, is where the past meets the present, and should be the way of the future.

Unfortunately, production of our food by corporate interests means that quality is ignored for quantity’s sake, and produce is bred for easy shipping across many miles, instead of taste.
These crops are sprayed with poisonous chemical pesticides and herbicides, and burning of fossil fuels is used to transport the food.In a time of global food shortages and high fuel costs it is becoming not only economical but also crucial to grow a large percentage of our own food at home or to at least, support the local farmers that do.

This resurgence of Victory Gardening happily means that people are starting to return to a more self-sufficient life style.
Growing and buying organic, and even heirloom, fruits and vegetables, frees us from the chain of oil that binds us to the corporations that are ruining our planet with toxic chemicals and the use of fossil fuels.During World War I and World War II, Canadian, American and British governments asked their citizens to plant gardens as a way to support the war effort, and literally, millions of people did just that.
It was a place of pride, a national duty, and a community effort that brought local people together to feed one another.

Today, Victory Gardens are being created on rural acreage, small city plots, apartment balconies, and suburban yards. Growing vegetable gardens is in vogue!

To witness a grass roots effort that gives the us the means to feed ourselves, is a feeling of control over our own destiny, especially during the economic times of today.

Article:"The Economist magazine - Victory Gardens - Digging their way out of recession”
In 1943 Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged a return to the "victory gardens" that had become popular during the first world war, when the country faced food shortages.
Mrs Roosevelt planted a garden at the White House; some 20 million Americans followed her lead, and by the end of the war grew 40% of the nation's vegetables.

Today, this grassroots movement has taken place at the White House in the form of an organic kitchen garden.
The First Lady, Mrs. Obama, has taken great steps to create a wonderful kitchen garden, (despite criticism from obvious malcontents who don't have a stake in it), that is serving as an educational platform showing millions around the world what can be done to grow food in a sustainable manner.

"The People's Garden", as touted by Tom Vilsack, the 30th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been created and is a huge success. Mr Vilsack wants there to be a "community garden at each of the department's offices around the world.” What a wonderful world that will be!
This is what I call progress! Kudo's to Mrs. Obama and her staff!
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Vermicomposting - Composting With Worms!

Vermicomposting Is Composting With Worms

It's very easy to do, really. Earthworms turn your organic waste into beautiful compost. It's by far, the best way to compost kitchen waste.

Worm castings contain five times more nitrogen, seven times more phosphorus, and 11 times more potassium than ordinary soil, the main minerals needed for plant growth.

The casts are also rich in humic acids, which condition the soil, have a perfect pH balance, and contain plant growth factors similar to those found in seaweed. What could be better for your garden?
In Canada, where snow covers our composters and gardens, we all make excuses as to why we are putting vegetable scraps in the landfil instead of the garden, but vermicomposting can be done year round, right in your kitchen, and without any smell!

Here's how:

Purchase a plastic storage tote from the hardware store.
It is best to drill ¼-inch holes in the bottom, sides and top of the box, not just for drainage but for aeration. You don't want the worms smother!
The box should one square foot of surface area for each person in the household.
e.g: A 2' x 2' x 2' box can take the food waste of four people.
Bedding materials can include shredded newspaper, corrugated cardboard, peat moss, and partially decomposed leaves.
Worm boxes should be filled with bedding to provide the worms with a mixed diet as well as a damp and aerated place to live.
Tear newspaper or cardboard into strips before first. Bedding material should be moistened by in water for several minutes. Squeeze out excess water before adding it to your worm box.
Cover food waste with a few inches of bedding so flies won't becom a problem.
Red wigglers are the best for vermicomposting. They thrive on organic material such as yard waste and fruit and vegetable scraps.

Do feed them:
Coffee grounds or filters
Fruit and vegetable scraps
Small plant material
Tea leaves with bags

Do NOT feed them:
Bones
Milk and Dairy products
Fish
Greasy foods
Meat
Peanut butter
Pet/cat litter/feces
Vegetable oil/salad dressing

To Harvest castings, feed one end of the box for a week or more. Most worms will find their way to that side. Remove two-thirds of the worm castings from the opposite end and apply fresh bedding . Start burying food waste in the new bedding, and the worms will move back.

Here are some great links to get you started... Have fun!! : )
~A fun way for educators to Introduce Children to Vermicomposting



Or...Build your own bin. Click here:
 
 
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