Could You Put Some Kale On That Pizza?

I’ve been perfecting a new pizza crust recipe given to me by a friend. It’s just yogurt and self-rising flour! She uses low fat yogurt and I use our homemade organic whole milk yogurt so the flour to yogurt ratio is a bit different. Ken requested pizza last night and asked if I could put some kale on it! What?!?! He’s coming around to my way of thinking and I love it!



From Farm To Table In So Many Ways!

Fast forward from May 18 to July 3...the veggie garden is thriving! We are currently harvesting Hakurei turnips, onions and kale. The tomatoes and green beans are blooming and the broccoli and cabbage are forming heads. In anticipation of a second harvest, we’ve sown the seeds of Blue Vates Kale, Rubicon Napa Cabbage, Snow Crown Cauliflower and KK Cross Cabbage. We also use this garden space to grow the Big Smile sunflowers that we preserve and use in the arrangements in our gift shop. From our flower farm to the table in so many ways...because life should be beautiful and delicious!



Summer Meals

Some easy and delicious summer meals are in our future! Fresh hams, loins, hocks and ribs from our neighbor’s family farm are in the smoker! The leftover brine from fermented foods make a wonderful marinade for smoked meats. Our favorite is the brine we save from fermenting our hot peppers for sauce. Place cuts of meat in a ziplock-style bag with brine and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Yum!



Tiny Bubbles

The Latin translation for the word ‘ferment’ is ‘to boil’. This jar of dill pickle spears fermented with garlic, dill, lemon and Bay leaves will be in full fermentation-mode for our Saturday class. When I tip the jar it will literally look like it is boiling! It’s amazing to see all the bacteria hard at work creating healthy probiotic-filled foods to help support our gut health! Our Saturday class is filled but we’ll get another one scheduled soon! Happy Fermenting!



Our First Cucumber!

Our first cucumber! ‘Jackson Classic’ is a pickling-type cucumber and is perfect for growing in a container! We plant six cucumber plants into two large containers and harvest 60 to 80 cucumbers annually. ‘Jackson Classic’ is the perfect choice for fermented and refrigerator pickles. All of this home-grown goodness harvested from a very small space! Do you want to learn how to make your own fermented and probiotic-filled pickles? Register for our our June 23 ‘Lacto-Fermenting 101’ Class. Click on the link to register!




This Salad!

This salad! Kale, Egyptian Walking onions,cherry tomatoes and chives harvested from our gardens and containers, tossed with homemade probiotic-filled Blue Cheese Dressing and sprinkled with a few walnuts. It was as good as it looks! The secret to a good kale salad is to sprinkle the leaves with a little sea salt then massage it with your fingers. This practice breaks down the tough fibers and tenderizes the kale.




Whew! The vegetable garden is planted, mulched and bunny-proofed! This garden measures 50’ by 35’ and will keep us in fresh veggies throughout the growing season. Extra produce will be fermented, frozen and pressure-canned for use during the winter months. As we harvest...we’ll replant with new seeds and plants for a second crop.Still need plants for your garden? We’re open tomorrow from 9 to 4. We still have a great selection of unusual annuals and hard to find veggie plants! 20% off annuals, hanging baskets and succulents! Four-pack veggies only $1.00. Looking forward to seeing you!



Our First Tomatoes!

Our first tomatoes! We planted these ‘Mini Belle’ cherry tomato seeds on December 21. What a treat! We’ll be open this Saturday from 9 to 4. We have a great selection of hard to find veggie plants for your garden! Looking forward to seeing you!



Spring Open House!

Spring Open House this weekend! Stop by and get your veggie plants! Heirloom tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and Pac Choi! KK Cross cabbage for sauerkraut and Napa Cabbage for Kimchi! Malibar Spinach...a heat-loving and vining variety for summer greens. Pickling cucumber plants and Mexican Sour Gerkins that look like tiny watermelons and pack a burst of cucumber flavor! Lots of fun things for the veggie garden! Friday and Saturday 9 to 5 and Sunday 10 to 4!



Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! We are grateful to all of you who support us and other businesses who choose to raise their products in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. It matters! Looking forward to our Spring Open House! May 4, 5 and 6th! We have lots of garden veggie plants and we’re  here to help you grow and create delicious recipes with them! Succulents, unusual plants, our freeze dried florals and lots of new treasures! You won’t want to miss this one! Hungry for that first Tomato? We have a limited amount of ‘Mini Belles’ cherry tomatoes setting fruit and ready to ripen!



Ladybug Love!

The ladies have arrived! These are true Ladybugs that were harvested by hand in the higher altitudes of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. A sea of Ladybugs overwinter in these mountains. In the spring they migrate down to the lower altitudes in search of food and water. 4500 of them are now living happily in our greenhouse! These Ladybugs will lay clusters of their yellow eggs on the underside of plant leaves. The larvae that will hatch resembles more of a small alligator than a ladybug and will consume even more bad bugs than an adult. The larvae will pupate and an adult ladybug will emerge (see photo lower right). We are grateful for Mother Nature’s gifts that help us maintain our gardens in a safe and sustainable manner!



Praying Mantis

Be sure to watch for Praying Mantis egg sacs when doing your spring garden cleanup! Praying Mantis are beneficial insects. They eat the bad guys and help to keep our gardens pesticide free. When the weather warms, 150 to 250 babies will hatch from this sac. Our native Praying Mantis are brown and grow to about 3 inches long. The Chinese Mantis are green and grow much larger. Some grow so large they have been known to eat a hummingbird. We discovered his sac when harvesting our Pussywillow. It is now in our greenhouse where it will soon be joined by several thousand ladybugs. Spring Open House May 4, 5 and 6!



Bay Leaves

Our Bay Laurel tree has finally grown large enough to produce a harvest! We’ll have the Bay leaves available in the shop this spring! You won’t believe the difference when cooking with these! First limited quantities!



Container Grown Cucumbers

We’re not the only ones excited for spring! Our cucumber plants are, too! ‘Jackson Classic’ is a pickling-type cucumber that is perfect for containers! Each year we place three plants into large pots and train the vines onto a topiary. This method makes harvesting easy and we haven’t experienced the insect problems we were having when planting them in the garden. Annually, we harvest 60 to 80 cucumbers from these containers. ‘Jackson Classic’ is perfect for making fermented and refrigerator pickles. Remember you can peel, dice and freeze cucumbers for later use in recipes like our probiotic-filled Cucumber Dip! We’ll have plants available in our greenhouse this spring!