Saturday, December 12, 2009

Alberta Local Grown Potatoes (Conventional)

Recently talking with some friends about how potatoes are grown commercially in Alberta, I realized I know very little about how the potatoes we buy in the store are grown. We try to buy local food when we can but often don't know much more about local food than imported. I don't really know much about growing them in our back-yard either, but I'll save that for another post!

Reading up on the Alberta Potato Growers website has provided some interesting info about locally grown Alberta potatoes, some of which I'll summarize below:

  • Potato farming in Alberta expanded from 26,600 acres in 1995 to 51,000 acres in 2008
  • Compare with 300 acres in 1917 and 600 acres in the 1930's
  • 9.3% of potatoes grown in Canada are grown in Alberta (by weight)
  • 1.5% of potatoes grown globally are grown in Canada (by weight)
  • See instructions about how to grow your own potatoes in Alberta
  • Alberta potatoes are grown commercially for three different general markets:

Table Potatoes

  • What we buy at the grocery store
  • Only 5% (3.7 sq mi) of Alberta potato acreage in 2008
  • see historical downward trend, acreage amounts exclude market gardens with less than 5 acres, and of course, my back yard

Process Potatoes

  • Potatoes used to make processed foods such as french fries and potato chips
  • 79% of Alberta potato acreage in 2008
  • Acreage in Alberta devoted to this potato market more than tripled between 1997 and 2002!
  • Table and Process Potatoes are typically grown more in southern Alberta (irrigated) and seed potatoes more in central Alberta (not generally irrigated)

Seed Potatoes

  • Potatoes grown and bred to sell as seed to other growers
  • 16% of Alberta potato acreage in 2008
  • 75% (more than any other province) are exported, mostly to the United States and Mexico
  • Certified seed potatoes from Alberta are in high demand because of the colder climate, which results in fewer disease and pest problems
  • More than 100 varieties are grown in Alberta
  • Most are grown in central Alberta without irrigation because natural rainfall is more plentiful than south Alberta
  • A few growers near Edmonton occasionally apply supplemental irrigation from nearby rivers and streams
  • Thorough inspections enforce zero tolerance of bacteria and viruses
  • Seed Potato Farm Contact List - Buy seed potatoes directly from local farmers!
  • Top 10 varieties sold from Alberta are:
    • Russet Burbank
    • Russet Norkotah
    • Ranger Russet
    • Shepody
    • Atlantic
    • Umatilla Russet
    • Norland
    • Yukon Gold
    • Private Varieties
    • Other varieties

We are hoping to find local sources of organic potatoes to buy in winter when our garden supply runs out. I've come across at least one grower (Gold Forest Grains Farm) near Edmonton, and we hope to find some near Calgary.

Why Buy Organic Potatoes?

Unfortunately, conventional commercial potatoes receive more chemical application than most agricultural plants. Typical chemical application schedules used to grow potatoes in Alberta includes:

  • Fungicide applied to seed potatoes before planting (decay prevention in damp soil)
  • Pesticides sprayed during growth (weed control)
  • Fungicide sprayed every 7 to 14 days throughout summer (Late Blight fungus prevention)
  • Late Blight was what caused the infamous Irish Potato Famine
  • Conditions are generally too dry in Alberta for Late Blight to occur, but fungicides are applied anyways as a precaution
  • Chemical fertilizer, mostly Nitrogen, is applied (via irrigation in southern Alberta) from mid-May through the summer
  • Leaf tests are performed to ensure the appropriate amount of fertilizer is applied
  • Herbicide (desiccation) and/or mechanical operation (vine killing) is applied to kill the potato at the end of the growing season (August to October, depending on the variety)
  • Dessication/Vine Killing improves skin-set (toughens skin, good for shipping), bruise resistance, storage life, appearance and vine-tuber separation [note that vine killing is accomplished in the home garden by simply removing the potato vines 2 to 3 weeks prior to harvest]
  • Potato vine dessicant herbicide options include the following chemicals:
  • During storage potatoes receive a hormone (typically Chlorpropham aka CIPC) via the ventilation system that inhibits sprouting*
  • Potatoes can typically be stored up to one year

*An interesting note: A study found peeling potatoes removed 91−98% of total CIPC residue; washing reduced residues by 33−47% [Source]. There are organic sprout suppressants/inhibitors found be be effective, such as the essential oil of various herbs and hydrogen peroxide (approved as an organic sprout suppressant).

I understand that growing organic potatoes on an industrial or small scale would be more difficult, thus the higher cost of organic foods. But I wonder more and more if the organic option might more closely reflect the "real" cost of growing food in a "normal", healthy way? It is sad that the organic farming industry seems supressed (economically, politically, etc) in North America in many ways, or at least this is the perception I have. But this seems to be a trend that is already changing as we speak. The buying public is demanding it.

For now, I will continue to grow mostly organic potatoes in our backyard and buy high quality locally grown Alberta potatoes, but will be on the watch for organic options beyond our backyard. I mentioned "mostly" organic potatoes in our backyard as I have not been using organic seed potatoes, I have yet to source some organic suppliers for this.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

I'm finally getting around to studying some of the typical weeds I find myself pulling regularly in the garden. I suspect many of them are edible and hope to try eating some, since I'm pulling them anyway! Now is the time to learn while the plants await next spring. So today I'm learning about:

Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea), also known as Verdolaga, Pigweed, Little Hogweed or Pusley.

Photo by José Luis Gálvez

Summarized from the Wikipedia article linked above (see article for references) unless otherwise referenced:

Apparently the leaves, stems and flower buds (the latter of which I've never seen) are edible and in fact eaten regularly in Europe, Asia and Mexico. There are 40 varieties cultivated. The plant has adapted to grow extensively from North Africa, through south Asia to Australia during past centuries. There is some evidence of this species in North America in the pre-Columbian era. The little yellow flowers appear only if rainfall conditions are optimum and only for a few hours on sunny mornings. Likely why I've never seen them. Like most weeds, the plant grows well in poor quality, drought-prone soils.

Purslane is a succulent herb reported to have a peppery, slightly sour and/or salty taste and can be eaten similar to spinach (fresh in salads, stir-fried or cooked). It is considered to have similar taste to spinach and similar texture to okra [>]. It is also good in soups due to its mucilaginous quality. At one time Australian Aborigines used the seeds to make seedcakes. It is best harvested in morning or evening [>].

Purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular) than any other leafy vegetable plant. It contains an extraordinary amount of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) for land based vegetable sources. EPA is an Omega-3 fatty acid normally found mostly in fish, some algae and flax seeds. But note that fish oil typically contains 750 mg/tsp of EPA (source: bottle in our fridge) compared with 0.01 mg/g in Purslane. Doing the math, you need to eat 75 kg of Purslane to get the equivalent EPA from 1 tsp of fish oil. Purslane also contains vitamins (mainly vitamins A, C, some B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. It also contains potent antioxidants.

Hmm, maybe I can cut back on my vegetable plantings and encourage growth of Purslane instead!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Roofing and Soil Quality

Lately we have been pondering the potential impacts, real or imagined, of various roofing materials and potential impacts to garden soil quality.

Because about 80% of our watering supply is from roof-fed rainbarrels into a very intensive small-sized vegetable plot, the roofing material we choose to replace our battered asphalt shingles could theoretically have some long-term impact on our garden soil quality. However, there does not seem to be much readily available data on the topic (or at least not that I've yet found).

I have started to compile some info but thought I'd throw this post out in case some passer-by could recommend some info related to this topic. We are leaning toward a metallic roofing material, for several reasons. Metal roofing generally seems to be the preference for rain water collecting, provided it does not use large amounts of lead in the coating.

More to follow on this subject.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Homemade Pea Sheller

Having grown up on a farm, I can appreciate the labour-saving advantage machines provide for larger-than-backyard scale agricultural work. As a child I was fascinated by the various machines littering our farm in all their mechanical complexity and glory (and sometimes lack of).

Gradually with age I have come to avoid mechanical complexity as much as possible (for various reasons, esp. $$$) and enjoy the simple but effective, quiet, non-motorized hand-held tools of the backyard garden. But I must admit my aunt's homemade pea sheller seems like a great idea for both rural and urban agriculture. Shelling peas from a large garden can become tedious!

Step 1: Load peas into inner threshing cylinder.

Step 2: Set wire-mesh door in place onto the cylinder. The wire-mesh holds the pods while the peas fall through.

Step 3: Close outer screened hatch and slide pea collection tray below the wire-mesh cylinder. The outer screen keeps the peas from flying all over the place.

Step 4: Turn crank (various methods, see below).

The pulleys on the right side spin the inner paddles inside the threshing cylinder at a speed faster than the hand crank. The pulleys on the left turn the outer paddles & wire mesh cylinder at a slower speed than the hand crank. This causes the pea pods to get a real paddling, gradually split open and separates the peas from the pods. The peas fall through the wire-mesh onto the collection tray below while the pods remain inside the wire-mesh cylinder.

The pea sheller was built using plans from Saskatchewan Agriculture's website.

I'm thinking this could be a great project for a community garden. This is one option of many for such a device, but seems to be effective.

For those overwhelmed by the thought of turning a crank for a lengthy time, they can always try my aunt's method of attaching an electric drill to the crankshaft. Even my uncle was convinced after first scoffing at this method. My aunt left to pick some more peas leaving my uncle to operate the crank. When she returned, she found him using the drill!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Carrot Varieties

Below is a summary from my cousin with photos and descriptions of his experience growing various carrot varieties this year in the Pigeon Lake area in Alberta. Some options to ponder before selecting seeds for next spring! I have added some additional random information about each variety to learn more about them, shown in italics. This info was pulled from various sources on the web, some referenced. If any errors, please let me know.

Sweetness (hybrid)

Even though it is a hybrid (and not an heirloom), it is probably the best all-around carrot for taste and sweetness (hence the name). What people expect a carrot to look like.

NANTES type carrot.

Napoli (hybrid)

'Nantes' variety of carrot, can be identified by it's shape. Good all-around taste and sweetness.

This F1 Hybrid "sugar carrot" a favourite grown by author Eliot Coleman for the upscale country stores around his home in Harborside, Maine. Fantastic as an early bunching carrot due to its sizing up at least a week earlier than other varieties. [>]

Yellowstone (hybrid)

Heritage style variety with crisp carrot taste, not too sweet. Can taste a bit bitter when stored for a while - best eaten in the fall.

The first yellow, F1 Hybrid Carrot.

Royal Chantenay (open-pollinated)

Wide, tapered carrots, but without the woody core you'd expect in a carrot of this nature. Very crisp, good keeper.

DANVERS type carrot. Good for freezing and canning. Popular for juicing due to its darker colour and shape. Well suited for bunching* and winter storage. Royal Chantenay is one of the best for storing in a cellar or at cool temperatures. [>] Excellent for heavy, clay dominated, shallow soils.

*"...a bunching carrot is a carrot that can be sown early, not thinned, can be picked in a bunch, matures quickly and is best suited to eating raw, unpeeled in salads etc Sow little and often for a succession!" [>]

Nevada (hybrid)

Nice dark-orange carrot with intense carrot flavour and minimal cores (even texture).

Tops are well attached and Alternaria tolerant. [>] Alternaria is one of many potential carrot diseases.

Touchon (open-pollinated heirloom)

Another Nantes-type carrot with even cylindrical shape. Good keeper, especially for sweetness (as with most Nantes varieties). Easy to pull!

Rare old French NANTES type with roots growing 15-17 cm long deep orange colour and little core. Very sweet and juicy. Good for bunching and winter storage.

Rainbow (hybrid)

Heirloom carrots ranging from white to orange. Thin and long, similar taste and texture to Yellowstone.

A single hybrid, not a mixture of varieties, therefore the carrots are uniform in size and appearance. [>]

White Satin (hybrid)

Heritage-style carrot roots, all white...what the original carrot looked like.

DANVERS type carrot. Good sweetness. F1 hybrid.

Purple Haze (hybrid)

Long thin carrots, with purple flesh that turn orange when cooked, and your water blue! Not too sweet, but nice carrot flavour. Best eaten in the fall.

Sweetest raw. Imperator-shaped carrot. Lightly stir-fry to retain a deeper purple colour. Purple carrots possess an entirely different class of pigments—anthocyanins—which act as powerful antioxidants. [>]

Berlicummer (open-pollinated)

A good all-around carrot, but smaller in size this year due to where they were grown. A favourite.

 NANTES type carrot. High yields. [>]

Some extra advice from my cousin: "...carrots need lots and lots of water; do not add fertilizer while they are growing (unless your soil is really depleted - and of course it should be organic). [We] made the mistake of adding some almost-fresh manure to the area where the Berlicummer's were growing and they really really did not like that...the manure stole too much nitrogen out of the soil while decomposing and they didn't grow very big. Grow and learn is the moral of the story!"

Some links with more interesting info on carrots includes:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Harvest Conclusions

The tomatoes dramatically wilted with the first frost a few days back (Oct 1) and have been sent to the compost. The kale, brussels sprouts and swiss chard endure, despite the recent frost, and as of today, snow.
Above photo: Lovage (upper left), swiss chard and brussels sprouts.

One of the stranger looking carrots, between tomatoes and swiss chard. Most of the carrots were of similar diameter but a few inches longer (conically shaped).

Due to a sudden surplus of tomatoes with the mass picking before the frost, some were boiled into a yummy sauce, with lemon juice (citric acid) and salt added to help preserve while stored in the refrigerator.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy First Frost Day!

Thanks to El Niño replacing his sister La Niña , we have enjoyed a delayed frost this fall, well beyond the average first frost day of September 14 for Calgary. We almost surpassed the extents of the Freezing Date Adjustment Factor Chart, with less than 10% probability of a frost this late!

Of interest to note is that the Average First Frost Day does not necessarily correspond with the Average End of Growing Season for perennial crops such as pastures and forages (see previous link for blow-up of map below). This map is based on an average daily temperature of less than 5°C after July 1.

This late frost is a good balance to our late Last Frost Day earlier this year, a welcome relief for many plant growers. I've heard some gardeners have even managed to grow corn this year, which can be hit and miss, depending on the location and variety of corn. Now to see how long the frost resistant kale and swiss chard hold out for!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

South Winds & Marigolds

Marigolds in full bloom. No rain and above 20 C highs non-stop since mid-August, and more of the same in the forecast. Steady south winds have drained the rain barrels down and driving the grass into dormancy (haven't watered grass).

Above, left to right: Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard, dill, marigolds, kale, poppy, more dill, carrots, brussels sprouts.

Above: Prairie Pride Tomatoes ripening fast, waning Lincoln/Homesteader Peas (behind) drying out.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Apple Sauce Runneth Over

We've been raiding the neighbourhood orchards this past week, with yummy results. We are fortunate the previous generation took the time to plant so many apple trees in our neigbourhood, and the next generation is so generous to have them picked (and haven't cut them down yet).

These apples were picked within less than 2 minute walk of our house. After a week of picking and a freezer full of applesauce, we've hardly picked 20% of the apples on our choice tree. The small red ones on the left came from the choice tree, called Rescue Crabs by a relative, not sure actual variety name.

The red ones are much sweeter than the yellow-green on the right, but the yellow-greens boil down quicker. The red apples do not need added sugar, we usually add some sugar to the yellow-green ones, though I eat both fresh apples as is. Some apple sauce mixes blended both apples. Cinamon and cloves also added.

We ran out of freezer space so decided to attempt canning for the first time at the last minute. I drained the apple juice (center jar in above photo) prior to placing the boiled apples through the food mill (above left), salvaged from a garage sale (maybe $5 or so). The canning set came free with our house (discovered abandoned in a dark corner in the garage).

Bernardin glass jars were collected over time from Last Mountain Berry Farms jams, so only purchase was 12 snap lids (70mm) for $2 and some electricity estimated at about $0.16 for the four jars shown. Total time (picking to canned) maybe 2 to 3 hrs total.

Canner took about 1/2 hr to heat up then boiled for 25 minutes as per Bernardin canning guide (with 10 minutes added for Calgary's high altitude). Next year will be more efficient with a full canner.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Potato & Dill Explosion

Came back from vacation after 1.5 weeks to find the Thornton Potatoes had grown nearly 10 times in height since before we left! They were only a few inches high pre-vacation. I dumped some compost on them just before we left since they are heavy feeders plus it rained while we were away. And we had great friends watching over the garden for us. A good combination for lush growth.

A single Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard plant has bolted. Since then, no more have bolted. Not sure if this is normal. The marigolds (yellow, left in above photo) have finally started blooming.

Burgeoning Prairie Pride Tomatoes. They better get ripening quick before Jack Frost comes! Ripening has been slow with the rainy, cloudy weather. While visiting my aunt on vacation, she informed me that Prairie Pride Tomatoes are a "determinate" variety that grow out instead of up. Which explains why the wire cages I bought are not helpful. I've resorted to jute string staple gunned to used survey stakes from work (that would otherwise have been discarded). Determinate means (I think) they mature and die after a certain timespan instead of growing indefinitely until the first frost. However, in our climate this seems not likely to be any different with short growing season. There may be other differences I have yet to learn about.

The dill also grew some 10 times in height since pre-vacation, from several inches to several feet. A few dill plants provide more than we can keep up with. Some went to the freezer since they retain flavour better in the freezer than dried. We started harvesting peas and beans since vacation. By mid-August the pea harvest is more or less complete, and bean harvest carries on. Also on-going harvest of brussells sprouts, kale, swiss chard, chervil, oregano, rhubarb and neighbours raspberries. From most to least, the largest producers so far this year have been:

  1. Swiss Chard
  2. Rhubarb
  3. Kale
  4. Herbs
  5. Beans
  6. Spinach
  7. Peas

The tomatoes will likely catch up soon, likely climbing up to fourth or fifth place. The herbs have been large producers but we never seem to get around to harvesting them. Will have to work on that. Peas produced a lot less than I expected, but at least they are adding nitrogen to the soil. Good for crop rotation.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Native Prairie Plants

Just to change things up a bit, below are photos of some native prairie plants we came across on our recent canoe trip this summer down the South Saskatchewan River. Not sure if all these are pre-European contact, but they've at least been around on the prairies for some time (I'm guessing a few decades at least).

Prairie Coneflower (Ratibida columnifera)

White Evening Primrose (Oenothera nuttallii)

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia polyacantha)
Just finished blooming.

Scarlet Mallow (Malvastrum coccineum)
Blooms are closed.

I'd like to try growing some of these in the yard sometime. If anyone has attempted to grow these, please share about the experience!

FYI, just posted an older post that shows up with June 30 date:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July Rains = Harvest Gains

July has brought much needed rain, resulting in swiss chard, spinach, rhubarb, oregano, lovage and kale harvest nearly faster than we can keep up! Most is eaten fresh and maybe 30% frozen for use in winter. Bolted spinach harvest has involved chopping entire plants and stripping leaves, leaving most in garden to go to seed.

Most plants in photos are likely obvious, except maybe the Chervil at the bottom center of the above photo. Chervil is a yummy herb with liquorish-like flavouring. Note Lovage behind Brussels Sprouts at nearly 6 feet high (even after I chopped some down)!

The Blue Curled Kale, transplanted outside May 5, was ready to start harvesting the first week of July (left of Brussels Sprouts in above photo). The Dwarf Green Curled Kale (center of above photo) planted directly outdoors from seed (Apr. 11) is not ready yet for harvest, maybe by the end of the month.

The feathery looking plants in above photo is Dill, planted directly outdoors May 28. The large leafy looking thing at center right in above photo is a volunteer poppy from the neighbours yard, left to grow.

Should have allowed more spacing for the Bubbles Brussels Sprouts! The sprouts are just starting to form along the stems and branches. This is fascinating for us since we have never grown these before.

Potatoes (between strawberries and tomatoes above), planted June 21, came up July 8! These potatoes were thought to be a one-of-a-kind breed (by myself) since they were re-planted at the grandparents farm for nearly a half century. However, I have been corrected and need a crash course on potato breeding. More to come.

Delphinium is blooming (blue), between peas and strawberries (above). Pea pods are forming. Snap peas ready for picking and shelling peas in process. Snow Peas are near the top of the 5 foot fence, beyond the chicken wire. Homesteader/Lincoln Peas are about half the height of the fence. I have read these are a dwarf variety of shelling pea that came out in 1908.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Name that Weed!

Here is a post from earlier this spring I never got around to posting until today:

This post title should perhaps more accurately be: Name that Volunteer Plant! Don't be confused by the raspberry and rhubarb behind... (I don't know the answer so can't offer any hints, sorry).

This weed eventually grew small purple flowers but then was pulled before it could go to seed. I never did get a photo of the flowers (to make it more challenging, of course...)

On the Vine

I finally got around to trimming the lower branches of the tomatoes and providing some support, now that they are starting to keel over. I added some grass mulch to help prevent the soil from drying out so rapidly in all this heat we've been having the past month. Also added some pine needle mulch to help lower the pH (diced with old blender to speed absorption). They are looking much happier now.

I also added a small amount of some 18-18-21 (N-P-K) fertilizer since they are now fruiting, some leaves were looking yellowish and the roots were disturbed with the added supports. This is only the second time I added fertilizer this year, I will not likely again. I will try adding compost next time, though it is in short supply with the recent garden expansion this year using most of it up. Hence the tranport of fruit wastes (i.e. banana peels, apple cores) from work to the compost at home, plus hoarding plant wastes from friends yards. But needs another year to decompose.


The spinach has bolted (as of June 27)! Thanks to unusually hot and dry June weather. June is typically rainy and cool in Calgary (last few years at least). I read (after the bolting) that placing mulch on the soil around the spinach can help reduce bolting (keeps soil cooler during hot afternoons). I added some grass clippings to see if this might slow the bolting, though likely too late now to measure the effect.

Some varieties of spinach (such as Tyee) are not supposed to bolt as easily. This Bloomsdale Spinach variety has bolted after about two weeks of harvesting. Good reminder to plant a variety of crops since the weather is unpredictable from year to year! However, we have still harvested a generous quantity to date, including freezing some. We'll see how much more we get.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice

Neighbour's Mountain Ash in bloom. Still some berries left from last year. Birds must be holding out for the strawberries!

Above, L to R: Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Lovage, Peas (behind). Lovage is now nearly 4 feet tall and is starting to bloom. I'm guessing now is a good time to start harvesting it, but not exactly sure how best to do this i.e. How much to harvest at once? Cut off flowers or let bloom and go to seed? Etc.
Plus the tomatoes (above). Plants where flowers were plucked off before transplanting now starting tomatoes up to about 1 to 2 cm diameter. Other tomatoes up to ~7 cm on plant with previously non-plucked flowers.

Tenergreen Improved Bush Bean planted May 16 on each side of pathway. They look a little yellow, not sure if that's normal? Behind beans: Bloomsdale Spinach planted May 16 and Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard planted May 2.

Summary of approximate germination % with direct seeding in garden:
  • Marigolds 10 - 20% (seed gathered from mom's garden)
  • Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard 90-100%
  • Bloomsdale Spinach 80%
  • Cherry Belle Radish 70%
  • Green Arrow Peas (planted Apr 11) 0%
  • Oregon Sugar Pod II Snow Peas (planted May 3) 70-80%
  • Homesteader/Lincoln Peas (planted May 3) 70-80%
  • Carrots (planted May 2) 10-20% (from free package, didn't expect much)
  • Tendergreen Improved Bush Beans 80%
This summary is not very accurate for small seeds planted densely together (such as spinach, swiss chard, carrots, radishes, etc), in which case the % has more to due with the gaps in rows than actual % seed germination. Just a rough observation for future reference.

Radish & Oregano Harvest

Cherry Belle Radish planted April 11, havesting 3 to 5 per week. Radishes are just starting to show chew marks from creatures below, so it's a good time to get to them first! Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid (Vit. C, antioxidant), folic acid (Vit. B9), and potassium. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin (vit. B2), magnesium, copper, and calcium, among other minerals and vitamins. California Poppies behind radishes (in above photo).
Bubbles Brussels Sprouts transplanted May 5 (above). Not sure when or how to havest these. Advice welcome!

Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard (lower left) planted May 2 and Homesteader Peas (upper left) planted May 3. Planted Tendergreen Improved Bush Beans May 28 (upper right, just off photo) where Green Arrow Peas planted April 11 did not come up (planted too early). These beans are just coming up (June 21).

Oregano and radish harvest!