Category Archives: Farmer’s Market

SHARING SEASON

Gardeners are known for sharing.

They love to share

Information

Plants

Flowers

Seeds

Cuttings

And, of course, the bounty of their gardens.

Zucchini comes to mind.

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For me it’s all of the above

But mostly flowers.

I have long contended that flowers

“Are food for the soul”.

That we need flowers

Just like we need food.

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I think this goes back to college

And John.

When we first began dating

He brought me flowers several times a week

For months on end.

The most spectacular was that first spring.

He brought me an enormous bouquet

Of Iris.

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Years later I realized that florists don’t sell that kind of Iris.

You know them – German Bearded Iris.

The kind that grow in little old ladies gardens

In college towns.

I’m not sure she intended to share!

His choice of vases was most unique.

A plastic pumpkin

Left from Halloween.

Simply had to marry the guy after that!

And so in the ensuing 40+ years

I’ve made it a point to make bouquets

And spread them around.

I’m pleased to say that Elliott and Kristina

Are carrying on the same tradition.

Kristina rarely leaves home for an evening with friends.

Without a bouquet in tow.

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And she always has fresh flowers throughout their home

When we come to visit.

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I must confess here that this year my bouquets are going

Not to individuals so much

As to places.

On Saturday I pluck whatever is happy

For church on Sunday.

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Then during the week

Loaves & Fishes gets a bouquet.

A cheerful greeting for the volunteers

And clients who come in need of help feeding their families.

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Now all of this is well and good.

Lovely really

But it doesn’t hold a candle to the real pros

When it comes to sharing from your garden.

Those of you who focus on vegetables

Leave the rest of us in the shade.

Just this week

Kelly came by with a basket of green beans.

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Yum!

Earlier in the week the Koehns

Brought tons of cucumbers and squash of all sorts

To Loaves & Fishes.

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Mitch brought squash, too

Ann gave her weekly supply of basil

And assorted veggies.

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Then yesterday the fun and lively members of the Freed family

Called at the end of the Farmers Market

To donate what was left to Loaves & Fishes

I met them there.

Their 4 sons, daughter and her friend

Unloaded hundreds of pounds of freshly picked produce

Watermelon

Cantaloupe

Peppers

Eggplant

Squash

After working at their produce stand all morning.

They loved the cooler.

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What a great family

Working together

Laughing

Sharing

Those are lucky kids.

I know

I come from the same kind of family

And it has painted my life

With sharing.

Gail

Early 1950's

Early 1950’s

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Filed under Basil, Bouquets, Farmer's Market, Flower Arrangements, Gardening Friends, Herbs, Iris, Uncategorized, Vegetables

A GOOD DAY

I love the mundane.

Now I realize that isn’t “culturally correct”.

But really, there is nothing like a day of regular.

And that is what today was – mundane – regular – wonderful.

After a quick trip to the last Farmers’ Market.

I headed straight to the back yard

The goal was to finish transplanting on “the hill”.

It began about a month ago.

I was tired of the vinca minor running the show.

So I began to dig it up

And pull it back like a carpet.

Then I transplanted 5 big ferns.

I’m not sure but I think they are Cinnamon ferns.

They’ve settled in nicely.

So, today was the day to dig the hostas in the front bed

And bring them to their new home on the hill.

These were planted about 3 years ago.

They were bare root so they were tiny.

Unfortunately they just get too much sunshine in the front

And the last 2 summers they have simply fried.

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So a home on the hill under the shade of the old cedar trees

Should make them much happier.

The root balls were the size of small trees.

I’m thinking they’ll be just fine.

Smaller hostas were also relocated.

Layered in the front between the Hellebores and Ferns.

I did have my assistant gardener close by

She has figured out that when I dig

Worms appear.

And she loves worms!

Unfortunately some things disappeared.

My favorite pruners can’t be located.

My best guess is I buried them under one of those

Very large

Very heavy

Hostas.

Didn’t have the energy to dig around for them.

Hopefully they’ll surface tomorrow!

There are lots of little surprises

In the fall garden.

So on this

Mundane

Regular

Wonderful

Saturday night.

I thought I’d share a few.

May you find the blessings

Of a mundane day soon.

Gail

 

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Filed under Clematis, cockscomb, Dahlias, Fall, Farmer's Market, Ferns, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Hellebores, Perennials, Plumbago, Pruners, roses, Shade Garden, Tall Garden Phlox, TRANSPLANTING

FARMER’S MARKET

 

Growing up on a farm in the 50’s

Meant that we always had a garden.

Something was growing all the time.

Seed wheat on a saucer and paper towel

In the kitchen window.

Mother’s roses

And vegetables.

Even when we moved to the city

For a few years.

We had a garden.

Daddy’s job came with a house

And a huge yard.

Mother planted tomato plants

All the way around the edge of it.

By mid summer

There would be 5 gallon buckets of cherry tomatoes

Every day or so.

Last fall's green tomatoes

Last fall’s green tomatoes

And cucumbers.

Endless cucumbers.

Summer's bounty sampling

Summer’s bounty sampling

Now there are only so many times a week

That you can work cucmbers into the menu

So we made pickles.

Lots of pickles!

Recently I ran across mother’s pickle recipe

In her own handwriting.

A treasure.

I copied it for my friend Laura

And she began the tradition all over again.

But what if you want to make pickles

And have no cucumbers.

Luckily Farmer’s Markets  have come into their own.

If you don’t have a Farmer’s Market habit

Develop one.

They are popping up everywhere.

So hopefully you can go once or twice a week.

There you’ll find

Wisdom

In the form of wise gardeners

Who know how to make things thrive.

And baker’s

To tempt you.

Blackberry & Blueberry Pie

Blackberry & Blueberry Pie

And natural products.

Who’ll even make wonderful goat’s milk soap

Unscented for me.

And friends.

Mary at this moring's market

Mary at this morning’s market

And last month

These amazing blackberries

Grown by a young couple who have planted

An acre

That’s right  I said an acre of blackberry bushes

And 2 acres of blueberries.

Can’t wait for next June.

But most of all

You’ll find people commited to providing

Fresh, local food to their neighbors.

Next week is Dog Days at our Farmer’s Market.

Aptly named for the first Saturday in August.

That means that even your 4-legged friends

Can enjoy the fun.

So… dig into the heart of summer

At the Farmer’s Market.

Enjoy,

Gail

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Filed under Blackberries, Blueberries, Cucumbers, Farmer's Market, Gardening, Gardening Mentors, Pickles, Tomato, Vegetables

Food, Flowers & Basketball!

It has been awhile since Elliott and Kristina came home just for fun.

So a few weeks back they planned a weekend home.

Who doesn’t love it when their children come home!

It turned out that their timing was splendid.

They flew in to OKC on Thursday night.

Now, last Thursday was no regular Thursday night.

It was game 2 of the NBA Finals

And in case you haven’t heard the Oklahoma City Thunder are in the Finals.

This entire state is sleep deprived from watching and attending the playoffs

And now THE FINALS!

Oklahoma is Thunder CRAZY!

I am Thunder CRAZY!

Unbelievably, my friend Virginia had 3 extra tickets

So Elliott & Kristina met Virginia and me in

THUNDER ALLEY just before the game started.

Be patient…I’m getting to the gardening part of the weekend.

The experience of a Thunder game is something else.

It’s the loudest arena in the country – bar none.

To say the fans are loyal doesn’t begin to describe them.

The games are fast and fun.

So fast that almost all my pictures are a blur.

We came up 4 points short.

Tonight will be a different story!

GO THUNDER!

Because there was no schedule for the weekend.

We just played.

Kristina and I baked.

Cherry pie on Friday

And Kristina’s amazing bread on Saturday.

Unlike me she has no fear of anything relating to yeast.

This girl can bake!

We attended an evening with William Faulkner at the Chautauqua.

We arranged flowers for church.

And some for a Father’s Day visit to the cemetery.

Went to the Farmer’s Market.

Dug carrots

 

I think I need a little help in this department

I have a few questions for Kristina’s mom Mary.

She knows vegetable growing.

Harvested Poppy Seeds.

And herbs for summer grilling.

 

Even pulled some weeds.

John and Elliott played golf.

Off to the golf course

Off to the golf course

And watched a little, too.

And we all ate and laughed and laughed.

Nightly Braum's stop

Nightly Braum’s stop

Watching your child grow into adulthood

And build their life is a curious experience.

It’s full of every known emotion.

For me it’s mostly wonderful.

Kind of like gardening.

Enrich the soil.

So that they can be well rooted.

Water, love and encourage.

God will take care of the rest.

Happy Father’s Day, John.

And thanks for coming Elliott & Kristina.

Gail

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Baking Bread, Bouquets, Carrots, Cherries, Farmer's Market, Flower Arrangements, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Herbs, OKC Thunder Basketball

CATCHING UP

CATCHING UP

Perhaps it’s time for a little catching up.

A review of where I am this spring.

Remember the roses that froze to the ground last winter?

Well, they are doing quite well and….

They are still pink!

The roses and peonies were in full glorious bloom last week when we had an unfortunate few days of mid to high 90 degree weather – with wind.

As it happens some years, the bloom life of these glorious spring standards was shortened.

I hate it when that happens.

But it’s a fact of gardening life.

So…I’ll begin dead-heading a bit earlier than usual.

Dead-heading?

Sounds like a rock band doesn’t it!

It’s actually one of the most important things I do to keep my garden blooming all season.

Dead-heading is simple.

It’s removing the spent blooms of plants so that they can begin the bloom cycle again.

Now…not every plant will re-bloom.

Peonies for instance do not.  So you just remove the stems of the spent blooms to tidy them up a bit and leave them be for the rest of the season.

I don’t usually cut mine back to the ground until the next spring when new growth appears.

Iris both German Bearded and Dutch also should also have their bloom stems cut back as far as possible once the last buds have bloomed.

Spent bloom stems of German Bearded Iris waiting to be dead headed.

But…leave the greenery to die back on it’s own.

We’ll fiddle with them a bit more later on in the season.

 

Many roses on the other hand will repeat bloom if you deadhead.

Hybrid tea roses and any old-fashioned rose that is remonant or repeat bloomers will give you more flowers.

To dead head them cut off the spent bloom to at least the first set of 5 leaves.

If the rose-bush needs shaping you can cut them even further down the cane.

Pink Belinda's Dream rejuvenated and ready for dead heading.

 

That’s it – no big mystery here.

For me it’s kind of a zen experience.

Doesn’t require loads of concentration so you can lose yourself in this bit of gardening.

And…you’ll be rewarded with new buds and blooms within a few weeks.

Now, the spring flush is by far the most breathtaking but the scattered blooms throughout the season bring me great joy.

 

Then there are things that I don’t dead head.

I want them to go to seed.

Digitalis or Foxglove are among them. 

Digitalis

 

I’ve worked hard to get them going in my garden and I want them to spread so I’m restraining myself from cutting any for a few more years.

Hopefully someday I’ll have patches of their amazing towers of bell-shaped blooms all over the place.

A closer look.

Columbine is a mix of these methods.

The more you cut it the more it blooms.

But at some point usually when it starts to warm up I quit cutting and let it go to seed.

Once the seed heads have dried up – late June or so – I’ll pick them and scatter them in shady areas.

It’s worked pretty well in my loamy soil and I have new columbine babies each year.

Self seeded Columbine by the garden bench.

I’ll give more deadheading instructions as the season goes along.

 

Other activity includes finally planting my Caladium and Elephant Ear bulbs.

I’m a little behind on those but better a little late than too early with bulbs.

Remember – both of these like to be planted in the shade though their faces can extend into the sunshine.

The basic rule with any bulb is to plant them as deep as the bulb itself.

Not a big deal for Caladiums,

But…you’ll have to dig a BIG hole for the Elephant Ears!

Both will have to be dug in the fall here in zone 7.

Since we are expecting a week of glorious low 70’s weather I think I’m going to finally transplant a Blushing Bride Hydrangea to a new roomier home – got a little carried away with my purchasing a few springs ago – no big surprise.

This morning Pam cut flowers and made them into bunches to sell at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow.

I’ve added some herbs – Rosemary, Sage and Mojito Mint along with bags of mixed lettuce.

So drop by the coop table at Grand & Garriott between 8 & 11.

 Flowers, herbs and lettuce ready for Saturday's market.

Last weekend I spent time with Elliott and Kristina in their garden.

We planted new Dahlias – one of Kristina’s favorite, set out tomatoes and peppers and put out Lady Bugs.

Giving lady bugs a new home.

 

But mostly we simply enjoyed being in their garden, having meals in the garden, talking about gardening and visiting the nursery. 

As Elliott was growing up I sometimes wondered what part of that experience he would take with him into his adult life.

Although he didn’t really garden much then he was constantly exposed to this need to dig in the soil and grow things in our home and with both sets of grandparents.

It stuck.

He is drawn to the earth.

I am thankful.

Enjoy this glorious weather.

Gail

 

 

 

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Filed under Columbne, Dead Heading, Digitalis, Farmer's Market, Gardening;Perennials, Peonies, roses

ARRANGING THINGS

 
Ladybug lunching at the “Peony Bud Cafe”.

 

It’s been a cool cloudy week.

Great weather for transplanting perennials.

So…here’s a bit about transplanting.

The need to move things around happens as a garden matures.

Or…you just move plants around to keep from buying more.

Not really.

In my garden several things go to seed and make babies all over the place.

Purple coneflower, gloriosa daisies, shasta daisies, tall garden phlox, all are a little rampant in my sun garden.

Hollyhocks and larkspur do the same but have more of a tap root so must be transplanted early when they are very small.

And I know the carpet of cockscomb is beginning to plot it’s annual takeover of my late summer and fall garden.

Now, don’t get the idea that I try to get everything in orderly little rows.

To find the “perfect” place.

I don’t.

Nor do I try to save every plant.

I used to, but gave that up some time ago.

But I do try to gather them in groups of 3, 5 or 7.

And I do move thing out of the middle of the path.

Or a really tall plant from the front edge of the garden. 

You can actually start this process in mid-March if you get around to it.

Here’s how.

If possible pick a cloudy day.

Or… if a plant is moving into the sunshine, transplant late in the day so it will not be in the sun right after you have yanked it out of the ground.

Make sure that the soil is moist – not too dry or too wet.

You want the soil to stick to the roots.

Before you start digging figure out the new home for your plant.

Dig the hole in the new place.

Now dig up the plant with as much root and soil as possible and move it to it’s new home. 

Tamp the soil in around it and give it a little drink.

Remember to give it a drink each day for the next few days – especially if it’s in the sunshine.

This same method works for shrubs as well as small plants. 

I have a Blushing Bride Hydrangea that needs to be transplanted.

I’ll add a little manure to the soil when I refill the hole.

That should help it settle in.

It may be a little late since my hydrangeas are starting to set flower buds.

But….that’s never stopped me before, unfortunately.

Tulips for the most part have come and gone – except for the greenery.

Now theoretically they are like daffodils – let the leaves die completely back.

But I consider tulips in my garden to be annuals.

They simply rot over the course of the summer.

So, I pull them up.

Sometimes the bulb comes with them and they can be dried and saved.

But mostly the leaves just kind of “pop” when you pull on them.

I pull them out to make room for the perennials that are coming out of the ground underneath them.

Then off to the composter they go!

This is always a bit of a slow bloom time.

The riot of spring color is subsiding being replaced with glossy leaves.

The last few tulips hang on.

Iris are opening up.

                                                            

                                                                    White “field” German Bearded Iris

The first rose appears.

                  Rosa Katy Road Pink

Peony buds are swelling – eager to meet the world.

And columbine loves these days. 

                                                                                               

                                                                                                         Columbine McKanna’s Giant

Remember the more you pick columbine the more it will bless you with blooms.

Strawberry plants – which I use for groundcover in sunny spots are blooming and beginning to set berries.

The lettuce in the bed by the garden gate is providing a luscious edge.

Both to look at and to eat!

It fills the space till the soil warms up enough for caladium bulbs.

Caladiums hate cool soils.

My friend Betty taught me to never plant them before May…and I don’t.

And speaking of lettuce – it’s getting to be Farmer’s Market season.

Most open by the first weekend of May.

Hope you’ll find one and support it all season long.

Bask in the season.

Gail

“I am a theologian and a college professor.  I like being both. 

But what I really love to do – what I get exquisite pleasure from doing – is to garden.”

                                                                                                          Vigen Guroian

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Filed under Farmer's Market, TRANSPLANTING