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Happy Spring!!

Happy Spring!!


Both Meteorological spring AND Astronomical Spring are here!


Both St. Patrick’s Day and Easter are on this month’s calendar…the weather is milder, anticipation is in the air…so it’s time to celebrate at bit!  


How are we celebrating?  We’re bringing in a whole seasonal blend of houseplants and early spring color!  We have some excellent shamrocks – superb quality and a luscious deep green – just right for St. Patrick’s Day.  How about Reiger begonias, calla lilies, Nematanthus goldfish, anthuriums, and Easter cactuses?  These all make us smile with their color, but also last quite nicely in the house. Then there are the cold tolerant plants like mini roses, spring bulbs, campanulas…enjoy them for a short time inside and then plan to plant them in the garden… We’re also bringing in a couple of herbs – bay leaf and Aloe vera.  All in all, there’s something for everyone who needs a reason for a smile!  We’re always happy to go over care for the plants and you know we’ll be managing them from the time they arrive in the store.  And – don’t worry – our plant case is still well stocked with all kinds of green houseplants.  Truly – something for everyone.


We’re also celebrating spring by bringing the Canna line of fertilizers in to the store.  You might think that the word Canna means that it’s developed for the Cannabis industry – and it is used widely by some of the best growers, but here’s the really interesting point – Canna is actually a Dutch company established in the mid 90’s and is expert in creating fertilizers that match the growing medium of your choice for whatever kind of plants you want to grow. Love that kind of language!!  It’s lifted out of their website – and you can check out more here.  Some of you know me – and you can be sure that I’ll be experimenting with these products as the upcoming season gets going.  I’m especially interested in the Bio-canna part of the line-up. I’m really interested in soil quality, structure and microbial populations and Bio-canna’s Bio-vega and Bio-flores really intrigue me!  Their entire reason for existence is to allow true field soils to function at peak efficiency – and their OMRI listed (organic standard).  Stay tuned for results as we get going…


And speaking of running trials…ANYONE can run a trial!  No – your own personal trial isn’t going to make you a million bucks in a world read journal, but it WILL prove to you what works best for you in your yard…and let’s face it…that’s the whole point!!!  We’re planning on running a potted veggie trial on the far side of the greenhouse once the real growing season gets here (end of May).  There will be 10 pots of 4 different veggies with 5 pots under one management pattern and the other 5 pots under another.  My goal is to have notes available for the entire project so that everyone can see what we’re doing and how it’s going.  Think of this as another citizen science project. For any of you who participated in our 3-part Home Grown Mushroom series, you’ll know that just because something goes wrong doesn’t mean that everything is a loss or that the information gained isn’t almost more useful than the plant production itself.  



And PLEASE!!!!

DO NOT CLEAN UP YOUR GARDENS FOR THE SPRING

UNTIL AFTER THE RED MAPLE BLOOMS!!!!


Why you ask??  Because the bloom on the red maple means that the local pollinators and good guy bugs are waking up – and that they have food to get them started.  The waking up part of that sentence is the real key to the situation.  Insects (and bears and other animals that hibernate to survive the winter) use temperature and day length to emerge from that hibernation.  Insects that have burrowed or otherwise protected themselves for the winter are completely vulnerable to a rake or leaf blower if the work is done too early.


This whole process has a nifty name - It’s time to introduce the word phenology!  


Phenology is the study of nature’s calendar and how specific events (the bloom on the red maple/ the emergence of insects) interact with overarching weather conditions (flood/drought/average), climatic changes (super early spring warmth, late killing frosts) and human activities (cleaning up the garden).  The point is that there is a correlation between the plants, animals and their environment – and that it’s IMPORTANT to understand how human actions can either help or destroy systems.  I know just how hard it is to WAIT to get the garden’s cleaned up!  But – it’s critical to WAIT!!!  


Moving on to chickens –


Chick orders are coming in and the first babies are due in about 2 weeks. We have over 2 dz different varieties of birds coming in this year so make sure to check out the entire list.  We keep a sharp eye on them and make sure that smutty butt and other problems than can get going don’t get a chance.  We’re proud of the quality babies that go home with you for your own home flocks.  You’ll also find ducks (one week only), quail (ditto one week) and broiler chicks (not sexed and also on specific weeks) so there really is something for everyone!  Time to start planning 😊


And speaking of planning – we have a GREAT chicken program this year!


The homesteader’s dream most often starts with fresh home-grown eggs, and they can’t be beat, but let’s do it rightNyki loves working with her chickens – has for years - and is happy to provide necessary details that you’ll need to be successful with your new chicks.  She’ll be joined by Sarah – our Poulin representative – who will go through the details of the right kind of feeds for the kind of birds you’re choosing to raise.  Nyki and Sarah will be presenting Getting Started Right With Chickens on 3/23, 1:00-2:30pm. 


And – on that same day 3/23– we’re hosting our Jonathan Green representative who can answer ALL kinds of questions about grass!  He’ll be in the store from 10am-1pm – so stop in and get answers to those pesky turf questions! 


We’re looking forward to seeing you at the store and showing you everything that’s going on!  See you soon!


spring easter flowers


The Good Earth


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