top of page

Transitioning from Spring to Summer

Transitioning from Spring to Summer

 

It’s hard to believe, but we’re beginning the transition into summer gardening. Definitely a bit early this year as the average temperature at this time of year is in the 70’s and so far, we’ve been averaging in the 80s.  The care of vegetable and flower gardens changes as the season moves along. Many of you have finished planting your gardens and many of you are still in the process – and some of you are just getting started! At home I don’t consider us late unless the tomatoes aren’t in by the end of June, so we’re still on track here at the farm…we’ve discovered through the years that our harvest is only delayed by about 10 days at the other end of the season.  What’s the reason for that you might ask??  It’s soil temperature!  So many of the veggies that we like to eat need soil temps over 60 degrees and love it at 70 degrees (and hate it when soil temps reach 90 degrees -it’s all about the wonderful middle!!!!)


Here’s a thought to keep in mind as we transition from spring into summer:


We’ve had some of our normal New England temperature swings.  I’ve seen/heard from people who’ve had a surprise late frost, sunburned leaves and stems (sun angles right now equal mid-July – INTENSE!!!), waterlogged or dried up seedlings… the list goes on.  Baby plants can have a hard time adjusting…so, it’s up to the gardener to buffer the extremes as much as possible. 


One “trick” to try is to use a drench of liquid humates, molasses and liquid fertilizer as a boost.  Liquid humates are the closest thing you’ll ever find to a magic potion – the humates stabilize the plant’s root’s access to the fertilizer and the molasses provides the sugars to the soil organisms that are essential to plant health.  You can thank the Cannabis industry for getting humates available to the rest of us (molasses has always been available!) – you can’t grow good Cannabis without it…Hah!!! A win all the way around ☺  We use liquid humates every time I fertilize the plants here at the store…1/2 cup per 50 gallons of water.  A little goes a LONG way…although you can intensify it a bit if you’re plants are really in trouble.  


Here’s what a recipe might look like

For one gallon of water

½ tsp liquid humate

1tbl “blue crystal” (Miracle Gro or Jack’s or other water-soluble fertilizer)

¼ cup molasses 


An organic option would be:

For one gallon of water

½ tsp liquid humate

2 tbl liquid fish

¼ cup molasses


You can drop the humate to as little as a ¼ tsp per gallon and bring it up to 2 tbl per gallon.  Way too much won’t hurt the plants but won’t be used by the plants either and is a waste of money (and NO one has money to waste!!).  Having said that – experimentation is a very useful mental approach to things so use your imagination, curiosity (and questions at the store!!) to refine your own recipe.

As mentioned above – we use liquid humates at the store to help maintain the high quality of our plants.  We had a customer mention that we still had a lot of veggies left – and he was RIGHT!!!  We restocked this past weekend for the last time so that there would be quality veggie and flower plants for everyone who still needs them!  That means we still have a decent selection of almost everything you need to grow a great veggie garden, plant your window boxes, dress up your front steps or create a colorful annual plant weave in to your perennial garden.  So, pass the word to anyone who still needs to get a garden started and we can help with the plants and anything else needed for success! 


AND every plant we have at the store is cared for!!!  NOT like the plants at Walmart or any other big box store. We can tell you the last time the plants were fertilized (today actually!) and you’ll see that reality in the plants themselves. The best thing (to my mind anyways) is that plants can’t lie and they can’t vote with their feet (although they might like to!).  That means that whatever the plant is demonstrating is what is actually happening and needs to be managed by the gardener.  


To help you along with that management – we’re offering a couple of workshops at the end of June.  Call the store at 978-632-0991 to reserve your spot.


June 22: 10:00-11:30 am - Working with Foliar Sprays

 ($30/person includes leaf inoculants) Foliar sprays can kill insects and diseases directly, but they can also be used to prevent problems from developing and can directly increase the base line health of your plants. Class includes enough foliar support for you to spray a gallon when you get home. Limit 12

June 22: 1:00-2:30 - Growing Quality Cannabis Part 2: Pre-flower production  Here’s the key turning of the season so that you can learn how to expand and strengthen bud quality.  Bud quality – as well as quantity are (of course!!!) the whole point behind growing the plant in the first place!  This information can also be translated for superb (and tasty!!) production of tomatoes, cucumbers and other high energy demanding veggies.  What grows great Cannabis grows great tomatoes…


On to local production of all kinds


As many of you know, it’s the time of year when Farmer’s Markets open up around the region. Personally, our family has always been involved in the Westminster Farmer’s Market (every Friday afternoon, 3-6pm) and Westminster’s market opened several weeks ago. Now for some real news, GARDNER’s New Monthly Market opens on June 15!  It’s a once-a-month market and The Good Earth is sponsoring the kid’s program of planting either a tomato or a marigold to take home.  See the flier below for more details but we wanted to make sure that as many people as possible stop by and SUPPORT our local growers and makers.  There are over 20 vendors expected with at least 6 local small farmers providing the market with fresh, local produce.  We applaud Gardner’s support of its local farmers!!!


Gardner Farmer's Market



Gardner, MA Farmer's Market
Gardner Farmer's Market

GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION OF GARDNER FARMERS MARKET ON JUNE 15TH, 2024

 Zoning Board Unanimously Approves New Farmers Market at the Waterford Street Community Center funded by State Grant


  Gardner, MA – The City of Gardner, in partnership with Erica Bosse of Flicker Hill Homestead, LLC, is thrilled to announce the grand opening of the new Gardner Farmers Market on Saturday, June 15, 2024, from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM. The celebration will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Mayor Mike Nicholson, Ashley Randle, the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), and other special guests who have been instrumental in the funding and development of this vibrant new community market.


  The ribbon-cutting ceremony, scheduled for 9:30 AM, marks the official opening of the market and showcases the city’s commitment to supporting local farmers, bakers, and small businesses. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the group of dedicated city residents who comprise the Farmers Market Committee. Their hard work and passion have been the driving force behind this initiative.


 “We are excited to bring the community together to support our local farmers, bakers, and other small businesses,” said Mayor Mike Nicholson. “This market is a testament to the collaborative spirit of Gardner, and the unprecedented amount of growth the City has seen over the last few years.”

 

The Gardner Farmers Market will be held on the third Saturday of each month from June through September, featuring over 20 vendors at each market. These rain or shine events will offer a variety of local products and family-friendly activities, including a bubble machine, story time, and craft activities for children, all organized by Gardner Librarian Stephanie Young. We are also excited to announce that we will have live music at least two of the events and are working to schedule performances for the remaining two markets. 

 

We are grateful to MART for adding stops to their routes for our four scheduled markets this season, making it easier for residents to access the market.

 The support of local businesses has been crucial in bringing the Gardner Farmers Market to life. We thank our early sponsors, MAKI's Building Supply and The Good Earth, for their generous contributions.

 

We are also seeking volunteers to help with putting up yard signs, setting up, and packing up during the markets. Additionally, sponsorship opportunities are still available. Those interested in supporting the market can contact us for more information.


 Grant Funding Announcement

  Mayor Mike Nicholson and Erica Bosse, founder of Flicker Hill Homestead, LLC, are delighted to announce that the Gardner Farmers Market has been awarded a substantial grant totaling $9,985.84 from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR). This funding, allocated through the Farmers Market Sustainability Grant Program, marks a significant milestone in the journey to establish a vibrant marketplace that fosters community engagement and promotes access to fresh, locally sourced produce.


 "The Gardner Farmers Market is a testament to our commitment to building a healthier, more connected community," Mayor Nicholson remarked. "This grant represents a crucial investment in our city's future, supporting local agriculture, stimulating economic growth, and enhancing the well-being of our residents. I would like to thank the Healey-Driscoll Administration for their continued investments in Gardner and the residents of the North Central Massachusetts region." Erica Bosse, whose tireless efforts with Flicker Hill Homestead, LLC have been instrumental in bringing the farmers market to fruition, echoed Mayor Nicholson's sentiments. "We are thrilled to receive this grant, which will empower us to create a dynamic marketplace that celebrates our city's agricultural presence and promotes sustainable living," Bosse stated. "Together with Mayor Nicholson, we are laying the foundation for a resilient, inclusive, and thriving community. We would also like to thank Ayn Yeagle, Executive Director at Growing Places, for support through this process."

 The Gardner Farmers Market will feature over 20 local vendors, including participants in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), ensuring equitable access to fresh, nutritious food for all residents.

 

"This grant will enable us to implement strategic marketing initiatives and invest in sustainable infrastructure for the market," Erica Bosse explained. "From signage and social media advertising to resident mailers and essential equipment for our market manager, these funds will play a vital role in ensuring the success and longevity of the Gardner Farmers Market."

 

In addition to its economic benefits, the Gardner Farmers Market is poised to become a dynamic community space, offering educational workshops, family-friendly activities, and opportunities for residents to engage with local farmers and learn more about their food sources.


 "We extend our sincere gratitude to the Healey-Driscoll Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources for their unwavering support of farmers markets across the state," Bosse concluded. "Their investment not only strengthens our local food system but also underscores the importance of collaborative, community-driven initiatives in shaping a healthier, more sustainable future."

 For more information about the Gardner Farmers Market and updates on its inaugural season, please visit our website here.


 


187 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page