EGGPLANT

Rosa Bianca

 

Treasured Italian heirloom. Beautiful plump fruits are shaded rosy pink and white, and the flavor is out-of-this-world: creamy, mild, totally bitter free. Really choice. Likes heat. Bountiful Gardens

Violette Longue Hative Eggplant - The historic "Early Long Purple" has been a standard for many years in France and other parts of Europe. In 1885, Vilmorin said that this variety was best for Paris because of its earliness. Indeed this variety is still a great-producing early variety that yields delicious, elongated fruit that are quite beautiful and refined-looking, superb for slicing and many other uses.

Long Purple -  Slender, Asian-style eggplants slice easily and cook fast in stir-fry and other dishes. These ripen early. Tender fruit don't need peeling. Bountiful Gardens

Casper White - Medium size, very attractive, smooth ivory-white fruit that have a very mild mushroom-like flavor. Prolific plant. Fruit ripens early. An excellent variety for specialty growers and gardeners. Baker Creek

Black Beauty - Globe Eggplant- a nice big, dark purple oval fruit, weighing up to 3 lbs. A standby for many years for early big fruits with good flavor. Bountiful Gardens


SQUASH

WINTER SQUASH

Tromboncino, Zucchino Rampicante

The famous Italian heirloom vining zucchini and pumpkin; long slender 15-inch fruit have a flat bulb at the bottom. They are one of the best eating summer squash: very tender, mild and sweet tasting. The flavor is superb! This squash is also great as winter squash. The Italians use it for stuffing in gnocchi and ravioli; the flesh is rich and flavorful, great for baking and pies! The vines produce good yields of this great all-purpose squash. The mature fruit grow very long.

Acorn, Ebony Squash - Fine-textured flesh that is tender, sweet nutty, and moist.  A favorite for baking, microwaves in minutes for a quick meal. Bountiful Gardens

Delicata “zeppelin” Squash - High sugar content, fruit are 1-3 lbs. each and skin color is rust-white with green stripes. Delicate sweet flavor. This old heirloom was introduced in 1894 by Peter Henderson and Co. Bountiful Gardens

Waltham Butternut - AAS 1970.  A vigorous vining type with light-tan bottle shaped fruits up to 3-6 lbs. Light orange, rich dry flesh with a delicious nutty flavor. A small seed cavity. One of the best keepers. Rich in vitamin A. Good on average soil. These are very productive and space-saving when grown up a fence or trellis--deep roots do well with less water. A good "three sisters" variety with corn and beans (around the edge of the patch). Bountiful Gardens


SUMMER SQUASH

Zappallo del Tronco

Most resistant to squash bugs of any squash we have ever grown. Big healthy plants. These are a different species (c. maxima) than other summer squash (most others are c. pepo). Glossy round fruits are meatier and richer-tasting than other summer squash, as if they had been buttered. Better flavor raw than other summer squash. A staff favorite. A treasure from South America that deserves to be better known. Very rare. Bountiful Gardens

Dark Star Zucchini - Combines great springtime performance in cooler soils and marginal conditions, with a big root system that goes deep to find water and resist drought. Features dark green, glossy fruits that keep for long periods. Its light yellow interior flesh, with elevated levels of lutein, makes for superb eating. Open plant for easy picking. An extremely productive variety. Native Seed Search

Grey Zucchini - c. pepo 50-55 days from planting; A great summer squash for western regions. Stores well and has an excellent flavor. Blossoms are also particularly delicious. Baker Creek

Golden Patty Pan - c. pepo Bush. Many folks have called to request these. Flat "flying saucer" fruits with scalloped edges. High-yielding. Also known as scallopini or cymlings. More domed shape and larger seed cavity for stuffing than the green patty pan. Popular for baking. Bountiful Gardens


BEANS

GREEN BEANS

Dragon Langerie

Heirloom from the 1800's. Flat, creamy, 8" yellow pods with thin purple stripes (which disappear with cooking).   Impossible for commercial production, as the pods are so juicy that they wilt when shipped.

Rattlesnake Beans - Climbing variety of green bean with purple streaks. This variety is a standout producer with summer heat.

Cantare bean - Bush, 50-55 days. Superior producer of nice straight dark green pods for snaps. The slim 4-5-inch pods are stringless and the flavor is every bit as outstanding as the yield! This French variety makes a fine crop for market growers or home gardeners. Excellent tolerance to bean mosaic virus.

Calima Bean - Bush, 50-55 days. French filet type pods of dark green color, slim straight shape, and superior flavor! Pods are held conveniently at the top of the stocky bushes; pick them when no thicker than a pencil. Fine for fresh use, canning and freezing.

Yard-long Bean - vigorous climbing variety Thin, tender pods 12-30" long are excellent snap beans when young. These are the meaty, stringless, tender-textured beans used in Chinese and Thai restaurants. Young leaves may be cooked.

Green Pole bean - A favorite at Permaculture Cubed. Delicious 6-8” pod on this prolific producer.

 

DRY BEANS

Tarahumara Capirame

Bush,  A large bean with red to maroon stripes over a cream-beige background. Fresh picked dry beans have bright fuchsia pink colors that are otherworldly.

Tarahumara Ojo de cabra - "Goat's Eye." High-yielding pole bean producing large seeds with diversely-colored dark stripes over a speckled light background. Occasional red, pinto, or gold beans mixed in. Plant produces purple-striped pods. A sweet, mild staple of the Sierra Madre.


PEPPERS

SWEET PEPPERS

Jimmy Nardello’s Italian Frying Sweet Pepper

Legendary heirloom. Easy to grow, with big yields. 8" long fruits ripen quickly to bright red, covering the 24" plants. Thin walls, very sweet, with smoky, delicate, complex flavors. Freezes and dries well. Fabulous flavor. Bountiful Gardens


Sweet Bell Pepper Mix - It's fun to grow a palette of peppers: yellow, orange, red, purple, chocolate, and white bell-type fruits. Bountiful Gardens


Yolo Wonder Bell Pepper - California Heirloom bell pepper


Sweet Banana Pepper - Sweet, mild peppers to 7" long. The yellow peppers develop a pink blush and ultimately turn red--sweet the whole time.

 

HOT PEPPERS

Poblano

Called an Ancho when dried, a Poblano when fresh. Pick when green for a mild flavor or wait until red for increased medium-hot heat level. Extremely versatile in the kitchen. Plants are approximately 2-3 feet tall. Native Seed Search


Jalepeno - These 3 inch, fleshy jalapeno peppers are generally medium hot, but cultivation practices can produce variations in heat.  Usually picked when dark green, but will ripen to red given time.  This early variety ripens more quickly than many jalapeño varieties, with a large and continuous harvest. Native Seed Search

 

OTHER SUMMER FAVORITES

Minnesota Midget Cantaloupe

This very small, very early heirloom was introduced in Minnesota in 1948. Measuring just 4 inches across, they have sweet, orange flesh and are perfect miniature versions of the "Classic Muskmelon". Compact, 3-4-foot vines produce good yields.


Sugar Baby Watermelon - Extremely sweet. Vigorous vines produce round fruits 8-12 lbs. Flesh is medium red, crisp, firm and solid with few seeds. Very productive, resistant to cracking. Fancy groceries and farmer's markets carry this by name because customers ask for it. Bountiful Gardens


Mexican Sour Gerhkin

Incredible, small cucumber-like fruit are shaped like baby watermelons. They are good added to salads or can be pickled. They have a cucumber-like taste with a touch of lemon. The ornamental vines have tiny leaves and flowers and are perfect for the cottage garden. Very unique and fun for kids. Huge yields.

Marketmore 76 Cucumber- Consistently produces through hot and cool weather! 8-9", slicing cucumbers!. Disease resistant. Bountiful Gardens

Toma Verde Tomatillo - Physalis ixocarpa. An early bearing (60-70 days) green tomatillo with medium to large fruit. The tart fruits become sweeter as they ripen. Native Seed Search

Cajun Jewel Okra - The short plants produced dozens of tender 5"-6" pods, with outstanding flavor. Bountiful Gardens

 

SUMMER GREENS

or·ache

ˈôrəCH,ˈärəCH/

noun: orach

  1. Native to the Alps, formerly called “mountain spinach”, an annual species growing to 6’ at maturity, used as warm weather salad greens with spinach-like qualities. Cut as young seedlings or pick leaves as plant matures. Best salad quality comes from first 18” of growth. Mature plant is highly ornamental as seed bracts appear and enlarge in the same color as the leaves. Currently coming into use for floral arrangements. A good late summer pollen source for syrphid flies to help protect autumn crops from aphids.

 

Aurora Orach

Brightest lights this side of chard. Red, gold, green, pink, carmine, and pure purple with Dayglow radiance. The genes for this were introduced to the seed trade in 2002 by Fedco Seed of Maine. Farm Original Variety! Wild Garden Seed

Golden Orach - A rare heirloom from the old Abundant Life Seed. Really shines when mixed with spinach. Wild Garden seeds

Rainbow Chard - Beautiful in planters and flower beds, nice cut young for salads. Red, yellow, pink, purple, white, and orange. Bountiful Gardens

Fordhook Giant Chard - Classic Swiss chard with huge dark green extra-glossy savoyed leaves.  A broad silvery-white midrib which can be cooked separately. This one has proven most tolerant of drought and heat in our gardens

Champion Collards - Developed in the 1930's to be bolt-resistant and compact in size.  Flat, thick leaves offer some resistance to pests and weather, giving it a long harvest season. Bountiful Gardens


WILDFLOWERS, BENEFICIAL PLANTS & HERBS


Safflower

Another of humanity's oldest crops, with garlands of these flowers found in the pharaoh's' tombs. Safflower is a thistle-like plant 1-2 ft tall with yellow to red flowers. The flowers are used for dye or drying and the petals as a home substitute for saffron. The seeds average 40% oil content, and yield a high-quality oil with many health benefits.  It prefers a long dry season and limited rain. Bountiful Gardens

Mountain Garland Clarkia - Produces showy, compact flowers along multiple 2-4 foot erect stems with soft pastel color shades of pink and purple.  Blooms April through early July.  Attracts pollinators and is great in flower arrangements.  A native of California woodland habitats. Native Seed Search

Beneficial Insect Mix

Sunflower Mix

Tobacco

Comfrey

Borage

Aloe

Camomille

Yarrow

Sage

Basil

Thai Basil

Thyme

Oregano

Parsley

Herbs - special requests

 

PLANT PRICING

  • 6-cellpack vegetables $6.00 ea. or $1.00/cell(plant)
  • Lettuce starts $0.10/start
  • Onion starts $0.25/start
  • Potato/Garlic starts $0.25/start
  • 4" vegetables $4.00ea (late season)
  • Broadcast Seed $4.00/pack

We use succession planting as a way to maximize and extend your harvest. You may be billed more than once for plants during a season as we harvest and cycle in new starts.

an·tho·cy·a·nin

ˌanTHəˈsīənən/
noun
CHEMISTRY
  1. a blue, violet, or red flavonoid pigment found in plants
  2. In flowers, the coloration that is provided by anthocyanin accumulation can attract a wide variety of animal pollinators
  3. Anthocyanins have an antioxidant role in plants against reactive oxygen species caused by abiotic stresses, such as overexposure to ultraviolet light and extreme temperatures. Tomato plants protect against cold stress with anthocyanins countering reactive oxygen species, leading to a lower rate of cell death in leaves

CHERRY TOMATOES

BRAD'S ATOMIC GRAPE

These elongated, multi-colored, large cherries grow in clusters. Lavender and purple-striped when immature, turning to green, red / brown with anthocyanin blue stripes when fully ripe. The interior is green with a blushed red when extra ripe. This amazing variety is delicately sweet. The fruit holds well on the vine and post harvest.

AMETHYST CREAM CHERRY

Lovely white cherry with purple antho splashes on the top. Great flavor, delicate but complex. Big production. Sunburn, crack resistant. Great hang time and shelf life.

EVAN'S PURPLE PEAR

Good to very good production, great disease tolerance typical of potato leaf. 2-3 oz. cluster, purple pear shaped fruit, with excellent sweet rich flavor. Ripe fruit has some hang time.

BARRY'S CRAZY CHERRY

Huge clusters of pale yellow, oval shaped cherry tomatoes. Very good, sweet flavor. Huge harvest potential.

NAPA ROSE

 

Very productive and unique pink cherry tomato. Great looking with a very good flavor that is sweet rich. Everyone who trialed it was pleased. Another variety that has exceptional hang on the vine quality and can be harvested by cutting the entire cluster off, making for a very pretty and unique look.

 

BLUE TOMATOES

INDIGO APPLE

Huge production, good Anthocyanin (same thing that makes blueberries blue). Large clusters of 2-4 oz. fruits. Small unripe fruit turn purple, as they grow and ripen they turn almost black on top where sunlight hits, bottom and interior are red. Fruit has excellent hang on the vine ability. Very ripe fruit has excellent sweet flavor. Crack & sunburn resistance

BLUE BEAUTY

Great production. Medium Large fruit, 4-8 oz. Meaty Pink beefsteak with a lovely dark blue Anthocyanin top. Good hang on the vine ability, sunburn and crack resistant. Very good flavor.

BLUE GOLD

Blue and gold bright yellow tomato with tops that turn black with anthocyanin. Interior is red-yellow bi-color that is sweet and fruity. High production plant. Sunburn, crack resistant. Great hang time and shelf life.

BLUE CHOCOLATE

Chocolate brown with black anthocyanin tops. Very ripe fruit gets very sweet and rich. Great production. Sunburn, crack resistant. Great hang time and shelf life.

 

BEEFSTEAK TOMATOES

PORK CHOP

This is a true yellow, starts off yellow with green stripes which ripen to gold. Mid season, 75-85 days. indet. regular leaf. medium size slightly flattened beefsteaks. Great sweet tomato flavor with hints of citrus.

BERKELEY TIE-DYE

 

Green fruit with yellow and red stripes. Creamy green flesh infused with various shades of red and yellow. Each of these colors has a different flavor resulting in a spicey, sweet, tart tomato with good acid all in one.

PINK BERKELEY TIE-DYE

Beautiful, early, and very sweet rich flavor. 10 out of 10 people liked it better than Cherokee Purple in a farmers market taste off. Early to mid-early, 65-75 days.Compact indet. regular leaf. 8-12 oz. average. Port wine colored beefsteak with metallic green stripes. Excellent sweet, rich dark tomato flavor. Fabulous. Marginal tomato climate recommended.

SOLAR FLARE

Beefsteak, Red with Gold Stripes, Very Meaty with Luscious Sweet Red Tomato Flavor. F-7 Cross from Beauty King, selected for flavor, “WOW” Factor, production, increased earliness, scab resistance. Mid / Early Season, full body red, slightly sweet

SOLAR FLARE XL

Large and meaty red beefsteaks with gold stripes. Originally from one Solar Flare plant that put out extra large tomatoes. I grew hundreds of plants for several years selecting only the largest fruits for seeds. Great classic beefsteak flavor with a strong bite.

SUMMER OF LOVE

This improved Berkely Tye-Die produces a larger yield and ripens earlier. It has all the great colors and flavor of the original BTD. A good improvement to an excellent tomato. Beautiful, tasty and now more productive with an earlier harvest.

 

ROMA / SAUCE TOMATOES

SECRET SAUCE (SHORT)

Red paste tomato. Very Meaty, almost no seeds. Outstanding production from a short stout semi-indeterminate plant. Very good true tomato flavor. Can be eaten fresh or processed. Excellent container plant.

BOAR'S TOOTH

Early-Mid Season. Mahogany-brick pointed roma with green stripes. Very good rich tomato flavor, decent acidity. Meaty flesh. Great production. Like most roma-heart shaped tomatoes, the plant has wispy foliage. Very striking tomato with great flavor. Good for fresh eating plus the potential to make amazingly rich sauce.

 

HEIRLOOM TOMATOES

YELLOW MORTGAGE LIFTER

 

A beautiful yellow version of the regular Mortgage Lifter. It has the same great size and taste except this variety is bright yellow in color. Always popular with attendees at the Heirloom Garden Show, this big heirloom is richly flavored and quite rare. 

Indeterminate, Fruit weight 1lb+

The History of the Mortgage Lifter

 

VISITACION VALLEY

Early producing. Developed in the foggy coastal areas of the San Francisco Bay Area. Bright red small round fruits with intense flavor, more sweet than acidic. 1-2 oz. High yields. Great for salads.

 

PERSIMMON TOMATO

Heirloom grown by Thomas Jefferson in 1781. These medium to large, low-acid, persimmon-orange beauties are juicy and flavorful with tender skin and meaty flesh. One thick, succulent slice on toast makes a meal, but you'll want seconds. They also make gorgeous soups and sauces.

 

PINK OXHEART

Beautiful big, oval, pointed fruit with a fine sweet old time flavor! A good all-purpose variety.

The first pink fruited heart shaped variety was introduced by the Henderson seed company in 1924 or so - called Oxheart, it was sent to them by a customer, presumably as a mutant originating amongst their other large non-heart pink variety Ponderosa. Livingston also listed it a few years later as Giant Oxheart. Following on from that, Livingston introduced Yellow Oxheart.

 

 CHEROKEE PURPLE

David's favorite!  An old Cherokee Indian heirloom, pre-1890 variety; beautiful deep dusky purple-pink color, superb sweet flavor, and very large sized fruit. Try this one for real old-time tomato flavor.

History of the Cherokee Purple Tomato

Indeterminate, Fruit weight 16oz

 

SUNRISE BUMBLE BEE

 

Chefs love the luminous swirls of reds and oranges, inside the fruits and out! Everyone loves the sweet, fruity taste, too! Oblong little fruits weigh barely an ounce, sometimes show a pronounced beak at the blossom end.

Over a decade in the making, independent breeders at Artisan Seeds (Baia Nicchia Farm (Sunol, CA) ) applied traditional breeding methods to develop this unusual new class of tomato. Defining features include not just outstanding flavor but julienne (elongated) and rounded cherry shapes in a patterned palette of reds, oranges, golds, pinks, and greens. The Tiger Series and 'Blush' are the julienne type, while the Bumble Bee Series has the traditional spherical shape.

 

YELLOW PEAR

Very sweet, 1 1/2" yellow, pear-shaped fruit have a mild flavor, and are great for fresh eating or for making tomato preserves. Very productive plants are easy to grow.

The pear tomato originated in Europe in the 18th century.  Within the next century both England and the United States were introduced to the fruit. In 1752 records show the English using it for flavoring soups.

The first recorded yellow pear tomatoes were grown in Europe in 1805. In 1825 the Hudson's Bay Company, Fort Vancouver, once the headquarters of the fur trade in the Northwest, operated a seven-acre farm filled with flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits, among which was the yellow pear tomato.

In 1847 three varieties of tomato, including the pear tomato, were grown for the table in the United States. In 1863 seedsman Joseph Ellis offered over a hundred varies of tomato seeds for sale in Utah and Denver, including those of the yellow pear tomato. In 1889 George Thomas & Co. sold pear tomatoes.

  

POMPEI

 

(Hybrid) Roma style, imported from Italy where tomato breeding is a passion, the tall productive vines of Pompeii load up early with heavy clusters of big elongated plum tomatoes with rich flavored meaty flesh. Good sauce tomato.

 

DELUNA BUSH

 

These scrumptious tomatoes are specially bred for abundant yields on space-saving 2½ - 3' plants. They are perfect for growing in large pots and patio containers. Super Bush bears juicy fruits with full-sized sweet tomatoey flavor, not bland or watery like so many other bush varieties.

 

FALL PLANTING 2016

September 12, 2016

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HERE IT IS! Permaculture Cubed's fall 2016 list of organic and heirloom vegetables from our greenhouses.  Most of the featured items are available as 6-cell packs in the early season and 4" containers from late fall into early spring.  Old Favorites & Reliable Standards will be from a mix of 6-cell packs and seed depending on variety.

FEATURED ITEMS FOR FALL 2016:

ROMANESCO BROCCOLI


Romanesco broccoli, also known as Roman cauliflower, Broccolo Romanesco, Romanesque cauliflower or simply Romanesco, is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy, it is chartreuse in color.


Romanesco has a striking appearance because its form is a natural approximation of a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, its texture as a vegetable is far more crunchy,and its flavor is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty.


It has been grown in Italy since the 16th Century.


CHANTENAY CARROT


One of the sweetest, this variety was introduced in 1929 and is a large stump-rooted carrot with a deep red-orange center, great for juicing or fresh eating. A good market variety that is smooth and refined in shape.


PRIMO CABBAGE


A very well known and trusted variety, Primo Cabbage produces solid ball head cabbage.
Easy and productive, Primo is a splendid cabbage and can also be grown at a higher density.


RED DRUMHEAD CABBAGE



A very special heirloom red cabbage hard to find in the US, with excellent flavor and a good keeper.  Deep purple color is not lost in cooking or pickling.  Waxy heads hold well in cold wet weather. Also handles heat well.


Slightly flattened heads 7" wide are very firm and dense.


SNOWBALL CAULIFLOWER


Heirloom. Snowball cauliflower's large 6"-7" snow-white heads are well protected by outer leaves. This reliable strain is heavy yielding and produces smooth white curds with a uniform appearance. It is powdery mildew resistant.

GOLDEN SELF BLANCHING CELERY


Brilliant yellow stalks. Robust plants grow 25" to 30" tall. Stalks thick and heavy, but flesh is tender without strings. Thick heart forms early. One of best table varieties.


MATSUSHIMA CHINESE CABBAGE

Easy-to-grow barrel-head type for late summer and fall planting.  Mild flavor, crunchy texture, like an "iceberg" cabbage.  Likes decreasing temperatures and day lengths, and tends to bolt if temperature or light increases.

Delicious fall salad green, very juicy, as well as for soups, steaming, stir-fry, and making kim-chee.

Fastest header we trailed-can be started later than broccoli and still get a crop.

SCARLET KALE


Color develops with frost. Very curly, very red.  More tender than the hybrid red kales you get in the market.


TOKINASHI DAIKON RADISH


Juicy, crunchy long white roots for raw eating, cooking, and pickles.  Excellent for opening up a heavy soil, unfazed by clay. Can share a bed with garlic or leeks.

We use daikons in all of our gardens with heavy clay or compacted soil to help break up the soil ahead of spring planting.

JOAN RUTABAGA


People are rediscovering the rutabaga.  Partly because it's related to kale and shares many of the same health benefits, and partly because of the flavor and versatility.  Sweet mild flavor and crunchy texture make these a kids' favorite for raw dipping.

Likewise a hit shredded into slaw or winter salads.  Kids (and we) also love them creamed, or mashed half and half with potatoes. Really shines when roasted, alone or with other winter vegetables.

Joan combines outstanding flavor with resistance to clubroot. Oh, and did we say thayou can eat those kale-related leaves, too?


OLD FAVORITES & RELIABLE STANDARDS:

Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale

Russian Red Kale

Mill Creek Red Onion

Walla Walla Onion

Red Bunching Onion

Radish Mix (seed)

Chamomile (seed)

Parsley (seed)

Cilantro (seed)

Oregon Sweet Pod Pea (Edible pod/ snow and sweet pea/snap)

Cascadia Peas (Shelling)

Rainbow Chard (6-pack)

Parsnip Mix (seed)

Monster of Viroflay Spinach (seed)

Green Comet Broccoli

January King Cabbage

Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Lettuce Mix (bare-root start)

All the Year Round Cauliflower

Inchelium Red Garlic

California White Organic Garlic

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Sangre Red Potatoes

Yellow Finn Potatoes

Beet Mix (seed)

Spearmint (4")

Comfrey ($5.00/crown)

Borage (seed)


PRICING:

6-cellpack vegetables $6.00 ea. or $1.00/cell(plant)

Lettuce starts $0.10/start

Onion starts $0.10/start

Potato/Garlic starts $0.25/start

4" vegetables $4.00 ea (late season)

Broadcast Seed $4.00/pack

Cover Crops $0.10/sq ft

OR...

PERMIES CHOICE 

We will select for you!  Let our permaculture specialists choose the best varieties for your microclimate, light exposure and space availability.  We base our selections on your history of stated preferences, environmental limitations and productivity.  We always provide a large variety - which is essential to having a consistent and bountiful harvest throughout the season - and as always you can veto anything in our selection by notifying us ahead of time.  This allows us the most flexibility when managing your garden to produce the best results in an organic and naturally-timed fashion throughout the season. 

GUARANTEE:

We will gladly replace any plants that that we plant and die (within 1-2 weeks) due to plant health issues or irrigation issues in the gardens of our existing clients.  We cannot warranty plants against damage due to pest issues.  Please contact any one of our specialists to discuss available integrated pest management options.

HAPPY FALL!

 

*Square footage calculation is based upon total area of available garden space actively being planted during the current season.  Due to the cyclical nature of high-productivity succession planting techniques, some areas may be unplanted for brief periods throughout the season.

 

 

 





We carefully select our tomato varieties from our own seed-stock and other local growers to ensure they will do well in the many micro-climates of the Bay Area.  Vivid colors and complex flavors highlight our 2016 selection of old favorites and new varieties with rich heirloom history.

YELLOW MORTGAGE LIFTER

 

A beautiful yellow version of the regular Mortgage Lifter. It has the same great size and taste except this variety is bright yellow in color. Always popular with attendees at the Heirloom Garden Show, this big heirloom is richly flavored and quite rare. 

Indeterminate, Fruit weight 1lb+

 

The History of the Mortgage Lifter

 

PINK OXHEART

Beautiful big, oval, pointed fruit with a fine sweet old time flavor! A good all-purpose variety.

The first pink fruited heart shaped variety was introduced by the Henderson seed company in 1924 or so - called Oxheart, it was sent to them by a customer, presumably as a mutant originating amongst their other large non-heart pink variety Ponderosa. Livingston also listed it a few years later as Giant Oxheart. Following on from that, Livingston introduced Yellow Oxheart.

 

 CHEROKEE PURPLE

David's favorite! An old Cherokee Indian heirloom, pre-1890 variety; beautiful deep dusky purple-pink color, superb sweet flavor, and very large sized fruit. Try this one for real old-time tomato flavor.

History of the Cherokee Purple Tomato

Indeterminate, Fruit weight 16oz

 

SUNRISE BUMBLE BEE

 

Chefs love the luminous swirls of reds and oranges, inside the fruits and out! Everyone loves the sweet, fruity taste, too! Oblong little fruits weigh barely an ounce, sometimes show a pronounced beak at the blossom end.

Over a decade in the making, independent breeders at Artisan Seeds (Baia Nicchia Farm (Sunol, CA) ) applied traditional breeding methods to develop this unusual new class of tomato. Defining features include not just outstanding flavor but julienne (elongated) and rounded cherry shapes in a patterned palette of reds, oranges, golds, pinks, and greens. The Tiger Series and 'Blush' are the julienne type, while the Bumble Bee Series has the traditional spherical shape.

 

YELLOW PEAR

Very sweet, 1 1/2" yellow, pear-shaped fruit have a mild flavor, and are great for fresh eating or for making tomato preserves. Very productive plants are easy to grow.

The pear tomato originated in Europe in the 18th century.  Within the next century both England and the United States were introduced to the fruit. In 1752 records show the English using it for flavoring soups.

The first recorded yellow pear tomatoes were grown in Europe in 1805. In 1825 the Hudson's Bay Company, Fort Vancouver, once the headquarters of the fur trade in the Northwest, operated a seven-acre farm filled with flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits, among which was the yellow pear tomato.

In 1847 three varieties of tomato, including the pear tomato, were grown for the table in the United States. In 1863 seedsman Joseph Ellis offered over a hundred varies of tomato seeds for sale in Utah and Denver, including those of the yellow pear tomato. In 1889 George Thomas & Co. sold pear tomatoes.

 

GREEN ZEBRA

Beautiful chartreuse with deep lime-green stripes, very attractive. Flesh is bright green and very rich tasting, sweet with a sharp bite to it (just too good to describe!). A favorite tomato of many high class chefs, specialty markets, and home gardeners. Yield is excellent. 

Potato and tomato breeder Tom Wagner of Everett, Washington developed Green Zebra. He used four heirloom tomatoes, including Evergreen, a medium-size green tomato. As Tom tells it, he first conceived the idea of a green striped tomato when he was growing up in the 1950s. At the time, he regularly ordered seeds from Gleckler’s catalog. Evergreen intrigued him. In his words, “I thought it was a crazy-looking tomato. It was late-maturing, and I didn't know when it was ripe. When is a green tomato ripe?” Tom felt that Evergreen’s fatal flaw was its tendency to crack – it is the perfect tomato for throwing, but fell apart in his hands. Right then, Tom determined that he would develop a green tomato that wouldn’t crack.

In 1983 Tom introduced Green Zebra Tomato in his Tater-Mater Seed Catalog. The catalog was published from 1983 through 1986 and has since become a research and development enterprise.

Indeterminate, Fruit weight 3oz

 

BRANDYWINE

A favorite of many gardeners; large fruit with superb flavor. A great potato-leafed variety from 1885! Beautiful pink fruit up to 1-1/2 lbs. each!

History of the Brandywine Tomato

 

MARVEL STRIPE

These gorgeous, large, pleated yellow fruits have red striping from the blossom end and are deliciously sweet and juicy with few seeds. The vigorous, heat and drought tolerant vines need a long summer to mature and should be staked.

Originally from the Zapotec people of southern Mexico in the 1800's.

 

INDIGO ROSE

 

(Hybrid) Darkest tomato bred so far, exceptionally high in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are powerful anti-oxidants. In the early stages of fruit development, Indigo Rose develops a dark purple pigment in its skin where exposed to direct sunlight. Green when unripe, purple-red when ripe, the 1-2 oz., cocktail-sized tomatoes have good flavor with 'plummy' overtones.

Developed by Jim Myers at Oregon State University using traditional plant breeding techniques.

History of the Indigo Rose

 

POMPEI

 

(Hybrid) Roma style, imported from Italy where tomato breeding is a passion, the tall productive vines of Pompeii load up early with heavy clusters of big elongated plum tomatoes with rich flavored meaty flesh. Good sauce tomato.

 

SUPER BUSH

 

(Hybrid) These scrumptious hybrid tomatoes are specially bred for abundant yields on space-saving 2½ - 3' plants. They are perfect for growing in large post and patio containers. Super Bush bears juicy fruits with full-sized sweet tomatoey flavor, not bland or watery like so many other bush varieties.

 

Which is your favorite?!

Winter squash are so delicious and hearty that, in my opinion, they need very little in the way of preparation.  They are best when allowed to shine through with their own complex and varied flavors -  eaten a la carte, or as an accompaniment to your favorite protein dish.

NAKED SWEET MEAT

Ingredients:

One large or 2 small Sweet Meat squash (any winter squash will do just as well - try them all!)

Salt

Pepper

Nutmeg

Walnut Oil

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and seed the squash.  Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

Toss the cubes of squash in walnut oil until evenly coated then spread into a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Sprinkle salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. (Generous on the salt and gentle on the nutmeg!)

Roast on the middle rack of the oven until tender - approximately 40 minutes.

That's it!  

 

Now that you've tried it naked, how about dressing it up a little:

http://harvestingnature.com/2015/12/09/bacon-butternut-squash-soup/

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_squash_recipes 

 

For the vinaigrette

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup minced shallots (1 large shallot)

1 tablespoon of honey

½ cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Salad

6 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry

1/8th seedless watermelon, rind removed and cut into 1- inch cubes

12 ounces good feta cheese, ½-inch diced

1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh mint leaves, julienned

 

Directions

Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt and pepper.  Slowly, pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion.  If not using within 1 hour, store the dressing covered in the refrigerator.

Place the arugula, watermelon, feta and minty in a large bowl.  Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well.  Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.

Ingredients

1 medium/large or 2 small kohlrabi

2 yukon gold potatoes

2 tablespoons of chives, chopped thinly

2 eggs

1/3 cup flower (can substitute ¼ coconut

flower + 2 tbsp tapioca flower for gluten free)

Splash of whole/raw milk

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and black pepper

Coconut oil or lard for frying

 

Directions

Peel, then grate kohlrabi and grate potatoes.  Combine with chives and eggs.  Slowly whisk flour and milk together in a separate bowl then pour over kohlrabi mixture.  Toss gently until evenly coated.

Heat oil to medium-high heat in large skillet. When oil bubbles when you flick water at it add the fritters, one heaping spoonful at a time.  Press with spoon to flatten.

Fry until golden brown then turn.  Drain on paper towel.  Salt and serve with sour cream garnished with diced onion.

 

Goes great with

Steak, A la carte

Composting can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. You really only need three things: carbon materials (browns), nitrogen materials (greens) and a little bit of time.

 

COLD COMPOSTING VERSUS HOT COMPOSTING

There are two main methods for composting: hot and cold. Cold composting is simply building a pile of compost materials and leaving it to sit. A majority of the composting work is done by macroorganisms such as beetles, sow bugs, ants and worms. Cold composting is a slow process that doesn’t require perfect conditions or much in the way of labor. But since the temperatures never get hot enough to kill seeds or pathogens, you will likely get weeds and could potentially introduce disease into your garden’s soil.

 Hot composting on the other hand is an active process in which you create specific conditions that will promote an active, diverse living environment in your compost pile. Micro and macro organisms work together to break down and metabolize all of the base materials.  This elevates the temperature of the pile through specific phases of decomposition until all of the materials have been utilized and the temperature drops back down.  The resulting rich, loamy mix of organic material can be ready to supplement your soil in as little as 18 days.

 

MACROORGANISMS

Macroorganisms break down the large, course materials as well as feed on microorganisms and each other. This increases the surface area of the material (creating more living space for microorganisms) and starts the decomposition process.

Some common macroorganisms you will find in a typical pile:

  • Sow bugs “rolly pollies”: Feed on rotting wood and vegetation
  • Earthworms: Feed on any organic matter, their castings are very rich in nitrogen, calcium and magnesium
  • Beetles: Larva eat decaying veggies / plant matter. Adults eat slugs, snails and other small critters.

        MICROORGANISMS

        Microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes account for most of the decomposition that takes place in a pile. Bacterial decomposition is a chemical process. As with all chemistry, it requires specific elements in specific ratios in order to efficiently proceed through each phase of the reaction. The key elements in a compost pile are carbon, nitrogen, water and oxygen.

        There are two main categories of bacteria at work in the pile. Aerobic bacteria, which metabolize in the presence of oxygen, and anaerobic bacteria which do not need oxygen to thrive. Anaerobics work more slowly and produce hydrogen sulfide, cadaverine and putrescine (smelly odors) as byproducts while not elevating the temperature of the pile high enough to kill unwanted seeds. Because of this, it is important to introduce enough oxygen (O2 levels greater than 5%) into the pile to promote the aerobic bacteria to take over, displacing the anaerobics and driving fast, hot decomposition in which the bacteria metabolize the compost and excrete nitrogen, phosphorous and magnesium that is readily available for use by the plants in your garden.

         

        CARBON

        As stated previously, bacterial decomposition is a chemical process. Aerobic bacteria decompose using the same cellular respiration and metabolism processes as the majority of all living creatures on earth. In this process, carbon is the chemical energy source. The carbon comes in forms of sugars (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules) that are the byproducts of the broken down starches, cellulose and other structural materials of plant matter. The carbon levels are especially high in “brown” materials such as leaves, cardboard, woody stems and sawdust.

        All living cells use ATP as the energy transport mechanism. ATP is produced through the breakdown of sugars (carbon molecules) through a chemical process called glycolysis. During glycolysis, the glucose (6 carbon atoms) is converted into Pyruvate (3 carbon atoms per molecule) releasing stored energy in the form of ATP for use by the microorganisms.  Following glycolysis, the remaining carbon is metabolized through the Krebs cycle (aerobic fermentation) in which the Pyruvate is broken down into CO2 (1 carbon atom per molecule) and the enzyme NADH.  Finally, during oxidative phosphorylation oxygen is used to convert the excess NADH back into the enzyme NAD, releasing water and more ATP for use by the cells.

         

        NITROGEN

        Nitrogen is a key component of the amino acids that are the building blocks of all proteins.  Proteins comprise the structure of the bacteria and allow them to grow and reproduce.  The aerobic bacteria that are active within your compost pile draw nitrogen from the decaying plant matter and ammonia compounds in the soil (such as from urea contained in animal manure).  They convert it into nitrites as part of their metabolic growth as well as incorporate it into their physical structure.  The byproduct of this bacterial life, growth and death is bioavailable nitrogen in the form of nitrates.

         

        C to N RATIO

        Maintaining the proper ratio of carbon to nitrogen is important in order to promote the efficient growth and replication of the best aerobic bacteria for the composting process.  Too much nitrogen material can cause an overabundance of anaerobic bacteria, keep temperatures low, smelliness up and slow the composting process.  Too much carbon material (which also tends to have a low moisture content) will also slow the composting process significantly since there isn’t enough nitrogen available for the bacteria to reproduce and utilize the available energy contained in the brown materials. The low moisture content further prevents replication since the ideal environment for bacterial growth tends to be within a thin moisture layer on the surface of the organic matter.

        A C-N ratio of 25:1 to 30:1 is best ratio for quick decomposition.  While it isn’t necessary to be exact with your calculation (typically a 50% greens to 50% browns will work out to about the right overall ratio), getting as close to possible to the ideal range will optimize the breakdown of material, promote the best temperatures to kill seed and pathogens and speed the composting process.

         

        The following table provides typical C to N ratios of common compost materials:

        MATERIAL

        C:N RATIO

        Corn stalks

        50-100:1

        Fruit waste

        35:1

        Grass clippings

        12-25:1

        Hay, green

        25:1

        Leaves, ash, black elder and elm

        21-28:1

        Leaves, pine

        60-100:1

        Leaves, other

        30-80:1

        Manure, horse and cow

        20-25:1

        Paper

        170-200:1

        Sawdust

        200-500:1

        Seaweed

        19:1

        Straw

        40-100:2

        Vegetable waste

        12-25:1

        Weeds

        25:1

        Wood chips

        500-700:1

         

        COMPOSTING PHASES

        There are three main phases that the compost goes through which are differentiated by the temperature of the pile and therefore the type of bacteria that are most active at each temperature.

        The psychrophilic/mesophilic phase lasts about 2-3 days and is characterized by temperatures in the 55°F to 100°F range.  Psychrophilic are most active when the pile is 55°F – 70°F.  Once the internal temperature rises above 70°F, the mesophilic bacteria take over until about 100°F.  During this phase, the bacteria in the pile begin to break down organic matter, producing acids, CO2 and heat.  As the heat builds in the pile, the bacteria begin to die off, paving the way for the next phase of decomposition by the heat loving or thermophilic bacteria.

        The thermophilic phase is characterized by temperatures in the range of 113°F to 160°F and lasts for approximately 3-5 days.  Over this period the temperature continues to rise until stabilizing between 130°F and 140°F.  Temps of 140°F + kill pathogens and seeds.  Once the temperature rises above 140°F the thermophilic bacteria begin to die off and the pile will begin to cool.  If the pile gets too hot (160°F and above) it can become sterilized and the compost will actually lose some of its natural disease fighting capabilities.

        The final phase is curing and maturation which occurs once the bacteria run low on food or oxygen and die off.  During this phase, other organisms take over and break down any remaining organic matter into its constituent parts for easy utilization by the plants.

        Actinomycetes are generally anaerobic bacteria which form filamentous links and branching growth which results in an extensive colony or clumps in the compost pile.  They are best suited to moderate temperatures and break down lignin (helps form the main part of woody tissue, is the second most common component of terrestrial plants), cellulose, starches and proteins. 

        Fungi and molds are also active during the final phase and break down any remaining organic matter as well as cellulose and lignin.

         

        BEST PRACTICES

          1. Build pile in one shot not over time
          • In order for the composting process to start and the temperatures to increase you need to build you pile at one shot with the correct ratio of greens to browns.  Store your kitchen scraps and other greens in a waste bin until you are ready to build the pile then combine the carbon material with the nitrogen material in alternating thin layers.
          1. Air needed for composting bacteria to thrive
          • Turn the pile after the first thermophilic phase, when the temperature of the pile starts to drop. This will introduce air back into the pile and restart the heating process.
          • Use course carbon materials and stack your materials loosely.
          • Ensure you have proper ventilation by building your pile in open air or well ventilated box such as one made from pallets.
          1. Water
          • Optimum range 40 to 60%
          • Material should be damp to the touch
          • Just a couple drops from squeezed handful
          1. Pile size should be ideally 1 meter by 1 meter by 1.5 meters high
          • Insulates from heat loss and improves decomposition speed while remaining manageable for turning the pile
          • Cooler areas will require bigger piles


          BUILDING A THREE-PHASE COMPOSTING SYSTEM

          As I stated at the beginning of this post, your composting system can be as simple or complex as you want to make it.  If you are looking to build a three-bin system (a bin for each phase of the process), your structure can take on any form that will meet all of the above requirements.  Good, inexpensive materials such as pallets work perfect.

          The following link provides a great guideline for building a nice, pest-resistant composting system:

          http://www.metrovancouver.org/about/publications/Publications/CompostBinConstructionPlan-ThreeBin.pdf

           

          ADDITIONAL REFERENCES:

          http://www.plantea.com/compost.htm

          http://www.metrovancouver.org/about/publications/Publications/CompostBinConstructionPlan-ThreeBin.pdf

          http://suite101.com/article/how-hot-composting-works--microbiology-a210094

          http://deepgreenpermaculture.com/diy-instructions/hot-compost-composting-in-18-days/

          http://web.extension.illinois.edu/homecompost/science.cfm

          http://pathmicro.med.sc.edu/fox/nutrition.htm

          SOIL PREPARATION is the foundation of any successful garden.  Too often, the eagerness to get our seeds in the ground, to watch those first sprouts reach up towards the sky – soaking in the sun’s rays – exclaiming victory to the gardener in our quest to create new life, sustenance and nutrition for our family causes us to neglect the most basic (and often the most labor intensive) component of the process – dirt.

          Some years ago, I was in wine country in Rutherford, California on a tour of an organic vineyard.  As friends of the owner, our group was invited on a personal tour through the vegetable garden and then out into the vineyard.  While at the edge of the property, the proud vintner grabbed a shovel that had been left resting on a fence line and handed it to a member of our party.  He asked her to scoop a shovel-full of soil from between the rows of cabernet.  She gently pushed the spade into the ground and came up with a rich, dark, loamy scoop of the subterranean ecosystem.  We were each asked to grab a handful and run it through our fingers, to smell it and describe it.  The soil was alive.  It smelled earthy and moist, felt warm and sifted smoothly between our fingers.

          The vintner then asked the woman from my tour group to walk ten steps over the property line into the neighboring, non-organic vineyard and take a scoop-full of their soil.  The tip of the shovel bounced off the hard-packed dirt with a metallic clang.  He explained to us how this was the direct result of using chemical fertilizers versus promoting a living, rich biosphere in the soil and surrounding environment.  While the purpose that day was to promote the full flavor of their organic cabernet sauvignon (which I tested and retested to the greatest extent of my abilities), the same principals apply to all cultivation.

           

          FERTILIZERS come in two basic flavors – chemical and organic.  Fertilizers are used when the soil’s natural nutrient density is not enough to sustain the growth of the plants being cultivated.  This is even more crucial in the case of vegetables and other food plants because of the rapid rate at which they grow.

          Chemical fertilizers are made by isolating and concentrating the primary nutrients Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash from natural ingredients through mechanical or chemical processes.  Because you don’t need to wait for natural processes to break them down, they are immediately available for use by the plants.  While this provides you with the ability to be extremely accurate in their application, it does nothing for the soil itself.  In fact, the high concentrations and application methods often result in the complete destruction of the local soil ecology and can even leach into neighboring soil and ground water.  This hard-packed, dense dirt prevents the plants from developing a healthy, deep root structure, making them reliant upon frequent reapplication of the chemical fertilizers, increasing water runoff and killing beneficial microbes which would otherwise create and store additional nutrients for the plants.

          Organic fertilizers, by contrast, are derived from naturally occurring ingredients which have undergone little to no processing.  They are sourced from mineral and biological materials such as salts (Epsom, saltpeter), fish emulsion, bone and blood meal, decomposed plant material and animal manure.  Since the nutrients in organic materials are locked in the biological or chemical structures, they are typically slow-release fertilizers requiring natural processes (chemical and biological) to break them down.  Some of these processes include exposure to sun, air and water, microbial fermentation, and invertebrate digestion (worms and insects).

          Organic fertilizers can be further described in two flavors of their own: “hot” and “cold”.  A “hot” fertilizer is one which has a high ratio of the three key nutrients (nitrogen “N”, phosphate “P” and potash “K”) to their carbon and moisture content.  The high concentration of nitrogen can “burn” the plants, causing withering of leaves, stunted growth and death.  Because of this, hot fertilizers need to first be composted with other carbon-rich materials such as straw, wood chips or other plant matter thereby allowing natural processes to break down and distribute the nutrients at lower concentrations throughout the whole of the material.  Alternately, “cold” fertilizers have a much higher ratio of carbon and moisture to N, P and K, which allows them to be placed right onto or mixed into the planting area without first being composted.

          As demonstrated by my alcohol fueled lesson in Northern California’s wine country, organic fertilizers are far superior to chemical fertilizers, primarily due to their additional benefit of providing composition - organic and inorganic – to the soil, which helps to hold in moisture, provide structure, and create a healthy ecological niche for microbes and other life.  A chemical fertilizer, due to its caustic concentration, can kill any piece of the subterranean biosphere and collapse the entire local web of life in the single metallic clank of a shovel.

          Which brings us to rabbit poop.

           

          RABBIT POOP REALLY IS THE SHIT.  As reflected in the table below, it’s saturated in nitrogen that promotes healthy leaf growth, high in phosphorous which is needed for flowering and setting fruit or vegetables, and contains many beneficial trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, boron, zinc, manganese, sulfur, copper, and cobalt.  Because it is a cold fertilizer, its application directly to the soil provides excellent structure.

           

           

          NUTRIENT BREAKDOWN OF SOME COMMON MANURES:

          MANURES

          % NITROGEN

          % PHOSPHATE

          % POTASH

          Rabbit (fresh)

          2.4

          1.4

          0.6

          Bat

          6.0

          9.0

          3.0

          Cow (fresh)

          0.6

          0.4

          0.5

          Cow (dry)

          1.2

          2.0

          2.1

          Chicken (fresh)

          0.9

          0.5

          0.5

          Chicken (dry)

          1.6

          1.8

          2.0

          Hog (fresh)

          0.6

          0.3

          0.4

          Hog (dry)

          2.2

          2.1

          1.0

          Horse (fresh)

          0.6

          0.3

          0.5

          Turkey (fresh)

          1.3

          0.7

          0.5

           

          © Erv Evans | Consumer Horticulturist | NC State University

          For me, one of the key elements of sustainable permaculture on any scale is simplicity.  I love rabbit poop because it is readily available (assuming one has rabbits (or access to them) – the benefits of which I will explore in a future post), requires no curing time before use, doesn’t smell and is packaged into little skittles of convenience.  Worms love it too!  I sprinkle mine directly around the base of the plant.  As I water, the decomposing manure mulches into the soil in a perfect slow release throughout the growing season.

          APPLICATION METHODS:

          • Direct application of pellets
          • Compost tea
          • Compost pile
          • Worm towers

          RISKS:

          • Minimal disease/parasite risk as with similar manures.

          BENEFITS:

          • Plant nutrition
          • Waste disposal
          • Rabbit meat
          • Worm cultivation

          References:

          http://crossroadsrabbitry.com/rabbit-manure-info/

          http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/quickref/fertilizer/nutrient_content.html

          http://riseandshinerabbitry.com/2012/03/31/the-benefits-and-uses-of-rabbit-manure/