September means…

…a fantastic time to get your plants and bulbs in for the following years. Check out this article.

Fall Planting Gives Your Landscape a Healthy Head Start

by Greg Moberg of Allisonville Nursery
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The weather is turning cooler, which means it’s time to get out in the yard and do some planting – right?

While it might sound counterintuitive, the best time to plant a new tree, shrub or perennial actually is in the fall. When a plant is put into the ground in autumn, it may be facing the cold above ground; but in the Midwest, root growth continues until deep soil temperature drops below 40 degrees.

If you plant a shrub in spring, it must acclimate itself to its new home and begin growing immediately. At the same time, it has to produce leaves, flowers, and then endure the rapidly arriving summer heat.

Plant the same shrub in fall, and it will become happily dormant above ground soon after planting. But the roots will have several months to grow and become comfortable and strong in their new home.

When spring arrives, the plant is established and ready to put out strong leaves, new growth, and lots of flowers! Fall planting gives your plant’s roots a wonderful head start.

For newly planted and established plants, fall fertilization is very important. If you only fertilize once a year, do it in the fall.

Spring is still when you’ll find the greatest selection of shrubs and trees. But most nurseries and garden centers are beginning to recognize the value of fall planting and making special efforts to provide their customers with the best selection throughout the fall and early winter season.

When selecting those special plants for your landscape, look for healthy, well-grown plants. Always buy from a reputable nursery with an experienced staff. These nurseries are in the business of selling service year-round. In turn, they depend on loyal customers’ continued confidence in their business.

Plants come in a vast array of shapes, sizes, colors, but the most important thing to consider is the quality of what you’re purchasing. It’s important to inspect plants individually. Shopping by phone or looking for the cheapest price can be a costly mistake when it comes to buying new landscape plants. Many times you will find that not all nurseries and garden centers are created equal.

A new tree or shrub can be a large physical investment. Why not give your new plant the best possible chance of survival? Get outside and take advantage of this fall planting season!

(A version of this article has appeared on Allisonville Nursery’s website.)

And don’t forget native plants. Come on down to the Market this Saturday and pick up some perennial and native treasures from our vendors. Our knowledgeable growers can give you the planting and care tips for each plant you buy. Some of these won’t be around much longer so don’t wait another weekend to spruce up your garden and landscape. See ya at the Market!

High Tunnel Cool Season Workshop 8/23

htunnelHigh Tunnel Cool Season Crop Production &
Harvesting & Handling of Fresh Produce Workshop Series, Part 2
 
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
9 AM – 3:30 PM
TCCC Center for Applied Technology
2415 Airport Road
Marble, NC 28905
The morning session will include a farm vist to a local commercial organic farm. You will experience first hand best on­farm practices when Harvesting & Handling of Fresh Produce. Then you will return to the classroom and learn how to identify the following food safety risks:
  • On farm food safety hazards when harvesting & handling fresh produce.
  • Flow on the Farm the order in which you work on the farm. Identifying potential cross contamination risks in small farm production with multiple farm products.
The afternoon session will focus on Cool Season High Tunnel Crop Production including a hands on field trip to the Cherokee Co. CoOp Ext. High Tunnel Site.
  • Basic high tunnel management for cool season crops
  • Cool season crop/variety selections
  • Transitioning into warm season crop production
  • Bed construction including row spacing (hands on)
  • Proper planting procedures for transplants & direct seeding (hands on)
Class Instructors
 
Diane Ducharme ­-  NCSU Ext., Associate in Horticulture & Food Safety GAPs Program Coordinator
Gena S. Moore ­- Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Organic Research Coordinator
Jon Miller ­- Miller Farms, USDA Certified Organic Farm, Marble, NC
This is no cost workshop & lunch is included. 
Seating is limited. Please RSVP to Christina Newhouse at 8283612266 or email:wnchightunnel@gmail.com
This workshop is the 2nd in a series of 3 workshops addressing the topics of marketing, multi season crop production, financial planning, and practical applications for fresh produce safety. The workshop dates are July 12, Aug. 23, and Dec. 6. The December workshop will close the series with a 3 county farm services and local resources Expo.
Partners:  Smoky Mountain High Tunnel Initiative; NC Cooperative Extension, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Tri County Community College

Sponsored by:  USDA, NRCS

Robert Craig Mauney, NC Extension Area Specialized Agent
Commercial Vegetable & Fruit Production
Western North Carolina Counties
Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center
455 Research Drive
Mills River, NC 28759
Office phone: 828-684-3562, Extension 129
Cell: 828-989-7900
Fax: 828-684-8715
rcmauney@ncsu.edu

Summertime is the right time for (anything but) soda

Alright, but it has to be something cool and refreshing that involves a big glass with lots and lots of ice.

What about iced tea then, America’s favorite? I like blending different herbs, fruits and teas together just to experience new flavors. Pineapple Sage Herb Farm (one of our Market vendors) sells amazing blends of tea. We like to add fresh strawberries to their Ginger Lemon Tea. A few ice cubes and a sprig of mint and voila! The perfect way to shut out the heat and humidity.

Try these other blends from Pineapple Sage: Licorice Mint, Hibiscus (paired with lemon balm leaves or lavender) and Blue Eyes, a very special tea combining hibiscus, rose hips and citrus. So refreshing. Add to mineral water for a very different sensation.

And if you need more inspiration for these ‘dog’ days of August, try some additional ideas from Real Food Media to soothe a parched throat without resorting to the too sugary/too expensive option of soda.

ROSEMARY BLACKBERRY SPRITZERSRosemary Blackberry Spritzers

Serves 3
INGREDIENTS
  1. 3 cups seltzer water
  2. 1 lime
  3. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  4. 1 cup blackberries (½ cup fresh, ½ cup frozen)
  5. 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a bowl, combine seltzer water, the juice of 1 lime, and maple syrup
  2. Mash ½ cup of fresh blackberries in a cup
  3. Then add the blackberry mash to a large jar, along with the seltzer water mix, and rosemary sprigs. Make sure to bruise some of the rosemary stems to release the flavors.
  4. When ready to serve, pour into glasses and top with frozen blackberries. Garnish with rosemary.

Click below to find more thirst-quenching ideas you can sip while you listen to the Real Food Media book of the month interview with Marion Nestle. Salut!

Soda Politics Header

 

Join us for Taste of the Market 8.13 (that’s tomorrow!)

At the Market this Saturday: another day of bountiful produce from beans to eggplants and squash to tomatoes and peppers, zukes, cukes and melons, and nearly everything you could want. We’ve also have honey, pork, lamb, beef, and goat as well as dairy products and mozzarella and goat cheese. Add in herbs and spices, and take some blueberries home before they’re all gone. Pottery, botanical specialties, cleaning products, beautiful bird feeders and wood crafts await you. (It’s not too early to think about holiday gifts.) Some of the vendors will have samples for you so take time to visit with each one. Family Art at The Market will be here for the younger set.
It’s also Market Feast Saturday and Neil Dawson and friends will be offering you some very fine green tomato delights from fried green tomatoes to sweet or savory pies. You won’t want to miss this unique culinary array. Paired with Backwoods Bakery bread and a cold root beer from Heinzelmannchen brewery and the day is complete. Market Feast is from 10am-12 on a donation basis.
  

Wouldn’t it be great to take home some of the simply amazing items found here each week?  Well, now you can with the Taste of the Market Sampler Basket.

The Basket is one of four raffle items that will be on display at the Information desk.  You have four chances to win: one of two (2) insulated market bags– indispensable for shopping–from ASAP;  a lovely handcrafted wooden bench from Moonshine Mountain Candles; or, the Sampler–a twig basket filled with superb items from various vendors including: aromatherapy spritzer and herbal lip balm from Kathy’s Garden; handmade bracelet and doggie treats from Full Spectrum Farms; Paula’s note cards and birthday card; lavender and tea tree hand soap courtesy of Clean Slate; a quart of fine honey from Bud’s Bees; pottery from Ladybug Farms Pottery; two specialty soaps from Herbal Ridge, and, rose and lavender sachets compliments of Pineapple Sage who also donated the twig basket. All proceeds support your Farmers Market so be sure to come to the Information booth for your tickets. 

Thanks for all your support.  Get your raffle tickets at the Information Booth. You need not be present to win. See ya at the Market! taste raffle items

There is a story waiting to be told at the Farmers Market

When you shop at the Farmers Market, or just browse along the tents and tailgates, don’t you have a burning desire to delve deeply into the minds and hearts of those vendors? Did you stop to think that maybe they are just as interested in getting to know you?  That’s one of the major differences between a market and a Farmers Market. Whether you’re contemplating how to serve up yard long beans or searching for some herbal salve to soothe the chigger bites, each and every vendor and product is a story waiting to be shared.  Learning the story behind what they sell opens a highway of information for you the customer as well as the vendor.

Here are some conversation starters for your next visit to the Market courtesy of Carolina Farm Stewards 

BASIC:

1.   Why do you farm?

2.   How do you decide which products to grow?

3.   What kind of fertilizers do you use?

4.   How do you deal with your weeds? insects? diseases?

5.   Do you grow all the products that you sell?

6.   Do you have any recipe recommendations/suggestions?

LIVESTOCK:

1.   What type of livestock do you manage?

2.   How do you feed them? What do you feed them? Do you use organic feed?

3.   Do you use hormones? antibiotics?

4.   Do you provide them with access to the outdoors? Are they pasture based, free   range, or confined?

5.   How do you process your animals? Do you do it or does someone else?

VALUE-ADDED GOODS (jams, baked goods, canned goods, etc…):

1.   Do you grow all your raw ingredients? If no, where do you get your supplemental   ingredients? Are they local/organic?

2.   How do you prepare, store, cook your products?

3.   Where did you learn your craft?

4.   Why do you sell at the farmers market?

And meet our vendors

Check out all our vendors for this season and we’ll see ya at the Market!

The happiest problem of summer…

Feeling ‘buried alive’ in tomatoes and peppers, cucumbers and of course, zucchini? Or canning like the next Ice Age is fast approaching? Yep, it’s August in Appalachia and the mounds of produce piled on tables by our Market vendors each week reminds us there is work to be done.

Preserve

Vintage poster credit: Carter Housh

To help you enjoy  this season of plenty, here are a few suggested websites to get you started. New to food preserving like canning and drying? Contact the local Extension Office for information on safe food handling. Always read the instructions on proper canning and freezing methods of various fruits and vegetables. The Ball® Blue Book has been the standard written guide to food preservation for decades.

If you’re like me and see everything in the garden as a potential pickle, then Serious Eats is for you. Check out 23 Pickle Recipes We Love.

No time to spare? Then take the fast way and freeze your bounty. This is a great site with plenty of photos and step by step instructions on freezing things I never thought were possible. Frozen avocados anyone?

Whenever our herb garden is starting to look like something out of the Little Shop of Horrors, I dash out with my scissors, trim back everything to a manageable size, and in a few hours in the dehydrator, I’ve got a years supply of thyme, basil, lemon balm, sage. And drying is the oldest and easiest method of food preservation. There are so many ways to use herbs not just sprinkled in our food but in vinegar,  seasoning salts and rubs.

And yes, who can live without Pinterest.

When you’re at the Market, ask our vendors how they use or preserve some of their produce. Some of them may have recipes to share. Check in with our botanical crafters to learn the many ways to combine herbs for beauty and health. Don’t use sugar? No problem. You can even make pickles with  honey  and our bee vendors have some of the best around.

Now that you’re primed for filling that pantry, get yourself down to the Market this Saturday and load up with your favorites during one of THE best times of the summer. Onward!

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