Upcoming Events

Sweet Potatoes Slip Sale 2016

sweet_potatoes_3.jpg

Sweet Potato Slip Sale

June 11th and 12th, 2016

8:00 to 6:00 pm

 Red Wagon Plants greenhouses

2408 Shelburne Falls Rd  * Hinesburg, VT

Proceeds from the sale benefit the educational programs of Vermont Community Garden Network.

For more information, call 482-4060

Sweet potatoes can be grown in Vermont. Under ideal conditions they thrive and can yield up to 5 pounds per slip. During this benefit sale, we will be selling sweet potato slips in 4" pots, with three slips per pot. These get transplanted 18" apart, in loose, well drained soil. You can also grow them in containers. They like warm, southern exposure, and can be trellised to save space.

Here are some resources for more information on Sweet Potatoes:

The Vermont Community Garden Network has information on their programs and the sweet potato sale here.

This  article on the Mother Earth News website highlights growing methods for northern gardeners and best ways to store the tubers.

 Here is a photo essay on how some ingenious customers are growing their sweet potatoes in Starksboro.

Recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Fries with Herbs

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch batons

3 TBS olive oil

salt and pepper

1/3 cup finely chopped parsley, chives, and or cilantro

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 small pinch of cayenne

1 tsp lemon juice

  • Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place 2 large cookie sheets in the oven so they are pre-heated as well
  • Toss the cut sweet potatoes with the olive oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl
  • Arrange them on the hot pans in a single layer.
  • Roast for 20 minutes, and flip them over with a spatula, and return to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until tender and browned.
  • Meanwhile, toss the herbs, garlic, cayenne and lemon juice together in the same bowl
  • When the hot fries come out of the oven, sprinkle the herb mixture on the fries and serve immediately

Growing Instructions for Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato slips are cuttings that come from a parent vine. The slips grow best in a loose, sandy or silty soil that drains well. If sweet potatoes are grown in a rich dark soil they may discolor but are still good to eat. • Transplant the slips into garden beds during June, preferably in the late afternoon or on an overcast day. When transplanting, lay the slips on their sides with 2/3 of the slip buried a half inch under the soil. Water enough to keep the soil moist, but not saturated. • Plant the slips 10 to 18 inches apart in rows that are three to four feet apart. The rows or raised bed should be elevated 4 to 8 inches above the ground level to allow the sweet potatoes room to form. • Keep the cuttings watered while they are getting established. The leaves that were originally on the planted slips will dry up and fall off leaving just the vine stem. New leaves will emerge from the cuttings as the slips become established. • The sweet potato vines will cover the ground reaching 5 to 10 feet in length. Hoe around the vines to cultivate weeds and mulch with hay if desired. • Deer love sweet potato leaves, so be sure your planting area is fenced if deer are aproblem. A flying gold colored beetle may chew round holes in the leaves. The vines are tough and will keep growing despite insect damage. • Sweet potatoes are dug and harvested in late September through mid October, a day or two before the first predicted frost. Most of the sweet potatoes will be just below the parent plant. Each plant can produce up to six sweet potatoes. • After harvesting, dry the sweet potatoes on the ground for two or three hours. Allow them another 10 to 14 days to cure at room temperature or above, before storing the sweet potatoes at a temperature between 50 and 60 degrees F. • Unlike Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes should not be kept cold in a garage, refrigerator or outbuilding. If properly cured and stored, they will keep until April. Enjoy!

Mothers' Day

We are loaded with great gift ideas for Mothers' Day this year. We have added so many new succulents, sempervivum and sedums that make great planters, houseplants or can be added to the landscape. Succulents are generally grown in containers in our climate, and come in many textures, colors and forms. They can make great houseplants in the winter and love spending the summer outside in a pot. Sempervivum are also known as hens and chicks....they are those cute rosette shaped plants that grow in rock gardens or along stone paths and in patios. We have about 7 kinds of those and it is fun to pick and choose for funky designs. And we have about 12 kinds of sedums this year. These come in a vast array of sizes and shapes from little 2 inch tall rock garden plants to huge 3 foot tall perennials that make a statement in the garden May through November. For the mom who wants to homestead or grow more of the family's food, we have berry patches and fruit orchards waiting to happen - peach, pear, plum trees; raspberry plants that produce in summer and fall; 8 kinds of blueberries; blackberries; hazelnuts; hops; grapes; currants; and gooseberries. And strawberries too, including a really nice French one called 'Mara des Bois' - it has been bred in France for the past 30 years or so to have extraordinarily sweet and fragrant strawberry flavor. It produces fruit all summer long, and can be grown in a big pot on the deck or in a strawberry patch. We also have strawberries growing in hanging baskets for a fun surprise snack all summer long.

For the mom who likes to be adventurous in the kitchen, we can help put together a delicious selection of herbs that will make cooking easier and full of flavor. We can even recommend a variety of mints (we grow 8 kinds) for making interesting cocktails, teas, or using in desserts.

For the traditional mom, we have lots and lots of lovely hanging baskets that will brighten the entryway and bring a splash of color to the home all summer long. We also have the right fertilizer and plant care tips to keep the plants looking good in the heat and straight through fall.

For the mom without much gardening space, we have really nice cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes that are in big 3 gallon pots with a bamboo trellis. With the right compost based fertilizer, they can keep growing and producing all summer long right in their pots on the deck or balcony.

For the choosy mom, we can always provide you with a gift card that will make her happy every time she comes in.

Earth Day Children's Concert and Celebration

With vacation week just around the corner, we're excited to invite children to the greenhouses on Earth Day, April 22, for a free children's concert and fun activities from 9 AM to 1 PM.

At 11 AM, beloved local musician Mister Chris will perform, debuting songs from his newly-released album Family Archive, and featuring old favorites, too.

Check out his music at www.musicforsprouts.com and https://soundcloud.com/musicforsprouts.

Other activities include: make-your-own herb butter at 9:30, a greenhouse tour at 10:00 and a tour of Family Cow Farmstand at noon to meet the newly born calves.  And children can paint-and-plant a pot throughout the event. We have lots of adorable pansies for them to pick out.

 For more information, visit

redwagonplants.com

or email heather@redwagonplants.com.

  We're looking forward to this fun-filled event! The sandbox is filled and the greenhouses are full of color.....come explore.

Celebrate Spring with us at our Cocktail Party and Greenhouse Tour Friday April 18th, 5pm to 7pm

Please join us April 18th, our opening day, for an evening tour of the greenhouses and a cocktail party with our friends from Caledonia Spirits. We will start at 5:00, take a walk around the greenhouses at 6:00, and get to see old and new friends to kick off our season with a spring celebration. Heidi Mahoney will be serving up some delicious herb-themed snacks, Caledonia Spirits will be serving sample tastes of their award winning vodka and gin, and we will have a cash bar featuring a special cocktail made with our herbs and more of that special gin and vodka.

I first met Todd Hardie, owner of Caledonia Spirits, in 2001. At the time, he had another very special business called Honey Garden Apiaries. Todd and his staff kept bee yards throughout the Champlain Valley and the St Lawrence Valley and they would extract the honey and bottle it raw and unfiltered. It was the most powerful food, full of the bees' adventures and vitality. His operation was based right next to where Red Wagon Plants is currently located. When I needed a little something extra to do that winter 15 years ago, a friend suggested I talk to Todd about helping him with extracting honey. I fell in love with honey and made a life long friend. As Todd would say, it was a fruit example of cross-pollination as our conversations were instantly filled with all of the possibilities of plants, honey, bees, and all of the various ways these things can interplay. Todd's creativity, energy and brilliance have no bounds. He went on to make incredible plant and honey based medicines as part of his business, which was part apiary and part apothecary. While he has moved on to the world of finely distilled spirits, one thing has not changed: Todd is always making products that vibrate with the powerful energy of bees, plants and people. There is an inspired quality in all he makes that can be tasted and felt, and that sets it apart from all the others. 

Please let us know you are coming so that we can plan accordingly. RSVP.

Please join us for a special evening and help kick off the 2014 garden season with a wonderful celebration. 

- Julie and the crew

Gerard's Bread Club

This year we will again be offering a weekly share of Gerard’s Bread!

Gerard Rubaud is Julie’s father and bakes wonderful bread in his wood-fired oven.

He uses a fermentation method that relies on wild (as opposed to commercial) yeast for leavening. The method, traditional in France, involves culturing grains, flour and water to produces a natural starter called levain. He grinds many of his ingredients from whole grains, including rye, spelt and wheat. About a quarter of his dough is comprised of these freshly ground grains, the remainder is white flour. It is simply delicious!

 How the Bread Share works:

  • Prepay for 12 weeks, from April 19th to July 19th
  • Pickups are on Saturday the bread is usually here at Red Wagon by noon.
  • It costs $84.00 for the share, ($6 per loaf).
  • If you can’t make it on Saturday for pick up we will hold your bread until Sunday evening. Or ask a friend to adopt your loaf!

If you are interested, please send us an email (julie@redwagonplants.com) or send a check made out to Red Wagon Plants to 2408 Shelburne Falls Rd Hinesburg, VT 05461.

Thanks!

OPEN HOUSE

OPEN HOUSE

Saturday, December 7, 2013

9 am to noon

 

Please come by for a visit in winter....see what we are up to this time of year, and enjoy a stroll through our indoor herb garden. We will have some houseplants and potted herbs for sale, gift certificates, and cut culinary herbs.....and we will have some warm tea and herb-themed nibbles.

We love to visit with  our friends and customers during the off-season, so please stop in!