Year in Review 2017 - Good News Report.

2017, garden wise, started off so rainy and cold, but then took a nice turn with a mild and extended fall. Some of those summer crops were able to keep producing into November which made up for the late start.  It was a year when the garden provided respite and much needed beauty and escape from the news out there. Tending our little corner of the earth always feels like just the thing. 

We grew some flowers for beneficial insects in our herb greenhouse. So beautiful and practical. The good bugs live and eat here and venture out to eat the bad bugs. We make a cozy habitat for them and in return they make a quick lunch of thrips, aphids, and white flies. 

We grew some flowers for beneficial insects in our herb greenhouse. So beautiful and practical. The good bugs live and eat here and venture out to eat the bad bugs. We make a cozy habitat for them and in return they make a quick lunch of thrips, aphids, and white flies. 

On a personal note, we sold our home and moved so our home garden was lost mid-way through summer. Our new house is cozy and just right. A perfect place to call home, right near the banks of Otter Creek. We can literally walk down the sidewalk, row boat in tow for a sunset tour on the river. 

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And while I had to say goodbye to one home garden, the Red Wagon trial garden did well and provided an abundant harvest of produce and flowers for late summer. We tried a few new cut flower varieties this year and included those in the Red Wagon garden - Scabiosas 'Fama Blue', 'Fama White', 'Salmon Rose', and 'Oxford Blue';  Lisianthus 'Roseanne Deep Brown' and 'Doublini Blue', and Asclepias currassavica 'Silky Formula Mix'. These were so productive in a relatively small amount of space. Look for more cut flower varieties from us in 2018....these have been a steadily growing category for us and in recent years they have really taken off. And they are so fun to grow! 

Scabiosa 'Salmon Rose'

Scabiosa 'Salmon Rose'

In the vegetable department, I was again impressed with how productive the broccolini, Happy Rich, can be. I was able to harvest new shoots and buds all spring, summer and fall 2 to 3 times a week. These are delicious raw or in stir fries or steamed. The stems are tender and sweet and never turn tough or bitter. I also grew an onion variety that is early and very productive - New York Early yellow onion. I used to grow this quite a bit in my vegetable farming days, but have not seen the seed in catalogs in recent years. Well, it is back, and it is a great onion to add to your garden plan next year. It is ready a good 2 to 3 weeks before other yellow onions and it stores well. The tomatoes we tried from Wild Boar Farm tomato breeder Bradley Gates were all beautiful. The extra delicious ones were Solar Flare, Berkeley Tie Dye and Brad's Black Heart. Those are all making a come back in 2018 along with a few other new tomatoes. Our full plant list will be out in January, so please check back for that later.  

Wishing you all a warm and happy new year. 

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We successfully moved our herb farm from rented land in Charlotte to the land near the greenhouses in Hinesburg. We are in the process of building tunnels that will protect the herbs spring and summer and fall. While the soil there is pretty solid clay, we have been able to amend it successfully with our beautiful compost made from plants, garden waste and spent potting soil. From solid clay to solid gold. 

We have prepped the soil ahead of time for next  year. Raised beds that will be permanently in place to provide our herbs with good drainage and looser soil in the root zone. 

We have prepped the soil ahead of time for next  year. Raised beds that will be permanently in place to provide our herbs with good drainage and looser soil in the root zone. 

And we built a new wash station for packing the herbs and other future projects. It is a nice and cozy space, right next to Family Cow Farmstand. 

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Lettuce, Raddichio and Escarole in November.

Lettuce, Raddichio and Escarole in November.

We are so looking forward to next spring. Already, our attentions are turned to new gardens, new varieties, and new people. This time of reflection and transition from one year to the next is filled with gratitude for me. Thank you customers, friends, and all the fine people who make up Team Red Wagon.