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'Thelma Sanders' Acorn Squash- Cucurbita pepo What an impressive little heirloom. These girls totally got the shaft in my garden this year, but they never seemed to notice. They were planted in the partial shade of a mugo pine, near the grassy perimeter of the garden, and more densely than I would have liked. Still they performed great! They got an average of 6 hours of full sun each day. I planted four 18” diameter mounds, thinning to 2-3 plants per mound. The mounds were 3' apart. The vines were vigorous and all stayed healthy, no squash bugs or the...

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Two New Turkish VarietiesThis past season we were so excited to team up with Two Seeds in a Pod to grow two exciting Turkish cucurbits:Badem MelonKilis CucumberTwo Seeds in a Pod is a unique seed company specializing in both Turkish/Anatolian and Appalachain seed varieties. Many of the Turkish varieties they grow, including these two,were commercially introduced to the U.S. by them!  'Badem' melon is a stuffing/pickling melon from Turkey, and we just loved it growing it! It's not a sweet melon, but has a lovely, fresh cucumber taste.  It's very juicy and produces early in the season.  When pickling, pick them young.  When...

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10 Steps to Great GarlicFall is the time to plant garlic and shallots!Growing great garlic is a relatively simple, follow these few steps will have you turning out beautiful heads next summer!1.  Plant individual cloves with the root side down 2-3 inches deep and 12" apart September through November, depending on your climate.  Wait until after your first frost, but before the ground freezes.  It's a pretty forgiving time frame compared to other crops, but garlic that has had a little time to get roots growing will be more frost tolerant when it comes time for deep freezes.  Cloves planted...

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Bee WatchingReady to do some bee watching this year?  One reason we love growing seed crops is that you get to see a plant through it's whole lifecycle- from seed through to flower and fruit and back to seed.  Having lots of plants flowering affords lots of opportunities for pollinator and bee watching.  One of our favorite insects to watch is bumble bees- and it's probably yours too!Did you know you can turn your bumble bee watching into data that can be used to help track and conserve bumble bee populations?  The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation has an ongoing citizen science project called...

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We love growing dry peas!  Dry peas are such a great staple food for the winter months, they're relatively easy to grow and clean, and many varieties- such a 'Wild Pea of Umbria' - don't require much in the way of fertilizer.  Eat them split or whole, cooked in soups or stews.   One of the few difficulties with growing a successful dry pea crop is pea weevils.  Adult pea weevils feed on pollen in the pea flowers. They mate and lay their eggs on the developing pea pod.  Larva emerge from the eggs and bore into the pod and feed on the...

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