Wednesday, March 6, 2019

School Winter Gardens

From time to time, as I travel around for my job, I have the splendid opportunity to view the gardens that are grown at various elementary schools. Here are a couple of the winter gardens that I have been able to visit.

The first set of pictures is from a garden that I saw recently in the Lafayette area.

Here are some winter greens or radishes. I'm not exactly sure.

Pictured here are some collards some spinach and some swiss chard.

Here is a loose head of Romanesco Broccoli

 A better view of the Swiss Chard

And there seems to be some kind of collard greens or other winter vegetable from the cabbage family.

This second group of photos is from a row of pea vines grown at an elementary school in Martinez. Some of the flowers are quite beautiful.

 I hope that as each of you prepares for this upcoming gardening season, that you are able to get everything ready and that you enjoy your garden.

Seller's Remorse

Though I really do love the cucumber varieties that I grow, my ability to sustain my little hobby Cucumber Shop is very limited.

I really enjoy working to provide a high-quality product to others. It is no piece of cake to run a little hobby business. The amount of work needed to run the physical business while still enjoying the varieties I grow can be daunting. There is the acquisition or production of high-quality seed, there is the seed storage and keeping proper inventory, there is making of seed packets, figuring out shipping, dealing with selling on Etsy, shipping out at inconvenient times, there is the recent creation of a high-quality website and much much more.

After receiving a poor review on Etsy, in which the customer stated that the seed he purchased had 25% germination, I messaged and emailed the customer multiple times to take care of the problem. Then, after refunding the total purchase including shipping, I checked seed germination on a neighboring seed packet of the same seed and sent the following note with a replacement seed packet in a padded envelope:

Though I do all I can, the review remains. Etsy only shows reviews that took place in the last 12 months – meaning that each product in my Etsy shop is rated exclusively on that one poor review. 

Testing Germination for seed that a customer said germinated poorly.

Honestly, I’m not sure how many years I will be able to sell my carosello and other cucumber seed varieties, but I am happy to continue to do so as long as I am able to. At times, it is very disheartening when this kind of thing happens – especially when there is little I can do to fix the problem. Perhaps I’ll close my Etsy shop for a while and try again later.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Tondo Barese Sementi

After growing out the Tondo Barese this year, I finally have a supply of seed to last me a little while.

Altogether, I have saved 329 grams or 11 5/8 ounces, or over 72% of a pound.

My Tondo Barese was pretty consistent. One of the white carosello was incredibly big (well over 2 pounds), but altogether all of my plants grew rather well.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Growing with Soil Blocks

If you enjoy starting tomatoes, you grow many different varieties and you are always short on space, I would definitely suggest trying out soil blocks. I use something a lot like the 2" Ladbrooke Soil Blocker. I also have the miniature blocker for lettuce seeds, though it almost never seems to work very well. I believe the 2" is a lot more of a manageable and forgiving size to work with.

Though other vegetables can be started in soil blocks, tomato plants seem to do exceptionally well in them. Here are a few pictures of last year's tomato plants in soil blocks. I believe most of them are the Hahms Gelbe with the two taller tomatoes being a Redhouse Freestanding tomato plants.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas season!
A snowman courtesy of some mature Carosello Tondo Barese.