October 2011

2011 Photo Contest Winners



1st Place Winner: "Torch Tithonia"
Maggie Ferguson, Auburn Hills, MI

Congratulations to our first place winner Maggie Ferguson  of Auburn Hills, MI for her beautiful image of our heirloom "Torch" Tithonia - a butterfly magnet.

Maggie wrote: "One of my favorites for tall striking color along a fence. Torch assumes the aspects of a stained glass window when viewed from the underside of its bright orange petals."


          Runner Up:  “Sunzilla Sunflower"

       Kimberly Diffenderfer, Sunbury, PA
"I plant a wide variety of flowers, veggies and fruit after starting them in my hobby greenhouse. I keep everyone in my family well stocked with plants."

        Runner Up: “Bright Lights Chard"

                    Meighan Makarchuk
           New Westminster, B.C., Canada

"These are worth growing for the colour alone, simply stunning! Delicious too.  A welcome addition to my vegetable garden!"

   Runner Up: “Lemon Queen Sunflower

            Lorrie Cook,  Farmingdale, NY
"I live in the garden; I just sleep in the house."
 -Jim Long

More New for 2012 Intros: "Wasabi" Arugula and "Raspberry Sorbet" Zinnias

"Wasabi" Arugula

Brand new unique wild arugula leaves have an incredibly delicious and spicy flavor exactly like freshly made wasabi paste. Easy to grow with pretty edible flowers. More weather tolerant than other arugulas.

"Raspberry Sorbet" Zinnia

Vibrant raspberry-tinted, fully double blossoms borne on vigorous branching plants. Easy to grow, free flowering and beautiful for both borders and  rich colored bouquets. Butterflies adore them.


Fall Sowing

"Honey Nut" butternut squash

October in the Trial Garden
 by Lindsay Del Carlo, Trial Garden Manager

All of our fall sowings are complete and sprouting up vigorously; some good early rain showers mixed with warm, sunny fall weather makes a perfect recipe for good germination. We are growing many varieties this fall: arugula, beets, heading broccoli, broccoli raab, three varieties of carrots, rainbow swiss chard, cabbage, cauliflower, dill, fennel, kale, leeks, five varieties of lettuce, mild mustard greens, bunching onions, parsley, sugar snap peas, snow peas, and shelling peas, radish, and spinach.

We have to protect all of our fall seedlings from birds and use bird netting supported by 3/4 inch irrigation tubing that is held down with landscape staples. We also grow spinach and Brassica crops like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli under white floating row covers to protect them from obnoxious and voracious leaf miners and cabbage root flies. These barrier methods work very well.

Some summer varieties are still ripening in the Trial Garden: "NuMex Las Cruces" traditional Cayenne chiles, are 2 ft. tall and producing loads of beautiful, long, red, spicy chiles with a wonderful flavor. Renee is busy dehydrating them, then grinding them up to make a delicious dried chile powder with nicely rounded fragrance and spice. These and many other chile seeds come to us from the Chile Pepper Institute in New Mexico. We will also soon harvest the climbing, miniature ‘Honey Nut’ butternut squash, whose abundant fruits that are just 6 inches long and perfect for 1-2 servings each. The vines are very disease resistant and make a handsome landscape feature.


Spinach seedling with row cover

"NuMex Las Cruces" Peppers

Recipe of the Month
Portuguese Style Kale Soup

On a cold night, serve this soup with warm crusty bread for a complete and satisfying meal.



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Best Wishes,
Renee Shepherd

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