17 Mar

What’s New with Kate?

It seems that major change is in the air. Have you have been feeling it too? The world around us is going a little crazy.  We are being asked to step up and become active participants in LIFE!   Complacency can no longer be the norm.    I know that I can have a positive impact on my life and my community  when I join with others who have similar values and passions.  This is how we grow strong communities.   The very systems that we rely on are failing us.  Take, for instance, our food!  It has been everywhere in the news of late how obesity is becoming more prevalent…especially in our children.  The health ramifications are quite evident.  This is why I do what I do….grow vital, healthy food!  It’s labor intensive, but I have this undeniable passion to provide my community with healthy food options for their families.  This is what I can do.  What can you do?  What are you passionate about? Step up to the plate.   Share your gifts!

That being said, I have been looking for ways to simplify my business AND produce a stable income. My accountant tells me that I can no longer do what I do and not get paid!  I wear many hats!  The garden has always been the center of everything that I do.  The medicinal properties of the herbs that are grown here are extracted into oils and tinctures that are then added to my skin care and wellness product lines.  I am continuing to increase the number of shares offered through my CSA.  I just taught a class on Seed Starting in my greenhouse last weekend and I also consult with the Housing Authority on their Community Gardens.  Whew!  Last year I was lucky enough to find and hire Barbara, the Garden Goddess, who helps me grow the food for the CSA.  She and I are a couple of “grey hairs”, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the lush and productive garden we had last year.  We both know how to work!  It’s so rewarding being able to work along side of someone who loves gardening as much as me!

Greens! In March!

Greens! In March!

The greenhouse has been planted with a  new crop of lettuce, arugula, spinach, and other greens that are almost ready to harvest.  I am experimenting to see how they do.  Greenhouses are notoriously famous for bugs like aphids, so I will have to keep a close eye on things.  I will let you know how things go.  I have never grown in a greenhouse before, so I have lots to learn.  The spinach that I planted last fall in the outside window boxes is growing quite well.   I will have an early crop to sell.

The information on the 2013  CSA garden share membership is available here http://scentsofbalance.com/kates-garden/csa/  You can also go to the Kate’s Garden tab on my website and click on CSA in the drop down menu.  I hope you will be able to join us this year.  Eating local, organic, garden fresh produce is becoming more and more important to our health and vitality  and  at the same time helps  build a strong business community.

The gardens produced a bounty of scrumptious heirloom and open pollinated crops last year, even though we were in drought with grasshoppers galore!  This year I will be growing some new cauliflower crops; a beautiful heirloom Italian Purple, and Cheddar, which is a hybrid and buttery yellow/orange in color.  It is supposed to be higher in vitamin A.  I had great success with the French Haricot Vert green beans last season.  So this year I am planting a trio of them….green, purple and yellow.  Of all of the winter squash I planted last year, I had several favorites and some not so much!  Winter  squash take up lots of room, so I am limiting this years planting to just 4 types.scallion seedlings  Delicata, Sweet Meat, Butternut and Marina de Chioggia.  The best pie pumpkin harvested was the heirloom French Galeaux de Parisienne.  I was really disappointed in the small Baby Pan’s, so won’t be planting them again.  Do you have some favorite varieties of vegetables?  Let me know what they are, and I might be able to grow them this year.  It is not too  late to order some more seed.

I am also growing extra vegetable starts for those of you who would like to plant a few veggies at home and don’t want to bother starting seeds or rely on what is available at the garden centers.  I hope to have a nice selection of  tomatoes and peppers, along with herbs.  Let me know ahead of time  if you think you might want some for  your patio pots or garden.

That’s it for now.  Keep in touch!

Kate

 

04 Mar

Garden News – March 2013

Hi everyone!

001With your encouragement, Scents of Balance and Kate’s Garden & CSA are now becoming a reality in the virtual world of blogs and web sites!  In order to get the 2013 garden season CSA up and running in time for the planning and planting of seeds and to enroll you as shareholders, the links below will take you to my Scents of Balance product line pages for product descriptions as well as the Shareholders Page for my CSA garden registration.

Kate’s Garden blog will include my musings, gardening news, photos of garden varieties and recipes full of ideas for preparing ingredients in your baskets.

To make it easier for you this year, I am now able to take credit cards; I’ve been listening to you, knowing some of you like to acquire miles and rewards points using your credit cards, and this will assist you in doing just that!

Of course, if you prefer, you can also download and print the registration form and snail mail it back to me.   If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call me at: 245-9182.  Leave a message if I cannot answer and I will get right back to you.

Seed costs have increased along with everything else in the past year and consequently I have had to raise the price of each share, yet I feel that shareholders will be still getting a very good deal.

Barbara, my trusted helper, will benefit from this increase, since I can now offer her a decent wage for all of her hard work. Volunteer help is in short supply and in order to continue to supply you with fresh organic produce, please understand that I must meet my expenses.

It is my ethic to always purchase organic, heirloom or open pollinated seeds, which are more expensive. Gardening is labor intensive and there has never been much profit for me in farming.  I farm because I love to grow healthy food and feel it is a wonderful way for me to involve and educate the community on the importance of supporting local food systems.

Blessings for your continued support and let the gardening begin!

~ Kate