Fresh Grosso Lavender Bundles For Sale!

Grosso Lavender – picture by Nate Solberg, Scout Collective

For the next several weeks we will be harvesting our lavender to dry. If you want a fresh lavender bundle order NOW! Just click here and place your order. Once the harvest is over – dried bundles will be available for sale.

Grosso Lavender is the longest stemmed lavender we grow. It has the highest essential oil content in the buds. This lavender is perfect to put in a vase and let dry then husk off the buds and put into sachets.

Brenda will send you an email to let you know its ready for pick up. Pre-orders only. No in-person sales.

ORDER NOW! $6.75 per bunch – approx. 120 +/- of Grosso Lavender

Planting Pea Shoots and Microgreen Update

Hello!

I hope you are all well and safe at the moment. We are doing fine. Busy trying to get the gardens started again. I just saw my first dandelion blossom this afternoon! Woop! Woop! Sping is officially here when the danilions bloom.

Here is a quick video on the progress of the microgreens and shoots. It’s still a cold out so they are not going to grow as fast. But each day we are progressing! We have trays slowly sprouting.

Pre-orders will be accepted and must be paid for before pick-up via Paypal, debit or credit card. Just go to the TSF Product Menu and place your order there.

If there is a “Add to Cart” under the item – then the product is available.

All food items must be picked up – no shipping is allowed – due to state regulations. Sorry…

Food Items For 2020:

Herbal Tea:

Lavender Harmony Tea

Minty Mint Herbal Tea

Lavender Bedtime Tea

Winter Chai

Cinnamon Rose Tea (with powdered coconut milk)

Blueberry Raspberry Hibiscus Tea

Pumpkin Pie Herbal Tea

Dried Herbs, Seasonings & Mixes:

Culinary Dried Lavender

Lavender Sugar

Sage and Lemon Finishing Salt

Lavender Sel de Provence

Herb Gardeners All-Purpose Blend (salt-free)

Lavender Lemonade Mix

Dried Mushrooms

Italian Seasoning (for dipping bread)(pending state approval)

Jams, Jellies Preserves: 

Lavender Champagne Jam

Rosemary Wine Jam

Lavender Blueberry Jam

Elderberry Jam (pending state approval)

Flavored Oils:

Rosemary Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Infused Honey:

Lavender Honey

Garlic Honey (pending state approval)

Syrup:

Elderberry Syrup (pending state approval)

Baked Goods:

Lavender and Honey Cookies (w/gluten-free flour and dairy-free)

Rose Geranium Shortbread (w/gluten-free flour and dairy-free)

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread (w/gluten-free flour and dairy-free)

Rose Vanilla Power Balls (pending state approval)

Nonfood items:

Microgreen Grow Kits

Mini Herbal Tea Pots

Can be shipped anywhere in the US. There is a $10.00 flat shipping fee charged.

In other news – we published our 4th book – My Garden Journal: A How-To Garden Book For Kids.

This is a workbook teaching children the basics of gardening. There are lots of gardening ideas and activities for the creative gardener. Plus a seasons worth of journal pages documenting the progress of the garden.

My Garden Journal is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, libraries and retail stores who are willing to carry the book. Just ask them to order it for you.

Copies are available for pick up: $10.00. A savings of $5.99 – from the online retailers.

Email me if you have questions or pick up a copy brenda@thompsonstreetfarm.com.

Microgreens Coming Soon!

Hello Everyone! I hope you are doing well under the circumstances. My family is all hunkered down at this point. My Hubby is now working from home, and that took a few days to get him organized. I had to move out of my office so he could move in. I’m now working at a table on a dinosaur laptop for the time being. But Hey! These are some crazy times at the moment. You do what ya gotta do!

To update you on what the plan is during this quarantine – I am going to try and have greens available for pickup only. The CT State Dept. of Ag is requesting farmers to open their farmstands to the community as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a farmstand due to parking issues at our home. However, I will have microgreens and herbs available very soon – micros – hopefully by next week or weekend. All orders must be pre-paid before pick up. Due to my daughter’s immune issues, I will not be making in-person sales. I’ll post what’s available on the TSF Product Page, FaceBook and the blog as well. If you want an email alerting you that week’s cuttings, please sign up in the sidebar.

I do accept Paypal and all major credit cards. Paypal account email is brenda@thompsonstreetfarm.com

Microgreens are still the same price as before $3.00 per/oz.

Herbal Teas

Other products available for sale right now are herbal teas. There are 7 different teas. Teas sell for $8.00 per jar.

Lavender Harmony Tea

Minty Mint Herbal Tea

Lavender Rose Bedtime Tea

Winter Chai

Cinnamon Rose Tea (with Coconut Milk)

Blueberry Raspberry Hibiscus Tea

Pumpkin Pie Tea

Farm to Bath

Yes, we have plenty of soap and other bath and body products available. Free shipping is available on all orders $30 and over. If you want to pick up your order – that’s fine too, just email me your request so I can process your payment separately prior to pickup. Again, no person to person sales. All orders must be prepaid.

Go to www.farmtobath.com

 

Living and Lovin Herbs Podcast Is Live!

Hello Friends! Happy New Year! I am happy to announce that my podcast about herbs is now live. Living and Lovin Herbs is about different ways you can use herbs.

Whether it’s for:

  • health purposes
  • culinary
  • growing them in your garden
  • using it in bath and body products or
  • creating a chemical-free home

I’ll share with you its history and traditions, because who doesn’t like a good story! If I find a good book related to the subject, resources that might be helpful, I’ll post a link under book recommendations and reference found in the show notes.

The goal of this show is to demystify herbs, their uses and make it easier for you to incorporate them into your daily life.

There are 4 shows posted on iTunes ready for download. You can also go to the website livingandlovinherbs.com where you can listen to the show, check out the pictures related to the podcast, download free recipes and other information related to herbs.

My goal is to post 2 shows per month. If I can do more I will, but I’m a one woman show and still managing the farm and Farm to Bath.

 

What’s On Your Thanksgiving Table? An Invitation To Take Our Survey

Google Images

Please take my quick survey (Click Here)

I’m doing research on the American Thanksgiving dinner. I hope you will take a few minutes to help me out by filling out this survey. I will reveal the results in the upcoming Living and Lovin Herbs Thanksgiving Show in mid-November.

The American Thanksgiving meal is iconic. We often see images of a perfectly roasted turkey on a table overflowing with side dishes such as bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, pumpkin pies, apple pie, and a mince pie. But are these foods still popular on the 21st century American table? Have we changed what we make and serve? I know in my house the answer is yes!

What’s on your Thanksgiving table? Do you cook dinner? Do you still eat the same foods today as your family’s past generations? Do you stick with the traditional Thanksgiving herbs and spices or do you use different herbs and seasonings? Is your dinner now 100% vegan?

Please take this quick survey and I’ll reveal the results in my Living and Lovin Herbs Thanksgiving Dinner Podcast Show.

10 Easy Plants to Grow From Seed

It’s the end of May here in Connecticut, and how is your garden doing? Things here are painfully slow going here. We’ve had a wet, cold spring and in between rainstorms, we’ve been busy rebuilding the yard and changing some things around for easier maintenance. We’re not as young as we used to be and its time to transition the gardens into the next phase of its life. More perennials and fewer annuals.

To add insult to injury, this winter’s brutal polar vortex combined with the wet, cold spring has taken its toll on our garden. Many trees, flowering bushes, and lavenders didn’t survive. My hubby has been busy digging up the deceased and replacing with new softwood bushes and flowering plants. I’m amazed at the extent of the damage. Mother Nature can be so cruel!

I’ve been surveying the raised bed area and figuring out what new perennial herbs I can plant that will survive our crazy winters. My big experiment will be seeing if I can grow old fashioned big bush roses. I’m planting them in the largest raised bed we have. Winter freeze will be a huge concern since the beds are above ground. Will the roots overwinter in a raised bed? I don’t know, so stay tuned…

In the greenhouse, we ripped out the aquaponics system and reverted the 2 beds back to dirt. I planted more rosemary and experimenting with scented geraniums. The variety I’m starting with is “Rose of Attar”. The leaves really do smell like roses! If they survive the winter, they will be a wonderful addition to my herb garden.

Time Well Spent!

The good news is, the time spent waiting for storms to pass and temperatures to rise has been productive. I’ve been working on the last bits of my garden book. It will be published sometime this summer titled “My Garden Journal” (although, the title may change…I’m currently playing with different titles).

I started journaling my gardens 20 years ago to remind me what worked and what didn’t from one season to the next. Gardening is a journey – your yard is an ever-changing ecosystem and I found that journaling gave me a higher success rate.

My personal journal evolved over time. It wasn’t fancy, just a list of plants and comments in the margins of how things went during the growing season.

However, when I was teaching children how to garden, I discovered by accident, my journals were a great teaching tool. My simple journal pages made the perfect outline for the curriculum I was creating. I took what I learned from these very talented students and reworked the format. The results were a simple easy to follow garden journal for children (and adults too!)

In addition to the journal pages, I also added other useful sections. For example, Parts of a Plant, Themed Gardens, How to Make Compost Tea and 10 Easiest Plants to Grow from Seed. These sections were designed to give young gardeners basic tools to be successful in their first years of gardening.

Excerpt from “My Garden Journal”

Here is the section from the book on the “10 Easiest Plants to Grow from Seed”.

1. Arugula

Arugula is a small leafy green that has a peppery taste. It makes a perfect addition to salads and pasta recipes. To get ideas on how to prepare this green, do an online search. There are lots of recipes to pick from.

Arugula can be direct seeded into the ground and prefers to grow in cooler temperatures and is best grown in early spring and late summer into fall skipping the hottest part of the growing season.

2. Basil

Basil is an excellent herb to grow. Basil does not do well if direct seeded into the soil.  Start your seeds indoors in small containers and then transplant outside when it’s warm enough.

When the plant gets big enough, pick the leaves off to add to a fresh tomato salad.  Dry the leaves and save them for your herb and spice collection.  There is nothing better tasting than homegrown basil in spaghetti sauce!

Basil prefers hot weather and full sun and best-grown late spring through the hottest part of the summer. Make sure the flowers are pinched off frequently for a bushier plant, which will produce more leaves.

If you are growing this plant in a container, water frequently.  Plants grown in containers dry out quicker than plants grown in the ground or in raised beds.

3. Microgreens

Microgreens are 5 to 10 day old baby plants that you can harvest and eat. Don’t confuse them with sprouts which are seeds that have sprouted in water and then eaten. The difference is to grow microgreens you must plant them in potting soil or some sort of growing medium sprout them and then harvest the plant.

These baby plants are high in nutrition and can be grown on a kitchen counter with no sunlight. They are the perfect plants for a kitchen garden.

The easiest microgreens to grow are:

  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Broccoli
  • Spicy mustard greens

4. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a gardener’s summer favorite. Make sure you have plenty of room to grow these plants; they like to spread their vines everywhere.  Do an online search

to learn how to save space by growing up.  There are many ideas on how to build simple trellis’ using materials such as long sticks and twine. 

Cucumber seeds can be direct seeded into the ground in late spring, or can be started indoors (early spring) in small containers and transplanted into the garden when it’s warm enough.

5. Green Beans

These are one of the easiest plants to grow, and you get a lot of beans in return for your work.  They can be direct seeded in the ground late spring. Beans like to grow in direct sun and love hot temperatures.

When researching seeds, make sure you know which kind of beans you’re buying. There are bush beans and pole beans.  Bush beans don’t need any trellising.  Just plant and watch them grow and harvest them when big enough.

Pole beans need a trellis to climb on.  

6. Green Onions

Green onions are tall, green and white stalks and they are fun to grow.  Patients will be essential, because they may take most of the growing season before you can harvest them.

Green onions grow well in containers but need frequent watering during hot weather. They are a perfect vegetable to grow if you have a spot that has partial shade.  Direct seed in early spring and keep watering.  Onions take many weeks before they sprout.  So be patient.

Onions also do well if left in the garden over winter. Once the garden bed is established, they will self-seed (the seeds drop into the garden bed after they flower), and new plants will grow the next season.

7. Kale

There are many kinds of kale to grow, so do your research on which varieties will grow well in your area.  Kale likes cooler temperatures but will tolerate some heat if the plants are well established.

Kale is another plant that can be stared in early spring and late fall and will tolerate colder temperatures until a hard freeze or even snow.  These can be direct seeded into the ground.

Dinosaur Kale is a good recommendation if you are looking for tender leaves, which are perfect for salads.  If you want to grow big leaf varieties like Red Russian Kale, their leaves are perfect for making crispy kale chips – which are like potato chips.  Yum!

8. Peas

Peas are another early spring and fall plant to grow and can be direct seeded into the ground.  My peas never make it to the kitchen because I eat them right off the vine while working in the garden.  They make a great snack!

These plants require something to climb on otherwise they will grow in a heap of strings on the ground. 

9. Tomatoes

There is nothing more satisfying than a fresh picked homegrown tomato! They are gardener’s pride and joy! Do your research on what kind, or color you want to grow.  There are hundreds of varsities to pick from and you need to know the difference between an Indeterminate and Determinate tomato variety.

For beginner gardeners, I would recommend not growing tomatoes in the heirloom (or determinate category) until you are an experienced gardener. Heirloom tomatoes taste great but can be very temperamental if the plants don’t get an even amount of water and sustaining hot temperatures.  They are also prone to disease and fungal problems.

If the plants get stressed this results in what is called end rot or blossom rot.  The tomato is not ripe enough to pick but instead starts rotting on the bottom of the fruit and the falls off the plant.  Once a plant starts producing rotten fruit the problem cannot be fixed. The plant must be pulled out of the ground and thrown away.   

I recommend varieties like “Big Beef” or “New Girl” for a nice evenly round healthy tomato and are perfect for sandwiches or salads.  These varieties are what is called “Indeterminate” hybrids and are not prone to disease or fungal problems.

There are smaller tomato varieties you can grow too.  Grape and cherry tomatoes produce a lot of fruit and are fun to grow.  Make sure you share with friends and family if you have too many.

Tomato Definitions:

Indeterminate Tomato: Tall plants that require staking for trellis and will keep producing fruit up until first frost.

Determinate Tomato: A bush variety that is low and compact and doesn’t require staking. These plants grow a certain number of fruit and then the plant stops growing and dies.  Unlike the indeterminate tomatoes where the plant continues to produce fruit until it’s too cold.  Heirloom tomato varieties are determinate plants.

I recommend you start your seeds indoors in small containers and then transplant into the garden in late spring. Do not direct seed into the ground the seeds will have difficulty sprouting.  Tomatoes need full sun and plenty of hot temperatures.

10. Sunflowers

Sunflowers are beautiful and can be a showy centerpiece to any garden. The good news is sunflowers now come in many different sizes.  These are a perfect plant to direct seed into the garden.

There are shorter more compact varieties that produce multiple flower heads that are smaller. These are great for flower bouquets.

The tall varieties like Royal Hybrid produce one big flower and need lots of sun.  Make sure your seeds are organic if growing these flowers for bird food and don’t spray your plants with pesticides or herbicides. Chemicals hurt the birds and wildlife that will live among your plants in the garden.

At the end of the season, cut the flower heads and dry them. The birds will appreciate a nice snack when there is little food to forage on during the cold winter months.