fresh from the garden

fresh from the garden


Welcome to the ramblings of a fifty-something suburban "farmer"

Hoping that if you should stumble upon this blog my daily musings might bring a little smile to your day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Well now that's it's official that Heather Jo Flores will be joining us for Friday and Saturday July 17&18 . It's time to start laying out the program and get some details. At this time these are tentative ideas .Feel free to comment with your thoughts.
 Friday 07/17 6pm-9pm seed swap at the Wilbraham Public Library followed by Intro to Food Not Lawns Featuring Heather Jo Flores
Saturday 07/18
  9-1 Intro to Suburban Permaculture /guerilla Food not lawns (hiding crops in plain sight so your neighbors don't even know you're doing it.)
  2-5 pm I'll be leading the group in a discussion about "second Spring " getting ready for fall and winter crops.
      The Friday session will be free of charge but a donation of nonperishable food items for the Evangel food pantry will be accepted .
      Both sessions on Saturday will  Total $99.00. Work study will be available. Come and work on the farm for 8 hours learn some things (probably take home some fresh veggies ) make new friends and save the $99.00. Bit coin will be accepted and barter considered.

Monday, March 23, 2015

It's Official I'm very excited to announce that Suburban Artisan Farm will be welcoming Heather Jo Flores for a 2 day (OK 1.5 day) workshop on july 17 &18 in Wilbraham, MA . More details soon @

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Let's try this one more time.

 Spring is here (at least that's what the calendar says) the crocuses are still gonna need a snowblower at my house this year. But they will arrive eventually and with it another season of Woodchuck and chipmunk feeding AKA suburban gardening so let's try this one more time. Over the last year I have gotten a taste of what many people call  a normal job . I work in an office type setting (50 + hours a week with at least some time behind a desk )even though I run 2 30x72 foot grow rooms I feel it's kind of like an office job. This is my first foray into this world and I am grateful to have a pretty good paying job doing something I consider to be my life's work . That being said I still crave soil under my nails , the aroma of freshly dug soil and real sunshine on my face. As more outside activity that will bring some sweat along with it  (hopefully) begins to melt  away some of the fifteen pounds I put on this winter I will truly be back in my element amongst the rows and beds of my farmden (to big to be a garden too small to be a farm).As the cellar grow room begins to fill with more flats of hopeful candidates for this years plots and plant sale my mind races to think of what I wanted to grow last year and the new crops and methods I wanted to try this year and of course more seeds. Funny  how each year when I get the new catalogs I get a little giddy flipping through the pages mentally plotting where this new variety would fit perfectly between the beans and the tomatoes. My wife tells me it's my new addiction just because I went to Baker creek on new years eve and bought 200 packets of seed and still drool over the pretty pictures from territorial or johnnys. So what if I still have all those left from last year. Fortunately none of you feels any of this so it probably sounds crazy but I warned you I'm a little nuts.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Second Spring is Coming

  Yes folks that's right second spring will soon be upon us .No it's not a cousin to silent spring or a pagan holiday (that I know of ,I' m not a pagan).It doesn't even have it's own fat and fuzzy mascot to tell if it will be early or late . It's a term I read from Eloit Coleman referring to August first as his second spring because it's a whole new planting season. Most folks are just beginning to reap the benefits of all of their hard work in putting down all of that compost and carefully nurturing those seedlings and seeds .Anticipating  each day how far the plants have come (is that a bud on my peppers?) Battling both the weeds and vermin (we gotta eat more weeds) .
  Second spring is when we start planting the crops that we'll harvest late into the fall and even into and through the winter . That's right through the winter. Eliot and others have put out some great  books on how to grow food year round (even without a heated greenhouse). I gotta tell you it was pretty cool last year when I asked Tyler our 7 year old grandson if he wanted to help me pick some veggies for Christmas dinner. He looked at me like I had 4 heads and exclaimed Grandpa it's winter there's no veggies to pick . The look on his face when we went out to one of the low tunnels and chipped away some of the frozen ground and voila! ! Tyler was picking carrots at the end of December .They were awesome !!. The cold temps bring out the antifreeze in the plants (no not prestone but sugar) that sweetens them up almost like a carrot candy. That's one way to get a kid to eat his veggies. So get ready for the second spring !

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Time keeps slipping away

    OK so I was supposed to do the post about tomatoes or leaves 3 weeks ago .I guess I need about 3 more hours in the day to get most of the things done I want to. Jackie keeps telling ,me that I bite off more than I can chew. I just want to do some things and they seem to take more time than I have available. Kind of like juggling plates with greasy hands sometimes you drop some but it's really cool when you pull it off.
     Anyways here goes .SO are you growing tomatoes or leaves on your tomato plants? This may seem like an obvious answer but most people grow leaves and are lucky enough to get some tomatoes. This was really quite a revelation for me when it was explained . Most everyone already knows about suckering your tomatoes (if not it's removing the branches that start to form at most leave nodes) but how about removing the leaves when the tomatoes are done with them .HUH? The plant needs the leaves!!!!! You can't cut off perfectly good looking leaves it will hurt the plant!!!!!! WRONG!!!!!. As your tomato plant grows it will develop flower buds on the internode (space between two leaves (nodes) the leave nodes above and below are the source of energy /food for the tomato flowers between them . Once the tomatoes have formed and reached full size the leaves above and below it are now no more than suckers themselves and they gotta go . By doing this you are removing the oldest most tired leaves and sending more nutrients to the top of the plant which will grow more and produce more flowers (more fruit). It looks a little different but works really well . (I wouldn't suggest it if I hadn't had the results myself)


Sunday, June 1, 2014

First Crop Available ,sweet potato slips and more.

         First as I sit at the keyboard looking at the 42.6 degree reading coming from my greenhouse on JUNE1 I have to wonder what the temperature would be if we didn't have global warming BRRRRRR........ Thank God for global warming! Things are really moving along here at SAF. We have our first crop available for sale Beautiful Cherokee red leaf (and I mean RED leaf) and Tropicana Greenleaf lettuces .They are beautiful looking stuff. We grow these varieties at work but the lights don't bring out the deep  rich almost burgundy red In the Cherokee. More Color means more nutrients yeah!
     UPS had some "truck problems " so the sweet potato slips that were due in on Friday (so I could plant them this weekend) won't be here until Monday. Guess what I get to do after working 11 hours Tuesday /Wednesday and Thursday. We've got 10 varieties coming in so I will have some available for sale .
     We have a remote location at the Wilbraham community gardens (a nice 50x50 spot) that I hope will be a good addition to our growing adventure. If all works out I want to try adding another 100 x 200 for next year giving us almost an acre between both places. Being a Farmtek employee has given me access to lots and lots of goodies for the farm. I've been told by some of the folks at the community garden that I'm giving some folks "Fence Envy" because I was able to put up an eight foot deer fence around the plot up there . Losing all of our work to a few vandalous deer is not an option. Watering by hand is a very tedious process and because I'm the newest member at the community garden I'm literally the farthest from the well . Farmtek to the rescue! I've installed a 150 foot hose and drip tape irrigation system that makes things much easier (as long as I don't drill anymore holes through both sides of the pipe) Once it starts to grow out I 'll add some pix. Well off to home depot for some hose repair fittings and back to work.