Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Well my apple trees are looking good with little insect damage and I am trying an organic spray called "Surround" which is actually kayolin clay.  A fine ground white clay that bugs get all over them when they walk on it.  It also cools the tree in the dead of summer and hides the red apples from bugs that look for the juicy red orbs.  Only problem is you have to spray it on each time the rain washes it off.  It is easy to apply and like no toxicity. If it works well, it will be my mode of operation for my trees.  The book in the margins is my bible for my attempts in this orchard. Phillips is amazing and leading the pack in this field of organic apples.  I'll let you know as the season goes on how well it works.  I had a nice little package arrive today!  I have been looking for French galvanized flower pots that don't leak and I finally found them.  They were relatively cheap too.  I purchased these from Koyal Wholesale,
We are using them for our display at farm markets to hold our lavender and sunflowers.  They should look just beautiful, now should I leave them as is or paint them nice colors on the outside? Hmmmmm...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lavender is Planted

We finished our planting weekend.  It is amazing how much slower things seem to go this year.  Was it just because we planted 100 more than last year's planting? Who knows?  Well our labyrinth is in.  I planted a lavender labyrinth to honor the passing of my eldest brother.  It was a way for me to heal from the loss as well as to give something to my sister-in-law who of course feels that loss even more.  It turned out better than I could have hoped for and look fwd to the day when it is all full and in bloom.
It took about 300 Folgate lavender plants to fill the labyrinth and then we planted another 400 behind the rows we planted last year.  Summer growing begins!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spring Planting Preparation

I try not to think about it but tomorrow my plants are being delivered to fill my fields and labyrinth.  I don't like to think about it because I get too excited about it all.  It is such a thrill to open up these boxes and smell the fresh fragrance drifting up to my nose from the  box.  Sarah at Stonegate Lavender in Oregon has taken good care of us these past few years and I can't recommend her enough.  This year we are adding some new varieties, Buena Vista, Folgate, Sharon Roberts.  Sarah is also sending me an assortment to test in our climate.  I have noticed that compact tight growing varieties seem to respond better in our climate than some of the more loose splayed open growing varieties.  So that is what I have requested from Sarah.  We are hoping to start propagating our own this year though I haven't been extremely successful at that.  I think I have worked out where some of my errors have been and Sarah gave me a few pointers on her video online,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Well we woke up to 30 mph gusts and snow flurries.  Yes snow it is unusual for Mother's Day even in this part of New York.
We had a work party yesterday to get ready for our planting of our 700 new plants coming from Oregon and Stonegate Lavender.  Sarah Bader has been such a resource for all things lavender for us.  If you haven't seen her videos on Youtube  just search for Stonegate Lavender or Sarah and see the videos she has produced.  I have ordered from her for the past 3 years and her plants are always strong and vibrant and take off well once planted.  This year we have carved out of the land a labyrinth,  54 feet across it was relatively easy but time consuming to make.  We used string on a stick, spray paint and a tiller to create it and it took an afternoon.  Yesterday we laid out the weed fabric, and next week we will fill it with "Folgate" variety of lavender. Then the balance of our plants will go in rows behind what we planted last year.  A busy spring but it is so great watching everything come back to life after the long winter.  We are also getting ready for the farm markets ordering things for our displays and making some things as well.  One of the things I am making are the plant signs you see in French flower markets.  Little chalkboard signs which are durable and very useful.  I am making them out of 1/4 inch thick plywood, chalkboard paint, aluminum bar stock and pop rivits.  A fun rainy day project.  This will look great with our product and give our booth a little "je ne sais quoi".