Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tomato Blight Update

Tomato blight, as mentioned previously here, is troublesome to say the least, and devastating for farmers and home gardeners, to say the most. Royer Held, a.k.a. Project Grow's Heirloom Enthusiast, sent along the following helpful links about tomato blight and how to contend with it.

NPR's Science Friday recently aired an interview with Chad Nusbaum, a scientist who mapped the genome. Along with some genetic science, Nusbaum offers insight into how the disease spreads and what gardeners should do if they discover it. (The transcript of the interview is also quite helpful.)

Additionally, Science Friday's Flora Lichtbaum visited a farm afflicted with late blight, and created a video vividly portraying the plight caused by the disease as well as illustrating its effect on the plant.

What to do with infected plants?
If a plant is suspect, remove it immediately including any fallen leaves. DO NOT COMPOST IT. Bag it up and put it our with the trash. Other options are detailed in this document, along with more links to properly identify late blight and how to monitor for it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Winter Gardening

With the Equinox upon us, it is surely time to be thinking of winter gardening. Not just packing up the garden for a nice winter's rest (although that's not a bad thing), but giving some thought to what can be grown in the cooler part of the year.

Whether or not a hoophouse is on the horizon, there are a fair number of vegetables and smaller structures that could make for a lovely harvest nearly into winter. Some favorites of the cool weather gardener are kale, cabbage, broccoli, and lettuce, but surely beets, leeks, and an assortment of other tasty treats could be added here and there. This article is a good primer for planning and planting. This article from Mother Earth News is also quite comprehensive with nice associated links.

If a hoophouse is a bit of a scary proposition, Coldframes are usually short, small, and often easy to build and maintain. They are a nice way to gently break into the realm of winter gardening without breaking your back or your bank account. That said, Elliott Coleman pops a few into his hoophouses to grow an even greater variety of vegetables throughout the winter months.

Local garden centers may also have cool weather crop seedlings for sale, too, along with the usual offerings of garlic and spring bulbs. Treat yourself to a tour and come home with a mini feast!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tomato Tasting at HomeGrown Festival

Don't forget to come on out to the HomeGrown Festival this Saturday, September 12th. Not only will there be a myriad of tasty local foods there (including Project Grow's brilliant tomato tasting table!), including Michigan wines and beers, but a wide variety of other activities. A chef's demonstration, a Made-in-Michigan store, and a bundle of farmer and fiber producer's will also be on hand.

Stop by our table and sample a fantastic variety of organically grown heirloom varieites of tomatoes to begin planning next year's garden as well as give your tastebuds something to celebrate!

Kerrytown Farmer's Market
5pm - 10pm
Ticket's $4