Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Merry Christmas

The holiday season can stir up old memories and feelings of loss this time of year. The cold sinks in around us and it becomes hard to go out and enjoy nature. I hope those of you who read this can cherish your old childhood memories of the holidays and remember those who have gone with a fondness that sometimes only comes with the passing of time.

My family has shrunk to a few - just my brother and the three fur 'children'. But family can be extended to more than just blood relatives. Many people come to the realization that those they are not related to often love them more than their given family.

May all of you find the love in your heart with the spirit of the prophet Jesus and the mystical St. Nicholas, for giving to all those that you are close to. Random kindness to a stranger is always appreciated as well.

A Merry Christmas from Sage Advice Nursery.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Greens

Haven't posted in a while and you can see why...Nothing much happening at the nursery, we're snowed in. It got sooo cold for a spell, the big greenhouse at Vicki's went down to 10F. There was no way I could heat it with the little space heater and Vicki's goofy electrical system, so I shut it down. The only casualties will be the gerberas and the brugmansias I carefully tended from seed - just no room for either in the little greenhouse. So live and learn. Think I will try and invest in a vent-free propane heater for the bigger greenhouse - that should put out enough BTUs to heat the space.

Rain and freezing rain predicted for the next several days. Hoping the nursery stock doesn't thaw out - that's what takes its toll - repeated freezing and thawing. Not much I can do, but stand by and watch.

Meanwhile, the Oakland County Greenhouse beds are doing remarkably well. We've had a bit of trouble with aphids and my strategy is once a plant gets 'em - out it goes. I found from last year that it just doesn't pay to spray to get rid of them as their numbers explode so rapidly. Pulled all the kale and braising greens, plus the radishes as they were growing slowly and were heavily infested. Today the arugula crop hit the compost pile. I'll try for another batch of it come January. The greenhouse managers did spray neem oil this week in an attempt to get a handle on the buggers but they really can goof up a greenhouse.

Have been scouting my greenhouse to see if my plants are clean - so far, so good. Potted up windowsill herbs today - peppermint, rosemary and sage. Already have thyme, parsley and catnip in the greenhouse, but due to the cold, light levels and the fact that I haven't fertilized - the plants are sitting still. Maybe since Saturday is solstice we'll get some more daylight in the coming weeks and growth will resume again.

Hope you are surviving and even thriving this busy holiday season. May you have a peaceful Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Nasturtium 'Alaska' bloom

Bed #1, the pole beans were removed after this pic was taken

Pretty colors of baby greens in bed #2

Just starting to harvest this bed, new seedlings in the dark soil

Pretty spinach crop - trying to keep it aphid free

Bull's Blood Beet greens - deep red

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

In the Dark

It was dark at 4:30 today and out of a gray sky fell a fine drizzle. Not weather conducive to working outside in the nursery, although I have to get out there and move and cut back plants.The dark days before winter solstice are upon us.

Have been working on two websites for two farmers markets. Am bartering website and publicity work for booth space. One market - The Old Winery Farmers Market - is going on now through April every Saturday. I'm selling produce, jams, baked goods, sprouting seeds and I hope to get some spices and teas bagged up for the weekend. The craziest thing I had last week were giant 3' long aloe leaves and I cooked up a couple of samples. I poached the aloe gel cubes in honey with a bit of lime and I must say they were quite good. The other market is the Garden Gate Market at Goldner Walsh nursery in Pontiac. This one is a brand new market starting in spring of 2014 where I'll also be selling produce. Since the market is at a nursery I can't sell the live plants.

The plants have taken a back seat of late. Ordered some herb liners to pot up as windowsill plants and I have a few things I am growing in the greenhouses. Kind of in a transition season. I hate to have heat on in the big greenhouse as there is so little in there, so I have to start filling it up. Will be starting another batch of edible greens in there ASAP.

The plants do very little growing this time of year. Reading up on winter growing, the authors have said that once daylight hours go below ten per day, the plants just kind of sit still. Many varieties of cold weather greens can tolerate the temperatures but don't have enough light to put on much growth. In the community greenhouse, plants are doing well as they were September and October sown but last year the greenhouse growth slowed to a crawl until February. The surprise crop for me are the green beans, long and ready to harvest right now.

The holiday season is here and I am gearing up to do baskets for friends and neighbors. Thank goodness for the dollar store and their myriad tins, baskets and bins. Packed right and with a few strategic bows, I should be able to make some nice gifts. Made a pineapple-ginger jam today, but that is destined for market.

I hope you are adjusting to these dark days as I am and that the holiday spirit is catching up to you. Not just that "gotta buy it now" attitude but one of peace and compassion for one's fellow travelers through life. May your days be merry and bright.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

Waking up early this morning to put in the roasted butternut squash pie and then the Turkey breast, I am humbled to look back upon this year and the many blessings it has brought. With the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade in the background, I am thinking back to the year past and all the people who have helped me put together and run Sage Advice Nursery.

I am grateful for my brother, who has come alongside me and now supports my running Sage Advice. At first he was very hesitant to endorse the business, but now he comes to my open houses and is wishing for me to succeed.

I am grateful for the people who have put in hours of physical work in the business. Without their help, I couldn't have produced all the plants and products that we offer. Their counsel and labor is greatly valued. Thanks AJ, Pam, Erin, Vicki and Paul.

I am especially indebted to Vicki, who has allowed me to take over her yard and fill it with a greenhouse, growing plants and a vegetable garden. Over the year we both became cancer survivors together and got very interested in growing our own, wholesome, clean food. I treasure the relationship I have with her and hope I can build the business and get more to her as my 'silent partner'.

I am grateful for God, nature and all the bounty that is offered to those who work by listening to the earth and the plants. I am still thrilled by the simple miracle of a seed sprouting and growing into a beautiful plant.

I am also indebted to my customers and grateful for their support. Customers become friends and friends become customers - thank you Robin, Margo, Jackie, Sue and Jim, Lenora, Mary Anne, Janet and Steve and all the others who have helped me get beautiful perennial plants into gardens.

I value the friendship of all the other vendors I have met and worked with at the various markets I attend. They have educated me and helped me learn the ropes of 'farmers marketing'. Thanks to Carolyn, Carl, Jo, Debbie, John and Nick, Jerry, Grit, Rob and John. I always look forward to setting up next to you.

I am grateful for my new friend Jean, who is mentoring me about the finer points of selling produce and, by bartering services, is allowing me to participate in the markets that she runs. It has sent me into a new and exciting direction of taking Sage Advice Nursery into a business that not only sells plants but the bounty that they produce.

There is a light snow falling softly on the nursery and yard today. It imparts a coziness to the warmth of the kitchen. The turkey is just about to go in and the pie has just come out and I've made the pineapple-ginger compote to go on top.

The nursery is yet to be put to bed. Plants need to be cut back and put into wintering positions and covered.

Have been thinking hard about my grow list for 2014. Will be doing lots of plants from seed this coming year. Will also be growing more varieties of herbs and getting serious about producing vegetables and some fruit plants for sale in 2014.

Will also be selling produce all year long now as I will be participating in a new farmers market  - The Garden Gate at Goldner Walsh Nursery that will take place on Sundays starting in May. I also hope to set up a small produce buying 'club' or 'co-op' with first some friends and neighbors. With our collective buying power, I think we'll be able to afford to get fresh, mostly organic produce, meat and grains at a decent price.

Finally, I am grateful for this season of winter, a time of reflection and renewal. I am looking forward to the holidays and time with friends and family and a chance to spend time with my 'family' - dog- Griffin, cat - Smokin Jo-Jo, and horse - Skipper.

Thanks too to all my friends that check in here to read the blog. I wish you and yours a very, happy Thanksgiving.


Checking in with Tootsie Time this week for her roundup of gardens around the world.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Got My First Bean!

The tall pole beans in the Oakland County Greenhouse garden are starting to produce! This is the first bean I picked. Not quite straight but narrow and with a good 'beany' flavor. I hope to pick enough of these to add to a cold quinoa salad I'm making for a Thanksgiving feast.

The garden is producing like crazy. Lots of lettuces, but the Black-seeded Simpson lettuce has 'stretched' - like bolting, with a long stem, but the flavor of the leaves is still good. Still sweet and slightly crispy. The spinach is bearing small, dark green leaves really well and is a favorite of Vicki's. Feeding about 6-7 people off this bed, so feeling good that it is producing so well.

The next step will be to clear out several areas - like where the Broccoli Raab is and a spot where I'm harvesting lettuce, and to resow. Going to start another crop of radishes which will be about two weeks behind bed two, to keep a succession of veggies coming. I will probably sow more arugula and spinach for harvest when young and tender. They both make great braising greens or are a wonderful addition to soup, but for salads the sweet, young leaves are best.

The later we get into the year, the harder it is to time the growth of the crops. When we go below 10 hours of daylight - which we are just about at - the crops just sit there and stare at you. They don't have enough light to really do their thing so growth slows to a minimum. Once we get into February, light levels come back up and there is quite a surge in growth in the winter garden.

Also have to keep busy sowing in Vicki's greenhouse. Need to clear out all the mums and perennials, clean up the place and get some containers filled for growing greens. I realize it is late in the year, but just last week harvested the rest of the blooms on the mums for market.

We have just started the winter market at the Old Winery Farmers Market in Farmington, Michigan. We've got two booths in the choice, first position. I am blessed to be bartering web-work and publicity help for the booth rental so that frees up the budget for me to get AJ to help me. I've got about 32 feet of tables to fill and it is kind of an involved set-up with sawhorses and plywood, tables and then chairs for us. I am grateful for AJ's help in loading and unloading the van, and he's doing great selling too.

We had a good first day with a lighter crowd and a bit of everything was selling. Parsnips were the big seller and the jams did well too. Was able to talk with a few people about sprouting their own seeds, as well. Education is a big component of marketing and I am always happy to share with customers recipes, tips on growing and other useful information.

Am really pleased that with the help and contact of market manager, Jean Smith, I am able to offer Michigan-grown, certified organic produce this week. I haven't seen the quality of the product but farmer, Eric has been really straight with me about size and has told me about flavor. I'll have brussels sprouts - outdoor grown, where the colder temps make the sprouts sweeter, onions, radish, garlic, leeks and baby Chioggia beets. Chioggia is an heirloom variety with concentric rings of deep red and white throughout the root. Another bonus is that they don't bleed when you are processing them or cutting them. I am really pleased that Eric's prices are so reasonable that I'll be able to offer this quality product at the same kind of price that I do the conventional produce. So often the complaint about buying organic produce is that the prices are so sky-high but I am so thrilled I can provide it at a great price point.

That's part of the mission this winter. I feel so strongly that folks really need to pay attention to their food and nutrition and that it is so important to create scratch-made, 'real' food. I came to cooking quite late - not until my thirties - and if it wasn't for the food network and cooking demos on TV I don't know if I ever would have learned how to cook. Before that I lived out of convenient, microwave boxed meals, that, while easy, have got no heart and soul, much less nutrition and a high sodium content. It takes planning, forethought and time to cook from scratch but I am of the opinion that food is basically medicine that we take in to nourish our bodies, and cooking one's own home-grown or local farmer-produced food is the best thing we can do for our health.

I have the great privilege this weekend to be on the Fox 2 Saturday morning news. I've been selected as one of the vendors to be interviewed and I am excited to be able to show off this week's offerings. If you are in the area, please come stop by and say 'hi' and check out the wares of the 30 vendors who will be there. We also have a mini food truck rally going on and a free cooking class on Kale pesto. So come get a recipe and take home lunch.

If you can't stop by, thanks for dropping in here to keep up on what Sage Advice Nursery is doing. I am linking this week with friend Tootsie's blog - Tootsie Time  who has a gardener's roundup each week of blogs from around the world. Stop by and see what people on the other side of the world are doing!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Goodies for Market

 Got my sprouting seeds a week ago and have been having a ball trying out some different varieties. Ordered Alfalfa, Red Clover, Radish, Mung Bean, Wheatgrass, Green Peas and Sunflower seeds - certified organic and kosher from Starwest Botanicals. I have started and eaten a mixed salad blend from Dollar Seed and had great success with my new four-tiered sprouter. Also tried mung bean in a canning jar topped with cheesecloth - works great! Just yesterday I started some radish seed and we'll see if they have the peppery taste they're supposed to have.

To the right is a shot of the mixed salad blend. Nice on sandwiches and, of course, great in salads. Very easy to grow sprouts. Soak the seeds for about 4-8 hours, put them into the sprouter or jar with mesh lid, then rinse them two to three times daily and drain. With the sprouter you just pour in water and it trickles through the trays and is collected in the white bottom. Just dump the bottom collection tray before filling it again. When the sprouts have reached the size you want, you can rinse them to wash off the hulls but with little seeds I don't bother with this step. Then, store the sprouts in the fridge.

The four-tiered sprouter is great. The fourth tray is in the fridge with a lid and a finished batch. One can start four different varieties at a time with this or just use two trays at a time - two in the fridge and two in the growing phase.

Got our first snow this week as well. Frosty parsley leaves.

The Nicotiana ;Fragrant Delight' was such a performer going right up until the snow took it out.

Also got a bunch of spices and teas this week from Monterey Bay Spice Company, cinnamon sticks, chai tea, an orange spice tea blend and a few other blends including a mulling spice. Also got do it yourself tea bags that you fill and iron closed that I will fill with some of these goodies.

The sprouting seeds got individually packaged into 3x5 plastic envelopes and labeled. Got about 10 bags per pound - very generous seed packets. Will be selling them at the Old Winery Farmers Market for $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00.

This is the real simple jar sprouter I made with mung beans on their way.

Also cut all the chrysanthemums in the greenhouse as they were having their last hurrah. Great warm autumn colors. Stripped the stems, trimmed them and bunched them for market.

That's the excitement for this week. Will be headed to the Detroit Produce Terminal in a couple of hours to get produce for market. It will be my first time buying down there so I'm not fully sure of what I am in for. Amazing place - football field sized piles of onions, beautiful boxed produce from all over the world - saw lots of persimmons. some quince, nopales  and other mexican vegetables. For someone whose heart goes pitter-pat at the sight of well-grown fruits and vegetables - it was a beautiful sight.

Jointing Tootsie Time for her Fertilizer Friday roundup of gardens and gardeners from around the world.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Greens Are a Coming In

Went to the Oakland County Greenhouse this afternoon to trim, thin and harvest. I also had to water both the growing and newly seeded bed. Spent Sunday laying out and seeding the second bed and sowed 17 varieties of greens and herbs. I still need to clean my recently harvested parsley seed and sow that soon too. 
 The first bed is growing by leaps and bounds. When you can watch the bed and track it carefully, you very nearly see the daily growth - something I usually don't observe in the outdoor vegetable gardens as closely. The beans seem to put on 6 inches a day and are starting to twine around themselves up the pole. As you can see, they've hit the tops of their poles and would probably grow to twelve feet if I had the trellis or head room. They've just started flowering so I expect we'll have beans in a couple of weeks.

The lettuces and arugula are planted tightly, so they've been developing long stems that need to be picked off before they go into a salad. The leaves are good and sweet, one friend I gave some to said the lettuces tasted just like butter.

The radishes, now 5+ weeks old, are getting almost too big to pick. Joe, on the greenhouse staff, suggested roasting them with a bit of olive oil and salt and said it takes away any bitterness. I think I'll put them into a mixed root vegetable roast that I plan to do tomorrow.

Love taking pictures of the nasturtium leaves, their variegation is so pretty. This variety is 'Alaska' and I'm hoping it will trail like the ones I planted last year. Haven't tasted these yet, am waiting for some more foliage before I harvest.

Here's an exciting shot of bed #2 . Well, exciting to me anyway. Nothing like a blank slate in which to sow some beautiful seeds. Amended the bed with composted manure as it is a straight peat-perlite mix and added some soil moisture crystals to keep the peat moist. Once that peat dries out, it is hard to get wet again.

Here is that blank slate - not quite so blank anymore. 2 kinds of radishes, 2 kinds of spinach, more dill and broccoli raab - and of course, my favorite - arugula. Had trouble last year with aphids on the arugula and had to rip most of it out. So far we are aphid free but that is subject to change.  Have sowed the new bed at new moon so I expect it will take a few days longer to see the seeds sprout. The first bed I sowed at full moon and the seeds were up in a hurry. So we'll see if the tidal pull has any bearing on the timing.

Just love the bright lime green of the Black-seeded Simpson lettuce played off the dark greens of the beans and other plants. Definitely a candidate for outdoor landscaping - maybe using it as an edging for a flower bed?

As I said - the beans are flowering and here's the proof. First flowers I've seen with lots to come. We'll have to see how well the vines hold up with a load of beans on them. I've been twining them around each other so they can  use the other plants for support.

First small heads on the broccoli raab. So far I've just been eating it raw in salads but the stems and soon-emerging buds will make their way to the skillet in the near future. I probably will saute it in olive oil with a touch of fresh garlic and a splash of good balsamic vinegar. This is the first year I've grown it and so far it's a success.

That's the indoor veg garden tour for today. Have been eating salads daily and enjoying them immensely. Nothing like growing your own food!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pre-Holiday Musings

Awoke darn early this morning/night from a stupid dream that kept repeating in my head. When that happens, I know it is just time to get up and do something else. My friend, Paul, calls this time of the wee hours "fire watch" - when he gets up for a bit, re-stokes the wood fire and then goes back to bed. I tend to get up early and, having no wood fire to stoke, usually wind up on the computer, either writing in the blog or surfing sites and blogs that I've wanted to catch up on. For me, it isn't frustrating that I can't sleep - I just turn it into a productive time.

As I got up, I turned on a string of multi-colored "happy lights" to cast a soft glow in the corner of the front room. When I saw the colors, I got a real cozy, holiday/winter feeling - you know, that kind of mood when you just want to bask in the warmth of the moment. I guess the retailers have done their is just past All Saint's Day and already I am thinking Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here's a shot of my new lights. I have a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder this time of year as it begins to get dark...and, like the practical, cheesy, decorator that I am, I string the lights and keep them on. The kitchen lights have been in place all year and this string will probably stay up through the dark months.

Meanwhile in the nursery and gardens...I have been avoiding going out into the nursery, both here and at Vicki's, as the weather has been about 10 degrees below normal. The long underwear has finally come out of storage and the sweaters are being worn. Where is our Indian Summer?

So much to do yet in the nursery - cut back all the stock that is not evergreen, clean up and put down weed mat in the small-potted plant storage area, move a bunch of flats off of benches and tidying up both greenhouses and getting them ready for the real winter weather that is to come. The big greenhouse, at Vicki's, will get a new configuration with the benches - just waiting for the end of the mums.

Decided to let the mums bloom - since I haven't sold them, perhaps I can sell the long-stemmed blooms as cut flowers. Mostly bronzes and oranges, they have lasted for a good week in a vase on the table. The picture shows them just going over.

 I kind of like to
let flowers go over the hill and watch them, sometimes their demise is just interesting - to see them slowly start to change and go by. Flowers are so ephemeral - maybe it is because I want to hang on to each season and not let it pass by so quickly.

The garden at the big Oakland County Community Greenhouse is growing well. The pole beans have reached the tops of their supports and are threatening to grow on anyone who stands near them too long. Have been harvesting lots of greens for salad and for braising and soups. It has done so well, that I went ahead and purchased another bed for the winter. The lease is good until mid-April. We'll have bunches of greens for everyone.

The latest venture that I have been spending lots of time on is the new Old Winery Farmers Market "store" I'll be setting up each week on Saturdays. I plan on selling fresh produce, cut and potted herbs, a few teas and some spices, plus jams and my baked goods. Have been searching out produce suppliers in the Detroit area and watching prices, collecting materials for moving and staging the products and deciding how much money I can afford to spend. Lots of brain spinning and thinking through.

Have found some interesting DIY tea bags, that come empty, are filled and get ironed or heat sealed up. So I decided to make some herbal teas, mulling spice bags and some black tea mixes. Am not big on the green teas, they upset my stomach. Also have a couple of friends that I'm trying to recruit into baking or doing some wooden, decorative reindeer for me.

It should be a time to kick back and reflect upon the summer past, but I'm not quite ready for the couch yet. I suppose when there is a foot of snow on the ground I'll be ready to sit and thumb through all those magazines that came this summer and never got looked at. Everything will come in time.

Linking to Tootsie Time for her weekly roundup of gardens and gardeners around the world. One I read is an Aussie, who has just started her spring garden on the other side of the globe! Check it out.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


It seems funny this week that I didn't have a market to go to. No routine of loading and unloading the van. No set up in the dark hours of the morning. No socializing with the other vendors at the market. And I will say I'm glad - no more new produce for me to can and put up!

Did five half-pints of ketchup last night and the last jam I'll be making for a while will be the garden huckleberry that still needs to be picked at Vicki's. Jet-black berries, very tangy and will need to be sweetened if they are to be made into anything. First year for these, so we'll give it a go.

Regrouping. Been looking at lots of websites for more ideas on products I can offer at my little booth. Browsing herbs, spices, grains, nuts and thinking of doing vinegars. I did go down to the Eastern Market area in Detroit a week ago and looked at some produce houses. Interesting world, there are no prices on anything so you have to walk the floor and look at samples, take your list back to the guy at the desk and get prices, do some fast ciphering and decide what to buy. They'll go back to the cooler and get it for you. Takes some real savvy buying knowledge that I only hope to develop. Still plan on offering produce at the winter market.

The gardens look tired. Amazingly the flowering tobacco or nicotiana is still blooming. Glad I stuck it in as a late season, last thought. I'm surprised the 28F temperatures didn't do it in yet. Vicki's greenhouse needs some care and attention but did cut a couple of bouquets of mums for both of us this last week. Kind of fun, not to have to worry about blooms on the plants to sell, but just to cut them for my own enjoyment.

Paul came in last week and cut the apricot down. Don't miss it a bit as there is lots of plants along that fenceline.The blueberries, apples and the back bench of the nursery will get a lot more sun now.

Was supposed to go to Lapeer Flea Market tomorrow but am holding off. Buddy Pam can't go and I didn't want to make the long drive without a bit of company. It also helps to have another set of eyes on the market to get an opinion of it. Will go in November when the market master says they fill up with vendors from Armada.

Fall colors are getting near their prime. Think this year was a bit muddier than usual with a lot of trees staying green late and not coloring up to their full potential. We've had the sunny days and cold nights this past week so the last trees should color up fast. Went on a color tour with my brother this past week. Unfortunately the day we had scheduled, it rained, but we did get to stroll around the village of Milford and have a good time anyway.

The mums, finally!, are in full bloom. Too late for the markets. Only hoping that some may overwinter. Last year mum losses were 100 percent.

Lots of small plants left in the nursery. Can't leave them on benches for the winter, too cold. So these will all have to be moved. Lots of schlepping in my future.

My greenhouse is pretty much packed. Have just stuffed tender children in there before the frost gets them. Got to do a lot of cutting back and root cuttings.

Pineapple Sage with it's brilliant scarlet blooms. Too bad they're too late for hummingbird season.

Non-stop begonia is, as advertised, a non-stop bloomer. Loved this color so much want to see if it will overwinter.

The last thought Nicotiana. Grows to 3' or more in a better soil and keeps putting out tons of pure, white blooms fragrant in the evening. Nice accent along a path or near a patio.

The space where the apricot was... Now that big blueberry bush in the center of the photo will be able to get a better fruit set and I'll be able to get at it to pick fruit.

The morning glories are definitely done for the season. Never did what I really wanted them to but it was worth a try. Will put more of the "heavenly blue" variety on the arch next year.

One of the longest bloomers in the nursery, china pinks. Not a long-lived perennial but makes up for it by blooming its heart out all season long.

That's the news from the nursery this week. Linking to Tootsie Time this week for her "fertilizer Friday" roundup of gardens and blooms from around the world. Check it out!

Friday, October 18, 2013

First Harvest

The perennials in the nursery are being put to bed, while the indoor garden season is just starting. Got my first harvest of tender salad greens and radishes yesterday and made a fresh salad as soon as I got home. I am notorious for not thinning my beds, so I am taking these first harvests to try and thin out the greens - Arugula, Broccoli Raab, several different kinds of Lettuce and some mixed greens that are mostly mustards and a "frisee" with a very frilly and deeply cut leaf. Some of the radishes were ready too - having bulbs just about an inch in diameter. All this after only 30 days from sowing.

The beans are 3-4' high too. Pinched out the tops of some of them, hoping they will branch a bit and make a bushier plant.

This was the bed two days earlier - the stuff grows by leaps and bounds!
Here it is on the 17th, filled in

Small radishes, some just right for eating

Box of tender greens
Some of the radishes were just thinnings, but the tops are still good in a sautee. I must make a note to keep sowing the radishes for a continuous harvest. 
Variegated leaves of Nasturtium 'Alaska'

The box of greens, colorful, very tender and flavorful. Even some dill leaves were ready to be picked - to add just that right touch of "herbiness" to a salad. Now that I've got so much coming up, have been calling friends telling them they need to go over and harvest some salads.

Not all of the bed is devoted to veggies - although you can eat the nasturtium flowers and leaves. Sowed "Alaska" this year and I love the look of its variegated leaves. Later they will have a mix of bright orange, yellow and red blooms that have a peppery tang.

Did my last Oakland County market with the perennials for this year. Still lots of late fall color there with tables of pansies and mums from Graystone Gardens.

The markets are winding up this week.I think the Armada Flea market this Sunday will be the last of the season unless the weather holds and I can get to Walled Lake next week. Cold temps and frost are predicted for the coming week and I need to start working in the nursery to get everything buttoned up for the winter. Need to lay some weed mat on the area I will try to overwinter the small pots. Going to give this a go, as I decided it just wasn't worth the money for pots, soil and labor to pot up all the 3 and 4 and a half inch sizes into one gallons. I'll just take my chances with the flats on the ground, under frostcloth and white plastic after they have a hard freeze - sometime in November.

Paul is coming down today to remove an apricot tree in the back bed. Hate to sacrifice a tree, but this one just didn't pull its own weight in the yard. Lovely trunk and bark but it would bloom and leaf out each year, only to die back, never produce fruit and the branches are all broom-like. It shades a good portion of the back of the yard and prevents a blueberry and a couple of apples from doing well, so it's so long apricot - been nice growing and knowing you.

Now the indoor season has started and I'll be starting a new venture taking fresh produce to market. Have just talked to the market manager for The Old Winery Market in Farmington and she is eager for me to bring fruits and veg and will get me a choice front spot at the market. The last Sunday of the month,  am going to scope out the Lapeer Flea Market to see if I think I can make a buck there. This Saturday I plan on going down to Eastern Market in Detroit to look at some of the produce houses to scan the products and plan what I can get and re-sell.

So fall seems even busier than the summertime, sowing and transplanting still goes on in Vicki's big greenhouse and I am juggling chores without much additional help. All this marketing takes away from the gardens which definitely need a good weeding and a helping hand - only so many hours in the day and so many priorities!

Hope you are enjoying the crisp, fall weather and the colors of the season...take some pictures, soon it will only be black, brown, gray and white!