Fruition Garden Journal

video tutorials, tried-and-true tips + our latest learnings to surround you with abundance all season long

Fruition's Microgreens Time Lapse!

Oct 28, 2020
 

So many folx have been asking how to grow microgreens over the winter ahead, so let's dive in! We'd love to set you up for success :)

So here are six keys to grow microgreens with ease:

 #1: The Right Seeds 

Anything delicious that sprouts quick is a great choice for microgreens. We've just made massive packets of seeds perfect for sowing trays of fresh microgreens all winter long (hooray!) and here are a few of our favorites:

 Broccoliarugula kale often sprout within 24 hours & are harvested 10 days later, not to mention they are so delicious as well as versatile :)

 More colors = more nutrients so revel in our confetti rainbow radish mix, purple radish seeds (below) as well as our vivid red amaranth!

 Quick-growing microgreen herbs like basildill and cilantro are not as quick as broccoli & other brassicaceous (isn't that a lovely word?!) microgreens, though they are...

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America the Beautiful | An Homage to the First Presidential Debate 2020

Oct 02, 2020
 
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Tasting the Next Generation of Dulcinea Carrot

Sep 28, 2020
 

Between snow squalls, our friend Trevor (@larkinandtrevor) stopped by this week as we were making flavor selections for the next generation of our Dulcinea carrot and LOOK WHAT HE MADE! 

I especially can’t deal with how he captured the spirit of Davi, one of our two mini-Aussie mutts  

Okay, but what’s going on?

Carrots quickly revert back to their wildly bitter and pine-y ancestry, so we taste every single root of every single generation. Nearly one thousand of them! We’ve been especially choosy with Dulcinea, our new Fruition-bred variety, selecting (among other traits) for seriously exceptional flavor. What else matters, in the end?

So yes, we harvested the carrots and tucked them in our root cellar, soil still on to optimize their storage. To taste them, we wash the bottom few inches of each root and then slice away, cutting on a bias so each root (marvelously called ‘stecklings’ when they’re for seed rather than eating...!)...

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When to Harvest & How to Cure Winter Squash

Sep 24, 2020
 

When do you harvest winter squash?

And how do you cure it for the long winter ahead?

It's true, the skin color is tempting, though deceptive, because skin color often turns the color of maturity 4+ weeks before maturity is reached--- though honeynut, with her built-in ripeness indicator below, is a fabulous exception! She is finally ripe once all the green has turned a deep pumpkin-y caramel color.

Most winter squash skins turn the color of edible maturity well before they are ripe, though honeynut is a marvelous exception, only fully ripe when all green streaks have disappeared.



When to Harvest Winter Squash

Winter squash require ~60 days from pollinated flower to ripe, mature fruit, so here in Zone 5, waiting til mid-September is just a safe bet at the earliest.

We wait as long as possible before frost because, even with powdery mildew often drenching the plants (as below), if there is any green in the leaves & stems that means sugars are being photosynthesized & sent into...

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Grow Your Own Saffron!

Sep 17, 2020
 

So often, extraordinary things come from humble beginnings...


...and saffron is no exception :)

We love to push the envelope of what we can grow here in Zone 5 and a few years back we decided to plant a few saffron crocus corms to see what would happen. Lo and behold, we were blown away. They're so easy to grow, perennial and so beautiful, not to mention delicious! We're honored to finally share our gorgeous organic saffron crocus corms with you :)

Though it takes ~75,000 blossoms to grow one pound of saffron, you can easily grow plenty for your own enjoyment with a handful of corms, and I hope that you do!

Before we dive in, know we made an entire mini-course, totally free, to set you up for success! Fruition's Grow Your Own Saffron Mini-Course surrounds you with the knowledge and joy as well as confidence to 

Saffron crocus bloom in fall with lusciously long ochre-orange stigmas (saffron!) emerging alongside yellow, pollen-rich anthers.

Here are the keys to keep in mind:

...

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We Are All Plant Breeders Now

Sep 10, 2020
 

published in the Small Farms Journal, Winter 2019-2020

 

We Are All Plant Breeders Now

Five approaches to adaptive seed stewardship

 

By Petra Page-Mann

 

They told you to order from the catalog. To plant in tilled soil. To get big or get out. To dig in, to fit in, to simply follow the instructions on the package.

 

They promised you yield and markets, profitability and prosperity, stability and security, if you would just do what you’re told.

 

They sold you big tractors with bigger debt and small, patented seeds, a certain social grace with less than a living wage. 

 

Now we know: We reap what we sow.

 

In the last century, farmers and their communities have been uprooted from our ten-thousand-year legacy: The seeds themselves. As seeds have moved from commons to commodity, it is no longer common to find a farmer growing their own seed, much less involved in any breeding process.

 

Yet we are. 

 

With every bite. 

...

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How to Know When a Melon is Ripe

Aug 21, 2020
 

How do you know when a melon is ripe? 

The million-dollar question! 

There is simply no one way, Friends. 

Here are the keys to keep in mind. 

Watermelon 

Here are three clues to help you harvest at just the right moment:

a) Pink Pank Punk!

Go knocking on your watermelons! Listen to the tone, feel the resonance in the melon. The lower the tone, the riper the melon. Ripe melons will also have more vibration from within, with unripe melons feeling more solid with a higher pitch 'pink' rather than the deeper 'pank' and deepest 'punk.' 

For this method, it's ideal to have multiple melons to give you a reference point. It's also crucial to note that the lowest tone only denotes the ripest melon --- not necessarily a ripe melon. If you're wondering what method to employ in a market, this is the one :)

b) The Golden Tendril

You'll notice at the base of a watermelon's stem is a green, spiraling tendril. Once the associated watermelon is ripe, that tendril...

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7 Seeds to Resist Transplanting

May 08, 2020
 

I was tempted to share 'seeds to never transplant,' yet never is such strong, dominating language.

There is always more than one way to do things.

In fact, we transplant some of these seeds...

...but only because it keeps our lives more simple ...

...not because the plants prefer it.

So yes, it's true, there are some seeds whose sensitive root systems simply prefer to grow where they're planted. Planting them in soil blocks, cow pots or peat pots is always an option --- just be sure you're transplanting them as soon as seedlings emerge from the soil.

It's counter-intuitive, I know, but directly sowing these seeds in deliciously warm soil after final frost will surround you with earlier and more abundance than their transplanted kin, even in short seasons. Planting them earlier is simply not an equation to get an earlier harvest. 

Resist Transplanting These Seeds

 Cucurbits  

The cucurbit botanical family includes zucchini, summer & winter squash, melon, &...

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We Never Thought We'd Do This (& Check Out Our New Packets!)

Apr 30, 2020
 

We never thought we'd do this. 

Tuck seeds in blank packets. 

And yet, six weeks ago, we saw the writing on the wall. As seed packets were flying off our shelves, we had plenty of seeds in our cooler to share --- yet our packet supply was beginning to dwindle. We contacted our fabulous printer & though they're still in operation, they're functioning at a fraction of their capacity, with no timeline for us to anticipate receiving more packets. 

We were able to find blank packets as our hearts sank, deflated at the thought of sharing seeds. In. Blank. Packets. 

Ten seconds later my heart elated, realizing that this is the moment we inhabit: A blank slate, an open canvas, daunting & not at all what we ever would have wanted, yet the dawn of a new day. 

We always talk about making the world more beautiful, more just, more creative, more resourceful.

So here we are:

We're paying artists, beloved friends, to create original art for our packets as...

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Egg Cartons are for Eggs (So Here are Six Effective Containers for Seed Starting)

Apr 16, 2020
 

You can start seeds in virtually anything that a) holds potting mix and b) drains excess water. 

That being said, some containers are better than others.

Though creativity & resourcefulness are essential, now more than ever, it’s equally important to know the pros & cons of seed starting approaches.

Starting seeds is such a joy...and it's deceptively easy.

There are as many ways to garden as there are gardeners, but too many garden ‘hacks’ focus on the ‘wow!’ factor & not the fact that there are very real limitations as well as better approaches to consider.

I’ve already received hundreds of photos of struggling seedlings this spring , it’s simply not as easy as it seems. The worst ones by far are in egg cartons & jiffy pots — foreshadowing! — but don’t let me get ahead of myself :)

Certainly, there are many variables. High-quality light & potting mix are key, as is not starting too soon (the classic...

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