video tutorials, tried-and-true tips + our latest learnings to surround you with abundance all season long
Growing tomatoes is deceptively simple: from starting seeds to growing healthy seedlings, from pruning (or not) to trellising optimally for your variety, there are a lot of variables to consider. Here are the keys of pruning and trellising to keep your life as simple as possible.
Tomatoes are naturally sprawling understory plants in their native jungles of what we now call Central America. Un-pruned, your tomatoes will become a jungle!
Tomatoes produce abundant growth and fruiting branches often called ‘suckers’ and Friends, instead of pruning tomato 'suckers' we prune 'bonus branches' which is a Fruition community-sourced vocab shift which we just love!
Each bonus branch emerges from between a leaf and the mainstem, having the capacity to grow more leaves, flowers, fruit and even more bonus branches. Which is a brilliant evolutionary strategy --- as well as a nearly exponential...
Cucumber Beetle is the main ‘pest’ insect that reduces our harvests of cucurbits, from summer to winter squash, melons to cucumbers. They are beautiful as well as devastating! There's good news and bad; here is a little more biology to help understand their lifecycle as well as 4 keys to thwarting them in your garden for seasons to come.
With long, narrow and lemon yellow with black stripes (and occasionally spots), Cucumber beetles feed on every part of your cucurbits, though the real danger is the bacterial wilt they vector that often significantly decreases and even destroys your abundance. Here in Zone 5 they have two 8-week lifecycles each season, overwintering as adults in the vines that remain in your garden. In mid/late June they emerge and lay eggs at the base of any cucurbit they find, where the larvae quietly munch on the roots and subsequent adults enjoy every other part of the plant, from stem to...
Juneteenth is nearly here!
Juneteenth, June 19th, marks the day that slavery finally ended in the United States as the Union Army marched onto plantations in the final state (Texas) to free the last people held in bondage there. The date was June 19th, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
Juneteenth is the celebration of chains being lifted, challenging us to lift our own & to lift each other’s today & all days, knowing slavery doesn't end — it evolves — and so can we.
Farming, food and freedom are deeply intertwined & Friends, in celebration of Juneteenth, Fruition is sharing 50% of our sales now through Sunday at midnight with our local black & women-led food-farm-community organization, Food for the Spirit! Cultivating seeds as well as stories, Food for the Spirit is a cornerstone in both rural and urban communities, nourishing intersections across all generations. Last year this Juneteenth 'seed...
I confess, I drive with a tupperware full of seed balls (aka seed bombs, though let's resist normalizing war references) full of sunflowers to toss wherever I feel they might just thrive, especially along highways and vacant lots, as well as to share with anyone who seems to take a shine to such a ruckus
My four-year-old niece and I are making sooOOooooOooo many this weekend, re-filling our stash and here are a few of the things we've learned across the years:
a ratio of 3:1 clay to compost is dreamy
resist making them larger than a cherry, the size of a large blueberry is a fabulous snack while not inhibiting your sprouts
resist adding more than 3 seeds per ball so sprouting seedlings don't compete with each other
the seeds that thrive in seed balls seem to be those that don't mind direct-sowing as well as less than optimal conditions like sunflower, phacelia and cosmos. Calendula also thrives just about anywhere, though they can readily re-seed themselves as a carpet, so we tend...
Starting seeds is equally an experience of joy, anticipation and patience with anxiety right around the corner. How old were those seeds? Should I water less? More? Why haven't they come up yet? Am I running out of time?
Some seeds are easy to germinate (thank you, lettuce!) while others are more complicated (we still love you, tomatoes!) and some are just flat-out challenging (we see you, arnica!).
Here are 5 keys to optimize your germination with confidence, Friends!
Most seeds only need to be sown twice their depth, so it's incredibly easy to sow seeds too deep. When a seed germinates with too much soil above it, they may take longer to emerge and may well not emerge, alas.
Some seeds like strawflower, snapdragon and skullcap require light to germinate so be sure look on the packet for any specific instructions indicating such. We share a list of the most common seeds that need light to germinate on page 28...
We love sharing what we love with people we love, especially our organic ginger!
In 2020, our dear Friend Trevor of Larkin & Trevor Photography stopped by the farm, in the middle of a snow storm, as we were packing hundreds of ginger orders to tuck in the mail with the warm up just a few days away. He has such a wonderful laugh and the warmth of his being is so beautifully woven into his photos and videos as well as his beer, more on their new brewery to come !
And Friends, if you’re considering planting ginger this season, here is a little tip that makes all the difference:
There is food-grade ginger and there is seed-grade ginger
Let’s break it down!
You can totally plant grocery store ginger like I did once when I was little. It grew as well as my avocado pits, which is to say: it was super fun and I learned a LOT! I never came close to harvesting an avocado or ginger worth mentioning beyond the cautionary tale
Now I know that the ginger in grocery...
Here’s a little behind-the-scenes snapshot of how we store our organic dahlia tubers + sing them back to life for you!
If you'd love to grow some yourself, we share our dahlia tubers here.
Before I describe some of the keys to storing dahlia tubers, I just want to step back + thank Trevor of the fabulous Larkin & Trevor Photography who made this amazing video, beautifully capturing the warmth + care we share them with. Trevor is a great friend + he’s also an incredible collaborator, super curious and immensely generous, always excited to learn + never hesitating to dig in deep. In an era when everyone is a photographer, his eye is distinctly different. Craft still rises above commodity. Follow him for insight, inspiration & a whole lot of love
So dahlia storage!
There’s a LOT to share, definitely jump into our website if you haven’t already, there’s a ton of videos on each variety’s page sharing the process of how to dig,...
Our gift to you this season is evidence that
Wishing you peace, stillness & joy!
Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,
If you still haven't planted your garlic or shallots yet, a) you're not alone and b) don't be daunted! Here in Zone 5 we can sow garlic as late as early February and be confident she'll grow fully in the coming season. If you're looking for some helpful hints, here are our Six Mistakes to Avoid When Planting Garlic and enjoy the hot cocoa when you're through, wooHooOOoooooOoooo!
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:
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:
For years we’ve been asked to demystify seed starting and here it is: Rise & Shine shares everything you need to start seeds successfully at home in 40 beautiful pages with easy-to-follow instructions and insightful tips for the novice and experienced grower alike.