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Fruition Garden Journal

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

Why Thanksgiving Kale is My Favorite

Nov 20, 2018
 

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

Some years, like this year, I’ve already been skiing for a week, HOORAY! Other years, Thanksgiving arrives and leaves are bright though fading, snow yet to accumulate. 

Either way, there are two things to know about how I eat kale.

First: I eat kale twelve months of the year.

Second:

I eat 98% of that kale between November and March.

Here’s why:

Sugar is nature’s antifreeze. 

Literally.

This means, among other things, kale leaves are most sweet and tender in the coldest seasons. Which is SO good to know! And the reasons why are equally fascinating.

How Sugars Prevent Freezing

Across plant and animal kingdoms, sugars are formed in cells as cold approaches. These sugars protect cell walls as freezing water molecules expand. Pure water, H20, becomes jagged and sharp, cutting like sharp swords, as it freezes. With dissolved sugars, water becomes sloshy rather than sharp, maintaining the cell walls even as temperatures...

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3 Keys to Maximizing Your Leaves This Fall

Nov 15, 2018
 

'Tis the season when leaves are falling and streets are lined with ready-made mulch, compost-to-be, nutrient dense and often already bagged for the intrepid gardener to stock up one of the quickest ways to build top-notch soil.

So true!

Here are three keys to maximizing your leaves this fall, to build your soil quickly and mulch most effectively:

1. Deciduous Leaves are the Best for Mulch and Building Soil

Only apply deciduous leaves as mulch in your garden beds. Coniferous pine needles will decompose and acidify your soil, often making the resulting pH less than ideal for growing vegetables, flowers and herbs. If you’re growing blueberries, rhododendrons or want blue hydrangeas, coniferous materials are one of the easiest ways to both mulch and feed them.

2. Chipping/Shredding Your Leaves has the Greatest Impact

Whether you’re building your soil with leaves or spreading them as mulch, send your leaves through a chipper/shredder first. I’ve learned the hard...

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4 Easy Ways to Harvest More This Fall

Sep 20, 2018
 

Here in the Northeast, finding easy ways to extend our season is essential to eating well as the days grow short. 

After years of working on farms and experimenting at Fruition, here are the four keys of season extension:

- sowing the right seeds

- using the right tools 

- at just the right time

- and harvesting in just the right way

For 

free shipping

on any order of row cover + spring steel hoops, use promo code

delicious

through Tuesday, September 25th 

Let's dive in.

Cold-Hardy Seeds for Season Extention

In any season, the right seeds make all the difference. September in Zone 5 is no match for seeds selected to thrive in California, where most seed is grown, which is perhaps why so many gardeners don't grow into the fall. Oh yes, and we've all been working hard all summer, so we're ready to slow down, too! But I know my own childhood-self was deterred by lettuce that wasn't up for the cause.

Now, I am so grateful to know which ones are.

'Winter...

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Garlic & Shallots for Fall Planting

Aug 02, 2018
 

Flavor keeps me coming back to the garden.

Keeps me coming back to myself. 

Garlic and shallots, with their exquisite flavor and versatility, accompany me to the kitchen in each season.

For many years, I had no idea different varieties of garlic could taste to different. Several years back, we hosted a gathering of friends, chefs and food writers, garlic lovers and garlic haters alike. We sauteed and roasted 17 varieties of garlic (it's true), each one labeled. A feast we set out, each dish without garlic: roasts and quiches, olive oil and baguette, smashed potatoes and hummus. We then added garlic to each dish, one variety after another, attempting to characterize and articulate what we were tasting.

Italy Hill Porcelain is our favorite variety for making pesto.

The unanimous conclusion: We all know the apple varieties we like best. Surely you know if you prefer an Empire over a Granny Smith, for example. But in our rush to commoditize food, we've largely forgotten the...

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Sowing Autumn Abundance in August

Jul 27, 2018
 

As I look around the farm this final week of July, I see red tomatoes on the vine, seven-foot pole beans reaching for the sky and thousands of dahlias in full bloom. Abundance and beauty abound!

Amid the extraordinary bounty of summer, I'm sowing the abundance of autumn. This week, we're prepping beds and sowing carrots, beets, watermelon radish, more cilantro, the start of cool-season lettuces and (my favorite) dwarf peas. These are the seeds that will feed us in the cool months to come. 

The right tool for every job: The tine-side of a rake picks out rocks while the flat edge levels the soil.

Below you'll find the full list of seeds we're planting now, in the final week of July, but first:

Now through Tuesday, July 31st, receive 

free shipping 

on orders of five packets or more with promocode: autumnabundance

Also, now through Sunday, July 29th,

each new member of Fruition's Flourish Garden Club will be gifted my favorite three seeds...

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The 2 Easiest Ways to Increase Your Garlic Harvest in June

Jun 20, 2018
 

Garlic is one of our favorite crops to grow. Delicious in every season and marvelously medicinal, garlic is also easy to grow. If I had to pick only a handful of crops to grow each season, garlic would always be one. Always.

The two most common reasons we harvest small bulbs are nutrient deficiency and weed pressure.

Here are easy ways to ensure you have abundant nutrients and manageable weeds to optimize your garlic harvest this season.

How to Best Fertilize Your Garlic

Garlic is a heavy feeder, requiring lots of nutrients to grow large and store long.

Here are the best times and ways to ensure your garlic has full access to abundant nutrients:

- Add rich fertility when you prepare your soil to plant in fall. We love to add mature compost, worm castings, Neptune's Harvest crab & lobster crumble.

- Mulch with deciduous leaves in fall, spring, or both. Just make sure you put them through a chipper/shredder first, especially in fall, so you don't inhibit the...

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Mmmmmm! 5 Keys to Eating Greens Before Memorial Day

Apr 20, 2018

Mmmmmmm!

5 Keys to Eating Greens Before Memorial Day

Traditional wisdom sends us to our garden Memorial Day weekend.  And for good reason: the soil is finally warm, it is marvelous to not wear socks and all the quintessential summer crops (tomatoes, basil, beans) can be planted with confidence knowing there will (likely) not be another frost 'til fall. 

Certainly, Memorial Day is a great time to start your garden but friends, there’s no need to wait. Especially if you love salad as much as Davi and I do :)

With the right seeds, the right tools and the right timing, you can be eating greens six weeks or more before Memorial Day, even in our short seasons here in the Finger Lakes. 

Yes, even when it's still snowing on April 19th, as it is today :)

Here are my five ways to make sure you're eating salad before Memorial Day. 

1. Sow in fall 

When does nature sow her seeds? 

In the fall!

Much more on this as autumn approaches :)

In the meantime,...

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