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Fruition Garden Journal

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

How to Harvest Milkweed Seeds

Oct 29, 2019
 

Imagine millions of monarchs migrating south, hundreds and sometimes thousands of feet above the trees, flashing black and bright copper as they make their way from the Northeast to Mexico.

Monarch butterflies have made an incredible comeback in the last five years, in no small part thanks to gardeners saving, spreading and sharing seeds widely across our continent. If you've been growing milkweed --- or at least not pulling it as weeds --- I love you and thank you! Never doubt that your actions, like seeds, are deceptively small :)

Though adult monarch butterflies feed on many other flowers, like our Queen Sophia marigolds, the monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed.

Harvesting milkweed seeds brings memories of my childhood, leaves crunching underfoot and thick wool sweaters with hundreds of burrs as polka dots. The leaves are crimson, gold and umber. Grapes are ripe on the vine, but barely. 

I remember reaching my hand carefully into each pod, each of us about to...

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Successful Succession Sowing in July

Jul 06, 2018
 

Our gardens are a lush jungle in the hot, hot sun as baby birds learn to fly across the fields and our dogs find respite under zucchini leaf umbrellas. 

As we harvest heads of lettuce, rows of beets, pull out peas and feed bolting cilantro to the chickens, we're sowing seeds so the abundance doesn't stop. Our season is short, so we've got to make the most of it! Succession sowing is the genius, seamless transition of one crop to the next, amplifying your abundance all season long.

In July, following our harvest of peas, carrots, beets, garlic and lettuce, here is what we are succession sowing, between dips in the pond:

1. Greens

You have so many options!

The good news: Greens don't require tons of fertility, so don't hesitate to plant lettuce where you just harvested lettuce.

The bad news: not all greens thrive in the heat, so be sure you're planting those that will. Nonetheless, options abound:

And here are our go-to July varieties, including our most...
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6 Seeds to Sow in Early April

Apr 06, 2018
 

Here in the Finger Lakes of New York, Zone 5a, we're filling our greenhouse with the seeds of crops best sown 6 to 8 weeks before last frost. Exploring last frost dates is a blog coming soon! In the meantime, we aim for Memorial Day as our frost-free date. 

What are we sowing this week?

Here is the laundry list, with notes:

1) Alliums

Though onions & shallots (like Cuisse du Poulet below) were ideally started 4 to 6 weeks ago, there is no time like the present and last call! Other alliums like Leeks and scallions are not day-length sensitive, so sow them anytime now through mid-July. We'll be planting them out early/mid-May.

2) Solanids

Now is the perfect time to start pepperseggplant and tomatoes (like Brandywise below). Other varieties in the solanid family to start indoors include ground cherries and tomatillos, but hold off on them til mid-April: they are a lot more vigorous and will easily become stressed started this...

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