Mother’s Day Weekend is upon us and we begin with the opening of the Historic Lewes Farmers Market (HLFM) this Saturday, May 9, marking its tenth anniversary!
Then on Sunday, May 10, we will hold a Mothers’ Day Plant Sale from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with CSA members invited to come at 10:30.
Located on the grounds of the Lewes Historical Society Society at Third and Shipcarpenter Streets, in historic Lewes, the HLFM runs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. every Saturday.
We are excited to be a part of this world class market. If you have never been to the HLFM, please come and see what it is all about.
If you don’t like crowds, come sometime during the months of May and June before the high season starts and you’ll have a chance to talk to vendors passionate about sustainability and passionate about what they do.
Market Produce this Week
Hattie’s Garden will have freshly harvested arugula, a lettuce mix, nice “Rudolph” radishes, our popular Fun Jen “Chinese cabbage,” fresh dill, tasty cilantro and mojito mint for your Mother’s Day libations.
Please look in the blue coolers for our triple-washed greens. Our salad mixes last a long time because of the care we take in harvesting and preparing them for you and then keeping them nice and cool.
Plants this Week
And, of course, this is the time of year for starting your gardens!
Hattie’s Garden sells dozens of different varieties of all kinds of plants for your garden. Mostly annuals, they range from vegetables to flowers to herbs and are all “organically” grown.
This weekend, we will have lots of plants at HLFM and also will hold a plant sale on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with CSA members welcome to come at 10:30.
If that time frame does not work, please let Hattie know and she will have you come to the garden at an alternative time that works for you both so you can get whatever you may need.
We have zinnias in every size from our very tall Benary Giants (5 feet) to a new introduction for us, Cut and Come Again Zinnias – an heirloom of only about two feet tall for keeping your vases full of color all summer. Our Profusion Bedding Zinnias are just 12-18″ tall, drought tolerant, heat tolerant and disease resistant. They will bloom all summer and do not need to be deadheaded.
For Marigolds, we plant only open-pollinated varieties to maintain their beneficial properties. Marigolds can help protect other plants. Marigolds release bio-active compounds that are toxic to root knot nematodes. This compound also reduces the chance of fungal, bacterial, viral and insect problems. Our marigolds range in height from 6 inches to 5 feet! The African Marigold and the French Marigold both have beneficial properties.
Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplants
We will have a range of our tomato, pepper and eggplant plants available this weekend. You’ll find nice-sized hybrids, heirlooms and cherry tomatoes, and if you don’t find everything you want, our largest planting of over 30 varieties of tomatoes will be ready for the May 15th weekend. (I always encourage gardeners to plant up to three successions of tomatoes to maintain a good harvest throughout the season.)
We have sweet peppers, hot peppers, Asian eggplants and Italian-style eggplants available now, with another large planting coming in mid-May as well.
Our herbs are really beginning to take off. This weekend, you’ll find Flat and Curly Parsley, English Thyme, Golden Lemon Thyme, beautiful Berggarten Sage as well as Tri-colored Sage, Rosemary ‘Arp,’ Fernleaf Dill, Cilantro “starts,” and Greek Oregano. Lots more herbs are coming throughout the month of May and all of the basil varieties will be ready toward the end of the month and continue to be available throughout June. It loves the warmest weather!
We still have healthy head lettuce plants that will be replaced by faster growing lettuce mixes as the weather warms and we move into late spring. Some folks put a couple of lettuce mix plugs in a pot and use it as a cut and come again salad mix. They like to move the pot around to avoid the worst of the summer heat and keep their lettuce going strong for a long time.
What Makes Our Potting Soil Superior
We use Vermont Compost Company potting soil. Even though it is expensive to have shipped to Delaware, we insist on using it and have never found anything that produces the results we get from this soil.
Why a compost-based potting soil such as this? And why is this compost-based potting soil the very best?
Karl Hammer, owner, operator of Vermont Compost Company began blending potting soil in the ’80s. Karl has been making compost and blending potting soil for over 20 years. A compost-based soil contains a large, diverse and vibrant population of soil microbes. The life in this soil helps to suppress soil born disease organisms.
Perhaps most importantly, this soil sets up your plant for life. The microbes work with the roots of the seedling to release nutrients from soil humus. The compost serves the role of organic matter in the soil, feeding the plant as the plants need it and helping to establish a complex root system.
A compost rich soil will also provide sites for the retention of soluble nutrients as they become available, so please plant in composted soil if possible!
There are also some differences when growing in organic potting soils. The soil microbes will not be active enough to produce good growth until it is consistently at 60 degrees and above.
You could get faster results if you used a chemical fertilizer, but you will not get a healthier plant. In addition, the plants must be moved into larger containers sooner than those you may find at the box stores.
Through the use of chemicals such as insecticides, growth regulators and chemical fertilizers, the plants you see at box stores may stay in their same smaller containers for much much longer than ours could and thereby add value for the retailer by greatly increasing shelf life. And of course, disease and insect resistance is enhanced through the use of such insecticides as neonictotinoids, the scourge of wild pollinators. For instance, treated seeds are soaked in neonicotinoids and that chemical then becomes active within the plant cells throughout the life of the plant.
I strongly recommend all folks interested in sustainable growing buy plants from organic sources whenever possible. You will find many of us at the HLFM! And talk to us so we can help you understand how to have a healthy garden. And always buy untreated seeds!
Yours in the garden & the market,