September 6, 2011

Buy a $5 Landreth Seed Catalog and save the oldest business in the USA.

Please Help Save a National Treasure

Landreth Seed is America's oldest seed company, and they could really use your help. They need to raise some money, and quickly, if they are to stay in business.

Here's what Barbara Melera says about their situation on the company's facebook page:
To All of Our Customers & Friends

All of you know the story of Landreth and most of you know me, Barb Melera. My husband, Peter, and I have been working to restore this historic American company for the past 8 years.

We set about to restore this Company because it is the most historically important American small business in existence. It is the only American company, still operating daily, that existed when this country became a nation. Its founders were honorable men who helped establish and guide the agricultural and horticultural industries of this country in the 1700s, the 1800s and the 1900s. Landreth exemplifies American business and the ethics and integrity that built this nation.

On Wednesday, August 31, 2011, the Company’s accounts were frozen by a garnishment order initiated by a Baltimore law firm. If this garnishment order is not satisfied within the next 30 days, Landreth will cease to exist and a part of America’s history will be lost forever. I need to sell 1 million 2012 catalogs to satisfy this garnishment and the cascade of other indebtedness which this order has now initiated.

If you want to help save this piece of America, if you love gardening and heirloom seeds, if you care about righting the injustices of a legal system badly in need of repair, then please help Landreth. Please purchase a Landreth catalog, and if you can afford it, purchase several for your friends. Please send this link to everyone you know, One million catalogs is a big number, but with the internet it is achievable. Please help us to save Landreth.

Although Landreth seeds are not certified organic, they use organic practices and have never sold GMO seeds.


I've ordered a catalog and some seeds. At this time in history when the existence of independent seed companies is at risk as more and more are being bought out by the gigantic biotech industry, it's important for gardeners everywhere to support the diversity of choices available to us for our gardens from independent seed suppliers. Please help Landreth achieve their goal of one million catalogs sold this month. And while you're at their website, consider ordering some seeds. You might also like to peruse their other offerings. The holidays will be here before we know it, and Landreth has a number of beautiful offerings that would make thoughtful gifts for the gardeners on your shopping list. Together, we can help save this national treasure.

 Taken from Garden Girl Blog

May 31, 2011

Mission Failure

For the first time in 14 years of growing my own tomatoes from seed I have failed. At first, I just thought that the tomatoes were chilly in the basement under the lights so I moved them out to the greenhouse. When that didn't help I thought maybe they had a phosphorous deficiency and sprayed them with kelp spray. They haven't grown at all in a month and I knew I had to concede defeat. In the end, I think my beloved APS units were the cause of failure. I usually transplant the tomatoes from the smaller APS units to regular plastic pots but this year since I was going on vacation for 2 weeks in May I decided to transplant them into the larger APS units. I think that the tomatoes were too wet. Luckily, I have a wonderful local garden source, The Pure Gardener. They have a great selection of heirloom tomatoes. Some of them were the same variety that I had planted.  My tomato season has been saved and I'll probably have tomatoes even earlier than if I had succeeded with my own. I don't have the heart to throw away my tomatoes just yet. The two Coustralle are actually looking like they are turning the corner so I may just plant them out and see what happens.

May 17, 2011

May 15, 2011

First Garden Harvest

The first harvest from the garden this year is a bounty of rhubarb that I made into Rhubarb Jam with lime and ginger. This was my first attempt at canning jam and not just making freezer jam. I can hardly wait for some on toast in the morning! Lettuce should be coming soon as it's about thumb size right now. Hopefully this week I'll start planting out the broccoli,cauliflower and cabbage. It was too hot to plant out earlier last week as Chicago set a new record of 90 degrees on May 10th. I have to admit I wasn't ready for an instant summer but cooling down to a high of 47 degrees today was a bit silly.

April 20, 2011

Spring is Downloading, Please Wait....

I think this sign should be put in my garden as a reminder that spring really hasn't sprung in Chicagoland. After an 82 degree day and basically a couple of weeks in the high 50's and low 60's I wrongly believed that spring was here. I had finished all the garden cleanup and was excited to get planting. I planted spinach,mache and lettuce by the small bed close to the house. I transplanted strawberries and some garlic. I was smart enough to cover them with garden fleece so they are doing fine. Where I think I may have gone wrong was to plant dahlias and cannas in pots outside. I did think of putting them in the greenhouse but last time I did that I had a major ant infestation. I figured we were well into the 60's so they would be fine. Then came the last blast of winter to remind us we are zone 5 not 8. Temperatures were in the 30's for a high this week and we even had hail, thunderstorms and torrential rain. Oh, I almost forgot we had a bit of snow too. It will be a miracle if the dahlias and cannas don't rot or die from hypothermia. Then again I could get lucky and have the earliest blossoms around. Time will tell but I'm hoping that spring will quit downloading and just upload immediately.

April 11, 2011

Early April Flowers

Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
This picture collage generated with Smilebox

April 5, 2011

A Plant That Really Lives Up To It's Name

I thought it would be interesting to plant some seeds of this Cat Grass(Avena Sativa) and see if the neighbor cat, Stripey, who hangs out on our deck would like it.
I guess that would be a big YES!
                  You could even say it was lip smacking good.
         Looks like Stripey will be hanging out on the deck for the rest of the Cat Grass Season.

First Plantings

I planted peas,spinach and arugula on April 2nd. The soil in the raised beds is well drained and early to warm up with the little bit of spring sunshine that we have had. I added some compost from the compost bin and noticed lots of worms in the raised beds as I turned the soil.

First Flowers

The first flowers to bloom in the garden are the crocus and scilla. April 5th seems a little late but it's been a cool early spring with temps in the 30's and 40's.

March 29, 2011

So Many Seeds, So Little Time

I was procrastinating a bit on seed starting but now I have shifted myself into gear. Here's a list of the seeds I have started so far and when they have sprouted.

FLOWERS(All started on 3/20/11)
Impatiens Flavor Mix-sprouted 3/29
Coleus-sprouted 4/3
Verbena Bonariensis
Celosia-sprouted 3/23
White Foxglove-sprouted 3/24
Lemon Drop Marigold
White Chrysanthemum-sprouted 4/2
Giant Hyssop
Black Hollyhock-sprouted 3/23, transplanted inside 4/17
Cardoon-sprouted 3/29, transplanted inside 4/17
Black Snapdragon- sprouted 3/26
Flowering Cabbages-Fringed,Sunset,Peacock,Osaka-sprouted 3/23

FLOWERS started 4/13
Morning Glory Mix-sprouted 4/20
Moonflower-sprouted 4/17
Jack in the pulpit
Castor Bean

BROCCOLI-Gypsy, Early Dividend-started 3/20 sprouted 3/23,transplanted inside 4/17
CAULIFLOWER-Graffiti,Violetta-started 3/20 sprouted 3/23,transplanted inside 4/17
RED CABBAGE-started 3/20, transplanted inside 4/17
PAK CHOI-started 3/20,transplanted inside 4/17

TOMATOES(started 3/27)
Mortgage Lifter-sprouted 4/2, transplanted inside 4/17
Coustralee-sprouted 4/2, transplanted inside 4/17
Pineapple-sprouted 4/2, transplanted inside 4/17
Yellow Currant-sprouted 4/2, transplanted inside 4/17
Manyel-sprouted 4/3, transplanted inside 4/17
Tigerella-sprouted 4/3, transplanted inside 4/17

EGGPLANT(started 3/27)
Pingtung Long(sprouted 4/12)
Dusky (sprouted 4/14)
Lavender Touch(sprouted 4/8)

PEPPERS(started 3/27)
Ancho-sprouted 4/17

GLOBE ARTICHOKE(sprouted 4/16)

LETTUCE- started indoors 4/13
Tom Thumb
Rosalito Romaine-sprouted 4/16
May Queen Butterhead
Radicchio-sprouted 4/18
Microgreens-sprouted 4/16

BASIL-started 4/13 sprouted 4/17

I'm going to try and update the sprouting dates as that happens. I didn't buy any new seed this year so I'll see if I have delayed germination.

March 15, 2011