Devine Gardens May 2016 Quarterly Winner

Devine Gardens May 2016 Quarterly Winner

The winner of the May 2016 Devine Gardens quarterly drawing is PT from the central New York area.

Plant shows are starting this weekend!!!
Saturday, May 21st the Master Gardeners are having their Annual Plant Sale at Beaver Lake Nature Park in Baldwinsville from : 10:00 – 2:00.
Saturday, May 28th Regional Market:
Saturday, June 4th Plantasia Spring Plant Sale at Baltimore Woods. The event is also held Friday evening for members only and Sunday for general public.
Saturday, June 18th Herb and Flower Festival in Oriskany, NY held by the Oneida County Master Gardeners
On Thursdays starting May 19th I will be at the Fayetteville Farmers Market located in the parking lot near Bonefish Grill.
Two new stores are selling Devine Gardens vermicompost this year, Evergreen Landscape on Thomson Rd in Syracuse and Alcott’s in Watervale on Route 20.

The Garden Goodies Raffle Basket this year includes Lockwood Lavender Farm lotion, soaps, bath salts and spritzer, an autographed copy of The Complete Kitchen Garden by Ellen Ecker Ogden, hand soap made with tallow from pastured cows at Creekside Meadows Farm, Atlas gardening gloves, a small bag of Devine Gardens vermicompost, a Devine Gardens t-shirt and a wooden trellised planter. The raffle is free; just drop your entry in the box when you see me. The winner will be picked July 4th weekend.

The group of Syracuse University graduate students has finished looking into the Devine Gardens business and gave me their recommendations. They conducted a survey which showed that Devine Garden customers care about the environment, about their health, want to buy local, want to learn more about vermicompost and gardening tips and would be interested in a super compost mix and a potting mix. Other recommendations were to improve the packaging, branding and marketing by making it more informational.

I will be selling the super compost mix bagged at markets and plant shows this spring. Use super mix like regular compost to amend gardens, raised beds and backfill when planting trees and shrubs. It will improve the soil structure. Unlike regular compost your soil will get the benefits of vermicompost including all those wonderful microbes from the worm’s digestive tract. Also, you will know where your compost came from and that it has no contaminants.

Our Jersey/Dexter mix is due to have her second calf June 5th, less than 3 weeks away. All the cows were very happy to be moved to fresh pasture last night. This year’s plan is to move them every 3 days. Betty’s first calf, Clover, is so healthy and a beautiful red color. Willa, Smidgen and Bailey, the heifer cows we bought last fall, are getting bigger. Candy, 2, is still very friendly and likes back rubs. The steer, Boo, is starting to fill out. For a long time he looked like a lanky teenager.

You may remember that we pounded in posts last summer. We have started doing the corner braces and then will string the wire. We are doing 4 strands of wire so there is about 12,800 feet of wire to staple up. It sounds like a lot but you only do one string at a time. When that is done we will have almost 50 acres of fenced land for pasture or to use for hay.

We currently have 4 chickens that are still living in the front room of the cow barn. The ground has to dry out so that we can move their coop up near the house. This year I’m going to give them a nice fenced in area where they will be safe from the red foxes. I was hoping that they could have free range but I’ve lost 9 chickens to foxes over the past 2 years.

From The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier I am using the occulation technique to block out weeds in the garden. I have tarped all of the areas that I’m not ready to plant. By tarping I’m hoping that the weeds will not grow under the black 6 millimeter plastic. I also bought some black and white plastic panda film. The white side is supposed to reflect the sun’s rays onto the bottom of the plants. I’m going to plant tomatoes, eggplant and peppers into it. If you would like to learn more about occulation and weed control here is a link to an article in Mother Earth News by Jean-Martin Fortier
On June 11th our youngest son, Tyler is getting married to a wonderful girl, Alicia. The wedding reception will be in the driveway of the pole barn. The decorations include hay bales, sunflowers and views of the cows grazing. The worms are not invited. We are all very excited. I hope that you have a lovely growing season and summer. 
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