The Garden Has Sprung

03 Apr

My daughter recently said, “I’m not a procrastinator, I just like to do things later.” Even at 22, she’s so cute.

I’m not procrastinating, I’ve just been super busy! It’s been two weeks since my last post, a little longer than I had anticipated, but given the time of year { SPRING!!! }, it’s not surprising. I want to thank everyone who has followed along with my blog, shared my newsletters, and shown their support through my online store and the farmers market. March was an explosive month for seed sales; an indication to me of people choosing to take back control of our food. I’m excited about the direction of Moonlight Micro-Farm and how it is evolving to synch with what I feel is my right livelihood. I can’t thank all of you enough. Thank you! Thank you!

Hot Pink Hibiscus

I want to share some of my latest garden ventures and harvests with you. Over the last two months, I’ve started over 150 tomato and pepper seeds, herbs, squash, pumpkins, beans, melons, and a mix of various flowers. I’ve transplanted a gardenia, a couple blackberries, a hibiscus, and a limequat; all long over due to be given a more permanent home. I’m back to growing wheatgrass trays for Raw & Juicy and sprouts for my new sprout tasting bar at the Seaside Farmers Market. I’m also continuing to build beds and putting together containers to further expand my growing area.

Sprout Tasting Bar

Last year was my first year in our new/old house and the primary focus was clearing debris (a 30 yard dumpster full!), observing the site, and getting some infrastructure in place. So, this year is all about better defining zones, getting edible perennials in place, and filling in the details.

Dwarf Blue Scotch Kale

What’s Being Harvested Now

With the fast warming weather, my spring garden – it’s more aptly described as a cool season garden in the South – has exploded and is already in rapid decline. My Dwarf Gray Sugar Peas turned out to be mini giants, reaching almost five feet tall. I’ve also discovered that though they are an old reliable heirloom, they aren’t the tastiest sugar peas to be had. That’s too bad because they are quite prolific. I know better for next year. The great thing about Peas is that they are the first ones up, giving that boost of gardening confidence and an infusion of inspiration. Next year I may try Melting Mammoth or Sugar Ann’s. In the meantime, I continue to harvest the pods young and eat them fresh, right in the garden, or lightly sauteed and added to other dishes.

Little Finger Carrots

Dwarf Gray Sugar Pea

Cylindra Beets

Empress of India Nasturtium

Buttercrunch Bibb Lettuce

{ all photos courtesy of e.m.marcus | photography }

I’m also harvesting Tom Thumb Lettuce; Bibb Buttercrunch Lettuce; Watermelon Radishes; Russian, Lacinato, and Dwarf Blue Scotch Kale; Cylindra Beets; and Little Finger Carrots. All of these varieties have done incredibly well. Kale is hands down, no fail. The Bibb lettuce seems to hold up well with our hot days, though it is starting to bolt now. The small Cylindra beets didn’t split and become woody. The tops are just as tasty as the roots. Same for the Little Finger Carrots, nice smallish size, well developed roots, and good semi-sweet flavor. I bought the Watermelon Radish seeds from Cubits. I was worried that I had planted them too late because they got extremely leafy and no radish. All of a sudden, the root started bulbing and in just a week, I had perfectly shaped radishes, a little bigger than a golf ball. Beautiful and tasty! I would recommend these as a good winter radish for the South. I’ll definitely be carrying those seeds this fall.

What’s Sprouting?

We have our very first ever flowering banana. I was hopeful a few weeks ago that we would be gorging on bananas in a few months, but they seem to be having some sort of development issues. I’m not sure what’s going on, but will continue to hope for the best.

Flowering Banana

Crane Melons, White Scallop Squash, Seminole Pumpkins, and that mess of peppers and tomatoes are all in various stages, from sprouting to ready to be transplanted. The Jubilee Watermelon Seeds that I saved from my late fall surprise watermelon are also sprouting nicely. It remains to be seen if they will produce fruit. I’m offering some of these seeds to anyone who is interested in trying some out and seeing how they do. Shallots are poking up and the blackberries are in full flower. Let’s hope the Mockingbirds save us some berries.

In other news

  • We will be offering another giveaway in connection with an article where we will be featured. It’s a surprise! Details coming soon.
  • We have a few fun gifts planned for Mother’s Day including our Biodegradable Bamboo Pots and Seed Pops.
  • We’re starting a new market!!! We will be joining the brand new Grand Lagoon Waterfront Farmers Market on Sundays from 1:00-6:00 pm. This new farmers market begins on April 15th. We’re super excited because this market will be located right in our neighborhood. If you’re local, please come visit us. It’s a different set of vendors than the Seaside Farmers Market and a whole new crowd. It’s going to be a lot of fun!
  • We’re also making a few changes to our online shop. Not sure of the scope yet, but details to follow.

Chandra picking peas

That wraps up Moonlight Micro-Farm garden news. Yep, that’s me picking peas.

Happy Planting!


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3 responses to “The Garden Has Sprung

  1. gwen

    May 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Happy Spring to you! I love reading your blog, so I nominated you for a blogger award:

    I hope things continue to thrive for you in your garden and business 🙂

  2. Jocelyn

    May 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Gorgeous photos! Maybe someday my blog will be almost this pretty.

  3. Chandra

    May 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks Jocelyn! It helps that my husband is a professional photographer. 🙂


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