Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fairytale Pumpkins

November is when we start to think about making those pumpkin recipes that we have been collecting. You can use almost any pumpkin for cooking. I like the Fairytale myself.

Fairytale pumpkins can be used in any pumpkin recipe.
Low in calories and high in fiber, pumpkins are a good source of beta-carotene which converts into vitamin A. 
Pumpkin seeds are high in protein, iron, and the B vitamins. 

How to prepare a Fairytale Pumpkin for cooking.

Preheat oven to 400°F
Cut large wedges of the pumpkin for baking.

Scrape seeds, rinse the pumpkin off and lay in baking dishes. It’s okay if they overlap. Put the seeds into a large bowl for roasting later.

Use a baking pan that has sides because water will come out of the pumpkin as it bakes. Cover pumpkin wedges tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a 400°F oven for 90 minutes to 2 hours. Pumpkin is done when a fork slides easily through the thick part.

Let the pumpkin cool so you can handle it. Line a colander with a tea towel. Use a large spoon and scrape the pumpkin out of the shell. Place it in the tea towel and let it drain. You can wrap the tea towel around the pumpkin and pick it up to squeeze. After you get most of the water out of the pumpkin move it to the large bowl of your food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. If the pumpkin is runny and looks like it still has water in it, place it back in the tea towel to drain more. Finished pumpkin should be thick and hold it’s shape. If you leave water it in your finished product will be too runny.

You can freeze your cooked pumpkin for later use.
Happy November,
The Plant Lady ~ Linda

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Growing Peonies

Peonies are easy to grow perennials. 

They produce flower blooms in late spring to early summer. Peonies are hardy to plant in USDA growing zones 2 through 8 and will remain in bloom for approximately one week, depending on the variety.
 Grows 2’ to 3’ tall and 3’ to 4’ wide.

They need well draining soil and sunshine. Generally summer drought resistant, Peonies like a consistent 1” of water weekly in the spring. Peonies may be fed with a 4-10-6 fertilizer in the fall and early spring.  In late fall, cut the stalks down to almost ground level and discard all felled cuttings. 

Failure to bloom can be due to rootstock crowns planted too deeply, too much shade, poor water drainage, an overcrowded planting site or a late spring killing frost. If the peony crown was planted too deeply, dig up the rootball, rework the soil and replant 1/2” higher than soil level. Otherwise, allow the peony foliage to grow and thrive for future year blooms. 

The blossoms are attractive in cut flower arrangements. They are rarely bothered with pests, with the exception of scales. Scales are controlled by removing affected plant material during the autumn and using a pesticide the next May or June. 

We have peonies available at Adams Fruit Market for your garden. 

Happy Planting!
The Plant Lady ~ Linda

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to visit. It is a refuge for migratory birds, primarily ducks and geese. The refuge includes more than 24,000 acres. Blackwater Refuge is one of the chief wintering areas for Canada geese using the Atlantic flyway. It provides protection, food and cover for wildlife through specific land and water management programs.

A daily permit is required for all visitors to the wildlife drive unless they possess a pass authorizing free entrance.

The wildlife drive and associated facilities are open daily dawn to dusk. Walking and biking along the wildlife drive is permitted. The careful observer will see a variety of plants and animals along the drive.

You can pick up a self guided eagle tour map and a wildlife drive map at the visitors center. 
Over 30 bald eagle nests can be found on Blackwater Refuge and some nests have a cameral on them. You can check this out at and watch the eagles. Blackwater Refuge is located at 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, MD 21613. 

Each time I go I see something different. This is a great place to take children.

The Plant Lady ~ Linda

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Philadelphia Flower Show

I went to the British-themed 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show,  “Brilliant!” It was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center March 2-10.  It spotlighted British gardens, landscapes, and London.

The scent of Roses welcomed me at the Royal palace gates which led to the shows centerpiece: a sculptural, digitally enhanced rendition of Big Ben, featuring a light and sound show every hour.

Exhibitors brought in thousands of flowers, potted-up shrubs, and many trees. Contractors constructed displays with lumber, stone work, lighting, and effects, and plumbing for fountains and waterfalls. The displays were magnificent. They celebrated Britain’s amazing landscapes and cultural icons.

I explored Britain’s culture, from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, sunny cottage gardens to foggy London streetscapes, and the music of the Beatles.

With more than 180 vendors in the Marketplace, it was easy to find that special something.  I purchased a hat and an apron. Booths are open during Show hours. 

Proceeds from the show benefit the year-round community greening programs of PHS, including PHS City Harvest, the innovative program that provides fresh produce for more than 1,000 families in need during the growing season.

The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the nations largest indoor flower show, which blooms every March at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The show features the country’s premier landscape designers and florists, who turn 10 acres of the Convention Center into a floral fantasy world with beautiful plants and cutting-edge designs.

I had a “Brilliant” time!

The Plant Lady ~ Linda

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Women in Agriculture Conference

The 12th Annual Regional Women In Agriculture Conference was held February 25-26, 2013 at the Dover Downs Hotel in Dover, Delaware. This was the first time for me to attend this event. 

 Upon arrival I was greeted by friendly ladies and enjoyed a nice breakfast. 

Julie DeYoung, spokesperson for Perdue Farms spoke on “Putting the Family Back into Farming - A Case Study in Reshaping the Image of Modern Agriculture”. She was joined by a panel of three farmers.

 Dover Downs served a great lunch probably the best I ever had at a conference. The hardest part was choosing which dessert to try. I went with the cheesecake and a slice of chocolate cake. 

There was several workshops to sit in during the day to learn about risk management.

The second day, Dover Downs served us a nice hot breakfast to get us going. More workshops were available to attend. Adams Fruit Market is committed to food safety so without question I chose the Food Safety GAPs workshop. Meredith Melendez from Rutgers, spoke on farm food safety. 

I also attended the workshop titled Attracting Songbirds given by Brent Marsh. He was an entertaining speaker and talked a lot about insects. He said if we want to attract song birds then we need insects for them to eat. I won the book Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy. I can’t wait to read it.

Closing remarks was given by Ed Kee, Delaware Secretary of Agriculture. He talked about the Changing Times of Agriculture. 

This conference was a relaxed learning experience with keynote speakers, formal presentations and the opportunity to network with other farm women like myself.
Hats off to the planning committee for a great job!  I had a wonderful time and I am looking forward to next year’s conference.

The Plant Lady ~ Linda

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Beach Day and Healthy Eating

I had a free day so my husband and I want to Assateague State Park. It is just a little drive past Ocean City, MD. 
Wow the day was very windy and foggy.

 I love this time of year because it is peaceful but it was too windy to walk the beach.

We did see one horse up close and he was nice to let me take his picture.

From a distance we saw about six more horses.

Inside the visitors center we watch a movie about the horses living at the park.

I enjoyed the day and we ate at a local restaruant on the way home.
Assateague is a nice park to spend the day hopefully next time it will not be as windy.

Since this is Adams Fruit Market’s blog let me share some reasons to eat fruit...
  • Apples help your body develop resistance against infections.
  • Bananas are great for athletes because they give you energy.
  • Blueberries protect your heart.
  • Cherries help calm your nervous system.
  • Grapes relax your blood vessels.
  • Kiwi increases bone mass.
  • Mangos protect against several kinds of cancer.
  • Oranges help maintain great skin and vision.
  • Peaches are rich in potassium, fluoride, and iron.
  • Pineapples help fight arthritis.
  • Strawberries can potentially fight against cancer and aging.
  • Watermelon helps control your heart rate.

Fruit is a great snack to take to the beach.

Have a great day and eat fruit,
The Plant Lady ~ Linda

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Snow Day

I was hostess to three children on Saturday. After several hours of indoor play we motored to our favorite ice cream creamery to indulged in some cold treats. The weather was very cold outside but ice cream is always good.

 When we arrived back to my house the kids wanted to play outside. The first adventure was knocking off all the icicles they could reach and pretending to be walruses. I think everyone has done this as a kid. They had lots of fun pulling each other around in the sled and sledging down all the hills that still had snow on them.

 Before long it was time to go back in the house to get warm. I put the wet coats and mittens by the wood stove to dry off. 

After dinner we noticed that it had began to snow again. By this time all three started to jump up and down happily yelling that it was a blizzard and they was going to be snow bound at my house for days! I was relieved when their parents came and the little snow bunnies could go home. And the house was quiet again until the next time. 

Soon Saturdays will be spent tending to the plants in the greenhouses.
I like working in the greenhouses. It is so relaxing just me, the plants and the warm sunshine. It gives me lots of time to think but I will always cherish those Saturday snow days spent with the kids. Building memories. Isn’t that what it is all about.

The Plant Lady ~ Linda

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Delaware Plant Expo

I attended the Delaware Horticulture Industry Expo this week. The speakers were excellent! 

Michael Bowell told us to think of our garden as a flower show niche incorporating height, depth and width into the design. He said to place the containers where we want them and if they look good empty then filled them with our favorite flower. This makes a lot of sense because they get heavy when filled. He showed us a picture of a large animal water pan filled with flowers and rocks. I want to copy this using seashells. 

Roy Diblik from Northwind Perennial Farm spoke two times. He encouraged us to use old plants in new ways. His slide presentation was excellent! He reminded us to use plants for weed suppression instead of mulch. 

During the breaks I chatted with the exhibitors and collected all the “free” stuff.  This expo gets me excited for spring and of course the lunch is great too.

My seeds arrived in the mail today. Like a kid I had to open the box right away. What kind of seeds do you plant? 

The Plant Lady ~ Linda

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Baked Goose, Seeds and Social Media

Hello Friends. I cooked a goose last night for dinner. I just added onion soup mix and cooked it slow. As you can see it turned out beautiful!

My husband made “goose salad” with the leftovers. He is the hunter in the family so I have learned how to cook wild game.

I use this cutter to cut the cabbage for cold slaw. It belonged to my grandmother. It does a good job so I don’t need to buy a newer one. Anyone else have one?

Today I sent in another seed order. I am almost done and soon it will be back in the greenhouses for me. I don’t really mind. I love working with plants. It is exciting in the beginning of the season, planning what to plant and how much. Last fall I brought some really cute planters and I can’t wait to fill them. 

Wednesday I attended a Social Media workshop. When I walked in the room, they asked if I was a speaker. Ha,ha maybe some day. I was able to learn some new things so it was worth the time plus the lunch was great.

Hope your day is good. 
The Plant Lady ~ Linda