Monthly Archives: November 2009

Upcoming Fruit Growing Class

Growing Fruit for Market

November 17 and 24, 2009

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Nothing can beat the juicy, sweet taste of a fresh, locally-grown strawberry. Upcoming classes sponsored by Sedgwick County Extension will demystify fruit production for local growers in an effort to increase availability of delicious, locally produced fruit to consumers. The classes will cover the basics of fruit production including: commercial growing systems, harvesting, and marketing.


The first class, Growing Berries, will be held November 17, 2009. The second class, Growing Tree Fruit, will be held November 24, 2009. Both classes will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Sunflower Room at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center at 21st and Ridge in Wichita. Cost of registration is $5.


For more information, please call Rebecca McMahon at 316-660-0142.

Family of 4 Garden Update

I’m getting to the point where I think I need to harvest some brussels sprouts, since the aphids have returned with a vengeance in last week’s warm weather.  I did harvest a bunch of purple carrots, spring radishes, and watermelon radishes (not from the Family of 4 garden) for Master Gardener class last week.

I also harvested about 5 oz. of salad greens from the Family of 4 Garden. The cilantro is finally looking like something, and the carrot tops are getting nice and big, even if there still isn’t much for carrots underneath! And, of course, the Swiss Chard is still doing just fine. I may have another Swiss Chard recipe to show off later this week…we’ll see if I’m brave enough. Let’s just say that I’m not yet convinced that Swiss Chard, sweet potatoes, and cheese is a tasty combination!

Friday PhotoEssay

Every time I go out int he garden with my camera these days, I get a sense of deja vu…  I always wonder, maybe my readers think I’m just recycling pictures from the spring to make you think that we are such awesome gardeners that still have so many veggies and fruits in the garden. I promise I’m not doing that! All of these pictures are from this fall. (If you don’t believe me, look at all the leaves in the pictures.)

Leaf PileSee?!? There are leaves everywhere! Sometimes it is nice, but sometimes it causes problems where the leaves prevent air movement and the plants get rather rotten.

Strawberry LeavesThe leaves provide free, labor-free mulch for the strawberries over the winter, even though the mulch arrives a little bit earlier than necessary.

Strawberries with leafSpeaking of strawberries, apparently they are going to produce again. At least the mice will get another round of strawberries, even if we don’t! I don’t think it is going to get cold enough to freeze the berries this weekend. We’ll see.

Bolting Gold ChoyWhile we’re on the subject of plants behaving out of season, this gold choy in the salad mix is not only huge, but it is also bolting. Greens are not supposed to bolt in the fall!!! My guess is that it is reacting to the change in temperature from colder to warmer, not necessarily the straight up temperature.

Goodwin Creek LavendarThe Goodwin Creek Lavender is also blooming a little bit. I tell you, this is making it hard to remember that Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away!

Have a great weekend!

Missing Out on Veggies

I am feeling a little bit cheated. I was at the Kansas Grown! Farmers Market annual meeting last night, and a couple of the vendors were talking about how they are still picking tomatoes and zucchini. Not fair! One of the vendors was also telling about the orange cauliflower she planted as an experiment, and has beautiful heads on it right now. Again, not fair!

I guess I’ll have to be content with the salad greens, watermelon radishes, purple carrots, and bok choy. Oh yeah, and those raspberries that just keep coming! I guess life here in the Demo Garden isn’t so sad after all!

November Berries

Friday PhotoEssay – Grasses

I’m definitely enjoying the Indian Summer this week! In honor of the beautiful weather, I’m going to treat you to some photos of beautiful ornamental grasses on our grounds. (Yeah, I don’t really know what that has to do with the weather, but they look great, so it’s a good time to share!)

Blue JuncusThis blue juncus (actually a sedge, not a grass), has been looking gorgeous in the Quiet Garden all year. It is such a unique shape and color.

'The Blue' Little BluestemThis is Little Bluestem, a native prairie grass. (Yes, I managed to crop most of my shadow out of the picture.) You have to love that rust color in the fall.

Reed GrassThis Reed Grass has really nice white “plumes.”

'Cosmopolitan' Japanese Silver GrassThis ‘Cosmopolitan’ Japanese Silver Grass is definitely taller than I am. It has variegated leaves, and the silvery seed heads.

Northwind SwitchgrassThis Northwind Switchgrass has a delicate beauty that is hard to capture in a photograph. To see it in better detail (along with many other grasses), you’ll have to come visit our grounds!

Have a great weekend!