Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Explore our Container Herbs Pinterest Board

Did you know that Johnny's is on Pinterest? Explore our new Pinterest Board, "Grow Professional-Quality Container Herbs."

Visit the Johnny's Pinterest Page
Container herbs provide some distinct advantages to growers of all abilities — commercial growers and their retail customers, as well as home gardeners.

Along with the versatility and portability that container herbs provide, herbs in containers offer added longevity and marketability.

Select specific varieties with demonstrated container performance 

For additional information on growing container herbs from Johnny's Research Team:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Johnny’s Visits Hawaii

Johnny’s Commercial Sales Representative, Lainie Kertesz, recently traveled to Hawaii to visit commercial farmers and farmers markets on the islands. She documented her travels, which we turned into a three-part Blog series. Below is part one of this series:


Oahu, Hawaii
I recently spent two weeks visiting several of the Hawaiian islands, and more miles in a car than I thought possible. 

A little background on growing in Hawaii: 
· Even with a twelve-month growing season, I was surprised to learn that Hawaii imports 85% of its produce (The University of HI plans to conduct a new survey around this import figure).
· Much of the produce grown, primarily lettuce and greens, is sold to the resorts for fancy salads for tourists. Here at Johnny’s, 10% of our total lettuce sales are to Hawaii.
· Some crops are not cost-effective to grow in Hawaii, or are difficult to produce, such as field-grown fruiting crops like tomatoes and peppers, due to insect and disease pressures. 
· There is a mounting interest in growing Hydroponically and Aquaponically for more controlled growing conditions.

My first stop in Hawaii: Oahu: MA’O Organics 


MA'O Organics motto is "no panic, go Organic". MA'O's mission is to empower young people to become leaders and to make their island home a more food-secure place to live. The organization is in its 10th year of offering Youth and Leadership training internships for 17-24 yr-old Hawaiians who are pursuing Agricultural Studies.  Beginning with a two-year Youth Leadership Training, interns can go on to a second two-yr Step Up Training.  After completion, Graduated interns can choose to go on to admin work, or to become co-managers and managers at the farm. The diverse produce raised on the 23-acre farm is distributed through a local CSA as well as to markets such as Whole Foods and Foodland in and around Oahu.

Oahu, Hawaii


Stay tuned for part two of Lainie's Hawaii Blog series- coming soon!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Salanova Lettuce®

      





      

          
                                
           

              


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jean-Martin Fortier's "The Market Gardener"

Jean-Martin Fortier and
Maude-Helene Desrochas

ABOUT:

Jean-Martin Fortier is a market farmer in Quebec who, along with his wife, Maude-Hélène Desroches, and their two children, operates Les Jardins de la GrelinetteAfter 10 years of refining their craft, they’re able to support a CSA with over 140 members and attend two local farmers’ markets weekly.

Jean-Martin has clearly been influenced by the writings of Eliot Coleman, as many of his methods are straight out of Eliot's playbooks.  As a result, he employs many tools that were developed by Eliot and Johnny's. He has even named his farm after one of them. 'La Grelinette' is the French name for what we call the Broadfork, a two-handled fork invented in France by André Grelin in 1946.
Andre Grelin

THE BROADFORK:

The Broadfork was redeveloped in 1998 by Eliot Coleman and Johnny's Selected Seeds. For many years now Jean-Martin has been describing his growing strategies and use of scale-appropriate technology on a website and blog, where he promotes the idea of farming with hand tools (i.e., they don't have tractor) as an alternative way of farming professionally.


In 2012, Jean-Martin published Le jardinier-maraîcher, a 200 page manual for small-acreage organic agriculture. The book quickly became a Canadian best-seller and has sold more than 15,000 copies. In it, he describes (in French) the technical aspects of his operation and the tools that they use to make their labor efficient and cost-effective. Many of the drawings in the book illustrate Johnny's tools, including Broadforks (of course), the Tilther, several seeders including the Six Row Seeder, the Bed Prep Rake, Collinear and Stirrup Hoes, and the Wheel Hoe.

Le jardinier-maraicher
His approach is that 'small is beautiful'. That is to say that he keeps his operation small yet profitable, but it is more than that. It is also about enjoying life, enjoying what you do, and remembering to take time off regularly so that your work remains enjoyable. All this is feasible, he stresses, if your operation is super efficient all the way through.


THE MARKET GARDENER:

In 2013, Jean-Martin also set out to publish an English version of Le jardinier-maraîcher, and in January of 2014, The Market Gardener was published.

Our Tools & Supplies Product Mgr., Adam Lemieux, has this to say about the book:
 “Jean-Martin Fortier extols the virtues of being small-scale, and expertly details the use of scale-appropriate tools (such as Broadforks, seeders, hoes, flame weeders, low tunnels, high tunnels, and many other unique tools) designed specifically for this brand of farming

Jean-Martin Fortier
He picks up right where Eliot Coleman has left us, applying many of his cotre principles, but doing it in such a brilliant way as to provide beginning farmers with the information they need to start up and become successful small-scale growers themselves.”

Jean-Martin remains a tools collaborator and field tester for Johnny's; we are proud to carry this fine publication in our line of books. 



You can find The Market Gardener on our website here. 


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Johnny's Goes Back to School with the Paul Parent Garden Club Radio Show


Johnny's Selected Seeds has partnered with the Paul Parent Garden Club Radio Show for a 12 week “Vegetable School” segment on Sunday mornings. Listen to a knowledge member of Johnny’s staff speak about a variety of topics ranging from vegetables to plant now, growing info and tips to harvest techniques



Tune in every Sunday morning at 8 a.m. EST

Visit the Johnny's Website

Paul Parent has been on the radio providing gardening advice to listeners in New England for the last 30 years, according to his website

The show broadcasts on 35 prime stations in New England and 39 additional stations across the nation.


Tune in and then let us know what information you found helpful!



Friday, February 28, 2014

Save Now on Seed Starting Supplies

Growing your own transplants from seed allows you to choose from your favorite varieties, determine the appropriate planting date, and the number of plants you want. Johnny's seed starting supplies will help you grow your own professional-quality seedlings economically.






Save up to 10% on Selected Seed-Starting Supplies. Now through March 2nd!

Friday, February 21, 2014

An Introduction to Flower Sprouts™

Kaleidoscope Mix (F1)

What are Flower Sprouts™?

Flower Sprouts™ are the result of a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts. The resulting plants produce beautiful, open, florets that have a mild kale-like flavor which only improves with the colder days of the fall.  


When do you plant them?

You may ask why we are talking about a fall vegetable well before spring. Well, when growing Flower Sprouts™ patience is definitely a virtue. This crop requires at least 110 days to maturity from time of transplanting. So the total time to produce this crop from seed to edible floret is close to 22 weeks… that’s why we’re talking about Flower Sprouts™ in February!


What’s the best way to grow them?

In order to produce the sweet kale-like florets, attention to detail and, as previously stated, patience is required. Flower Sprouts™ are grown in a similar fashion as Brussels sprouts; provide a very fertile, well-drained soil, with a pH range of 6.0-7.5.

The seedlings should be started early enough to be ready to be set out in mid to late spring. Growers should provide sufficient irrigation throughout the growing season to help produce tall, strong plants. The sprouts should begin to form by early fall and be ready to harvest starting in mid to late fall.

Like other crops in the Brassica family, such as broccoli and cabbage, the flavor of Flower Sprouts™ will become sweeter and milder when the weather cools in the fall. Flower Sprouts™ are very cold hardy, similar to Brussels sprouts and kale. If you grow in a short-season area, be sure to top the plants about 4-5 weeks prior to the intended harvest season. The tops can be sold and used just like kale.


Red Russian Kale (OG)

How can they be prepared?

Flower Sprouts™ are suited to diverse cooking methods such as lightly steaming, sautéing, stir frying, and roasting. When lightly cooked they will hold their color. The tender, mildly flavored spouts have a taste and texture similar to Red Russian Kale.


When growing Flower Sprouts™ remember to be patient and enjoy! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Using Soil Block Makers (Video)

Get an early start to your growing season with Johnny's Soil Block Makers. You can easily make your own seed-starting blocks with our soil block making tools and a bag of germination soil mix.

Soil blocked seedlings reestablish themselves more quickly, with less transplant shock. Soil blocks also eliminate the expense, waste, and storage issues of plastic pots, so there's no negative impact on the environment.