Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Product spotlight - November 2010

Cabbage and eggplant

Caraflex: Cool cone shape
Cabbage is one of those vegetables that appreciate in value in fall and winter. It's a customer favorite in many comfort foods such as soups and casseroles. And cold weather improves its flavor.

If you have cabbage as a fall crop right now, you can protect it with Quick Hoops™ and row cover to extend the season, or you can harvest it and store it for sales at winter markets. Ideal conditions are 32°F (0°C) with high humidity.

The best variety for long term storage is Storage No. 4.

In the South, you can grow it over the winter; in the North, you can start it in late winter and have sweet, delicious cabbage in early spring. Mini cabbages are growing in popularity among fresh market growers.

Gonzales is a round mini cabbage that will be ready for harvest at 4-6" in diameter when grown on close spacing (8-12" in the row and 12-18" between rows). Despite its small size, it has dense, uniform, sweetly spicy heads. 66 days to maturity.

Caraflex is a cone-shaped mini cabbage that is extremely uniform, with good wrapper leaves for insect and sun protection. The tender, rich leaves are great for fresh eating in slaws and salads. 68 days to maturity.

Farao is another great cabbage for winter production in the South or early spring in the North. Just 64 days to maturity, Farao has attractive deep green heads that are resistant to splitting. The cores are densely filled with thin, crisp, peppery sweet leaves.

As you look ahead to next year, consider the eggplant. This crop is available in a diversity of shapes, colors and sizes that makes it one of the most beautiful in a market display.
Rosa Bianca

At Johnny's, you can find long, slender Asian varieties in lavender, purple, and white, or specialty varieties such as the small, round, green-and-white fruits of Kermit. The Italian types are the most widely recognized in the U.S.; here are some favorites:

Beatrice is a bright violet color. It's a high yielder and only 62 days to maturity.

Clara is a striking white with green calyx. Fruits are 6-7" long by 4-5" wide. 65 days to maturity.

Rosa Bianca is an heirloom variety with white and violet streaks. Plump and ribbed, it is renowned for its mild, creamy taste. Rosa Bianca is best suited to areas with warm nights.

Also coming at the end of the month -- a fantastic new variety called Barbarella. It will pair beautifully with the aforementioned varieties.

Flowers: Mixes
Northern Lights Mix

Johnny's specialty flower mixes take the guesswork out of naturalistic landscape plantings. Flower varieties are carefully chosen for their performance in specific situations and blended with crushed corn cobs to aid distribution of the seeds.

Northern Lights Mix is a carefree wildflower mix for areas with short summers and harsh winters. It includes 14 perennials and reseeding annuals in a range of heights, colors, and flower types. Blooms from spring to fall.

Butterfly and Hummingbird Mix contains a dozen varieties of self-seeding annuals to provide nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds. This mix requires full sun for best bloom. Plants reach 3 1/2' and create a meadow effect.

Shady Woodland Mix contains about a dozen flower varieties adapted to lightly shaded areas such as woodland edges.

Tools: DOT Pots and CowPots
CowPots: Made of Cow Manure!

If you sell plants in spring, you know you have to differentiate your product from the flood of plants available at the big box stores. Here's a great way to elevate your plants to sustainable status: DOT Pots and CowPots. Both are fully biodegradable pots that your customers can put right into the ground with the plants in them. There's no plastic waste and no transplant shock. Gardeners will love the convenience and the successful results.

DOT Pots are OMRI-certified for organic transplants. They are created using only wood fiber and peat moss, bound together, without glues, using a patented technology. Johnny's offers a wide range of sizes for every application, and in quantities for both small and large growers.

CowPots were invented by two Connecticut dairy farmers using fully composted manure so they are almost completely odor free. Although they last for months in the greenhouse, they biodegrade quickly when planted and release nutrients into soil, resulting in better root growth and healthier plants.

Johnny's 2011 Calendar will adorn your wall with beautiful photography from customers' vegetable, herb, and flower farms. The 14-month calendar shows holidays and lunar phases, plus interesting agricultural events, tips and planting charts.

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