Cucumbers, spaghetti squash, tomatoes and more new this week.

Looking for in-season produce picked morning of and delivered to your home or business in South County Roanoke or Roanoke city?

Here’s what we’re picking at Halcyon Acres the week of July 18, 2016

Vegetables & Fruits

  • Turnips (& turnip greens)
  • Kale
  • Beets (& beet greens)
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Potatoes (blue)
  • Carrots
  • Swiss chard
  • Beans (green)
  • Onions
  • Fresh garlic (with tops)
  • Wheat grass
  • cucumbers
  • green peppers
  • tomatoes
  • spaghetti squash

Fresh Herbs

  • Dill
  • Parsley (curly & flat leaf)
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro

Coming within the next two weeks:

  • Acorn squash
  • Potatoes (Yukon gold & red)
  • Egg plant
  • Flowers

nlevin

Nanette Levin learned the produce practices she uses mostly the hard way over 20 years of experimentation. Hopefully you'll consider this site one of the many good resources that have cropped up to help you avoid mistakes as a new gardener or a more experienced one shifting to chemical-free solutions. There's a lot of free information (concerning plants and horses), but we also offer consultative support for those seeking customized attention.

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Chemical-free, same-day picked produce delivered to you in Roanoke at http://HalcyonAcres.com

We’re harvesting garlic this week!

If you haven’t tasted  fresh garlic, you’re in for a treat. It’s more tender and less pungent then the dried sold in stores, so you can add it for punch to foods without cooking it. Of course, you can always dry fresh to use for the rest of the year, but there’s only one season you can get fresh garlic. In Roanoke, that’s now.

If garlic is one of those food items you relish and you live in the Roanoke area, give Halcyon Acres a call at (540) 400-7106 to place your order  for fresh garlic delivered to you. Comes with greens attached in case you have creative ways to use that portion of the plant. Try fresh garlic in salads, atop cooked vegetables, grated over pasta or as a tasty kick for mashed potatoes. In fact, you can grate it over just about anything including sandwiches, rice, quinoa or eggs to add a softer flavor with more retained nutrients.

raw garlic havest at Halcyon Acres in Roanoke VARaw garlic offers more health benefits than the dried version. It’s a good source of selenium (trace mineral that helps improve brain function and reduces signs of aging by helping the body make antioxidant enzymes). It also provides significant amounts of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) as well as Vitamin C, manganese and copper and also has some iron and calcium to boot. Studies on garlic have revealed benefits including cold fighting power, blood pressure reduction and lower cholesterol levels. With virtually no calories, this is a great food item to add to your meals.

What else is in season now at Halcyon Acres?

Admittedly, this year has involved some trial and error. New locale, new climate, new soil and a new market have all contributed to a learning curve that’s been exciting and challenging.

The ease of a longer season for heat loving crops has been a blessing. It’s amazing to already have green pepper edibles (May 30th is the frost fear hurdle in Upstate New York, but during 20 years there, snow’s fallen in June more than once, so even Memorial Day weekend plantings can be iffy).

Lettuce and salads delivered  to you in Roanoke VA
Sometimes what makes sense doesn't work. the hot sun exposed lettuce areas did better this year than seeds started with some shade protection.

The downside is, I’m still working on a strategy to keep one of my favorite crops, lettuce, producing through the summer. I figured shady area plantings would flourish, but the first seeds there of a Mesclun mix and black seeded Simon didn’t fare too well. Curiously, the high sun area flourished even as temperatures hit the 90s, but pickings are waning there. Need to test soil. Hopefully, next year I’ll come up with a good strategy for making lettuce (and salads – prepared with with thinly sliced garden vegetables and fresh herbs – yummy delivery client bonus) work as heat hits. I’ll also be testing head lettuce in the fall.

Anyway, here’s what we’re currently harvesting at Halcyon Acres:

Vegetables & Fruits

  • Turnips (& turnip greens)
  • Kale
  • Beets (& beet greens)
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Potatoes (blue)
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Swiss chard
  • Beans (yellow)
  • Onions
  • Fresh garlic (with tops)
  • Wheat grass

 

Fresh Herbs

  • Dill
  • Parsley (curly & flat leaf)
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Chives

Coming within the next two weeks:

  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Green peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes

If you live in the Roanoke area and are looking for customized deliveries of just-picked vegetables and herbs call (540) 400-7106 to get yoursChemical-free, same-day picked produce delivered to you in Roanoke at http://HalcyonAcres.com. Know, though, once you’ve tasted your first delivery, supermarket produce will be tough to enjoy. That’s a challenge you won’t have to face until winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

nlevin

Nanette Levin learned the produce practices she uses mostly the hard way over 20 years of experimentation. Hopefully you'll consider this site one of the many good resources that have cropped up to help you avoid mistakes as a new gardener or a more experienced one shifting to chemical-free solutions. There's a lot of free information (concerning plants and horses), but we also offer consultative support for those seeking customized attention.

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Get custom herb planters delivered free to you in Roanoke at http://HalcyonAcres.com

Halcyon Acres offers chemical-free planted herb deliveries in Roanoke

It’s early in the season but growing vegetables and herbs is so much more fun in a climate where frost concerns don’t extend until the end of May. We’re already harvesting planted outdoor crops, including lettuce, spinach, radishes, strawberries and herbs. It looks like we’ll have some baby carrots soon too.

Eager to jump into the growing season early, we’ve experimented on what works, and what doesn’t. We now have herbs in planters and decorative indoor herb wall hangings healthy and available. Want to customize what’s inside the containers? We can now offer this year-round on the herb planters and decorative units (although it may take a month or so have your selection healthy and ready for delivery).

Have a favorite group of herbs? We custom plant your selection from seed. Flowers able to mature short and handle small spaces for roots are available as an alternative or component of an herb mix during summer months.

These containers are designed with the black thumb in mind.

The planters provide drainage ample enough to ensure your herbs stay healthy even when left out in the pouring rain. It’s almost impossible to overwater (the biggest reason most kill potted plants). Outdoor hearty is important too. We won’t deliver after seed starts they’re comfortable to live indoors or out, with sufficient size and exposure to adjust to your challenging conditions (think American Tourister).

Indoor herb decorate units at http://HalcyonAcres.comThe decorative wall units are ideal as a gift for the passionate cooker seeking to eat healthier (it’s great as a present for yourself too). Fresh herbs offer such flavor (plus the smells are heavenly) that sauces, dressings and processed junk gets easy to leave behind with better ingredients at your fingertips.

These are also designed for those not yet claiming a green thumb. Soil and plants are separated from the decorative rocks below with a cardboard divider. You’ll quickly see if overwatering is an issue as rocks get submerged in liquid. If you want to try the DIY route, there’s a two-part post on Roanoke Revealed that provides a shopping list and, on the following Friday (DIY is Friday’s theme – much of this features projects to feed the plant-lovers soul), assembly instructions.

These custom herb planters and decorative units are delivered free to residents in Roanoke. Give a friend, relative, business associate or yourself a present that brings smiles daily for some time to come. You’ll be remembered for your unique and thoughtful gift.

Call (540) 400-7106 or e-mail Nanette at HorseSenseAndCents.com to learn more or to place your order.

nlevin

Nanette Levin learned the produce practices she uses mostly the hard way over 20 years of experimentation. Hopefully you'll consider this site one of the many good resources that have cropped up to help you avoid mistakes as a new gardener or a more experienced one shifting to chemical-free solutions. There's a lot of free information (concerning plants and horses), but we also offer consultative support for those seeking customized attention.

More Posts

Halcyon Acres chemical-free produce in Roanoke

Halcyon Acres is now in Roanoke Virginia

Looking for local chemical-free produce delivered to your (business or home location) door? We’re now filling slots for the 2016 season. Eight spots remain.

Weekly deliveries include a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and some fruits. Each week we can discuss what you like, what you don’t and what you want more of for customized deliveries all season. No upfront subscription costs, but I hope you’ll honor our handshake on the season as once I’m full, others are declined.

Halcyon Acres chemical-free produce in RoanokeIt’s like Christmas every week – a great value for you in discovering what’s contained in the bountiful packages (including recipes to help you combine in-season freshness) and a smile for me as we unpack and discuss the goodies.

Custom requests are encouraged, both in crops planted and delivery items.

E-mail Nanette@HorseSenseAndCents.com or call (540) 400-7106 if you want to secure your spot as a 2016 client. We’re offering an early bird special (just pay for your first week) of $45 weekly until March 30th. After that, the price will be $55/week.

You’ll save tons at the grocery store buying organic (mostly from Mexico), needing meat to add flavor to your meals (wait until you taste picked today) and get great ideas for cooking healthier with vegetable combinations, herb additions and creative recipes (provided as part of your package) for new, fun ideas for preparing foods that come to you just picked on your delivery day.

nlevin

Nanette Levin learned the produce practices she uses mostly the hard way over 20 years of experimentation. Hopefully you'll consider this site one of the many good resources that have cropped up to help you avoid mistakes as a new gardener or a more experienced one shifting to chemical-free solutions. There's a lot of free information (concerning plants and horses), but we also offer consultative support for those seeking customized attention.

More Posts

Preparing for the first frost

It’s always a crap shoot predicting when the first frost will occur at Halcyon Acres®. Temperatures can be ten degrees lower than the ‘local’ forecast, so you play the guessing game and hope optimism doesn’t end in dismay as you step out to brown, withered plants glistening at dawn.

preparing produce garden for frost at Halcyon Acres
Photo credit: MorgueFiles.com

Even with a light frost you’re probably not going to save tender plants such as peppers, basil, eggplant, most squash and melons no matter what you do, so it’s best to collect as much as you can from these crops if you suspect a freeze. You can stave off the damage from a few light frosts and extend your season for a month or more with most other items in your garden.

Bed sheets work great as a cover. They’re easy to work with, light, flexible and pretty good at providing protection from damage. One thing to keep in mind, though, is temperatures often drop in the morning, so it’s best to keep covers on until 8 a.m..

Usually my biggest concern is the tomatoes. You might lose the plants, but you can save most of the fruit from an initial frost if they’re protected. The great thing about tomatoes is you can bring them in green and they’ll ripen off the vine. In many years past, I’ve collected wheel barrels full after a first frost, sorting through them and assembling them in storage (a vented, single-stacked rack is best) according to ripeness for weeks. Sure, you’d have to throw a few out once in a while (if you didn’t a bad one could ruin them all), but it was delightful grabbing daily ripe tomatoes into the Christmas season. Sadly, the constant rain after a long summer drought did most of them in already this year, so I’ve turned my attention to other salvage activities.

Last night’s forecast was a low of 38 degrees, offering a good chance we’d have a cover of white in the morning. So yesterday I collected all the melons, most of the squash, half the eggplant (they’re still small), a bunch of peppers, basil and whatever tomatoes I could grab as the sun set. All but the tomatoes (these were ripe) will keep for a while stored properly. No frost, so I decided to take the optimistic route with the 37 degree low forecast for tonight. If we get through that, we should have at least another good week of growth and harvesting from the entire garden.

A lot of plants hold up well to frost if they’re established. I don’t worry much about broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, any root vegetables, many of the lettuces (romaine is particularly hearty) and most of the herbs. In fact, if you get a good snow cover before the ground freezes, you can harvest most of the root vegetables all winter long. Just make sure you mark where they are so you can find them under deep cover.

We’ve actually been fortunate the frost has held off this long. Last year our first frost was in early September. Of course, it warmed again through December, so I was able to do some additional planting. Weird year.

Do you have any questions about extending the life of your garden into fall and winter? Feel free to post in the comments below and I’ll try to provide answers.

nlevin

Nanette Levin learned the produce practices she uses mostly the hard way over 20 years of experimentation. Hopefully you'll consider this site one of the many good resources that have cropped up to help you avoid mistakes as a new gardener or a more experienced one shifting to chemical-free solutions. There's a lot of free information (concerning plants and horses), but we also offer consultative support for those seeking customized attention.

More Posts

Welcome to our natural approach

Thanks for stopping in to check out the revamped Halcyon Acres® website. As you can see, while the horses are still part of this business (we’ll jump in from time to time with stories, news and updates), we’re putting a much stronger focus on produce. Feel free to poke around (the site is still under construction, so you’ll probably notice changes each day) and let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see covered – or illustrated.

Quick tip for organic growing

organic produce from Halcyon AcresHerbs can create beautiful additions to your landscape (most have delicate and attractive flowers) that also provide tasty options for enhancing a meal. Most are perennial and require little maintenance. All tend to transplant well, so you can start them in one area and then position them where you want around your yard or house after they’ve matured to a hearty state.

If you’re starting seeds outside (now is not the time for this – wait until spring), keep them weeded early as most young shoots don’t compete well with other plants. Good selections for zones 5-6 include sage, oregano, lavender (this one’s iffy outdoors if the winter gets cold but can be transferred to a container and brought inside), thyme and dill (not a perennial but it’s good at reseeding itself).

If you’re new to herb starts, it can be hard to figure out what these plants look like coming out of the ground. There aren’t too many sites that provide visual depicting young plants. So, we’ll be adding pictures to help you identify your seedlings periodically. Check back as we’re still working on this section. If there’s something in particular you seek, let us know and we’ll try to capture and post the image.

Chemical-free produce for fall

It’s fall in Upstate New York. While the leaves are changing and the tomatoes and summer squashes are suffering a bit from the rain that finally came (almost daily after a summer drought), most of the plants are doing great.

Watermelon, cantaloupe, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, eggplant and sweet potatoes are now ready for harvest. We’re finally getting some head lettuce (silvia, freckles and standard romaine) after an early spring and summer that was too hot for these items. The loose leaf continues to be a favorite as we’ve been planting almost weekly and harvesting baby lettuce for clients.

It’s been a great year for herbs. Fresh sage, oregano, parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme, rosemary and lavender are still plentiful. Speaking of herbs, check out this handy slide show 10 Healthy Herbs and How to Use Them, for some fun tips and surprising features of these healing food items.

This past week’s focus has turned to rolling up feeder hoses, taking down pea fences and flag markers, harvesting cut flowers, digging up some of the perennial flower and herb plants for clients to enjoy in their gardens next year and beginning to prep the soil for spring planting.

If you’re in the Greater Rochester area (Eastern suburbs, Canandaigua, Farmington or Victor) and would like to enjoy fall produce (we still have large quantities of hard to find and/or expensive food items such as Swiss chard, kale, turnips, herbs and a lot of other items requested as special plants by clients) we can deliver to your home or office, or you’re welcome to schedule a trip to the farm with family (appointment required) to select your package mix and witness the harvest. Call (585) 554-4612 for more information.

If fresh herbs are what you seek, these ship well. We can assemble a very generous package custom selected for your tastes. US orders only.

nlevin

Nanette Levin learned the produce practices she uses mostly the hard way over 20 years of experimentation. Hopefully you'll consider this site one of the many good resources that have cropped up to help you avoid mistakes as a new gardener or a more experienced one shifting to chemical-free solutions. There's a lot of free information (concerning plants and horses), but we also offer consultative support for those seeking customized attention.

More Posts