The beginning of the season is always a stressful time for us as farmers and nursery-woman; the farm is full of cover crops and weeds that need to be cut down, tilled, pulled, managed and otherwise tended to, beds need to be made and readied for large amounts of planting, and all of our seedlings need to be started at exactly the right moment so they are the perfect size when our big seedling sale takes place. Our loyal customers rely on us to raise super duper healthy organic seedlings that will flourish once brought home and planted in the ground. We stagger our seeding so that no variety of crop is too old nor too young for the seedling sale, so we work week after week sifting our homemade compost, mixing fertile potting mix, buying organic seeds online, and transplanting seedlings all of which culminates in a giant fun (hot) event at our nursery where all our favorite customers come to buy their gardens worth of seedlings.
Heirloom Tomatoes are the main focus of our seedling sale, as fall is the perfect time to get them in the ground (we recommend planting tomatoes anytime before January 2016 to get a nice crop of fruit before it gets too hot) and we propagate about 3 dozen different varieties that we know will do well in our climate. Tomatoes are a tricky crop, however, they prefer a mediterranean climate which is quite dry and the seedlings we had at our nursery were not pleased by the constant rain, intense humidity, and cloudy sunless days of this exceptionally rainy September. When a tomato plant doesn't get 6 or 8 hours worth of sun daily it can become "leggy"; the plant will grow an extra thin and tall stem with reduced foliage, as it tries to reach upward for more sunlight. Once a plant is leggy it will remain so through its life, decreasing its resilience, overall health, and vigor. These plants will also become more susceptible to pest issues, and at the beginning of the season (after the hot rainy summer) our pest populations are at their highest, so gardeners and farmers need to be extra careful to make sure their plants can fight off common pests, like hornworms, aphids, whitefly, thrips, and mites.
In a nutshell, we just didn't feel one hundred percent confident that our plants were the best that we could do, and quality is so important to us we decided to start another round of tomatoes and try again! The whole process was disheartening, but its the beginning of the season; if we let ourselves be defeated now by hiccups and setbacks then the entire season is a wash, and there is so much potential and produce in our future we just couldn't let that happen! We hope our customers like you can manage the few week delay, we so value your support and we love our big annual fall veggie seedling sale because of all of you.
In the meantime, check out our "where to find us" page for smaller events before the sale, if you need your fix of plants like... now. We grew plenty of healthy and happy sweet peppers, hot peppers, herbs, kale, edible flowers, strawberries, and perennials and we will be selling them around town before the big sale. On Sunday October 11th we will park our blue pickup truck in front of Zak the Bakers Cafe and sell plants, and on October 24th we will be participating in the Miami Shores Green Day Street Fair. We also sell our seedlings at the nursery by appointment, feel free to email us about availability at firstname.lastname@example.org