Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Benefits of Vegetable Gardening

photo credit: gusandotherthings via pinterest

As we have just planted our midsummer vegetable crop, we have been looking forward to enjoying the many benefits of our labor. We only have a small vegetable garden, but we managed to plant a couple varieties of tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, jalapenos, "big tom" peppers, tomatillos and various herbs.

Here are three reasons to start a fruit and vegetable garden:

1. There is an ever growing list of fruits and veggies that we should buy organic. This can be frustrating at times when the prices are high, the organic produce is less than appealing at the big box supermarkets and it's hard to remember which ones are high in pesticides. Planting a few of these in your garden will help ease that burden at least a little bit.

Here is a list of the fruits and veggies that you should consider buying organic whenever possible:

bell peppers
grapes (imported)

Many of these are a great and simple addition to the garden!

2. Fresh produce is only a few steps away! One of our favorite things to do in the summer is check our crop and pick ripe fruit! It's exciting to watch something grow into a beautiful perfect piece of produce! It's also fun to make sauces with peppers (my personal plan with the tomatillos and "big tom"peppers) and herbs and freeze them for a quick and easy meal during the winter months. Canning, freezing and storing is a little bit of work for a LOT of benefit!

3. Sharing with others! It's so nice to receive fresh produce from a friend or neighbor. Really, it's the way humans functioned for thousands of years before our consumer dependence on big box stores began. What a great way to be generous and develop a sense of community by planting a garden and sharing it with those around you!

Get out, start planting and share the bounty!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Garden Design meets Floral Design

It's finally that time of year when arrangements can actually be made from the garden! Snowball viburnum is in full bloom, a few tulips are still hanging on and the peonies are about to burst. Here at Olive Branch we love cutting gardens! A garden is meant to be enjoyed right? So, plant some flowers that can be used in the house and if you need arrangements for parties or weddings let us know! We now offer floral design services! These arrangements filled with viburnum, waxflower, purple spider mums and tulips were used for Hotel Deco's first luncheon banquette. We are very excited to be a small part of this hotel's opening!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fine Gardening June 2011

Hello fellow gardeners! We're very excited that Mike was asked to contribute to the June 2011 issue of Fine Gardening! He listed a few of his favorite picks for the Northern Plains region. The issue is on newsstands now so go check it out if you get a chance! Fine Gardening always has excellent ideas and tips whether you're an avid gardener or just want something easy. This one is particularly good with a mouth-watering article on heirloom tomatoes. Thanks for checking in!