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Chucking wood

Hey everyone,

I honestly don’t know if that fat little rodent in Pennsylvania saw it’s shadow or not. I don’t put a whole lot of stock in such prognostications. Nature does what it does and couldn’t care less about we humans. Unfortunately Humanity appears to feel the same about the natural world, at our own peril I might add. We need nature to survive, but nature doesn’t need us and won’t blink when we’re gone. Best we get our collective shit together before we’re in a situation which is out of our control, but one of our making.

The milder January was nonetheless very nice. My Chickens enjoyed being outdoors for many more days than last January.

February looks to be an above average temperature month as well. NOAA long range projections show a 40-45% chance of above average temperatures through the end of March, better that the last couple of seasons anyway.

I started up the main GH today. Installed a new potting bench top, birch plywood, smooth as glass, did some cleaning, will do more the rest of this week, then begin seeding Saturday. Perennials mostly, the following weekend will be seeding of onions, shallots, leeks, herbs and violas. The following week 14- 2000# pallets of potting soil will arrive. 540- 50# bags… hand unloaded and hand restacked here at the farm. Oh my back.

The first week of March, starter plugs of perennials and some slower growing basket varieties will arrive. Every week in March will bring new starter plugs for baskets and containers, plus much seeding of vegetable and flowering plants.

That’s it from the farm for now. Stay warm, be well, and hug each other often.


Farmer Mike “The Plant Man”

January greetings

After a topsy-turvy weather beginning to our Winter season, we inch closer to Spring as the days slowly get longer. The longer-term forecast calls for somewhat above average temperatures and below average precipitation. Ask me in May how that worked out. LOL

This late Fall we put new plastic covering on two of our greenhouses. It went very well and I thank everyone who helped me my deep appreciation and thanks. This should help contain heating costs, as older plastic can leak heat through micro-pores in the plastic.

A great many perennial and herb and annual flower seeds have already arrived. February will bring a great number of vegetable seeds to our door. Next week I will begin seeding perennials and some slow growing herbs. Some because they germinate slowly, some because they grow slowly and others because of both.

If you take a look at this seasons offerings, you will find many new items in all categories. Several new Dwarf yet delicious and productive tomato varieties. Many newer or returning annual flowering plant varieties. Last season we sold out of flowering plants fairy quickly due to the closure of Garden Time after 20 years, and because “Wally World” really curtailed their plant offerings. We have ramped up our production of flowering plants as best we could without investing in further infrastructure.

The reality is that this business with its smaller clientele, doesn’t generate the kinds of profits required for larger expansion. Next year I will be turning 60 and it just doesn’t make sense for me to pour scant resources into what is a short term business future.

I ain’t getting any younger folks, and I refuse to go into debt to expand at this point in my life. I love growing things and I will always do so until it’s physically impossible for me to do so, but I’ll let the next generation of growers take on debt if they see fit to do so.

A few items of note: We have held prices steady on10″ Baskets and patio Containers, single 5″ flowering plants and 3″ vegetable/herb singles despite the continuing rising costs of pots, trays, seeds, started liners and soil/transportation costs. We are hoping that heating costs remain steady despite the troubles in the Middle-East. Vegetable and flower 6-packs are now all $5 (4 for $18) mainly do to ever increasing seed prices. When hybrid seeds become 25-30 cents EACH, it is impossible to turn a profit at 4 dollars. And that’s before soil, tray, labor and heat. We offer many Heirloom varieties, but Hybrids are often more productive and disease resistant. Almost no price increases on Perennial plants, the exception is with smaller single plants, again due to the increasing cost of seeds.

I guess that’s it for now. I hope to see everyone this coming Spring, all healthy and happy and enjoying warm sunshine and cool soil.


Farmer Mike


Hello Folks,

I haven’t written anything for a while.

There were some health issues which left me exhausted and fatigued. (all better now. turns out it was caused by a medication to correct “essential tremor” in my hands. so now I just learn to live with the tremors… as infuriating as the are.)

We had a very difficult weather season last year starting with a severe lack of sunshine in March, which stressed the plants and attracted insect pests. (when plants are stressed they release chemical signals which attract predator insects.) Last spring it was a “Biblical” plague of APHIDS! We’ve always had some insect pests over the years, but never have we seen anything like this. As a result we lost about 30% of our hanging basket stock and many of our vegetable starts.

Then in late April, we had a terrible wind storm (75 mph winds) which destroyed our mid-sized greenhouse, we lost another 20 or so baskets during that even,  but the real damage was that we no longer had the space for our single potted flowers, so we couldn’t transplant them. That was about 1200 plants which never even made to market as a result.

So… we lost a wheelbarrow load of money last year. Not fun, can’t recommend it really.

But on to this year.

We have many new items to offer including many “Patio Garden” varieties bred for container gardening and for growing in smaller garden spaces. Even winter squash and delicious melons. Check out our Container Gardening gallery for photos and descriptions. We also have a great seed-grown Alpine Strawberry, “Temptation.”

The fruits are larger than a standard alpine type but retain the fantastic alpine flavor. They produce all season long as they are “Ever-bearing,” they are more clump formers and produce very few runners and are excellent in containers. Like all strawberries, they will require some winter protection. Hence the name Strawberry, as they are traditionally blanketed with a layer of straw during winter months.

Please check out our other galleries to see our flower and vegetable offerings. Many of our old standards, and many new and fantastic varieties await your review.

A reminder again to call ahead 282-8420 before coming to the farm. I am a care provider for my godson and am responsible for transporting him to and from his employment, and other appointments, plus my own appointments, grocery shopping and all of life’s other distractions.

Peace my friends,

Farmer Mike

Senseless Tragedy

Our deepest and sincerest thoughts and condolences to those who lost loved ones in the Orlando club massacre. Unfortunately too many people use religious beliefs to hate and murder those they do not like. We are on this Earth together, like it or not, we have to find ways to coexist. You aren’t required to love everyone, but leave people alone. Live and let live.

its difficult to express the depths of sadness I feel over this tragedy.

Parents, love and cherish your children, no matter who they love because in the blink of an eye they may be torn from your life by senseless violence and tragedy.

Peace and Love to all,

Farmer Mike

Please call us before stopping by: 282-8420

Hey folks,

Due to various changes in my daily life (I’m a caregiver for my autistic/mildly schizophrenic godson) I’m not down at the farm/greenhouse on any scheduled basis.

I’ve heard grumblings that “I’m NEVER there,” lol, and yet… someone is seeding, transplanting and nurturing those thousands of plants. I’m actually there quite a lot, but not always during “Regular” retail/business hours. It’s kind of hit n miss many days due to my family obligations. I’m like the “Shoemakers Elf”  who comes in (often under cover of darkness) to cobble the shoes.  LOL

My great friend Harold billings passed away 4 years ago, I am the God Father for his two sons. After Harold was gone, I took over many of the childcare duties he used to perform. I am the de-facto father figure for the two boys, 19 and 17. The older of which has many challenges. Not having ever had children of my own, I’m doing the very best that I can with them and with my small business. Years ago I made a commitment to Harold and Mary to look after the boys should anything happen to either of them. I have stepped up to meet that obligation and assist Mary in any way that I can. This means that family comes first and my business second. That is my  reality.

I very much appreciate the caring and understanding shown me by so many of my longtime and more recent customers. Thank you.     🙂

If my newest customers could call ahead and work with me on times to come by and select plants, I’m sure that you will find the high quality well worth the tiny bit of effort needed to schedule a trip down.

Again, to all, thank you for your patience and understanding.



Getting Seedy

Hello folks,

Well, we’re experiencing some of the lowest temperatures of the season (so far) here at the farm. Not much to do outdoors these days. I’ve been filling the time by updating my seed sowing spreadsheets with target sowing dates (one for flowers, one for herbs and veggies) and ordering seeds. I’ve gotten a few (25) items from Seed Savers Exchange out west, they have some cool and interesting varieties from yesteryear. Older “Heirloom” varieties usually have superb flavor and visual interest. “You eat with the eyes as well as the mouth” I was once told by a dear friend who passed some years ago. Truer words have never been spoken in my opinion.

Envelopes and boxes of seeds have been arriving nearly every day since last mid-week, this will continue through late March. Our first sowing of flowers (Pansy, viola, mimosa aka sensitive plant, rudbeckia, and snapdragons) and long germinating herbs, (Rosemary, and the Thymes, [3 types] lemon grass, lavender [2 colors, purple & pink] savory, marjoram and the like) sometime during the first week in February. I like to sow like items together with like items, the things that like the same germinating temperatures/conditions, and then some need light to sprout, others need dark, some don’t care either way.

In 2 weeks, I’ll be ordering 10 pallets, or ten tons, of bagged potting organic compost potting mix. Each one must be hand unloaded and placed in the barn for storage. That’s my February workout. LOL in late February the pots and hanging baskets arrive. They will be filled with transplants the first and third week in march. And all the while we’ll be seeding away, 430 items will be sown this season, this is why a spreadsheet is required, or it would be complete mayhem and chaos down here. LOL

OK, my day is at an end. Tomorrow morning I’m driving my godson up to Pico Mountain so that he can snowboard with his schoolmates. (I’ll be in the lodge, sitting in front of the big fireplace reading a good book. Something by Frank Herbert I should think.

Peace and good health to all.

Farmer Mike

Belated New Year!

Happy New Year to my friends, family and my valued customers. I hope the new year finds everyone in good spirits and in good health. On a personal note, I have finally recovered from surgery on a torn meniscus in my left knee. For a while it seemed like it would never recover. It did slow me a down just a bit on vacation in Yellowstone park this last September. Nonetheless, I had a fantastic time visiting with my family from Ohio. My sincerest thanks to my parents, Bert and Joanne Guay for being exemplary hosts!

The last quarter of 2015 was a busy one for us, we sold about a third more wreaths than we did the 2014 season. This is certainly good from a financial standpoint, but busy busy busy.  lol

We’ve begun ordering seeds for the upcoming season, early stuff mainly. Pansies, violas, slow germinating/growing seeds such as lavender, rosemary and other herbs and annual flowers. We expect to begin seeding shortly after the first of February. The items like leeks, onions and shallots will be sown shortly thereafter. The real sowing madness begins after March first, then its peddle to the metal until our season ends in later July.

Our future:

(2017) Our plans include establishing a berry orchard here on the farm. Red, purple, orange and yellow raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, hybrid elderberry (much larger fruit) and sweet and early honey berries.

(2018) We will begin a Christmas tree planting, Balsam fir, Fraser fir, Grand Fir, Nordmann Fir,  Noble Fir, and Blue Douglas Fir. We’ll start with about 300 and then 150 per year thereafter.

(2019) Will bring plantings of delicious aronia berry, goji berry, sweet goumi berries, sweet Russian quince, cornelian cherry trees, native persimmon trees and native pawpaw trees.

And of course our fine selection of high quality starter plants, baskets, containers and more.

Peace, Farmer Mike

August Notes

Hello friends and fellow plant enthusiasts. August is upon us and gardens are in high production. Many of you are inundated with excess produce, some of you may have lost plants to pests and diseases. Those of you with excesses may “Can, Jar or Put up” that excess for enjoyment during the winter months, or as gifts to be given during the holidays.

If you have excess but aren’t into “Canning,” please consider taking those nutritious delights to local food pantries, homeless shelters or places of worship.

Its a shame that so much food spoils and goes to waste in our nation when there are a great many people who are in desperate need of food for children and the elderly.

On a personal note, my left knee continues to improve, but is not back to normal as yet. Hopefully it will be healed by the time I head west to Yellowstone in September (courtesy of my parents) I’m hoping to get in a few good hikes while I’m out there. (Crosses fingers.)

Anywho… Good health and pleasant days to all.


Farmer Mike