Newsletter: February 14, 2013

Dear Spring Ledge Farm customer,  

    Open for Winter Market Friday Feb. 15th from 3-6 pm and Saturday the 16th from 10-1.

Featuring Spring Ledge greens, harvested from our cold frames – spinach, mixed greens, micro greens.  Windowsill pots of daffodils, salad greens and grow your own micro greens.  Pies, biscotti, muffins, buns and macaroons from Rocky Cannoli’s bakery.  Red Hen and Good Loaf Artisan breads.  Local dairy, meats, pesto, salsas and Spring Ledge carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash.

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Wishbone Flower alert!

     Impatiens Downy Mildew is a devastating impatiens disease which is forecast to be in our neck of the woods in 2013.

    Symptoms start with subtle leaf yellowing and progress to include downward curling of leaves, stunting and then a white coating on the undersides of leaves.  The following link sends you to a video from the extension service in Florida (Univ. of Florida – Dr. Doug Caldwell).  It describes the disease and shows some beds of affected impatiens.  Even though Florida has a different climate than ours, there are some suggested alternatives that would work here in NH as well.

            Don’t let the Downy Mildew get you down…there are plenty of alternatives to garden impatiens for spring 2013.

 What can we use in place of impatiens?

  We continue to sow seeds in preparation for the spring 2013 season.  This week, we sowed some seeds of Torenia (Wishbone Flower), one of the viable alternatives to impatiens for shady garden spots.  We will highlight these plants along with other substitutes for impatiens throughout the winter and spring.

Torenia fournieri, the Wishbone Flower.  

      Torenia is a bushy annual, grows 6″-12″ tall and is know to bloom well in shady areas.  There are several cultivars (cultivated varieties) of Torenia that we will offer this year including several Proven Winner series and a seed-propagated series.

The Proven Winner Torenia are the Catalina series and the Summer Wave series.

  Features of the Catalina series:

Heat and shade tolerant plants have snapdragon-like flowers all season; low maintenance Award Winner;  Heat Tolerant

Deadheading Not Necessary
Attracts: Birds & Hummingbirds
Resists:  Deer
       Another Proven Winner series of
Torenia is the Summer Wave. Here is what the Proven Winner website has to say about Summer Wave Torenia

spring collection. This year, one of Proven Winners most popular varieties is joined by Large Violet, a larger version of Blue (Violet).

        This filtered-sun lover provides superb color throughout even the hottest months of the year and does well in pots and window boxes. Like all the rest of the Summer Waves, this plant thrives in high humidity. Plant it alone, or combine it with Sutera cordata (Bacopa) or Supertunias. Features Amethyst-colored flowers all season; excellent heat tolerance; loves the shade; low maintenance.”

          These Proven Winner and other specialty annual Torenias will be available in 4.5″ pots this spring.

 We are also growing a seed-propagated Torenia series this year - the Kauai series.  Seven colors plus a mix provide a nice range for garden beds.  Here is what the breeder says about Kauai Torenias…

“Gardeners value Torenia for its superior performance in extreme heat and humidity, and exotic appearance in small garden settings, mixed combos and colour bowls; also suited to indoor containers. A great shade performer, this is an alternative to traditional impatiens.”
The Kauai series grow about 8 inches tall and spread about 8 inches wide.
Spring Ledge will offer these Torenia in 4-packs available this spring.
 Botanical note…Torenia was named after Ol of Toren (1718-1753), a Swedish clergyman who travelled in China.
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 Help Wanted – Farmstand Manager:

      Open position for retail manager at Spring Ledge Farm.  We are currently accepting applications for a farmstand manager.  Click here to view the description. 

      Many thanks to Cathy Gibson, our manager for the past year.  Her attention to detail, great work ethic, organizational skills and friendly demeanor served the farm well.  We will miss her as she makes the move to the Monadnock region of NH to be closer to her family.  Thanks Cathy!

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Skiing Connection:

  This past weekend’s snowfall has made for excellent skiing.

       A customer passed on this information about New London ski areas.  John Clough, who started Spring Ledge with his wife Sue, is pictured skiing on the slopes near Pleasant Lake.  John skied & coached at the U.S. Ski Team level for several years before his sweet-corn picking career.

       Click on the picture for a link to the New London Slopes web page – 1947-1960.   Credit goes to the New England Lost Ski Area Project (NELSAP).


Available this week:

SLF Spinach and greens, Salad Bowls, Mini Daffodils in pots, Elizabeth’s Eggs, 5 varieties potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, micro mix, rosemary, cyclamen, pet grass, onions, artisan breads from the Good Loaf & Red Hen Bakeries, McNamara Dairy, Star Lake Beef, winter squashes, Cutting Farm Honey, Home Hill Inn Pies, Pesto, Rocky Canoli’s Pies and Biscotti, Margarita’s Salsa, Vt. and NH Cheeses.

Thanks,As always, please let me know of any questions or comments by e-mailing me at greg@springledgefarm.com

Greg Berger

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Winter Stand Hours:

Fridays 3-6
Saturdays 10-1
603-526-6253

 

 

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