Newsletter: February 8, 2013




As we shovel through a Nor’Easter, I’m reminded of some old farmer terminology for these types of storms.  Checkout this poll where you can vote on your favorite.

        Click here to view the poll questions.   


Polka Dot 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.  Click here for the latest fact sheet, this one from Mass. Extension for home gardens.

What can we use in place of impatiens?

  This week we begin sowing in earnest, including viable alternatives to impatiens for shady garden spots.  We will highlight these plants throughout the winter and spring, starting with…

Hypoestes phyllostachya, the Polka Dot plant.   This species is originally from Madagascar, and has been bred to provide foliar color in shade areas.  Here are the highlights:

 The foliage is the colorful aspect of the plant, so regardless of how it is blooming, it will treat you to color in the garden.  Does well in container planters as well, mixed with other shade lovers such as torenia, grasses, dichondra and begonias.

Plant in Part Shade/Partial Sun (at least 3 hrs of sun)
Space 12-16″ (30-41cm) apart
Grows 10-18″ (25-46cm) tall by 12-14″ (30-36cm) wide
Very low maintenance. Great for use as an indoor plant at the end of the season.

Polka Dot plants fill the landscape well, providing season-long color.

Plant Geek alert! 

 (Do not read the following juicy tidbit, unless you are a plant geek). 

 The latin name for Polka Dot plant, Hypoestes phyllostachia, is derived from:

 Hypoestes =  hypo (under) and estia (house);  referring to the calyx being covered by the bracts;

A calyx is the name given to the collective sepals of a flower (sepals are the outermost whorl of petals that form a flower).

A bract is a modified or specialized leaf (the most famous bracts of all are the colorful “flowers” of poinsettias).  So in the Hypoestes species, the calyx is covered by the bracts.

The specific epithet (the second latin name in the botanical nomenclature of a plant) isphyllostachia = leaf spike.  Derived from phyllo meaning leaf and stachi meaning spike, or stem.


  SLF Carrots:

       Here is an email we received from a carrot customer:

“Actually, I have a somewhat unique endorsement for your carrots.  My Cardigan Corgi, Jenna, has to keep her weight down and so eats a lot of carrots and apples, in addition to a small amount of her regular food.  As to carrots, I have done some testing and can tell you that she much prefers your carrots over anything from the markets.  In fact, she will only eat baby carrots and will reject adult bagged carrots.  If I mix all three, she picks out the Spring Ledge carrots first…..this diet was recommended by her vet and has to include “regular” food in addition to apples and carrots.  A pure veggie diet for dogs, as for people, is very difficult.” 

      We still have carrots available – great for snacks or side-dishes.

Tete-a-tete daffs grown here on the farm.

As always, please let me know of any questions or comments by e-mailing me at


Greg Berger

       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, Margarita’s Salsa, Vt. and NH Cheeses.

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Winter Stand Hours:
Fridays 3-6
Saturdays 10-1

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