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National Heirloom Exposition is Sowing Seeds for Pure Whole Foods

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This September the National Heirloom Exposition was held in Santa Rosa, Calif. I wasn’t sure what to expect but since it was 10 minutes from home and  it was about gardening  I had to check it out!

The exhibits covered all kinds of heirloom vegetables:

 

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The squashes were small to large and conventional to very different! People were friendly and happy to talk about the different varieties. Since I love garlic I was really excited when we got to that display. Am I the only one that had no idea there are so many kinds of garlic?

 

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Fruits were also represented with a huge table of fruit to taste!

 

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And tomato lovers…it’s heaven for you!

 

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The mushroom growers were educating everyone with displays and people to answer questions:

 

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Other displays included some great drought information and oh I loved the raised bed they used!

 

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The event was held in the hall of flowers building with tons of vendors in the main pavillion representing heirloom seed companies, soil people, crafts, and even my favorite flower guy, Jamie from Aztec Dahlias!

As we finished our walk through the veggies there was one final display surrounded by people. When we got closer it was easy to see why the crowd. Check out this unique art by Chef Ray L. Duey!

 

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Pretty amazing right? We even watched as he created a pair of earrings for a woman…by carving a carrot slice.  He was amazing!

And, of course, we can’t leave out the giant pumpkin contest…they were huge!

 

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So now that you know what it’s all about you can anticipate next year’s show!

For more information you can check out the National Heirloom Exposition here.

To buy seeds check out our local Bakers Heirloom Seed Bank in Petaluma here.

 

 

Donna Jones has always loved to garden. After completing the Master Gardener program, spending some time hosting a garden program on television and writing a garden column, she took time off to be a mom and a school teacher. Now, just beginning the journey as a grandmother, Donna is repairing the garden for little hands again! Raised beds full of flowers and veggies are ready and plans for a few chickens are well under way. To learn more about Donna visit Radish Patch Blog, or you can also check out her professional photography site at Donna Jones Photography.

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Grow Flowers to Decorate Your Space

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If you love making flower arrangements you’ll definitely want to grow your own Baby’s Breath (gypsophila) when you read how easy it is!

I have had the “Happy Festival” plant pictured above for 10 years. It started out planted from a 4″ pot into a large raised bed. When the bed fell apart I dug it out and planted it in a large clay pot where it has bloomed happily for the past 3 years.  You just can’t beat this “Happy” baby’s breath plant! (Sad news: I called around and no nursery can supply this variety now…Bristol fairy seems to be the alternative! You’d think a plant this great that grows on and on this long would always be available!)

Since baby’s breath is a perennial plant it dies back a little in winter but then pops right up and into full bloom each spring.  The first flush of bloom is always the best:

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But, if you cut it back after the initial bloom and give it a little food it blooms again! Maybe not quite as vigorously as the first flush of blossoms but a really nice  bloom and enough for bouquets.

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Mine are watered automatically with a drip line and small sprinkle head so they are kept evenly moist with a little drying out period every other day and it seems to work well. The roots and leaves are fleshy and somewhat thick so they don’t dry out drastically if they get a little less water.

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Cut the flowers in the morning rather than during a hot afternoon and they will last longer. They last nearly a week in an arrangement and often longer than the flowers they are surrounding in a bouquet

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And, the fragrance is wonderful!

Though you may not be able to find my favorite variety, there are others like Bristol Fairy that are worth trying! Baby’s breath adds such a delicate touch to bouquets I wouldn’t want to be without some in the garden…IMG_8609

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For light airy flowers and a soft sweet scent you can’t beat baby’s breath! Fall is a great time to plant perennials so there’s no time like the present to add some to your cutting garden!

 

 

 

Donna Jones has always loved to garden. After completing the Master Gardener program, spending some time hosting a garden program on television and writing a garden column, she took time off to be a mom and a school teacher. Now, just beginning the journey as a grandmother, Donna is repairing the garden for little hands again! Raised beds full of flowers and veggies are ready and plans for a few chickens are well under way. To learn more about Donna visit Radish Patch Blog, or you can also check out her professional photography site at Donna Jones Photography.

 

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5 Creative ways to deck out the front porch!

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Want to make a long lasting visual impact for those special home gatherings, moments with friends and family, opting to hang out at your place? The greatest way to leave a lasting impression on your guests and family is presenting yourself as a super savvy decorator, even if it's only the front porch.

Here are 5 ways you can easily get that drab walk way looking more fabulous then you do on a Sunday morning!
By Diana from our vintage home love
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Fall in the Garden

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Someone asked me recently, “so, is anything going on in your garden in the Fall?”. Well, I took a walk outside in the backyard this morning, camera in hand, to find out. And, I remembered why I love fall:


The Second fig crop is coming on…



Flowers are still blooming including Roses, Alstromerias, Forget-me- nots and Dahlias:







Pesto is still possible:





Zucchini, though slowly being covered in mildew are still producing:





Herbs are in great shape:



Peas and radishes are working on a second crop:





Beans are just putting out the last few little green wonders:



The porch plants are still looking good including azaleas beginning to bloom and one crazy hydrangea putting out three new blossoms:



The freesias planted last spring are starting to pop up ( soon to be joined by the 80 new freesia bulbs I bought!:

Succulents inside and out are happy:







The girls are warm and cozy in their coop… checking out what’s going on in the garden:

The Golden Delicious is done producing but gave us lots of applesauce:

Which we shared with the girls…sort of…

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Succulent Birdbath

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I have a nice metal bird bath that I repaint every year because it rusts so badly. I thought it would look good with succulents in it…but what to do about the rust? Flex Seal to the rescue! This stuff is great! I cleaned the birdbath and sprayed on a coat of the clear Flex Seal.  It goes on smoothly and drys clear and ready to paint.



I was most concerned that I use something that would not show and could be painted and would not allow rust to creep back through to the surface.

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How to Repurpose a Decorative Bird Cage

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A trip to Beverly’s or Michael’s crafts usually means a visit to the sale section. Decorative bird cages were the hot buy a few weeks ago so I picked up a few and finally figured out what to do with them!


You can use them as bird feeders! Just put a saucer filled with seed inside-they love it!

You can also use one to hang a plant!



And, finally, you can use one to hang citronella candles at your next BBQ!



It’s fun to “re-purpose” things! Got any ideas you can share?


 

 

 

Donna Jones has always loved to garden.

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