May 27, 2010

Not Certified? Not Bad!

While providing 10 tips for shopping at farmers markets, the folks over at Serious Eats make an excellent point about why small-scale farmers may not be certified organic:
"The fact that produce is not labeled organic doesn't necessarily mean it's swimming in pesticides or is a qualified member of the Dirty Dozen. Sometimes it's quite the opposite. Some of the best farms, where a single farmer can lovingly attend to every seedling, are hardly bigger than a postage stamp. A farm that size can't afford a refrigerated truck, never mind a costly (and questionably bullet-proof) certification by the USDA. Many farms use organic practices, often much more stringent than those required by the government, but simply don't get certified."
That pretty much explains why we're not certified organic here at YellowTree Farm - but please rest assured that we use organic practices and we never, ever use pesticides.

May 14, 2010

What to do with Nasturtium Flowers...

We grow nasturtium, and a lot of it. Sure it's pretty to look at, but did you know it can be used multiple ways in the kitchen? The leaves are edible and great in salads. The flower petals are edible as well, and make excellent garnishes on just about anything: salads, cakes, and even deviled eggs (like these we made and garnished with nasturtium flowers, radish and guanciale). An added bonus: the plant deters harmful insects!

May 5, 2010

No Spray Zone

With mosquito season upon us, you should know you have a right to opt-OUT of pesticide fogging. St. Louis, Missouri sprays May-October. Residents can call (314)727-3097 and ask to be put on the Do Not Spray list. You can also call (314)615-4BUG to find out nightly spraying routes in St. Louis County. We strongly encourage folks who live in other parts of the country to research who to contact in your local area to find out how to opt-out of mosquito spraying.

After all, it defeats the purpose of having an organic garden if the county's going to pump known carcinogens into the air every couple weeks.

May 3, 2010

Bragging Rights

It's only May 3rd, and not to gloat too much, but we've got ripe tomatoes in the garden! Mainly it's our sungold cherry tomatoes that are ripening the fastest, and they are so very sweet. Here's a peek at what's growing right now: