Best time for gardeners

This is the best time of year for anyone's farm project, no matter how big or small. 
If you haven't gotten everything you want in the ground, there is still time to plant. 
Or, if all the hard work of prepping, amending soil, tilling, 
and then the actual planting is behind you, 
now you are experiencing the daily surprises 
when a blossom appears one day, becomes fruit the next 
or you see your plantings multiply in size and height from day to day.
beams at ESTATE last week
and now!

For our farm project, which encompasses several different areas in Sonoma Valley, 
our work at the biodynamic farm at Imagery Estate Winery has been ongoing 
since March as we harvested our winter garden and 
transitioned to spring/summer plantings. 
We are looking forward to seeing how much different 
these beds look from the planting party in May. 

Stay tuned and check back here to see our progress.

But,  perhaps like many of you, we are also still in planting mode. 
There is a completely new addition to the girl & the fig farm project
we've added herb beds on the patio of our brand new culinary event space, Suite D

These herb beds are almost arms reach out the door of our catering kitchen 
so the chefs there can have the same convenience as our restaurant chefs. 
That motivated the choice of what we planted, but of course, 
the herbs are also a part of the ornamental design of the patio space. 

We are growing parsley, thyme, oregano, chives, 
rosemary, basil, chocolate mint, amaranth and pineapple sage.

Hummingbirds love pineapple sage for the beautiful red flowers. 
There is some debate as to whether that is really true, 
but one theory about why hummingbirds are attracted to plants with red flowers 
is "that since insects don't see the color red, they avoid the flowers, 
leaving more nectar for the hummingbirds." 
We aren't sure if this is true, but we do know how much we will enjoy the red flowers 
and the hummingbirds when the pineapple sage is blooming at Suite D. 
Pineapple sage are the tall plants with chives, thyme, rosemary and oregano
in the same bed is parsley and chocolate mint
Amaranth is a striking plant and has been cultivated for centuries.
According to GardenGuides.com:  "Native peoples of both North and South America
once considered amaranth a staple food crop.
First cultivated several thousand years ago, the plant peaked
in agricultural importance during the 1400s when it became a mainstay
of the Aztecs in central Mexico. In the 1970s, American researchers rediscovered
amaranth's potential, particularly as a protein-rich gluten-free grain."
Amaranth plant at Suite D

If the leaves are harvested when they are young, 
they taste like beet greens. You can also use the seeds. 
Wonder what the chefs will do with them?
With the amaranth are chives,basil, chocolate mint, oregano and rosemary in this bed

The other great thing about this time of year 
aside from the simultaneous planting and the harvesting, 
is the simultaneous "picking it fresh from the garden and eating it the same day!" 
Summer is all about these fresh herbs, vegetable and fruits, 
which we pick in the morning, bring to the chefs for them
 to transform for you to enjoy at the table later that day. 

as long as we can, we grow radishes at the farm for one of our signature salads
And of course, you can do the same at home. 
It doesn't matter how big your  farm project is, for you to have this experience. 

Gayla Trail, one of the first gardening bloggers, is called the "garden guru."  
In addition to her inspiring books, here is an interview she did about  
"small space gardening" with emphasis on herbs. 
No backyard or window sill? How about a rooftop garden

Check in and let us know if you are still planting or now beginning to harvest.
What are you growing and how are you using it? 

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