Saturday, January 31, 2009

Are You Twisted?

Twisted Oak Winery is coming to town! Our town! Our little space in the universe. Next Thursday night, February 5th, we are thrilled to be hosting Mr. Twisted himself, Jeff Stai. Many of you have been to his winery in Calavaras County - and it is because of you fine folks that we were introduced to their wines. We are converts. Their wines are wonderful. This last week was the start of their annual contest " Take Your Rubber Chicken to Work Week". (You didn't think they got that Twisted name for nothing did you?) You can get all the info for the contest here: .

We are the proud owners of one of their special plastic chickens from when their rep was here for our winter tasting event out at the Flower Tree this last December. Over the next couple of days we will be making our best effort to capture the true spirit of our Fallon workplaces. Check out their website, and if you think you have a great workplace shot in mind, send it over to them. You might just win a $400.00 bottle of wine!!!!! And the bragging rights.

Don't miss it!
Twisted Oak Winery Tasting
@ Red Zinnia
Thursday Night 6 - 8 pm

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rain Dance

"A rain dance is a ceremonial dance that is performed in order to invoke rain and to ensure the protection of the harvest." (Wickepedia)

Growing up in Miami, we learned to plan for the rain. Most months it seemed to arrive in the afternoon just as school was getting out. The huge dark thunderstorm clouds would come rushing in, the lightening would fill the sky, and we would be soaked by the time we reached our destination. We didn't care. It wasn't until I was in junior high school that it seemed to be a problem. I'd have spent the evening before wrapping my hair around orange juice cans, come was the 60's, and my bangs would be taped down with pink tape. The next day I would head off for school with the perfect hairdo only to have it completely ruined from the rain. My friends and I were of course "too cool" to wear the little plastic bonnet that my mother seemed to always have tucked in the pocket of her London Fog.

At Halloween we would use pillow cases instead of paper bags. This was pre-planning on our part....we had all been witness to the poor friends candy that ended up all over the street because their bag got wet and broke.

When it came time to start driving we had the additional worry of windshield wipers that wouldn't work in a downpour. Memories of my best friend Mary hanging out the right hand side of my 1958 Nash Rambler, pushing the wiper blade to make it go.

Now I enjoy the Nevada rain, so sparse - yet so welcome. The smell of sagebrush after a gently sprinkle. It lingers long after the rain has cleared. The thoughts of all the weeds that will come
popping up and the small little puddles it makes as it tries to make it's way through the cold hard ground.

It looks like we might get some rain this week. Let's all get out there and do the Rain Dance!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I am a juicer, big time, but like any habit - good or bad - once you fall out of it it takes a while to get started again. This week I started back up in earnest because of some reading I have been doing about inflammation and juicing. When I was making my morning concoction today I realized that so many of the fruits and vegetables that I love in my juice, I can grow myself. They say that putting it in writing helps to keep a goal, so..... here is one (1) of my gardening goals for this year:

Grow: Carrots, celery, radishes, ginger, beets, parsley, turnips, squash - all kinds, broccoli and cauliflower. If I end up with only carrots and radishes, because after all, I may be just a little busy in the spring, working at the nursery, I will hopefully be able to purchase the rest from the Mewaldt's Organic Farm. Apples and pears will have to come from the store I as well. According to the Stanford Cancer Center, 1 cup of FRESH carrot or celery juice provides most of the same nutrients found in 5 cups of those same vegetables chopped up.

I use a Breville juicer.I've had it for a couple years now, and I love the easy clean-up and the efficiency of being able to put 4 large carrots or a whole apple down the chute. The compost bucket that catches the pulp sits in our kitchen sink all the time for other scraps, and then out to the compost pile it all goes.

Couple of my favorite Juicing Sites / Info and Recipes
if you like juicing, and you find yourself up at South Lake Tahoe, make sure and stop at "Sprouts" restaurant. They make the best combo every, called the Flu Fighter! See ya soon, Susan

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Call of the Rake

There comes a time in every young mans life when he must take up the rake. He either enjoys it, or hates it. I am proud to say that my grandson seems to love it, and has all the makings of a fine gardener. The only time a frown found his face was when we had to stop for a few moments to get the required picture. Then it was back to the leaves, the compost pile, and the bugs.

This has been an extremely warm winter so far, and the rolly-pollys are already out in force in our yard. We watched as they scooted across the flagstone, basking in the sun the same as we were. "bug...bu...bu...bug...bu" the words come fast and furious as the little man tries to figure out just what this little thing is that is crawling across his newly raked path.

We filled up the bird feeders for the fifth or so time this week, checked the water bowls, and then found ourselves enjoying some time in sun. Life doesn't get much better than this.

Tomorrow the kids head back east to their home in Maine. There is forecast of below zero temperatures and lots of snow for them. Cash's raking days back home will be coming soon though, and he has the experience now to be a big help to his Mom & Dad.

I'll miss my partner in the leaves. Somehow the bugs just won't hold the same attraction. See you soon, Susan

Posted by Picasa

New Varieties from Mewaldt's Organic Seeds

As promised, here is a small sampling of the varieties that will be available from Mewaldt's Organic Seeds. Stop by and take a look at the complete selection next time you are at The Flower Tree. These plants are KNOWN PRODUCERS in our area of the high desert. Bill & Korena have been perfecting these plants for over 15 years.

Plant for Success in the High Desert

Korena’s Roma Tomato determinant – 80 days ( Bill named this one after Korena)Originally Roma VF , ours is descended from the lone survivor of a virus kill off in our Roma patch over 15 years ago. It is a very productive paste tomato with real tomato flavor and disease tolerance better than the original.

Homesweet Tomato determinant – 80 days Vigorous vines form medium to large round red fruit with thick, full flavored, sweet juicy flesh. First set yields heaviest but will continue setting until frost. This has become our favorite red tomato for our table as well as for sun drying and filling our CSA baskets. Over ten years of selection here in Fallon make this one a reliable producer of excellent quality fruit, even under poor conditions.

Boxcar Willie Tomato Indeterminant – 80 daysHuge red beefsteak tomatoes taste as good as they look. Our seed came from a long-time organic gardener in Washoe Valley. Most fruit are over one pound

Cuban Yellow Grape Indeterminant – 90 days
Small yellow grape tomatoes are born on trusses so numerous that when the crop comes in, from a distance the plants look more yellow than green. These juicy sweet little cherries are often the favorite of the youngest kids.

Snow White Cherry Tomato Indeterminant – 75 days
These ivory colored cherries are productive, easy to pick, crack resistant, and tasty. They have enough acid to perk up the flavor missing in many “white” tomatoes.

Sweet Chen Basil - 65 days
This bolt-resistant, Italian variety seems to have pesto in mind as it forms large savoyed leaves, bright green and glossy with strong aroma and flavor. Profuse,
disease-free growth makes harvesting a breeze

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mewaldt's Organic Seeds

You asked - They LISTENED! Now available at the Flower Tree, a nice collection of Mewaldt's Organic Seeds. Over the past few years you may have been lucky enough to partake in one of our seminars at the nursery that Bill & Korena Mewaldt have put on for us. Owners of Mewaldt's Organic Farm here in Fallon, they have been selling their produce to many of the 4 star restaurant's up in Reno, as well as at the nursery and selected smaller Farmer's Markets. While we have had their seed garlic for sale the last few years, this is the first opportunity we have had to sell their other seeds as well. Packaged with complete information and nice showy pictures, you can now grow many of the varieties that they do. Best part: ALL ORGANIC SEEDS. Stop by and see the selection now available. I will also be listing them here in the next few days. See you soon, Susan

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Advice from my Friends

Over the course of the last eight years, whether you are new to the garden center or been a regular for the entire have probably heard me mention "my friends." I am one of the lucky ones, to be surrounded by incredibly talented, hard working, creative and fun people....not just here at the nursery, but in my world outside of there also. Below my comments you will find a copy of one of my favorite poems. The author is Ilan Shamir, and since first publishing this poem he has now gone on to do many, many more. But it is this poem, his first that I learned of that I am coming back to now, because it this one that I was thinking about this morning while journaling. I received a poster of it from one of my dear friends just recently and it reminded me to go back and look at his other writings.

Some advice from my Friends

Don't turn your back on a new project, you never know what direction it will take you
Always take the time to read
Never go to bed without a cup of tea or grapefruit juice and a chocolate cookie
Always wear your sunscreen and drink lots of water
Explore your feelings through your writing
Use the winter garden to explore where spring will take you.
Follow your spirit, it usually knows where to take you.
Walk...walk....walk....whenever-where ever
Respect your elders, and show them you mean it.
Trust your instincts
Love with all your heart

Advice from a Tree By Ilan Shamir

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Morning Grins

The last two weeks have just flown by, not so much because of all the holiday activities going on, although that has certainly been a contributing factor,but because the kids are here from Maine. My grandson Cash is now 18 months old, and of course the most special little boy in the whole world. Every morning I sit in my chair, coffee cup in hand and read the paper, while listening for his little voice in the other room. The sounds start slowly, he talks to himself in the quiet darkness of the morning, and then the words start flying. His words are still very hard to follow, but we know they are meaningful to him, and that's all that really matters. I slowly open his bedroom door and peek in, and am greeted by the biggest grin. Bob and I usually push each other out of the way in the path to the door..both of us wanting those "morning grins". They are the best.

Today the kids head over the mountain to visit Travis's family, so I will head back to Red Zinnia for a couple days and get caught up on some paperwork. They will be back in the middle of next week for a few more days before they fly back to Maine. We finished the revamping of Flower Tree on Monday and we all love the new openness from rearranging most of the cabinets. It is always amazing to me how "mixing it up" a little can change the whole feel of an area. Our next project is the green room, which starts today when we put up all the seed racks for this year and start unpacking all the spring goodies. Just like browsing through the gardening catalogs that come in the mail this time of year, sorting through all the spring seeds can fill you with hopes of forsythia exploding in shades of yellow soon.

Enjoy the sunshine this weekend, it sure looks like we have a few beautiful winter days ahead. See you soon, Susan

Saturday, January 3, 2009

All things Old are New Again

Today we warm up our muscles, eat a good breakfast, gather our strengths....and head for The Flower Tree. One of the nicest things about the new year is the chance to take some of our favorite "old" things and re-do them. Today's "old" project is the gift shop at The Flower Tree. We are re-arranging, re-stocking-re-gardening the whole room. Over the last couple of years we lost the ability to keep certain items out in the green room, our semi-outdoor garden room, due to roof conditions and un-shoppable weather, ie: Old Man Winter makes it real uncomfortable for a few months. What we have wanted to do was have an area in the comfort and warmth of the gift shop for those items that have a year round, as well as seasonal interest. Sloggers for those muddy mornings when you need to get out to the compost pile, San Diego Hats for winter and summer, gloves and tools, benches, small fountains for inside the home, gates, beautiful wind chimes and bird feeders, gardening books and get the idea, I hope.

So this morning we meet at the store, we will be open, but watch will be taking place inside as we move cabinets, install new lighting, take inventory and "Renew & Recharge the Creative Garden". We will be expanding the Carson River Coffee area to get some needed new comfy seating, as well as repositioning the wine area to make it more open. Some lines will always be with us....Burt's Bees, because it is natural and we love it, Salt City Candles, The Thymes, because who doesn't want something so wonderful scented and moisturizing, Sterling Teas, European Soaps, Department 56, Lanie's Ladies, Natural Life...for the peace child in all of us, and on and on and on. We will be adding new lines as the coming months unfold, but always keeping with our true core. We are a garden center first and foremost and we want to offer you all the most wonderful products out there. Let us know if there is something you are looking for that you think would fit.

But for now, it's on to the nursery.......we've got some heavy lifting to do! See you soon, Susan

Pots de Creme, perfect treat for the New Year.

Months......and I mean months.....ago, I was talking about this dessert at Red Zinnia. They were serving something similar to it over at The Slanted Porch, and I was telling someone about the easy version of it that I make. The recipe was originally given to me by me good friend, and "Dessert Maker Extraordinaire", Linny. I usually make it when we are having something heavy for dinner, as it is the perfect small amount when you want to have a dessert but you know that no one is going to go for something as big and rich as pecan pie. Don't be fooled by the small amount in the cup. It packs a wallop of delectably rich chocolate in such a cute little package Enjoy!!!

Linny's Pots De Creme

1 egg
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 c. milk SCALDED
8 oz chocolate chips (1 FULL cup)

Put egg, chocolate chips and sugar in blender
Add SCALDED milk
Blend on low-ish for a minute or so

Pour into glasses, pots de creme cups or any small container. I use tiny milk glass cups that went to a punch bowl set.

Put in refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours to set.

Top with a SMALL amount of your favorite liqueur (we like Cointreau - an orange flavored liqueur)and/or whipped creme.


ps, you can find all kind of recipes for this on the Internet, but this one is simple and easy to make, and oh so good. A hunt through your cabinets will probably find the perfect little cups.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


The best is yet to be!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin