News from the Greenhouse, Feb. 2016
It may still be winter in some parts of the country, but we’re springing into warm weather here at Neem Tree Farms in Florida. Birds and bees are doing their thing, and the sweet smell of fish emulsion wafts gently through the neem farm and greenhouses. (Just kidding, but we actually do like it because we know it’s so good for our plants!)
We began fertilizing and watering the large trees in our biggest greenhouse January 1 so we’d have plenty of fresh leaf for Ugadi as long as temperatures didn’t drop below 28. It worked, and they’re covered in gorgeous new growth. The other large trees are going through their spring leaf-drop so we’re short on fresh leaf for now but should be fine in plenty of time for Ugadi.
Open gardens March 4 & 5:
If you’re anywhere near Brandon, Florida, we’ll be hosting an open garden on March 4 and 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Paul Cilia, tomato guru and hydroponic expert, will be here on the 5th to share his expertise on how to grow America’s favorite fruit – hint, hint, he’s a big believer in neem too.
We’ll have a limited number of Paul’s tomatoes on Saturday but he’s only bringing pre-sold seedlings on Sunday.
We’ll have some full-sized plants in buckets you can see, but they’re just about burned out after a winter season of so many tomatoes we’re almost tired of eating them! Everglade tomatoes, however, are popping up everywhere so be sure to bring a hand shovel and a bucket to carry one home.
Rob Clemons of Bob’s Berries will be here with an incredible selection of edible plants too including thornless raspberry, dwarf everbearing mulberry, Barbie pink guava, and phasma berries aka sherbert berries – which I can’t wait to try. (Other growers who want to participate can call 813-689-2616, we have plenty of room and so much shade you won’t need a tent unless it’s supposed to rain.)
Seed & Plant Swap:
One of the highlights of last fall’s event was the plant swap. We got some really cool plants (even if we’re not sure exactly what some of them are) and shared lots of plants that feed people, pollinators, butterflies and caterpillars. (I’ll create a list of left-over seeds to share with an SASE for customers who are too far away to attend after this event — we had lots left over last time!)
More new plants:
Thanks to Bharath Gali, we’re starting to grow all kinds of interesting seeds and plants – including some species I’d never even heard of. He’s from South India and has a long wish list of trees for a new piece of property he just bought in Lake Wales. (Neem, of course, was near the top of the list!) We’ll start posting them as soon as they pop out of the ground!
Along with lots and lots of neem trees (in several sizes and shapes), we’ll have ashwagandha, gotu kola, tulsi, betel leaf and chaya for sale at special walk-in prices. And, as always, we’ll have free samples of our favorite neem products.
Top reasons to use neem on your vegetable garden:
And if you’re getting ready to plant your spring vegetable garden, check out our newest blog post at https://neemtreefarms.com/top-three-reasons-using-neem-vegetable-garden/ for the top reasons you should be using neem oil on your vegetables.
Hope your Saturday is as spectacular as ours is shaping up to be!
Vicki & the Neem Team