Greetings Fellow gardener!
Thanks to all of our patrons for shopping with us!
We would not be able to do what we do if not for you so a great big heartfelt Thanks and Happy Mother’s Day to you! Male and Female alike we all participate as stewards of, and bask in the abundance that Earth, Mother to us all, provides. : )
This edition is a kind of a “what’s in store” feature and the extra lengths that a garden plant shop with a Nature connect focus goes to that is rare indeed in the age of a garden industry driven by “same, same, stuff, stuff” stores and chains that just don’t care if they poison your garden with chemically treated plants.
For those of you who have been shopping with us for awhile you already know a lot of this, and for those who haven’t been here yet here’s a little of what you’ll find when you get here.
Even for our regulars there may be a few varieties mentioned here that might interest you. : )
In the front section of the greenhouses there’s what I’ve often referred to as a “boutique” selection of flowers. The selection does include quite a few of the varieties dating as far back as Jefferson’s Monticello that have been pretty much dropped by the trade in the rush to mass market patent hybrids. Read the quote from Gertrude Jeckyll who pretty much wrote the book, quite a few actually, on modern gardening. How insightful and timeless her statement from 1916 is. It is indeed not the fault of the plants but of the general acceptance of a poor sort of gardening. : )
Now, what really sets us apart from the trade is in the back section where you’ll find the truly INSANE selection of vegetable and herb plants!
In the left hand set of benches in alphabetical order are Tomatoes, 260 varieties this year, all non GMO and heavily focus on heirloom open pollinated varieties, which means that if you decide to do so you can save seed from them and get nice real deal tomatoes back from them instead of piddly genetic reversions. On the right, also in alphabetical order are Peppers, 150 varieties for 2016, also all non GMO.
There’s even a sign I put up explaining the difference between heirlooms, hybrids and GMO so that you, the gardener can eliminate some of the confusion as to what’s up with all that, and more importantly, why you should care. : )
Maybe you care, maybe not, either way we do our best to give our customers the information to make an intelligent decision.
Thus, our varietal signage, the fun part of plant shopping at Funke’s!
Here’s our eggplant display.
We carry a wide assortment of ethnic varieties from a broad spectrum of human cultures across the planet.
Green Beauty is an asian variety.
Rosa Bianca is an Italian Heirloom, and makes a scrumptious Eggplant Parmesan!
Turkish Orange is a really cool and unique Middle Eastern variety that yields Baseball sized bright orange eggplants that are perfect for slicing and frying or cored, stuffed and baked. Yum!
That’s just a tiny sample of the explosion of ethnically diverse heirloom vegetable plants you’ll find here at Funke’s.
Here’s a fun heirloom cucumber variety originating in China.
And an heirloom spinach variety from France that gives BIG tasty leaves for all your spinach dishes.
BIG leaves mean LOTS of yummy spinach!
Now here’s a sampling of some of the harder to find herbs that we grow.
If you have a smartphone with a QR reading app you can easily access the plants for a future database page on the web with a simple scan from many of our herb signs, primarily those with useful properties beyond cuisine.
Here is the sign for a group of plants that are the source for Stevia based sweeteners.
Here’s a snap of our Herb display. Yep, That’s a really nice group of French Tarragon plants in 4 ½” pots at center bottom.
Here’s a pic of our squash plant display, we grow varieties going all the way back to pre-Columbian mezzo America.
We’ve also got a nice seed rack for those who like to sow their own. Seeds are, and have always been, a great way to get bang out the garden buck.
Many of the varieties we grow are so rare and hard to get seed for that we have to maintain our own Mother plants to have a reliable source for the seed.
I potted up a couple of plants of Pepper “Nora” today that I will use to have seed for next year since it is nearly impossible to get seed for them outside of the Iberian peninsula in Spain for this exotic and tasty Spanish heirloom that goes all the way back to Chris Columbus himself who brought the seed back and gave them to the monks there.
If you’re interested in saving seed into your own seed bank we’re happy to tell you how. It really is pretty easy, and can be a fun lesson in gardening for the young folks.
I’ll close with one of my favorite Ben Franklin quotes, “There are three ways by which a nation may acquire wealth, the first by conquest, like the Romans, the second by commerce, which is generally cheating, the third, and only honest way, is by agriculture where a man may reap a real reward from a seed sown into the soil”.
‘til next time,
Happy gardening, and Happy Mother’s day!