by Alina Harris, a happy fieldhand of  Morning Glory Farm since May, 2010

Alina works her lettuce magic

Green and Red Peppers Come From the Same Plant

Ripening: Did you know that the difference between green and red peppers is their maturity?  The difference in price, taste, and color all depends on the time that the fruit is picked.  Green peppers are picked the youngest and red peppers are harvested as the oldest.

Think Twice About Eating Rhubarb Leaves

Poison: Ever wonder why rhubarb is sold without the leaves?  Because the leaves contain oxalate, a substance that has been reported to cause poisoning if large amounts of raw or cooked leaves are eaten.  The stalk also contains a small amount of oxalate, but nothing that could be problematic.

Indeterminate Tomato plants grow “forever!”

An indeterminate tomato plant is one that continues to vine and set fruit until killed off by any outside force. In New England, this usually is the frost (hopefully not the tomato horn worm or late blight).  In warmer climates or greenhouses, indeterminate tomatoes can grow to be trees!

In contrast, determinate tomato plants are ones that will set all of their fruit during the same time period.  These type of plants would be best used if one wanted to can the tomatoes all at once.

The Waiting Game: A Farmer Needs Patience

Asparagus: A productive bed of asparagus can last for 10 to 15 years, however the waiting period for this crop to become productive can be 3 years!

Strawberries: The Athearns grow their strawberries in a perennial system of matted rows, as opposed to using plasticulture.  For a whole year, the Athearns weed, water, fertilize and lay straw around their strawberry plants in order to prepare for harvesting.  Even though the plants begin to flower, the flowers are pinched off in order to encourage vegetative growth, instead of reproductive growth to form the fruit.  On the 2nd year, they are finally able to pick the first strawberries (and man, are they good!)  After the 3rd year, however, the strawberries get tilled into the ground and it starts all over again.