Thursday, April 8, 2010


What better way to spend a rainy day than on a road trip?

   Today we headed out to Richters Herbs in Goodwood - about a 2 hour drive from home. It was wet & foggy the whole way! But walking into the greenhouses at Richters
is like walking into heaven - green & lush, and fragrant. A person could easily spend hours there, checking out hundreds of varieties of herbs and rubbing & sniffing leaves.
Eventually you have to stop because your fingers are so covered in herb oils & smells that it's hard to distinguish the different aromas.
  The purpose of our visit was to pick up some trays of herb plugs I had ordered.

   Each tray has 128 little herb plants or plugs that we will transplant into 4" pots and grow in our greenhouse and then sell at market.
   Herbs have become an important crop for us here at Thiessen Farms. Last year we sold almost 60 different varieties of herbs at our farmers' markets. From the start of the market season in early May until late June when sweet cherries ripen, herbs are our main crop. Then as our various fruits & vegetables come into season we decrease the amount & variety of herbs. Still, last year we sold herbs at every market we attended from May through till the first week in November. Our herbs are available in 4" pots and then as bunches of fresh cut herbs in summer - especially basil, dill, parsley ...
   We start most of our herbs from seed in our greenhouse. Some of the more difficult ones, or kinds that need to be started from cuttings are bought as plugs from Richters. And to round out the selection we purchase a few herbs grown and ready to sell, from a couple of neighbouring growers. Each year I try to grow more myself and purchase less. Lemongrass and oregano from seed are my new attempts this season along with several mints and scented geraniums from cuttings. 

   Here's where some of my seedlings are at right now. These are some herbs and tomatoes also. They are growing well, but it is amazing how these last couple of wet and dark days can slow them down.

    So those 18 trays we brought back today means about 2300 plants to transplant in the next few days. Then our own seedlings will be ready for transplanting - and this will go on & on & on all summer.

Aromatherapy at work !!

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