Think Green Garden w/ The Mewaldt's

Bill and Korena Mewaldt, owners of Mewaldt Organic's, led another extremely informative class on April 3rd. You might remember last month when they came to talk about starting your vegetable seeds to prepare for planting on the first weekend of April. Well today was the day to put those pretty little plants in the ground. Utilizing Walls-O-Water, they demonstrated setting them up and tucking them in for the cold nights ahead. These plants will have a 45 day jump start on normal planting times for our valley. Stop by and watch their growth, they are located back in the display garden along the river. Thank you again to Korena and Bill, always a wonderfully educational opportunity whenever they come by. Their passion for gardening shines on all of us. Check out their website for more info and seeds available this year at our store.

It's Garlic Time

Today is the day we plant the garlic. The past few years we have been fortunate to have Bill Mewaldt as one of our "go to experts" on gardening and all things organic. A retired college professor of biology, he also owns and runs with his wife Korena, Mewaldt's Organic Produce here in Fallon. They sell their amazing produce to gourmet restaurants in Reno (4th Street Bistro, LuLu's...etc..) and last year they started a CSA -Community Sponsored Agriculture - subscription service that Bob and I have been enjoying most of the summer. Every week a lovingly prepared basket arrives for us at Flower Tree filled with whatever goodies they harvested and accompanied with delightful recipes and history of the particular vegetable or fruit.

Back to the garlic. Those of you who read this on a regular basis will remember that I am from the South. We don't grow garlic there, heck - we didn't even really use garlic in our household, except for Mom's spaghetti sauce, and that was used sparingly and always came out of a little shaker can. It was when I had my first cooking lessons at the right hand of Bob's Mother Sharon, I started to learn the fine art of garlic. When my husband and I had been married and living in New York City for just a short year, the Coast Guard saw fit to send him to "isolated duty" in the Marshall Islands for the next 13 months. Back home I went to Miami, and after a month or so I started my Every Thursday Night cooking lessons with Sharon. My own Mother who worked full time all during my childhood was a basic cook. Sure she could whip out one of her famous meatloaf, or put on a show with some incredible Macaroni and Cheese, but the basics were what she excelled at. Sharon on the other hand was a self taught gourmet cook. She subscribed to all the magazines, she watched the early TV shows, and she used a LOT of garlic. Her spaghetti sauce was famous in her circle of friends, and over the year of lessons, I got pretty good at it too. I have never used shaker garlic since then.

But what I didn't know until I met Bill Mewaldt was just how easy and fulfilling it was to grow your own. With little effort, and even less care, you can harvest your garlic every summer and have enough to last the entire year. It doesn't go bad, it doesn't rot or smell and it is just plain see it all lined up in a row. So, stop by today, about noon, and plant some garlic with us. I may even give you some secrets to Sharon's Famous Spaghetti Sauce. See you there, Susan

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

The Garden Goddess CSA

Last spring, while visiting with Korena Mewaldt one morning, she told me abut her plans to start a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or farm subscription in Fallon. It was something that she had wanted to start for quite some time, and was very passionate about. The produce for the CSA would come from her farm, Mewald't Organic Produce, that she operates with her husband Bill. Most years they have been taking most of their produce to the gourmet restaurants in Reno, 4th Street Bistro LuLu's, and occasionally at Farmer's Market up there also. This year she wanted to try and stay a little closer to home, while also bringing something new to the community. Most CSA's that I have researched provide baskets of produce and maybe eggs on a weekly basis on a subscription type service. You sign up for a month/week/season and the produce, whatever is in it's peak at that time, is delivered to your door. Korena had dreams of taking it a step further, and she has. Here is what she wrote for the introductory letter:

"I intend to cater to the gourmet, gourmand and culinary cool! Let's travel this summer right here at home, with garden menus/themes from around the world. Our weekly baskets will feature veggies, recipes and tips. We'll experience Greek Week, Tastes of Tuscany, Menus from Mumbai and other exotic destinations for your taste and ideas are always welcome!"

"Here are the details, each week, baskets will be filled and delivered to the drop points. We'll start once our produce is available (near the end of June) and continue until our garden closing in the fall (after the first hard frost), Recipes, culinary tips, and notes on what's happening in the garden will be included" Price: $25.00 per week, payable weekly or monthly.

With this letter came a list of the produce that we might expect during the season, 3 columns, including everything I eat, plus so much more! and also non-fertilized eggs, and edible flowers.

After gathering up names of people that might be interested, she started planning all the logistics. Baskets were purchased, newsletters developed, and menu's planned. With an initial list of 10 people that were committed to her for the season, she was up and going. Then the surprise hit.....all of us!

The first week that the baskets arrived at the nursery, drop off point for 4 people, we watched as Korena got out of the car, a true Garden Goddess! dressed in a beautiful flowing dress, sun bonnet on her pretty head, she opened up the back of her car and viola! there was an amazing assortment of produce, eggs and even a vase full of cut flowers to grace each basket. We stood around the gift shop ohhhing and ahhhing over each item, all individually carefully pruned, washed and wrapped, our newsletters standing at attention on the sides of the baskets. I couldn't help myself, and started picking through everything, already planning out my menu for that evening. There was even a full garlic braid, included! WOW!!

So it has been every week.....each week better than the last as the season's bounty has come into full harvest. We have had beets, blackberries, cantaloupe, carrots in 5 colors, swiss chard, tomatillos, watermelons, lettuce and mixed greens, cucumbers and squash and on and on and on! The newsletter is filled with the most delectable of dishes, most easy to prepare. We have traveled the world from France to Greece, Japan to Spain. I look forward to the newsletter that comes with the produce as much as the greens themselves. Filled with tidbits of her travels around the world, families suggestions and memories and did I mention the recipes! This has been a gift, to myself, that I have looked forward to every week.

Next year she plans on expanding her business to include 20-30 people. I strongly suggest emailing her at if you are interested. She will put you on the list and let you know if she is able to include you next year. I'll be there, right at the top.....I don't want to miss another week. She will also be at the nursery this coming Sunday, September 14th as she demonstrates the Solar Ovens that we sell at the store. She will be making Ratatouille Provancale with fresh produce from her farm and serving it at 3pm when the Vermiculture class is over. YummYumm.
And Korena, if EVER there was a true Garden is you! Thank you from all of us, Susan