Misc/Chat Gardening for the Grand Solar Minimum

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Posted an article a couple of days ago about the potato shortage, and while there aren't no apparent potato shortages in the stores now as ST said in that thread it'll be noticeable next year. So I'm thinking about my garden game plan for next spring, and am going to put up a tunnel cover over two of my raised beds in the spring with the intent of being able to go into next winter and still have green veggies like kale, chard, spinach, and some herbs to carry us through early winter and then start up again in early spring. It was too wet, then too hot, then downright dry and then the deluge of rain started up again, this past year. I need to figure out a way to still grow healthy crops in those type of conditions
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
PW, I think adapting to growing our own food is learning and then accepting that we might have to changing our eating habits to make use of things that will grow under the new conditions.

I plan to attempt growing things in the greenhouse that I've had trouble growing outdoors the last couple of years.

One thing I've learned already is that whiteflies are a horrible scourge in greenhouses that might never freeze inside. I've figured out a way to make my own whitefly traps and will be using those intensively if the whiteflies continue to be a problem for me.

I've also found out that if their favorite plants are dead, whiteflies have no problems moving "next door" to a less favored plant that is still alive.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
PW, I think adapting to growing our own food is learning and then accepting that we might have to changing our eating habits to make use of things that will grow under the new conditions.

I plan to attempt growing things in the greenhouse that I've had trouble growing outdoors the last couple of years.

One thing I've learned already is that whiteflies are a horrible scourge in greenhouses that might never freeze inside. I've figured out a way to make my own whitefly traps and will be using those intensively if the whiteflies continue to be a problem for me.

I've also found out that if their favorite plants are dead, whiteflies have no problems moving "next door" to a less favored plant that is still alive.
what kind of trap did you make? The guy I've been following on YouTube Arms Family Homestead deliberately lets his greenhouse freeze one or two days and then shuts it back up, I guess that helps with the pests.
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
You can grow those green crops and then harvest and dehydrate tons of them and the flaked dehydrated leaves can be added to nearly any food. Like if you're having instant potatoes, make them with extra liquid and then add a tablespoon or so of kale flakes. They will absorb the extra liquid and kale tasted great with potatoes.

When you harvest your greens, leave the smaller leaves at the top of the plant and the whole plant will keep growing and keep giving you greens so you can have some fresh ones as long as you can keep the plant alive. Or you can have another smaller but still respectable batch to dehydrate. Last year I left 4" to 6" stubs of my kale plants in the greenhouse containers and they sent out side shoots that made another huge batch of greens and then they bolted. They were hybrid and the seed pods were empty, but worth having because they gave me so very much greens. And after the stalks were pulled, they kept trying to grow in my compost bin. The icky little worms finally killed them all during the summer.
-----
For the whitefly traps, I bought yellow-orange card stock at Hobby-Lobby and cut it into 3" x 6" pieces. I put each piece into a snack sized zip-loc bag and then used a paper hole-punch to make a hole in one corner of the zip-loc's flaps. This is to hang it from the overhead of the greenhouse. I will coat the outside of the plastic bag with honey. The color is the same as the traps that are sold and is said to attract the flies. When the honey gets grungy, I can wash it off the plastic and the trap will still be good and more honey can be brushed on. (I don't believe in disposable anything where it can be avoided.)
-----
I'd planned to let my greenhouse freeze, too and I may still do that. There will be a few things I'll have to bring inside or cover really well, though. What few flowers I am keeping are rather special and I don't want them to freeze/
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
You can grow those green crops and then harvest and dehydrate tons of them and the flaked dehydrated leaves can be added to nearly any food. Like if you're having instant potatoes, make them with extra liquid and then add a tablespoon or so of kale flakes. They will absorb the extra liquid and kale tasted great with potatoes.

When you harvest your greens, leave the smaller leaves at the top of the plant and the whole plant will keep growing and keep giving you greens so you can have some fresh ones as long as you can keep the plant alive. Or you can have another smaller but still respectable batch to dehydrate. Last year I left 4" to 6" stubs of my kale plants in the greenhouse containers and they sent out side shoots that made another huge batch of greens and then they bolted. They were hybrid and the seed pods were empty, but worth having because they gave me so very much greens. And after the stalks were pulled, they kept trying to grow in my compost bin. The icky little worms finally killed them all during the summer.
-----
For the whitefly traps, I bought yellow-orange card stock at Hobby-Lobby and cut it into 3" x 6" pieces. I put each piece into a snack sized zip-loc bag and then used a paper hole-punch to make a hole in one corner of the zip-loc's flaps. This is to hang it from the overhead of the greenhouse. I will coat the outside of the plastic bag with honey. The color is the same as the traps that are sold and is said to attract the flies. When the honey gets grungy, I can wash it off the plastic and the trap will still be good and more honey can be brushed on. (I don't believe in disposable anything where it can be avoided.)
-----
I'd planned to let my greenhouse freeze, too and I may still do that. There will be a few things I'll have to bring inside or cover really well, though. What few flowers I am keeping are rather special and I don't want them to freeze/
That's a great idea on the fly traps, I have a laminator and some card stock that color (scrapbooking papers) I can use! I like the idea of just wiping on the honey and the best part is if a honey bee gets in there it won't hurt them. I like the idea of dehydrating the greens, then I'm not dependent on my freezer. I love sweet potato kale soup, this would be a great way to store large amounts of kale. The spinach could go into my savory oatmeal I eat for breakfast.

Thanks for the ideas. How long have you had your greenhouse? And what kind of set up do you have? The spot where I'm going to put my high tunnel is protected it's in between the house and the garage and there's another house/garage to the northwest of that spot so I'm not really sure how long a high tunnel will stay warm. I'm in central Iowa.
 

Martinhouse

Veteran Member
PW, I just spent a good while typing a very detailed account of how I built my greenhouse and how it evolved.

And then when I hit "post", this damned forum ATE the thing.

I can't bear to go to all that trouble again right now, but I can do it another time. Sorry to sound so crabby, but this time it's really gotten to me. Please don't think I'm crabbing at you!
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
I'm trying to find someone to till up a garden area for me now before the ground freezes -- it will need to be re-tilled in the spring, but that will at least let the sod rot over the winter. Also working on seed orders.

One thing I'm focusing on strongly as I select varieties is disease resistance. I figure that if the weather becomes more and more unstable, our plants will be more and more vulnerable to disease.

Kathleen
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
I'm trying to find someone to till up a garden area for me now before the ground freezes -- it will need to be re-tilled in the spring, but that will at least let the sod rot over the winter. Also working on seed orders.

One thing I'm focusing on strongly as I select varieties is disease resistance. I figure that if the weather becomes more and more unstable, our plants will be more and more vulnerable to disease.

Kathleen
Disease resistance is paramount! The whole rain cool weather then more rain and it’s screaming hot invites fungus issues into the garden. Share which seeds you go with when you get a chance. I’m going to order seed catalogs tomorrow.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
PW, I just spent a good while typing a very detailed account of how I built my greenhouse and how it evolved.

And then when I hit "post", this damned forum ATE the thing.

I can't bear to go to all that trouble again right now, but I can do it another time. Sorry to sound so crabby, but this time it's really gotten to me. Please don't think I'm crabbing at you!

Don5 sweat it and we do have a greenhouse thread in this forum if you want to post it 5here for comparative purposes.
 

naturallysweet

Has No Life - Lives on TB
working at putting up a 60x 20 coldframe. Then have to figure what's going to be planted in it (market garden). I've other smaller areas set up for (raised bed) early, under plastics, gardening. I'm planning on a cold wat spring.
 

China Connection

TB Fanatic
One can dig a deep hold in Canada and put glass or plastic over it and grow warm crops in winter.

Me, I am having fun, wish I was but have a total ban on town water for gardening. Yep, I have tanks but everything evaporates in the dry hot air. What is rain?

So one needs to be able to control everything.
 
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alpha

Veteran Member
We put a 26 x 28 foot high tunnel in several years ago to provide greens year 'round for our family. As it turned out, it was so productive that we began selling product at farmers markets. At any rate, it does get cold here in central NH and yet we found that Eliot Coleman's research work in Maine allowed us to duplicate his results. For those who aren't familiar with Eliot Coleman and "The Winter Harvest Handbook" etc. here's the link to all his works: https://www.amazon.com/Eliot-Coleman/e/B000APSTD0
 

alpha

Veteran Member
It's so good to see you posting again cc! Like you, we started out by laying some old slider glass doors upon a wall of mulch hay bales. Inside the little tunnel we planted various greens and some root crops. After every snow storm we cleaned the snow off so they'd get some warming light and they did wonderfully up until early Spring when the insects started to become an issue. Then the glass came off for several hours each day... problem solved!
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
One can did a deep hold in Canada and put glass or plastic over it and grow warm crops in winter.

Me, I am having fun, wish I was but have a total ban on town water for gardening. Yep, I have tanks but everything evaporates in the dry hot air. What is rain?

So one needs to be able to control everything.
Take a plastic pop bottle fill it with water and then put it in a hole the size of your bottle in your planters/beds.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
We put a 26 x 28 foot high tunnel in several years ago to provide greens year 'round for our family. As it turned out, it was so productive that we began selling product at farmers markets. At any rate, it does get cold here in central NH and yet we found that Eliot Coleman's research work in Maine allowed us to duplicate his results. For those who aren't familiar with Eliot Coleman and "The Winter Harvest Handbook" etc. here's the link to all his works: https://www.amazon.com/Eliot-Coleman/e/B000APSTD0
Besides Eliot Coleman, there is Niki Jabbour-The Year Round Vegetable Gardener.
She is in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Here is an interview with Joe Lampl
https://youtu.be/TDiV8flLRPE

Thank you for the links, I'll check them out later this afternoon.
 

China Connection

TB Fanatic
Four-Season Harvest: How to Harvest Fresh Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long Paperback – October, 1992






Shows home gardeners how to grow and harvest up to forty different vegetables in season all year round by using cold frames, mobile greenhouses, high-quality compost, and other simple and inexpensive tools and techniques.


 

China Connection

TB Fanatic
Eliot Coleman's Tomato Tips & How to Build a Greenhouse ...

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Eliot+Coleman's+Tomato+Tips+&+How+to+Build+a+Greenhouse

Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 25:33
Sep 23, 2012 - Uploaded by blockguru
Fair Use: "Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use ...


The Winter Harvest with Eliot Coleman
- YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=+The+Winter+Harvest+with+Eliot+Coleman

Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 54:00
Nov 10, 2016 - Uploaded by Living Web Farms
This is Eliot Coleman's presentation at the Asheville Mother Earth News Fair in April of 2016. Eliot is a ...


Invest in Your Soil
— Eliot Coleman - YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=+Invest+in+Your+Soil+[/SIZE]—+Eliot+Coleman+-+YouTube

Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 1:35
Sep 16, 2016 - Uploaded by Vermont Compost Company
Choosing the right potting soil for your plant starts and greenhouse crops is critical to the success of your farm ...


Year Round Vegetable Production with Eliot Coleman
DVD ...

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=+Year+Round+Vegetable+Production+with+Eliot+Coleman+DVD+

Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 6:25
Aug 10, 2010 - Uploaded by Chelsea Green Publishing
Year Round Vegetable Production with Eliot Coleman DVD Trailer ... Get YouTube without the ads ... This ...


Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm -
YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=++Eliot+Coleman+of+Four+Season+Farm+

Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 2:00
Apr 11, 2014 - Uploaded by Portland Press Herald
Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm talks about organic farming in Maine.


Eliot Coleman Keynote at VABF 2011
- YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Eliot+Coleman+Keynote+at+VABF+2011

Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 1:27:37
Feb 15, 2011 - Uploaded by earthfarmer
Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Organic Practices Eliot Coleman is one ... Thanks to Eliot Coleman's ...


Eliot Coleman Winter Harvest
.m4v - YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Eliot+Coleman+Winter+Harvest[

Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 2:01:38
Jun 14, 2012 - Uploaded by Lonnie Gamble
Eliot Coleman at the Sustainable Living Program, Maharishi University of ... vegetable production using simple ...



Elliot Coleman: "Nothing is Impossible" Keynote ...
- YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=+Elliot+Coleman:+"Nothing+is+Impossible"+Keynote

Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 1:04:45
Jan 17, 2018 - Uploaded by reORGANISM
Elliot Coleman: "Nothing is Impossible" Keynote Speech Utah Farm .... to this year improving the mobility of ...
 
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packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Four-Season Harvest: How to Harvest Fresh Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long Paperback – October, 1992






Shows home gardeners how to grow and harvest up to forty different vegetables in season all year round by using cold frames, mobile greenhouses, high-quality compost, and other simple and inexpensive tools and techniques.



Thank you, I just bought a used copy from Amazon.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Eliot Coleman's Tomato Tips & How to Build a Greenhouse ...
https://www.youtube.com › watch
Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 25:33
Sep 23, 2012 - Uploaded by blockguru
Fair Use: "Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use ...


The Winter Harvest with Eliot Coleman
- YouTube
https://www.youtube.com › watch
Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 54:00
Nov 10, 2016 - Uploaded by Living Web Farms
This is Eliot Coleman's presentation at the Asheville Mother Earth News Fair in April of 2016. Eliot is a ...


Invest in Your Soil
— Eliot Coleman - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com › watch
Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 1:35
Sep 16, 2016 - Uploaded by Vermont Compost Company
Choosing the right potting soil for your plant starts and greenhouse crops is critical to the success of your farm ...


Year Round Vegetable Production with Eliot Coleman
DVD ...
https://www.youtube.com › watch
Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 6:25
Aug 10, 2010 - Uploaded by Chelsea Green Publishing
Year Round Vegetable Production with Eliot Coleman DVD Trailer ... Get YouTube without the ads ... This ...


Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm -
YouTube
https://www.youtube.com › watch
Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 2:00
Apr 11, 2014 - Uploaded by Portland Press Herald
Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm talks about organic farming in Maine.


Eliot Coleman Keynote at VABF 2011
- YouTube
https://www.youtube.com › watch
Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 1:27:37
Feb 15, 2011 - Uploaded by earthfarmer
Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Organic Practices Eliot Coleman is one ... Thanks to Eliot Coleman's ...


Eliot Coleman Winter Harvest
.m4v - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com › watch
Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 2:01:38
Jun 14, 2012 - Uploaded by Lonnie Gamble
Eliot Coleman at the Sustainable Living Program, Maharishi University of ... vegetable production using simple ...



Elliot Coleman: "Nothing is Impossible" Keynote ...
- YouTube
https://www.youtube.com › watch
Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 1:04:45
Jan 17, 2018 - Uploaded by reORGANISM
Elliot Coleman: "Nothing is Impossible" Keynote Speech Utah Farm .... to this year improving the mobility of ...


400: Eliot Coleman on 30th Anniversary of 'The ..
. - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com › watch
Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 29:48
Nov 17, 2018 - Uploaded by Greg Peterson
Being a resource for organic growers for over three decades. In This Podcast: In 1988, Eliot Coleman literally ...


Eliot Coleman Discusses Inventing New Tools for
... - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com › watch
Video for eliot coleman greenhouse youtube▶ 2:51
Apr 24, 2012 - Uploaded by Chelsea Green Publishing
Eliot Coleman has over 30 years experience in all aspects of organic farming, including field vegetables ..
Thank you for the video links!
 

China Connection

TB Fanatic
Once I lived down in Tasmania for a couple of years and one of my neighbors had quite a large garden and a small plastic hoop greenhouse. He told me he go far more from his small greenhouse than the rest of his garden.

The way it is where I am currently and cover that cuts down on air movement has to be a winner for evaporation.
....................................................................................................................

PVC Greenhouse Step by Step DIY


Youtube:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IqTs4Sn2uk


Nick Tamble
10.4K subscribers
Construction of a 12x24 high tunnel / greenhouse / hoophouse using less than $300 in materials in about 6 hours with 2 guys
 
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packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
Stan OC and I learned about winter gardening about twelve or so years ago, our problem is we’re heavy shade even in the winter. I’m working on solutions, I’d love to have turnips, carrots, parsnips, and greens all winter long!
 

Seeker22

Veteran Member
PW, I just spent a good while typing a very detailed account of how I built my greenhouse and how it evolved.

And then when I hit "post", this damned forum ATE the thing.

I can't bear to go to all that trouble again right now, but I can do it another time. Sorry to sound so crabby, but this time it's really gotten to me. Please don't think I'm crabbing at you!
Martinhouse, If I read Dennis' info right, the new software has a Draft feature. Your post is probably still there. From the FAQ: 11. The new software has a “save draft” capability. This is new to us. It will allow you to autosave as you’re writing a long post. No, I don’t know how it works yet.

I will enjoy this feature once I figure it out.
 
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nomifyle

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Take a plastic pop bottle fill it with water and then put it in a hole the size of your bottle in your planters/beds.
DH does this with his fruit trees and sometimes tomato plants. It works well especially when we don't have rain for awhile. This fall he made four raised beds, 4x8. Only one and a half have decent soil in them; he divided them in half, as in two row in each of the filled beds. I planted two rows of garlic in one whole bed and then he ran a trench down the middle and I panted some pretty well dried out onion bulbs there. Every garlic bud came up and a lot more of the onion bulbs came up than I though possible. In the other half filled bed he made two rows and I planted some onion sets that I had gotten at the local feed store. I think they all survived and now with our having had some freezing weather they are all looking great. I'm a lousy gardener, but DH knows what he is doing, so he guides me. I'll really feel encouraged if we end up with onions and garlic.

Judy
 

fish hook

Veteran Member
Thanks much for the links and suggestions.I will have a lot of youtube watching to do before the book gets here.I have also been researching planting for a colder climate,even here in Alabama.I have laid in a good supply of greens and cabbage seed.I now need to find out what else to grow.Oh yeah i also have english pea seed.I am setting up a 10x12 Harbor freight greenhouse,maybe more later.
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
DH does this with his fruit trees and sometimes tomato plants. It works well especially when we don't have rain for awhile. This fall he made four raised beds, 4x8. Only one and a half have decent soil in them; he divided them in half, as in two row in each of the filled beds. I planted two rows of garlic in one whole bed and then he ran a trench down the middle and I panted some pretty well dried out onion bulbs there. Every garlic bud came up and a lot more of the onion bulbs came up than I though possible. In the other half filled bed he made two rows and I planted some onion sets that I had gotten at the local feed store. I think they all survived and now with our having had some freezing weather they are all looking great. I'm a lousy gardener, but DH knows what he is doing, so he guides me. I'll really feel encouraged if we end up with onions and garlic.

Judy
I have yet to get a decent onion or garlic harvest, tomatoes and hot peppers are not a problem. slugs and critters destroyed my bean plants this year and by the time the ground was dry enough to plant more it was too late in the summer to do so.
 

nomifyle

Has No Life - Lives on TB
We've had little success in the past with onions and I think DH planted garlic one year, so we'll see how well they do in the raised beds.

Judy
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
For onion success, it's vital to get varieties which grow well in YOUR particular day-length. For you folks in the south, you need either "day neutral" or "short day" varieties.

The absolute best source I've found for onion plants is Dixondale Onions, in Texas. Lots of varieties to choose from, excellent quality plants... if you have a way to get together with some other local folks and order, you can get your cost down to a little under $3 bunch, which is a great deal.

But even if you end up only buying one or two bunches and paying full price (prices include shipping), if they do anywhere near as well for you as they have for us, you'll be way ahead of store prices.

In 2018, we planted 22 bunches, and got NINE BUSHELS of huge, beautiful onions.

Summerthyme
 

packyderms_wife

Neither here nor there.
For onion success, it's vital to get varieties which grow well in YOUR particular day-length. For you folks in the south, you need either "day neutral" or "short day" varieties.

The absolute best source I've found for onion plants is Dixondale Onions, in Texas. Lots of varieties to choose from, excellent quality plants... if you have a way to get together with some other local folks and order, you can get your cost down to a little under $3 bunch, which is a great deal.

But even if you end up only buying one or two bunches and paying full price (prices include shipping), if they do anywhere near as well for you as they have for us, you'll be way ahead of store prices.

In 2018, we planted 22 bunches, and got NINE BUSHELS of huge, beautiful onions.

Summerthyme
wow, I'll check them out, thank you!
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
For the Northern growers, you can't beat their Copra variety for cooking and long storage. I've been growing them for 15 years, and they last until after the next year's onions are getting ready to harvest! I kerp them in braids or mesh bags hanging at the base of the stairs between kitchen and basement (holds between 55 and 60) until May, then sort out any that are starting to sprout and put the good ones in the fridge. That gives me good cooking onions until August...

Summerthyme
 
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IRoberge

Veteran Member
For onion success, it's vital to get varieties which grow well in YOUR particular day-length. For you folks in the south, you need either "day neutral" or "short day" varieties.

The absolute best source I've found for onion plants is Dixondale Onions, in Texas. Lots of varieties to choose from, excellent quality plants... if you have a way to get together with some other local folks and order, you can get your cost down to a little under $3 bunch, which is a great deal.

But even if you end up only buying one or two bunches and paying full price (prices include shipping), if they do anywhere near as well for you as they have for us, you'll be way ahead of store prices.

In 2018, we planted 22 bunches, and got NINE BUSHELS of huge, beautiful onions.

Summerthyme
Thanks for the recommendation. Just ordered a catalog.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
You are welcome!

Note... "northern" and "southern" varieties are classified by how long a day length they require to stop growing and start producing bulbs. This is one place to not try to buy a variety more suited to northern areas because you're concerned about the effects of the GSM.

They also have some varieties classified as "intermediate day" types, which are more adaptable. And, for those who can't decide (or want to try several varieties, but don't need several hundred plants) they sell assorted bunches, with 3 different varieties in them.

Summerthyme
 

IRoberge

Veteran Member
You are welcome!

Note... "northern" and "southern" varieties are classified by how long a day length they require to stop growing and start producing bulbs. This is one place to not try to buy a variety more suited to northern areas because you're concerned about the effects of the GSM.

They also have some varieties classified as "intermediate day" types, which are more adaptable. And, for those who can't decide (or want to try several varieties, but don't need several hundred plants) they sell assorted bunches, with 3 different varieties in them.

Summerthyme
but those of us in the northeast DO want northern varieties, correct?
 
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