April 2012 Newsletter

Here’s the latest growing news from:

THE VEGGIE CLINIC

Home of:

DR. TOMATO

The Doctor is always in! No appointment necessary!

THE PHOTOTRON – SHINING A WHOLE NEW LIGHT ON ORGANIC GROWING!

THE VEGGIE CLINIC – WHERE SCIENCE MEETS THE SOIL!

GREETINGS FELLOW GROWERS:

As you know from the past couple of years, I don’t have the free time in April and May to get a “normal” newsletter out with a main science based article. The 12 hour days, 7 days a week may have something to do with it! But all is going well. One of the biggest problems is trying to figure out from day to day what to wear for working outside in the greenhouses – a thong or thermal underwear! That dilemma prompts me to once again repeat my yearly mantra – DON’T PLANT YOUR WARM WEATHER PLANTS OUTSIDE YET JUST BECAUSE WE HAVE HAD SOME UNUSUALLY WARM WEATHER! Yes, we’ve had some 80 degree days. Yes, it has been downright beautiful the past several weeks. But remember, the last safe “frost free” date to use here in New Hampshire is MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND! It was 32.9 degrees here the other morning. It is possible we may not have another frost this year. The odds (and historical records), however, are not on our side. It was also in the 80’s in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York the past number of weeks – and they are shoveling snow today! Be patient! It very well may save you money, a lot of plants and a lot of aggravation.

Here is a brief overview of things going on at THE VEGGIE CLINIC.

The PHOTOTRON:

Basically, it is bursting at the seams! We had to increase production substantially this year due to increased demand. During the winter, I added quite a few upgrades to improve monitoring, temperature control, air movement and light timing. The results have been very positive in terms of growing chamber environmental quality and plant dynamics. I also added some new low tunnel structures that have been functioning remarkably well. In fact, I have already shown a number of people how to build their own for VERY little money. The simple controls in them allow the tunnels to supply heat on demand during cold nights by using a $10 – $15 heater available at your local store. I am a firm believer that 99 out of 100 people who think they need a greenhouse would be much better served with such a simple and low cost alternative!

In addition to the PHOTOTRON being completely full, the other 5 high and low tunnel structures are also full. That translates into building another one this week for the 5000 seedlings that will be put up this week.

Energy usage figures for the PHOTOTRON and all other growing structures are, once again, remarkably low. The more I use and refine this system the more it impresses me and those who see it.

THE MANCHESTER PROJECT:

This project has taken off! The organic seedling growing operation based on the model I developed here at THE VEGGIE CLINIC already has 20,000+ high quality, organically grown seedlings in various stages of development. And sales to anxious retailers have already commenced. There will be “direct to the public” sales right at the operation site. The ambitious field growing component to supply vegetables for the Farmers Market operation has been moved to the same site as the greenhouses. This will greatly increase efficiency and overall operational control. Jeremiah Vernon, the director of the program and the person I work with, is convinced – as I am – that this program will be one that will deservedly receive a lot of national attention recognition. Jeremiah’s committed, knowledgeable, hard work on the project is already reaping bountiful returns.

Take the time to check out this Blog by Gail Prince – the “angel” who has given so much to this project. You’ll get a feel for what is going on and get the chance to see a few of the refugees who will benefit as the program grows.

http://thebedfordgreenhouseproject.blogspot.com/

NEED PLANTS AND SUPPLIES?

As usual, virtually everything we grow, bottle, supply is available either at the BLUE SEAL store on Portland Street in Rochester, N.H or at the BLUE SEAL store in Bow, N.H. I do, however, know that a lot of you like to come directly to the VEGGIE CLINIC to purchase plants and/or supplies or to talk about everything from growing to greenhouses. Or, just to see the operation and the Castle. We do not have regular store hours but, because it is our home and we are working most of the time, I am usually here. Just drop me a quick line and I will get right back to you. I’ll give you my phone number so you can call to see if I am going to be here. Here is a partial list of what you will find:

OVER 90 VARIETIES OF VEGETABLE AND HERB PLANTS

ONION AND LEEK PLANTS GROWN FROM SEED

25 VARIETIES OF TOMATOES ALONE

12 VARIETIES OF HEIRLOOM TOMATOES

7 VARIETIES OF HOT PEPPERS – SOME OF THE HOTTEST IN THE WORLD!

STRAWBERRY PLANTS – THE HIGHEST QUALITY YOU WILL FIND!
JUNE BEARING
EVERBEARING

GREENHOUSE SUPPLIES

DR. TOMATO’S ORGANIC FISH AND SEAWEED FERTILIZER

HIGH TUNNEL HOOPS AND LOW TUNNEL HOOPS

MYCO-ANGELO GOURMET MUSHROOMS

ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED – FOR FREE!!!!

SHOUT OUT:

Last week, I gave a talk at the Exeter Area Garden Club. A VERY enjoyable time with some wonderful people. With the sinfully delicious “goodies” they had to munch on, it might very well have been the Gourmet Cooking Club! Thank you for having me and I look forward to getting the opportunity to continue the discussion at a later date!

UNTIL NEXT TIME:

Remember, you can access me any time here at THE VEGGIE CLINIC. I will also be at the Blue Seal store in Rochester most Saturdays (and quite a few other times during the week) in May. If you want to come to the Castle/Veggie Clinic to get plants, products or information just drop me a line or call me and I will be here. So, get your hands dirty and bring on the growing season!

IF YOU DON’T GET USED TO WRITING YOUR OWN LIFE STORY, SOMEONE ELSE WILL WRITE IT FOR YOU!

From a Public Television special on the students of Brooklyn Heights High School.

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