What IS a nightshade, anyway?

pepperTomatoes, pepper and eggplants are often collectively called nightshades … but why? According to The Internet (which is never wrong), “Nightshade is a plant with poisonous juices. A medication, belladona is derived from this species. Its derivation is from Old English – nihtscada (meaning: unrecorded night) perhaps because of its narcotic/poisoning effects.” I can assure you the narcotics we sell are the tastiest ones you can put in a salad or in a roasting pan. As for the poison? Well, we recommend leaving the stem and leaves for the compost heap. 28 varieties of tomato, 6 varieties of pepper and 4 varieties of eggplant. $3 each, 10 for $25.

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Unscathed, so far

Brown Eyed Susan

We had a brush with frost this week but managed to escape with a little help from our friends at The Rental Stop. Their 40,000 BTU propane heater allowed us to keep our tomato, eggplant and pepper plants from getting damaged from -2C overnight lows. So, new plants on the farm stand this week include the rest of the tomatoes varieties (to make 28 different ones to choose from) and, starting soon, a few peppers and eggplants. Please note that frost can still be a concern throughout the island, particularly at higher elevations. Most people are best off taking these plants indoors at night, even if no frost is expected. Typically we plant our greenhouse tomatoes in the first week of May.

New herbs on the farm stand this week include dill, spearmint, sage, oregano, thyme, fennel, catnip and chamomile.

New flower varieties include nasturtiums, bachelor’s buttons, marigolds, calendulas, brown eyed susans, rose campion, carnations and cosmos.