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Plant Sale at Camphill Village May 25th

Plant Sale at Camphill Village

From 10am – 3pm on Saturday, May 25th we will be selling plant starts just waiting for your garden! Tons of tomatoes, peppers sweet and hot, squash, melons, watermelons, okra, flowers, physalis, tomatillos, ground cherries, cucumbers, and herbs!

Also, we’ll have a selection of seeds for May and June sowing–beans, corn, squash, and more.

Join us outside the lovely newly renovated Camphill Village Green Coffee Shop and Gift Shop. Stop in for awesome coffee, our famous cookies, breads, soups & salads or to browse the fine crafts made here in Camphill Village!)

Directions to the Plant Sale at Camphill are in the post below…

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Plant Sale at Camphill Village April 27th

Plant Sale at Camphill Village! – Saturday, April 27th

Come visit us and browse seedlings and plant starts for many different kales, cabbages, broccoli, asian greens, lettuces, and more! You also have the opportunity to browse our full selection of over 380 vegetable, herb, flower and farm seed varieties, ask gardening questions, and chat with Lia and Ian about your garden plans. Books and T-shirts will also be for sale. Special plant sale pricing on seeds!

Our Delaway Kale is doing well, and will be for sale on April 27th at the Plant Sale in Camphill Village

Click on the map description below for directions. Please keep in mind that we’re actually all the way up the hill–Google puts our address point a bit before you actually get to us. Just keep going–we’re there!


Save the date! Our 2nd plant sale of the season will be on Saturday, May 25th. Tomatoes, peppers, physalis, eggplants, squash, cucumbers, melons, flowers, herbs and more!


P.S. It’s time to get those tomato seeds started if you haven’t already! Click here to shop tomatoes:

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Tips for Growing Sweet Corn

Tips for Growing Sweet Corn

Nestled between the Taconic Hills and the Berkshires, with our rocky soil, abundant wildlife and short growing season, many crops present challenges. Two crops which are especially challenging are sweet corn and eggplants. Here are some of our best tips for growing sweet corn. A challenging but delectable crop.

Sweet Corn

            There are three major pests for sweet corn in our area: Crows, raccoons and corn earworms. We don’t have too many earworms, so we usually don’t worry about the few we have, but our organic farming friends in the area put oil on the tips of their corncobs after pollination but before the ears ripen, to keep the worms out. Here is what we do for the other two pests:


Crows are incredibly intelligent, and can sense when corn has just germinated under the soil, long before it pops up and is visible to us. They know that the seedlings of sweet corn are very, very sweet and tasty! I’ve seen crows checking on corn we’ve planted, and then coming back when it has just germinated and walking down the row, eating the seedlings one by one. The only way we’ve found to prevent this is to cover the seeds with either bird netting or rowcover as soon as they are sown. We like the bird netting because it lets us keep an eye on the corn and uncover it to do hoeing when the weed seedlings start to peep above the soil. When the corn is 4 or 5 inches tall, it is no longer in danger of being eaten by crows. There is a short window when the corn is relatively safe from most animals (except cows, goats or occasionally deer!) However, as soon as (or even before) the first corn begins to tassel, your will need to put up an electric fence. Moveable sheep fencing works well, either with a battery powered charge or with a solar unit. If you want to successfully grow your own sweet corn, at least in our area, an electric fence is essential.


Raccoons smell the ripening corn and will pull down all the best ears, discarding and destroying the unripe ones, and eating the ripe ears. If they start getting into the corn, even an electric fence will not deter them, so it’s very important to get the fence up early. Also, if you step over the fence and pull an ear or two to see if it is ripe, make sure that you take all the husks, silk, and cobs with you. If the raccoons smell the broken cobs, they will brave the electric fence to get at the corn. Once your fence is up, check that the battery doesn’t run down, or the raccoons will soon discover that they can get in.

Turtle Tree’s Tips for Growing Sweet Corn

Since all our sweet corn is open pollinated, and not the super-sweet hybrids, it is best when harvested a tiny bit on the early side—it will get starchy if left too long. If this happens, you can let it dry down and grind it to make corn cereal. Dried sweet corn is somewhat harder to grind than the flour corns, but will also be a little sweeter. Or you can sprout the dried kernels and use them for garnish—but be advised—they can be quite sweet! If you are in an isolated location in hilly land with no cornfields within 2 miles (or at least 5 miles on flat, treeless ground), and have grown at least 200 corn plants, you can also save some seed for next year—we recommend using the most beautiful cobs from the sturdiest plants, and taking the middle section of each of those cobs to use for seed.

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Tips for Eggplants

Nestled between the Taconic Hills and the Berkshires, with our rocky soil, abundant wildlife and short growing season, many crops present challenges. Two crops which are especially challenging are sweet corn and eggplants. Here are some of our best tips for growing these challenging but delectable crops.


We begin our eggplants fairly early in our heated greenhouse, as early as the end of February or the beginning of March, a full 8 weeks before we intend to set them outside. Eggplants like plenty of warmth to begin with so if you can spring for a plant heating pad, it will help initial germination. Be cautious of putting your seedling tray on a heater, as they can overheat or dry out and die. Also, if you are able to use a grow light do so, since windowsill light at that time of the year will not be strong enough to make your plants strong, and will tend to make them stretched and spindly. Every day that is over 70, put the seedlings outside during the warmest hours of the day to get the best sunlight. If possible cover the seedling trays with a clear plastic or glass domed lid to protect them from drafts and keep moisture in, but be careful to check seedlings with lids on during very sunny days so that the plants don’t overheat. (Even early spring sunlight is many times brighter than grow lights, which are many times brighter than windowsills.)

Prepare the Garden

When all danger of frost has past, (for us it’s at the end of May), prepare your garden bed for your eggplants. Don’t put too much compost on the bed, just a little bit. Eggplants, like peppers, which have too much compost will produce lovely leaves, but not many flowers and fruits. When you want to plant out your eggplants, get ready with hoops and rowcover, so that you can cover them the very moment you plant them. This will do two things: make sure they are warm in case of cool nights, and most importantly it will help hide them from the fleabeetles! We recommend leaving the rowcover on until the plants begin to be too tall to fit underneath, or are at least 15-18 inches tall. At this point, the plants should be strong enough that a little fleabeetle damage shouldn’t trouble them. Mulching around the base of your eggplants can also help to dissuade the fleabeetles. Colorado potato beetles, the other scourge of eggplants, need to be picked off by hand here—we have some, but they are not our primary pest.

Eggplants need a long time to get going. Be patient with them! We often only start harvesting the first fruits in the end of July, but will often still be harvesting in October, until frost ends the season.

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Turtle Tree Workshops 2019

Turtle Tree Workshops 2019 Schedule

We plan to have several turtle tree workshops this year.  Our Seedy Saturday workshop on seed starting in March with the help of Margaret Roach.  We’ll explore the how-to’s of seed starting and then practice sowing a flat with our seed varieties that you can take home.
We’re planning our two annual seedling sales–an early season sale in April for hardy crops, and a warmth-loving seedling sale in the end of May–stay tuned for dates. This is free and open to the public, & we will offer free coffee, tea and our famous Camphill cookies as well!
In addition, Ian will give another one of his workshops on Biodynamic Composting, which has a lecture component, and practical experience building a compost pile and adding the biodynamic preparations.
We’re also planning another seed saving workshop for the late summer or early fall, which will include a talk on the basics of seed saving, a tour of our gardens, practice selecting for seed, and some hands-on seed cleaning.
We may offer as-yet-un-thought-of workshops, as the year has yet to show us all that it holds.
We’ll post more on our website as dates and details unfold, and of course we’ll send out emails to our emailing list when it’s time to sign up!
For email updates on Turtle Tree Workshops sign up on our website.
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