Willamette Valley's Allison Inn & Spa

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Week of October 13, 2014

We’re back to the season of Swiss chard and all other sorts of green leafy veggies. They grow so well in the fall. Even though air temperatures are falling, the soil is still warm from our seemingly endless days of sunshine. That combined with plenty of moisture makes for happy greens.

We currently have plenty of Tuscan kale for all your kale dishes. We also have Siberian kale which handles freezes better than the Tuscan.

Lettuce is about ready for harvesting. We’ll keep you posted so you aren’t taken by surprise some morning.

We are once again trying the great endive experiment. This time, we’re attempting it in fall, when temperatures can be counted on to not trend toward blistering. It is not harvestable yet… this is just a note of what will be available sometime in the future.

We still have plenty of beets and carrots. We are currently harvesting some each week. If you need more quantity, let us know. We’ll be glad to harvest for you.

As you are aware, the days of tomatoes and peppers are ending. We will be harvesting more green tomatoes and green peppers, so don’t leave those out of your planning.

Broccoli, (2 kinds) and Gai Lan are simply in the growing phase. We expect to harvest some in November/December. If all goes well, the over-wintering variety will be harvested in February/March.

Micro-greens look good. Now is their time to shine. We are growing a great selection and try to harvest a varied mix 2 or 3 times per week.

Yes, there is still basil so you can prolong summer for a few more weeks. Soon cooler temperatures and higher humidity will put an end to all basil production, both as a large plant in the greenhouse and as a micro-green.

I know you’re enjoying winter squash. It appears to be flying off Greenhouse tables. (Well actually, we lug them inside in the wheelbarrow.) They truly are an under-appreciated, low-maintenance vegetable.        I’m glad you like them and are doing your     part to change that perception.

There are still a few summer squash on the vines. Enjoy while you can.

See you in the Garden.



Week of October 5, 2014

At 34 pounds, this Jumbo Pink Banana squash won the heaviest winter squash in the Garden contest. We had an amazing harvest day for the winter squash, 742 pounds! That’s a lot of lifting exercise for the gardeners!

We still have a few summer squash making their way into our harvest tubs. We’ll have them this week and next. Harvesting beyond that is in the maybe category.

We will continue to harvest some of the beets and carrots each week. They are full sized.

We still have tomatoes that we are harvesting. Of course, the quantity has dropped, but they are still slowly ripening. You’ll notice that the skins are tougher now. That’s a natural response to cool nights.

Peppers continue to be amazing. They are doing well with this early autumn warm spell. Keep finding creative recipes for them for another week or two. We are working on borrowed time you know.

The only beans left in the garden are the Scarlet runner beans. We’re letting the pods dry on the vines before we harvest them.

We topped most of the Brussels’ Sprouts last week. As a consequence, the little sprouts are gaining size rapidly. We’re probably looking at harvesting in November.

Kale and chard are looking great. We harvest on request. But then sometimes, we harvest them just because they look so amazing and we want to share their amazingness!

Don’t forget about the tomatillos and husk cherries. We’ll be harvesting in the next couple of days. If you’re ready to move beyond them, give the word and they’ll become pig fodder.

Lettuce is coming soon to a harvest bin near you. It might be ready by the end of this week.

You should probably plan to use the outside basil by Friday. After that, it looks like we’re heading into a cool period. Let us know when you have time to deal with the basil bounty.

We finally planted 2 of the 3 Sunset maple trees that were left over for the meridian planting project. Now we just have to find a 3rd spot that drains well, doesn’t shade the garden, and isn’t solid rock.

In the meantime, we’ll see you in the Garden with shovel in hand.



Week of September 28th 2014

Last week saw the last harvest of several crops. All mini pumpkins and gourds are drying in the greenhouse. The latter part of this week, we’ll harvest all winter squash. We’ll wash and store them on tables in the greenhouse.

We have picked the final harvest of bush beans, (haricot verts) and pole beans (Romano).

We completely missed harvest time for the Edamame. We now have dry beans, which will probably go to the pigs.

Scarlet runner beans have some dry pods and quite a few green pods which need to be harvested before they all become dry pods; unless, of course, you want to use them as dry beans. Just let us know and we’ll harvest accordingly…pretty wonderful either way.

Tomato production and flavor are way down. The cool weather the first part of this week is probably the beginning of the end. We’ll harvest as long as possible. Now you can use as many green tomatoes as you want. You’ll hear no complaining from me.

We’ll be flooding the kitchen with all sorts of lovely red peppers as well as lots of gypsy peppers. Fortunately they hold well.

 Brussels sprouts are forming nicely. We removed the growing tops to encourage sprout formation.

You’ll notice when you wander through the garden that we planted green onions and more lettuce. I’ll keep you appraised as to their development.

We are harvesting new kale and Swiss chard when you ask for it. It thrives in cooler weather.

There still plenty of full-sized carrots and beets which we’re harvesting as needed.

We finally received the cilantro seed. In a few weeks we’ll have micro cilantro again. The rest of the micro-greens are in fine fettle.

See you in the Garden.


Week of September 21st, 2014

Despite warm daytime temperatures, fall is definitely in the air. The light levels have changed dramatically. Here’s sunrise through the smoke filled sky from the Estacada fire.

The garden has on its end-of-season look. It’s a bit travel worn because we’ve been busy harvesting, harvesting, harvesting.

Cucumbers will probably finish this week.

Summer squash will continue for at least another week or two, but the amount we harvest is declining.

Yes, celeriac has been discovered by the kitchen. We still have a goodly amount for creative use.

 Romano and bush beans are in declining quality. We should still be able to harvest this week and perhaps next.

Edamame pods are turning brown. Are you ready for them this week?

Peppers of all varieties are still pumping out ripe peppers. We’ll get all the red ones picked prior to the rain this week.

Tomatillos and husk cherries are still producing like crazy. We’ll be filling bins this week.

We pulled spring chard and will pull the spring kales. This leaves you with lovely young, tender kale and chard for all your autumn dishes.

If you get a hankering for winter squash soup, start using the various kinds of winter squash. Just say the word, and we’ll bring some in.

Tomatoes still look good. However, the end is soon near. We’ll keep them picked as soon as they start to turn color to minimize splitting.

Basil and nasturtiums are in great condition. I realize that they are not even remotely related except in my mind. We’re picking leaves of both, hence the association. Expect a steady supply.

Okra is still blooming and producing pods. They are flourishing in the greenhouse.

Micro-greens continue to be their productive selves. We will keep several varieties growing, so you have a wide selection.

In the meantime, if you need weeding therapy, come to the Garden. We won’t even charge you for the privilege of weeding!

See you in the Garden.



Week of SEPTEMBER 14, 2014

How many bees can you find on this cardoon blossom?

The bees are diligently storing pollen and nectar for the coming rainy months.

Like bees, we know these lovely days are numbered. We are scrambling to find places for  fall/winter crops and trying to not neglect harvesting! Sometimes, though, a crop gets away from us as was the lettuce. Don’t worry; we have more in the wings waiting to be planted. All is not lost; the bolting lettuce is going to satisfy some pigs.

It is time to turn your sight away from summer produce and look to fall produce.

We have kale and chard in abundance. Do not order any from outside.

We also beets and carrots in abundance so do not order.

Brussels sprouts are still way too small for using, but don’t forget about them. Harvest will probably begin sometime in October.

Did you dust off your celeriac recipes? They are looking quite spectacular, just waiting to be harvested. They can be left in the ground and harvested as needed, which makes them even more spectacular in my book.

We are letting winter squash continue to cure in the sun. The first cold, rainy, windy day, you’ll want some for soup.

Summer squash, beans and cucumbers have all slowed production to more useable amounts. We only have the English cucumbers left. We pulled the others to make way for fall broccoli.

We will be harvesting more lettuce. This is the beginning of good greens weather. They appreciate cooler temps. If you don’t think it is cooler, try heading to the garden at 7am in your shirt sleeves! Exception made for those from Minnesota. I know for you… anytime it’s above freezing, it’s a heat wave.

Micro-green production is back in full swing. We still do not have cilantro seed, but we do have a whole range of other micros in various stages of growth. We’ll keep packing your walk-in shelves with these goodies.

There is still okra and basil happily growing.
They don’t seem to mind cooler nights. Enjoy them while they’re still around.

Before I forget, peppers and tomatoes are wonderful. But then, you already know that!

If you get a hankering for sunshine, come on out to the Garden.

See you in the Garden,



September 7, 2014

Last week felt like fall. We had to dig out our sweaters for early morning temps in the mid 40s! The squash, cucumbers, pumpkins all have powdery mildew.

Winter squash is more exposed now and is causing quite a stir among the Garden visitors. Just how many pounds of squash are out there???

This is a small portion of the Blue Hubbard Squash.  My mother used to split these with the axe. Were her knives dull? Probably, but properly cured, winter squash has a very hard shell.

This other squash… “Galeux D’ Eysines”. According to the advertising hype from the seed company,  is “an elegant French heirloom”. The warts are caused by sugar in the skin.

Just when you’ve adjusted to the quantity of summer squash, there is a definite slowing in the amount that is ready for harvest.

We have found the same to be true with beans. They have performed like troopers, but are now winding down. We’re looking for a place to plug in the winter broccoli. Perhaps the beans will graciously leave for the year to make way.

Tomatillos and husk cherries are finally ready. The husk cherries have been the amazing find of the year. They’re quite flavorful and sweet. It’ll be interesting to see how you use them.

The bees are actively foraging on all the blooms that are still around. Sometimes the flowers get crowded!

There are plenty of peppers for harvesting. We’ve been picky and are waiting for them to turn red before bringing them in. If you want them earlier, just let us know. However, this doesn’t apply to the Shishito, Padron and Gypsy peppers.

Kale is looking good. We are able to harvest it again. The Brussels Sprouts also look good. It was a long haul to get both of these brassica family plants through the infestation of flea beetles, cabbage looper caterpillars, and aphids.

We’ll keep harvesting carrots and beets. They are full size now.

Don’t forget about cucumbers, they are still producing, but at a slower pace. It should be easier to keep ahead of the supply.

As mentioned on Friday, we are now storing some of the harvested tomatoes in the greenhouse rather than overwhelming the  storage in the kitchen. At any rate, they are producing a good amount that we’re picking 2 or 3 times per week.

With all these other more exciting vegetables vying for our attention, it is easy to overlook the lettuce. We will get back into the habit of harvesting it regularly. It looks great. (Hmm that seems to be a common theme in this report.) The cooler nights agree with it.

Basil is now in its glory. Use it while you can as basil season will be over soon.

There are still some melons to ripen. We’re working to keep ahead of the hornets and bees which like feasting on the juice.

Enjoy the September bounty from the Garden.

See you in the tomato patch!



Week of August 31, 2014

Tomatoes and peppers are well launched and there is no rain in the forecast!  We’ll keep picking. I know you’ll keep finding creative ways to use them. Remember, we have several varieties.

Beans are still producing…still! Keep car doors locked or you might find beans in your seat!

I think summer squash has slowed production slightly. The key word is slightly. We can supply all that you need. If you haven’t been to the garden lately, check out the winter squashes. My guess is that we have several hundred pounds of squash on the vines! They are easier to see now that they are so big.

Cucumbers still seem to be in full swing. Keep pickling and making soup.

Yes, we’ll harvest melons as they ripen. I think there will be a good amount this week.

Fall raspberries are just ripening. The coming weather should be great for them. We’ll keeping bringing them in as they’re ready.

Don’t forget about the root crops. Carrots and beets sometimes get overlooked, but they are ready to be harvested.

Swiss chard is huge. Do you have need for it? Plus we’ve planted more……What was I thinking???

Kale is making a comeback. Let us know if you need any. We also got the fall crop of kale planted last week.

Another nice surprise is the Brussels Sprouts. They are forming tiny heads now. My guess is we are still 6 weeks out before anything sizable for harvest.

Basil is still plentiful. I see pesto, pesto, and more pesto in your future.

We will try to keep on top of okra. As you know, they are particularly adept at hiding and then becoming huge.

Even with all the harvesting, we’re able to keep seeding the micro-greens. We have a wide variety that we’ll bring in when they are ready.

Are you ready for celeriac yet? Currently several of the roots are soft ball size.

Are you interested in trialing the cardoons? We bunched the stems together to blanch them.

Don’t forget about lettuce. We’ll bring lots.

See you in the Garden.



Week of AUGUST 24, 2014

Unless you were completely missing from the kitchen and entire Allison property this week, you know beans are taking over the known world. Better make sure your cars are locked, otherwise you’ll find a bag of beans in your seat! We have the same number of rows as last year, but we used organic fertilizer with obvious results. We’ll plant fewer next year!

Keeping a close eye, sort of, on the Edamame and Scarlet runner beans. We might see the first harvest by Friday. Favas are just now blooming. Onions are finally all harvested.

Leeks are still there. We pull some each week. Short stocky kind, simply grows that way. If you run low on garlic, plenty are drying in the green house.

After a shaky start this spring, Shishito peppers are out-performing all the others. Padron and Gypsy peppers are not far behind. Those in the stock tanks are very happy & huge.

We are now testing stems on melons almost daily. Very soon we’ll have ripe melons!!!

We can harvest parsley in limited amounts this week, or wait another week. It’ll just grow.

Squash and cucumbers are old news. You know them and the amount being harvested—lots!

Tomatoes are looking good and being productive. For us in the garden, it is a much more manageable amount than last year.

We have chard-both spring crop, (large leaves), and fall crop, (baby-sized). It is imperative that we get the fall crop in the ground this week.

The same goes for kale. Spring crop needs to be pulled and fall/winter planted. It will happen, we’ll just delay some other garden task.

Nursery crop is GONE!!!  We watered it for 6 weeks, 6-hot, dry weeks. You can now see it in the meridians and round about.

Lettuce needs to be harvested. Can’t you encourage folks to eat more lettuce? It won’t be improved by several days of 90 degree weather.


We’re planting more micros. Cilantro and dill seed are on order.

Beets and carrots are ready when you are.

See you at our filbert eating party.



August 17th, 2014

This week can be summed up,”tomatoes, beans, cucumbers galore and white bees.”

Finally the tomatoes are coming on strong. These are “Sweet Pea” which is variety  tomato. We’re picking them daily.

We are finally starting to get red peppers. Remember that we do have hot Cayennes and Jalapenos, in addition to sweet peppers.

We’re also picking beans daily. We have lots and lots of beans. Keep pickling.

Cucumbers should be picked daily, but we’re settling for an every other day schedule alternating with squash, to keep our brains and knees functioning.

We’re going to harvest carrots this week. They are now full-sized.

Parsley has been harvested. We need to wait  7-10 days for it to re-grow.

Plenty of basil to make into pesto to freeze… then to be brought out in January.

Chard looks good, as does celeriac and Brussels sprouts. Chard you may have now, while the other two will be ready in the fall.

In the meantime, see you in the Garden.



Week of AUGUST 10, 2014

Yes, beans are here and par for the course, we have planted quite a few. This coming week we’ll pick daily, until our knees rebel from picking the bush varieties.

Lurking back while distracted by the beans are the squashes. We really do try to not miss any when we pick them, but they are very adept at hiding from our eyes, then bursting forth with glee the next day. At least winter squash will be easy to find when we pick them!

This is perfect weather for both beans and squash.

Cucumbers will keep us busy this week. They are producing like their existence depends on producing seed. No surprise there! I’ll warn you when there seems to be a downward trend in production.


Beets and carrots are there for the picking… or they can stay in the ground. We have a lot and plan to plant more this week.

Swiss chard is currently looking marvelous. The leaf-miners and slugs are not damaging the crop. I’m sure they’ll be back, so we’re enjoying the fact they are away on vacation. Let us know when you need some. Just transplanted fall crop of chard last week.

Peppers are amazing this year. There is a lot of fruit set on. You’ll be seeing more this week.

Tomatoes are a bit slow setting fruit because of the hot spell, but gathering momentum. Hope to pick twice the amount this week as last.

Basil is out of their slump. Pesto time is here. We have a lot ready to harvest in all 4 varieties.

Keep making salads -lettuce is surviving the heat. We will harvest a mix as needed.

We checked the bees last week. The new queen has settled in and her hive is busy gathering nectar and pollen. They are preparing for winter. We will need to feed this hive with sugar syrup and some honey from the stronger hive.

See you in the Garden - if you can find your way through the squash vines!  Anna