Willamette Valley's Allison Inn & Spa

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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


Week of August 3, 2014

August has arrived. Blackberries are ripe, figs are ripe, plums are about gone, early peaches are available. None of this bounty is in the Garden, however, you’ll have to visit the farmers’ market or go foraging.


In the Garden, the onions can no longer be considered “spring onions” as it is August and they are large. We’ll soon pull them and dry in the greenhouse. It has been a great onion year.

The leeks continue to look great. Let us know if/when you want any.

The garlic is all drying in the greenhouse.

Ha! The beans pulled a stealth move that had us picking them on Friday for the first time. Yes, we’ll soon be wading in beans. We sort of had the “eyes bigger than the stomach” syndrome. In our case, it was January planning/wishing leads to an overwhelming amount of harvest in August/September. Prepare to subdue the beans.

The squash and cucumbers are striving to make us cry “Uncle”. Keep using both as the end is still a ways off.

The winter squash, pumpkins, and gourds are developing nicely and will be ready for you in the fall, not now. When you need a break come out to see them cascading down the bank to the north stock tanks.

In the north stock tanks, we have some melons. They are still 3-4 weeks away from ripening, I think.

We can harvest basil and parsley as you need it. Both are growing like they’ve tasted fish fertilizer.

The peppers and tomatoes are taking their sweet time before inundating us. We’re harvesting them a couple times per week.

The lettuce cycle continues. We’ll endeavor to not completely fill the walk-in with it. By harvesting it small, it doesn’t take up as much space!

Carrots, beets, and chard, are ready for harvesting when you need them.

We need to work out a better system for the basil micro-greens. They look awful after time spent in the cooler. We’ll keep it in the greenhouse until you need it.

See you in the Garden.  Anna

In full bloom. #hydrangea #theallisoninn #willamettevalley

                                 THE STATE OF THE GARDEN

 No, we didn’t have snow in the Garden this week, but we did begin seeding the vegetables that we’ll harvest during winter. Turnips and parsnips are in the ground. The kales we seeded into flats in the greenhouse. We’re waiting for seeds for the rest. The plant succession dance goes on.

In the meantime, we have enormous onions that we’ll keep harvesting. They got a little out of hand in the size department.

There are still plenty of leeks. We’ll harvest them as you need them. There’s no rush as they will just keep growing into cool weather.

The carrots and beets are a good size and ready for more harvesting. We’ll also have some thinnings of each for you this week.

I was wrong about the lemon cucumbers, the first ones were harvested last week. You can expect increasing amounts of all cucumbers until cool weather. Pickle season has arrived.

The march of the squashes is in full swing. I’ll be glad to remove some of the crookneck squash plants. They were a substitute package of seed for one of the varieties that we’d ordered. Just to compound their errors, they are the most prolific of the summer squashes.

We’ve taken a new tack on the kale/flea beetle problem. We sprayed with Neem oil last week. Neem has a sub-lethal effect on all leaf sucking/chewing insects. It changes their behavior so that they starve. We’ll spray the mustard and chard this week. Hope to knock down the population to a tolerable level. Anyway, no kale is harvestable for the first part of the week. Check back at the end of the week for kale availability.

The peppers and tomatoes are ripening in increasing numbers. I don’t think we’ll have “chase-us-out-of-the-kitchen” quantities yet, but that time is coming soon. Think back 1 year, we had no ripe tomatoes until the end of August. This is a good tomato year.

Keep making salads. The lettuce continues to grow well. We have quite a cycle of lettuce seeding, transplanting, and then harvesting going.

We’ll harvest a bunch of chard on Monday prior to spraying. It looks good but it is right next door to the mustard which is flea beetle haven.

There still plums available above the reach of the resident deer herd. We have a secret advantage called a step ladder.


See you in The Garden.


This place never ceases to amaze us. Beautiful ¡Salud! event at Stoller Vineyards. Thanks to all who came and supported! #salud #ipnc #willamettevalley #stoller