27 March 2009

Moonshadow Herb Farm Opening Weekend April 4 and 5

Moonshadow Herb Farm Open House
Saturday April 4, 10 to 4 and Sunday April 5 noon to 3
3500 South Country Club Rd
Contact: Sharon Owen 918-687-6765 moonshads@aol.com


Growing herbs on a windowsill or in a garden bed is a good choice for both experienced and novice gardeners. They enjoy the heat of our summers, produce flowers for butterflies and make delicious additions to tea, soups and salads.

Next weekend, Sharon Owen will hold her seasonal open house at Moonshadow Herb Farm.

For Owen, the season goes all year, since she starts taking cuttings in the fall and plants herb seeds as early as January. By the time of the open house she has plants ready for your kitchen.

“I have lots of Stevia, Lemon Verbena, Hardy Sweet Marjoram, 7 varieties of Basil, 3 types of Parsley, Madeline Hill hardy Rosemary, Provence Lavender and French Tarragon,” Owen said.

She also has dill, chives, parsley, cilantro and fennel. Owen said the tender herbs should not be planted outside until after April 15.

“The plants that require warm soil will be available mid-April,” Owen said. “Plants in that group include Japanese Morning Glory, African Gourds and Purple Majesty Millet.”

In the month of April, Owen travels to plant festivals on Saturdays so Moonshadow is open only Friday and Sunday. Then, in May, Moonshadow is open Saturday and Sunday 10 to 4. It is best to call ahead.

For making tea of fresh herbs, Owen grows: Lavender, Mint, Feverfew, Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena. You can use a leaf from your own Stevia plant to sweeten the tea without sugar or chemical sweeteners.

“I like to offer a broad and plentiful choice of basic culinary herbs that double for butterfly plants and medicinal plants all in one,” Owen said. “There is always an assortment of mints. I usually dig those directly from the garden if I run out of potted ones.”

Muskogee Garden Club president, Oyana Wilson said, “I like to shop at Moonshadow to support a local grower and to find unusual herbs and plants. Sharon makes time to tell you where to put the plant, how to take care of it and maybe a little folklore about it.

Local growers also rely on Moonshadow for unique tomato plants.

Owen said, “I succession plant the tomato seeds from March through mid-April so I’ll always have some varieties ready.”

Heirloom varieties available at the open house include: Cherokee Purple, Brandywine Suddith’s Strain, Yellow Pear, Red Pearl, and Sungold Cherry, plus a few Bloody Butcher and Purple Dog Creek.

In April these tomato varieties will be ready: Mortgage Lifter, Purple Dog Creek, Barnes Mountain Yellow, Glick’s 18 Mennonite, Amish Rose, and Indian Moon (Navajo origin).

New this year, Owen will offer a selection of heirloom pole bean seeds traditionally grown in Kentucky: Doyce Chambers Greasy Cut-Short beans, Cherokee Long Greasy beans and Tobacco Worm beans. Bean seeds are packaged based on what it would take to feed a family of four, plus some to give-away.

Later in the summer, Owen will have several unusual Coleus to perk up your flowerbeds and patio pots. The Coleus selection includes: Trailing Garnet Robe, Trailing Plum Brocade, Trailing Queen, Wild Lime, Inky Fingers, and more.

“I’m also growing Pumpkin Trees this year,” Owen said. “Pumpkin Tree (Solanum Integrifolium) is a novelty plant that grows three to four feet tall in the ground or in containers. It makes an inedible, pumpkin-shaped eggplant.”

The leaves look like an eggplant but the fruits look like mini-pumpkins. The fruits are dried and used in ornamental arrangements. Florists call it Pumpkin on a Stick.

For the back of the border, hollyhock is a good choice. Moonshadow Hollyhock colors include single black, scarlet red, bright pink, white, sunny yellow and Chamois, an apricot-cinnamon color.

Moonshadow Herb Farm is set back off the north side of the road at 3500 South Country Club, south of Peak BL. Look for the Moonshadow banner at the end of the lane.

No comments: