Did You
Know?
Look at the meaning of rose colors under "What We Grow"
J Schwanke & Me at the Hortifair!
October 25, 2008
Blog PictureI'm back from the Hortifair in Amsterdam and was it ever great. This is the big annual trade show for plant & flower people. I like to go and see new rose varieties and see what's happening in the European flower world - the Dutch are the world leaders in floral trends.

And guess who I ran into at the Rainbow Roses booth - J Schwanke! Yes the famous J who is such a superstar - check out his blog on ubloom.com , if you click on it now you'll read about his Hortifair experiences.

Also he has great how-to videos on JTV, also at UBloom.

I'm still processing all my experiences so hopefully I'll have more photos & things up here soon.

Some of the things we did: visited the Hortifair, checked out the rose breeders' greenhouses to see new varieties, took a look at the Aalsmeer auction, and their market show, took a canal boat tour, and last but not least went to Bruges in Belgium for a couple of days. What a beautiful place.

Now just trying to get over my jet lag!!!

Autumn Mood
October 6, 2008
Blog PictureWith the onset of the first rain of fall, things have taken on a new mood. Barbecue has given way to soup & stew, it's a hurry to get the house in ship shape for winter, put away the gardening tools & pots, get everything under cover and stored away.

At the farm we're harvesting the last of the tomatoes. This year it was revealed to me by several people that the sensible way to store tomatoes for the winter is to roast them in the oven. It gets rid of a lot of the liquid and imparts a great smoky, caramelized flavor.

Here's what I am doing with all the tomatoes:

Core and cut up into wedges. Put on a cookie sheet with diced onions, garlic, other spices as desired.

Roast at 300 until they are cooked down, before they burn onto the pan.

When they're done scrape them into freezer bags or containers. Put in freezer.

The great thing about this technique is that, as opposed to canning, you have less liquid, you don't have to do the great "canning mobilization" - sterlize jars, assemble tools that are never used except for canning, buy new jar lids, etc., etc.

Also you can use onions & things that the Ball Blue Book people frown on because they lower the acidity and increase the risk of botulism if you are only using water bath canning, like most people who don't have a pressure cooker.

On the negative side you have to have a freezer with room in it for a lot of storage for tomatoes!

Pictured above is Jennie Greene's little girl, posing so cutely with a bunch of our Sphinx Gold roses.

Portland Flower Market - Your Flower Community
October 1, 2008
Blog PictureOne thing I like about the flower market - during times of stress it's great to show up & know you're not alone - I'm sure it's better than staring at CNBC and watching your stocks go down!!!

Welcome to the new owner of Flowers Tommy Luke - Louella, shown here at left with employee Yara. Louella hails from Las Vegas and she is enthusiastically taking up the reins of this famous Portland business.

Remind me to tell you sometime about how Flower Tommy Luke is the reason for the Portland Flower Market to have started in the first place!!!

Becky from Creative Designs says it best when describing one of the important aspects of coming to the market,

"You know how expensive therapy is? Why pay for that when you can come down to the market and bitch for free!!!"

See you soon,

Sandra

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