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2017 Open Houses Dates

It’s been quite a warm start of 2017, which means it’s nearly time to start planting spring gardens!  Last year we stepped up our veggie start game, and this year we’re doing even more: tomatoes, kale, salad greens, peppers, melons, culinary herbs, annual flowers and so much more!  And of course we’re still keeping in real with our fruit trees, berries, native shrubs and perennial flowers.  Best of all, all of our plants are cultured in Morgan Composting’s Organic Approved potting mixes, so you know that you are getting the best quality in your Bread & Roses plants!

Now in our 4th year of business, want to invite all of you to join us for one (or more!) of our Open House Days at Bread & Roses Nursery!  Come see what we’re up to in the greenhouses, orchards, gardens, learn how we power our plant-growing operation completely off-grid, and best of all, choose from our entire selection of trees, shrubs, flowers, and veggies starts to get your landscapes and gardens looking spiffy!

Our Open House Dates are every Saturday April 29th through June 3rd, from 9am to 3pm at Bread & Roses Nursery 9127 S Roberts Rd, Bloomington, IN 47401.  We’re located in the heart of Hoosier National Forest, just minutes from Lake Monroe, Hardin Ridge National Recreation Area, and the Charles Deam Wilderness Area, so feel free to bring the entire family and make an afternoon of the trip!  We hope to see everyone out here!

E-Commerce Now Live!

We are so excited to announce that our website now offers online plant shopping.  It is so simple – just click on our shop link on the main menu and you’ll be able select from our current availability.  We still have all the information about the plants everyone loved, but now you can add them to your shopping cart!

Now is the best time to plant woody perennials. They actually put on up to 75% of their yearly root growth in the fall as they send energy down from their branches to prepare for the long cold times ahead.  We have a great selection of fruits, natives, and ornamentals to offer.  Use the coupon code Grand20 through November and receive 20% off your purchase.  Due to our busy landscaping schedules, we are only offering plants by delivery this fall.  Delivery costs $25 to the Bloomington area.  In the spring we will offer more pick up options from the farm and at market.

We hope this new option will provide our customers a better way to access healthy, happy, chemical-free plants.  We are taking the Amazon model local!

A special thanks to Ace Howard and Prianka Rayamajhi for all the help getting this new site up and running.  Any problems or suggestions should be send to us at contact@breadandrosesnursery.com.

Happy Fall Planting!

Salem and Jonas

Nifty Hoops

Last week Bread & Roses Nursery got to join our friends from Nifty Hoops in Ann Arbor, Michigan while they were down in the Bloomington area installing two greenhouses for local farmers.  It was a whirlwind tour, but in two days we constructed two greenhouses.  Each measured 30ft x 96ft and contained amazing features: twin-layer poly film to add extra winter protection, roll-up sides, thermostat-operated louvres (side vents), and one of the greenhouses had automatic roll-up sides controlled by a thermostat.

We’ve been lucky that founder/owner Jeff McCabe invited us to join on these recent builds in Indiana.  If all goes well, Bread & Roses will begin to install Nifty Hoops greenhouses in the Southern Indiana area starting in 2017.

Ample funding is available through local NRCS (National Resources Conservation Service) through your local/county branch of USDA which pays for the basic greenhouse or hoop house kit.  One of the biggest challenges Jeff identified is that farmers are then left with the burden of constructing the greenhouses on their own–on top of that, they must front the cost and cannot receive funding until the hoop houses are completely installed and inspected. That can create quite a burden on a farmer, whose daily chores already consist of so many things from weeding, to watering, harvest, to sales.  Jeff simplified the process, from design and fabrication, to installation, and in most cases Nifty Hoops constructs their greenhouses in less than 24 hrs!

We’re certainly excited to begin offering this service to our local farmers down here in the Bloomington area as well.  We’re hoping to strengthen our local food economy and support the people who work day in and out to supply us with fresh, nutritious produce!

But enough talk…here’s some photos from last week.  Please also check out the Nifty Hoops website for more amazing videos, photos, and testimonials.

Open House Days at Bread & Roses

The Market is in ‘Will Holler’ this spring as well!

We’ve expanded the number of Open House Days here at the Nursery & Gardens for this spring.  Starting April 23rd through June 11th, we welcome all to join us between 10am~3pm to tour the Nursery & Gardens, chat with Jonas and Salem, and of course, purchase the plants you love and need!  Produce from Jonas and Salem’s farms will also be available, so don’t feel bad if you have to miss the Market to join us!

B&R Nursery is located at 9127 S Roberts Rd, Bloomington IN 47401.

Again those dates are Saturday April 23rd, April 30th, May 7th, May 14th, May 21st, May 28th, June 4th & June 11th, between 10am~3pm.

Looking forward to seeing you all here!

 

 

We must be doing something right

Recently at the Monroe County Soil & Water Conservation District’s annual meeting, our own Salem Willard was awarded the 2015 Emerging Conservationist.

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It’s so wonderful to receive feedback from the Bloomington community that what we’ve been creating has truly been “The Good Work” as Jonas and I call it.  Over the past several years so many people who’ve come out to ‘Will Holler’, the Gardens and Nursery, have sang praises and gone home inspired.  I feel great joy in what we are doing and plan to keep it up as long as I’m here.  Thank you everyone who’s been a part of this mad experiment!

Peace, Salem

Will Holler

Holiday Gift Certificates!

Looking for that perfect gift for the gardeners on your list?  We can help with a gift that keeps on growing!

Give them the gift of plants with a B&R Gift Certificate.  The are available now and for any dollar amount over $25.  They can be redeemed starting in the spring of 2016 at the Bloomington Farmers’ Market or at the nursery.

*Please email contact@breadandrosesnursery.com or order *

Hardy Kiwi Harvest

5 years ago I planted 4 hardy kiwi plants: 1 male and three Anna females.  The promises of fuzzless kiwi fruit the size of large grapes growing in Will Holler, Bloomington, IN, seemed like a dream.  This year’s harvest has been that and some.

Kiwi fruit

So far I have harvested approximately 16-17lbs, and that’s just scratching the surface!  The fruit is amazing, sweet, and slightly less acidic than their tropical relatives.  I ate easily more than a pint yesterday before my tongue started to ache (fuzzy kiwis do that to me after just a bite or two).  Fruit averages 1 in and eclipses a quarter easily, with the largest fruit nearing the size of my thumb.

With all of this fruit pouring in, my next step is to discover what preservation methods will work best.  Kiwi Jams are all over the internet, but I’ve got about 1 gallon whirring away in the dehydrator as I type and freezing for later juicing seems promising as well.  I plan on updating this post later when I can confirm how these experiments go.

The key to the hardy kiwi’s low-acidic/high sugar content is actually the fact that they grow in temperate climates.  Last week the mercury fell into the 30s, and we had 3-4 nights of heavy frost/light freezes.  The cold temperatures catalyze the kiwi pulp into gooey goodness, almost like a jam wrapped in a thin skin.

wait for fruit to shrivel and soften so that it squishes slightly when you pinch it--that is a ripe, sweet, heavenly kiwi fruit

wait for fruit to shrivel and soften so that it squishes slightly when you pinch it–that is a ripe, sweet, heavenly kiwi fruit

still firm under your pinch--check on these kiwis in few days

still firm under your pinch–check on these kiwis in few days

The only question I have is why aren’t more people growing these?  Backyard growers, could plant a male/female pair on an arbor or patio trellis just like a grape, granted the kiwis are much more vigorous and can grow up to 25ft/year.  After seeing the yields, growing these for market is a no-brainer.  What other fruit is available this time of year besides apples and pears?  Kiwi has 5 times the vitamin C of oranges, as well as healthy doses of vitamin K, A, E, B6, potassium, antioxidants, and copper (food facts provided by Dr. Mercola’s website)–all of which fortify our bodies for the upcoming winter cold.  And not to state the obvious, but these hardy kiwis can be grown locally across most of the US, reducing the need for importing the fuzzies from across the globe.

 

Growth and Development of the Hardy Kiwi Vines in Will Holler:

Year 1: Plant Cold Hardy Kiwis over Chicken Moat

Years 2 & 3: Watch them grow with some occasional pruning and training

Year 4: Increased need to pruning–kiwi vines trying to climb trees.  First fruit amounting to around 1 quart

Year 5: Pruned the vines heavily just before bud-break in early Spring.  This I believe greatly increased fruit set.  First fruit harvested around October 18th, with the bulk ripening in the last two weeks of October after first frost & freeze.

Year 6: PLANT MORE KIWIS and experiment with different trellising methods to increase production while using less space

 

 

 

 

Shiitake Log Workshop

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Flush of shiitake mushrooms at B&R Nursery in the spring of 2014

Ever wondered how mushrooms grow?  Come out and experience shiitake mushroom log cultivation with Jonas and Salem at Bread & Roses Nursery.  We won’t just be talking all about mycelium, hyphae, spores, and spawn–at B&R Nursery we believe that learning should be hands-on.  All participants will learn how to inoculate hardwood logs with shiitake spawn and about the methods of mushroom production at home.  Best of all, you’ll get to take home your very own log at the end of the day!

The Details:

When: Saturday, November 14th,  11am to 3pm

*Rain Date Sunday, November 15th*

Where: Bread & Roses Nursery, 9127 S Roberts Rd, Bloomington

Cost: $45/person

Please RSVP or send inquiries to contact@breadandrosesnursery.com

Participation fee includes your own shiitake log (retail value $25) and light refreshments.  Limit of 20 participants.  Some trade positions are available.  The workshop will be conducted outdoors, so please dress appropriately. We will have a fire going to keep folks warm!  Please RSVP by Wednesday 11/11.