Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Wishes

Now we're into the down season for gardening. Although, having said that I've already ordered starter plants and seeds for next spring.

Next, I‘ll work on orders for tags and pots and soil. So even though the calendar says winter, I'm thinking spring. I'll start my first batch of seeds in early January. All this spring oriented work helps me survive the cold weather. There‘s something magical about seeing baby seedlings growing inside in the depths of winter.

The eternal promise of spring never fails to inspire. I must say though, that I kind of enjoy the forced slowdown winter brings. l think it‘s Mother Nature's way of telling us to slow down and enjoy a break, There are also cold weather pleasures of brewing herbal tea and baking bread from scratch.

A great winter pleasure is curling up with perhaps, a cup of that herbal tea, and browsing through seed catalogs. If you haven't received any yet, they'll be arriving soon. The beautiful pictures and glowing descriptions always have me longing for spring. I get ideas for new plants to add to our inventory from several places- customer requests, reading reference books and perusing seed catalogs. Nearly every year, I find something to try in a catalog. Either a picture attracts me or the write-up sounds so good or they throw in that foolproof word for me-fragrant-and I'm ready to try it.

We still have some copies of the 2911 herbal calendar for sale.
Beautiful prints, herbal tips and recipes, too.

If you suffer from dry skin in the winter, here's some products to try:
Goat's milk lotion-very moisturizing and helps your shin retain moisture
Solid lotion bars-Fragrant, moisturizing, but not gloopy
Whipped shea butter-super moisturizing for your face

The farm is closed beginning Dec 24 for the holidays. The shop reopens Jan. 6 and will be open Thursday-Saturday 9am-5pm.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanks to All!

Thanks to everyone who came out to our recent holiday open house.
We had a great turnout both days and everyone was so nice with their comments. One regular customer came with her two teenagers and they said visiting us was on their list of fun things to do. With so much competition for people's time and attention, we appreciate the fact that everyone made the effort to stop by. Also, congratulations to our open house prize Winners. Megan Sweigart won the gift certificate and Rick Hamm won the soap sampler.

We have live myrtle and rosemary topiaries in the greenhouse and a selection of potted culinary herbs-basil, thyme, parsley, chives, etc. These will be available through December 25 during our regular hours~Tuesday-Saturday §am-5pm. lf you need something green and growing and fragrant to get through the winter, stop by. After Christmas, we shut down the greenhouses and will not have plants available until the greenhouse reopens in April.

New that we've had a hard freeze, the growing season is done for another year. But this year, I had roses, Jupiter's beard, snaps and calendula blooming at the beginning of December. That's even a little later than last year. <<< The poor calendula finally gave up the ghost after our last hard freeze.

I've been happily going through Tina Sam's new book, By the Hearth.
It‘s a compilation of the best from the first five years of her Essential Herbal magazine. I've gone through it several times, picking out articles here and there to read. New I'm focused on the kitchen section. Let me tell you, there are some great recipes in there. I've already marked some to try after the holidays.
It's a great gift idea for the herbies in your life.

It's been so cold these last few mornings that even Lucy doesn't dawdle to our walks. I'm glad she doesn’t want to stop and smell individual blades of grass!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thoughts on a late fall day

If you have rosemary planted in the garden, you still have plenty of time to enjoy and harvest it. Although not reliably winter hardy here, it will tolerate quite a hit of frost. Mine is almost always productive until Christmas, at least. Since it gets fairly big even in one season, it seems to take an extended period of cold to kill off the roots. This generally happens during a cold snap after the new year. Maybe the Winter will he mild enough so it will survive. If you‘re trying to overwinter rosemary in the house, choose a bright, cool location away from heat sources. If it dries out inside, it usually dies.

I'm enjoying Tina Sams' new book, "By the Hearth," along with her previous book, "Under the Sun," it's a compilation of the best of the first five years of The Essential Herbal, the bimonthly magazine she publishes. Whether your interest in herbs is gardening, cooking fragrance or medicinal, this book has something for you. Similar articles are grouped together, but you can also just open the book to any page and read an interesting article. Lots of recipes too, which l love. Makes a great gift for you or an herb lover you know. We have both books available in the shop

Lucy celebrates her fourth birthday in December. We've had her three years, as we got her from the Humane League when she was a year old. If you‘re considering a pet, please, please consider a dog or cat from a shelter or rescue organization. These are wonderful animals who desperately need a loving home. You don‘t need a purebred dog to get all the breed‘s good traits. Lucy's a black lab mix, but she has the sweet, friendly temperament of a lab. She is the sweetest dog and there are lots more like her waiting for a good home. Think about a black dog or cat. They are the last to be adopted!

Now that the leaves are off the trees, I'm seeing bird's nests up close. The mockingbird's is rather random, very angular and twiggy. The robin's is much more finished, almost woven. Later in the season a robin took over an abandoned mockingbird‘s nest and remodelled it-weaving over the twiggy base. A tiny woven nest in the magnolia must have belonged to a sparrow or wren. And I can see a couple leafy squirrel nests at the top of the tallest trees.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Settling in for Winter

I noticed the other day how the farm is looking all settled in for winter. It starts in September when we take the shade cloth off the greenhouses. After seeing it with its dark covering for months, it looks strange to see the clear plastic and to be able to see inside the greenhouse from outside. The skids which hold all the outside plants in the spring are also put away. The gardens are cleaned up (for the most part) and even the garden signs are put away. Perennial stock plants are buried in rows in the vegetable garden to protect their roots over the winter.

Most of the leaves are off the trees, too. I didn't think the fall leaf show was spectacular this year~perhaps due to the dry summer. But I did admire the scarlet maple with its brilliant foliage- it's hard to beat maples for fall color. When we moved here, there was one tree in the yard-a large white pine. I wanted trees in the back corner so I joined the Arbor Day Foundation. The welcome gift was 10 tree saplings. They arrived in the mail in a plastic bag. John really laughed about these so-called "trees." We heeled them into the garden for a year or two to take hold and then planted them. Not all survived, but about 8 did. The scarlet maple is now about 20-25' tall, beautifully shaped and brilliant in the fall. All in about ten years time-so "ha" back on John for laughing at my trees.

Open house is approaching-Dec. 3 & 4 from 9am to 5pm. We have about half a dozen varieties of potted culinary herbs in the greenhouse, along with live topiaries. And the shop is brimming with all kinds of fragrant gift ideas and natural holiday decorations. We‘ll have specials in the shop, herbal refreshments and prize drawings.

My Italian parsley is just beautiful! All the fall rain produced a bumper crop of lush, dark green foliage. I'm adding parsley to almost every savory dish, and also drying alot.I put it on a cookie sheet, put it in the oven, close the door and just turn on the light. It takes awhile-about 24 hours-but it holds its color well and dries thoroughly. Just remove it before you preheat the oven!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Time Flies. Open House coming up!

I swear the older I get the faster time goes by. Summer seems like yesterday and the spring season seems like a month or two ago. Now all my work centers around holiday preparations. I‘ve been working on filling and stocking the shop. We'll have all our popular favorites plus a few new additions - a new soap scent from the sisters, some new gift items and lots of interesting holiday decorations I've found. Last year I seemed to have trouble finding things that were suitably rustic , handmade or herbal. This year, my timing must have been better and I wound up with a good supply. I usually wait until Thanksgiving week to put up the tree in the shop and bring out the holiday arrangements and decorations. I hate to rush things too much. Christmas decorations before Halloween seems too early to me.

The fall newsletter is out. We send a paper or e-mail copy depending on your preference. If you don't receive our newsletter (we also have a spring edition) just give us your name and address or e-mail address and we’ll be happy to send you one.

We also have a small selection of basic culinary potted herbs in the greenhouse from about mid-November through Christmas, along with live topiaries for holiday decorating or gift-giving. If you want plants for the kitchen windowsill to get you through the winter months, this is the time. We do shut the greenhouses down at the end of December and don’t start them up again till March due to the cost of heating them. We usually get a few people asking for plants during the winter, but after the holidays we'll have no plants until spring.

Our holiday open house will be held Friday and Saturday December 3 & 4 from 9am to 5pm. We'll have plants and topiaries available in the greenhouse and open house specials, herbal refreshments and prize drawings in the shop. We know what a busy time this is and how many special activities occur each weekend, so we greatly appreciate everyone that takes time to cone out and visit with us. I do think we have a great selection of interesting, handmade herbal gifts.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Frost and a Trip Down Memory Lane

We finally had a frost that knocked out most annuals in the garden We had several light frosts previously, but they did little except stick to the grass, and cause some spotting on the basils. This last blast blackened all my basils and killed off most annuals, except some cold tolerant ones like calendula which are still blooming. So we‘re removing those and doing some fall clean-up.

What about perennials? It usually takes a hard freeze to kill off the herbaceous (those that die down in the fall) perennials. My fall perennial clean-up is more selective. I've cut back top growth on tarragon, lemon balm, wormwood and oregano. This older growth was unsightly and there's fresh growth in a rosette at the base if I need any fresh. I'll continue around, doing the same for mints, catmint, feverfew, etc. Some things I just leave alone in the fall-
  • Woody-stemmed herbs like thyme, sage, lavender. No cutting allows foliage to provide some protection for the crown of the plant since it doesn't die back to the ground
  • Coneflower and other plants that provide seed for birds over the winter
  • Cold tolerant plants that look good and continue to produce - snaps are blooming again, parsley and sorrel look great and continue to provide harvest fresh or for drying, chives and burnet which will eventually freeze but often provide green foliage throughout the winter (sometimes even under snow)
My two sisters who live out of town visited recently. We had a good time. They like to go to the Mt. Joy Gift & Thrift shop and we visited the new thrift store in E-town. It too was very nice although their inventory was smaller since they had just opened the week we visited.

The best trip was a visit to Mt. Gretna where we grew up. We walked all the paths we used every day and it amazed me how things had grown up. Places I remember being fairly clear were quite overgrown. Some paths were narrow and looked unused. I guess even in Mt. Gretna people drive everywhere.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Animal Sightings

Had two interesting animal sightings lately. Lucy‘s favorite place to explore is the back corner of our property - the wilderness area. It‘s wet ~ after the heavy rains it‘s actually swampy. It's full of grasses and wildflowers and wild plants. Good cover for animals and it has homes for field mice and other small critters for the larger ones to hunt. We get deer that come through from the woods and cornfields behind us. When we first moved here, there were often pheasants in the fall, although I haven‘t heard them for a few years now.

One day we walked around the corner and I thought what is that big, gray blob? Then I saw the long neck and the head and realized it was a blue heron. I was surprised - although it‘s wet, there's no pond and definitely no fish. It moved from the open area to the back of the high plants, so you really couldn't see it unless you were looking. It stayed for a few hours and we were getting concerned that it might be hurt. But it flew away quite effortlessly, so I guess it was just hanging out and resting. I've never been so close to a heron before - it was HUGE!

Lucy would like to go out in the morning when it's still dark, but I make her wait until it’s at least brightening. One morning when we rounded the corner I saw a red fox trotting through the grassy open area to the back, thick area which leads to the woods. I heard a fox passing through the yard one morning when it was still dark-it sounded like a high-pitched dog bark. It must have been moving fast because I heard one loud bark and then two, getting fainter as it was moving off. It certainly woke up Lucy and I put her out in the yard with the light on, but it was long gone by then. It does explain why we're seeing very few rabbits in the last month or so.

One year a red fox had babies underneath our shed. Boy, were they cute! They'd come out at dusk and play, chasing each other and wrestling - just like a litter of puppies. Maybe this one is the offspring of one of those pups.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Tale of Two Seasons II

It was a strange growing season-almost like two different seasons. "A Tale of Two Seasons“ we could call it.

In the spring, I remember the daffodils fading fast because we got a blast of hot weather early. The lilacs bloomed in April and the peonies bloomed at Mother's Day, which I don‘t ever remember happening before. All the spring bloomers were lush with the warm weather and the good groundwater from all the melting snow.

Then came mid-summer and the ridiculous temperatures (including 106) and very dry conditions. We water the gardens infrequently since we have a well and concentrate on the potted plants. The basils and mints wilted, but revived after the occasional big rains. Mid-season flowers like coneflower and black-eyed Susan didn‘t bloom A as fully and a lot of my annuals were just stunted. Drought tolerant herbs didn’t mind a bit-my gray santolina was beautiful!

The late season plants were really affected too. It took well into September for hyacinth bean vine to develop beans and its peak seemed to be in October.

Ditto for pineapple sage-full bloom in October, and the plant only got about half as tall as usual.

One of the prettiest fall bloomers-Mexican bush sage with its arching, fuzzy purple flowers also didn't bloom till October and was sparse compared to most years.

Things that did well despite the weather - blue flax, borage, calendula, Joe Pye weed,love-lies-bleeding, plumbago, verbena, yarrow, Jupiter's beard and perennial salvias.

Things that didn't do well - cosmos, four o'clocks, heliotrope, gem marigolds (although they came back in the fall) nasturtiums, statice, pincushion flower and swamp milkweed.

I was mighty impressed with a new ornamental, oregano-kent beauty, this year. This one is for flowers rather than flavor. They're papery, so they dry well. Start off green and turn pinky-purple. Used them a lot in arrangements-pretty neutral filler.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hot summer results

More fallout from the hot, dry summer. Our moonflower vine (annual, fragrant, night-blooming morning glory) hasn‘t bloomed in awhile. It certainly blooms better during wet seasons. Our record for blooms This in one evening is 24, and that was definitely in a wet year. This year, it bloomed occasionally, but then shut down during the extended dry spell. This isn't unusual-many plants bloom less or not at all during times of stress. It helps the roots of the plant to survive until conditions improve. I do water the moonflower every day, but it is very hard to duplicate the effect of a soaking rain even if you water every day. The longer the dry spell, the harder it is to get plants to respond. How that we've had some rain, hopefully things will improve.

I did notice some cilantro that reseeded itself in the garden. It grows well early in the season when it's relatively cool. Once the hot weather cones, it bolts like lettuce does. Of course, this year with the weather being very hot and coming early, the cilantro season was short. l always advise people to let some of plants second flower, then seed. The seed falls and you usually get a crop later in the season when it cools off again. My reseeding was sporadic probably due to the dryness.

One plant that loved the dry season is gomphrena or globe amaranth. It produces clover-like flowers that are papery and dry well. Colors are a mix of purple, pink and white or red. The plants get quite shrubby in one season and are very productive. My red ones got off to a slow start because something bit off the stalks early in the season. But they‘re producing well now and the mixed colors have loads of flowers. Many of the papery flowers that dry well seen to tolerate drought pretty well. Gray foliaged plants are also drought tolerant. Gray santolina has been wonderfully happy this year-catmint, too.

Greenhouse and shop are open Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm. We‘re getting to the end of perennial planting season. The shop has plenty of non-plant herbal products available.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Garden Questions

People ask good questions to which I sometimes do not have an answer. A common one is, when you plant 2 or 3 or 5 of the same plant in an area and only one dies, what happened? I have an example in my garden now. I have three Greek columnar basils planted along the edge in one square of our four square garden. Greek basil is a very nice, upright, bushy form that grows into a small shrub in a season. My line makes a basil 'hedge' in the garden. The plant has great flavor so it's useful in the kitchen, and it has an upright habit that requires no pinching to branch out and it sets few flowers. The two end plants are fine and the middle one is very wilted. That's a pretty easy answer - with the very dry weather, the end plants have taken the soil moisture away from the middle one and once it did rain, the middle one perked Up again, so that was a good guess.

But often, the plants are the same sort, they‘re in the same type of soil and receiving the same cultural conditions. If it's not a disease or insect problem, a soil analysis may indicate a reason. But I generally tell folks, plants are like people - some are stronger than others. Being the same species does not mean the plants are exactly the Same.

If you're interested in drying hydrangea flowers, now is prime time. They should be starting to dry on the stem - not papery dry, but you feel them, you can notice some moisture is leaving the bloom. I cut mine, strip off the leaves, stand them in a vase and put the vase in a closet (or anywhere away from light.) Some people recommend putting a little water in the vase, but I never found this necessary. They dry in about a week or ten days if it‘s not humid. Newer blooms which replaced flowers I out earlier in the season are still full of moisture, so I'll check them in a couple weeks.
These later blooms really keep their blue color nicely.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Visitor

My niece from New Jersey visited recently. She's doing graduate work at Rutgers and visits occasionally. Her family (my sister & brother-in-law) live in Canada so it‘s hard to go home weekends to visit. She gets a break and some home cooking here. I made chicken Caprese - chicken breasts topped with tomato, basil, mozzarella and wrapped in bacon - what's not to like? She was impressed that the chicken was so moist. I use an old restaurant trick - soak the chicken in milk all day before draining and cooking. You‘re supposed to use buttermilk, and I do if I have it on hand for a particular recipe. otherwise, I use just regular low-fat milk and that works fine. Often, I'll add mustard, salt & pepper and herbs for added flavor.

She also went hone with a basil and a lavender plant. She lives in an apartment but has a small outdoor space and missed having some plants. She loves to go to the thrift store in Mount Joy run by the MCC. Loads of bargains there.

I‘m slowly making the transition from summer to fall. I enjoy the moderating weather - lower humidity and even on warm days, it's cool start in the morning. I grew up in Mt. Gretna, so the end of summer was always bittersweet. Summer was the big season and it was fading. I'm old enough that the idea of starting school before Labor Day is strange to me.

All my seasons seem to overlap in some ways. I‘ve already placed orders for starter plants for next spring. And I‘m doing a lot of work in the shop, so it will be ready for the holidays. Also working on the fall newsletter and will soon start ordering seeds for the spring. All this while summer slowly fades.

Finish up large harvests (up to one third) on woody stemmed perennials like thyme, sage, thyme and rosemary (borderline hardy). Since they don't die back, the remaining foliage provides some protection for the crown of the plant over Winter.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Butterfly Frenzy!

I'm glad I had a witness or it might have been one of those hard to believe experiences. John and I were taking Lucy for a Walk. We walked around the greenhouse, between the greenhouse flowerbed and the bee & butterfly garden behind the second greenhouse and we walked right into a cloud of butterflies.

There were literally hundreds of them - they seemed to be fluttering between the two butterfly bushes in those two gardens. I've never seen so many together at once. The vast majority were the small whites and yellows (sulfers) and fritillaries, but there were also some swallowtails and a few skippers. It was a lovely summer sight and I'm glad to see that butterflies made a resurgence this year. I know you‘ll see more on sunny days so there‘s one benefit of all the sunny, dry weather this season.

The other thing lots of butterflies means is more rescues from the greenhouse. They fly in, cannot find their way out and have to be released. (not so smart, don‘t have this problem with bees) I know they only live a month or so, so I hated the thought of them trapped in there fluttering against the walls. So I check periodically, capture and release them. The big ones are much easier to catch. One day I walked in and there were about 15 congregated along the front wall!

The sweet autumn Clematis on the pergola is in full, fragrant bloom. It always reminds me of a flowery, white cloud. It is full of bumblebees busily working. Another plant loaded with bumblebees and butterflies now is sedum. If you have 'Autumn Joy' (reddish) or *Brilliant* (pinkish) Check them out. Loads of bees and a good variety of butterflies.

I‘m getting a good second crop of lavender, am still drying euphorbia (snow on the mountain) along with statice, gomphrena, and celosia. Although frost is still a while away, I'm starting to remove annuals that have suffered through the dry weather. Some just look beat.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Transitioning into Fall

Although we haven't reached the official start of fall, I'm enjoying the transition. Some days are sunny, but not humid. You can feel the freshness in the air. When I take Lucy out for her early morning walk, it feels cool and sometimes even chilly. After feeling hot for so long, feeling chilly feels great. And I love sleeping with the windows open instead of the AC running. Even when we have hot days, you know it's not going to last for weeks at a time.

Fall is an excellent time to plant perennials. Planting now allows plants to become established, giving them a head start over plants put in during the spring season. Often, fall provides more reliable rainfall, which cuts down on watering requirements. We do offer larger sizes of a few perennial varieties in the fall, plus we have a few leftover half-price small perennial herbs and flowers for sale. Planting up until about mid October gives plants enough time to become established before cold weather sets in.

My other fall transition is switching from plants and greenhouse/garden work to preparing the shop for the fall and holiday seasons. I craft for the shop, prepare potpourri, harvest and dry flowers and bulk herbs and prepare orders for the wonderful, handmade products we offer.

Most of our products come from Maryanne and Tina, aka The Twisted Sisters, who supply us with handmade soaps, spritzes, oils, lip balms, lotion sticks, salt scrubs and Maryanne's beaded jewelry. We have a few other vendors who produce herbal teas, cat treats, goat's milk lotion, bubble bath, etc. Nearly all our herbal products are produced in small batches by home-based businesses.

Many people think we close or cut back hours drastically after the spring season. We are actually open five days a week, Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm through December. We have plants for sale during the fall and of course, lots of products for sale in the shop. So there's still plenty to see when you visit.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Tale of Two Seasons

It's a "Tale of Two Seasons" when it comes to this growing season. Remember early in the spring, flowering trees were early, bulbs faded fast, lilacs were two weeks early and my peonies bloomed at Mothers' Day. I think it was a combination of ample groundwater from all the melting snow and the blast of hot weather we had in mid-April.

Now we approach the end of summer and where are all the late season bloomers? Of my annual vines, moonflower and mina, or firecracker flower have just begun blooming recently. Hyacinth bean vine is just blooming now, so beans won't form for a couple weeks, pushing it's showy season into September. I have no flowers on pineapple sage yet. Even the gomphrena is poking along, although I'm starting to harvest flowers.

I read an article that said tomato plants won't form blooms above 90 and beans stop flower production at 85. So that long stretch of very high temperatures in July put a lot of vegetable plants on hold. The article didn't mention flowers, but most plants are biochemically engineered to protect themselves in times of stress. It seems the late bloomers shut down also in the extreme heat and are now playing catch-up. With the average frost date,we still have plenty of time for a good late season show.

With the weather extremes, I had some great garden successes and some super flops this year.

Calendula - cheerful yellow and orange daisy-like blooms. Started early and still going strong. Harvesting resinous petals for use in skin care products.
Basils - Struggled during the dry spells, but came back like gangbusters after the big rains.
Jupiter's Beard - and excellent re-blooming perennial. Re-blooming well after minimal trimming.
Lavender - Good spring bloom and looks like the beginning of a healthy fall re-bloom.

Nasturtiums - couldn't take the extreme heat. Stunted and few flowers.
4 o'clocks - Never really developed. Short and just a few flowers forming now.
Ornamental oregano - A pretty dried flower - just didn't produce the way it usually does.

The great thing about gardening is that there's always next year with different conditions and a chance to try again!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Butterfly Report

I'm very happy to see that the butterfly population has increased.

I know it takes awhile for them to show up, and the larger species aren't around much until July, but things did seem slow until August. I'm seeing swallowtails regularly-mostly tigers, but also a few -black swallowtails. Their host plants (plants on which butterflies lay eggs and caterpillars feed until they form a chrysalis) are parsley, dill, fennel, rue and other plants in the parsley family. So don‘t smush any caterpillars you see on those herbs and you'll be rewarded soon with colorful, flying creatures.

I've sees a few monarchs. No sign of any caterpillars on my swamp milkweed in the garden, although we have plenty of wild milkweed in our fencerow and wild areas. Milkweeds are host plants for monarchs. Other species I've identified include commas, sulfers, hairstreaks, painted ladies, red admirals, buckeyes and sootywings.

Although I recognized all these as ones I had seen before, I didn't know them all by name. So I referred to my pocket guides to ID them. Both are small and easy to carry along outside. One is the Nat'1 Audubon Society guide. It has great color photos, lists characteristics to help ID, range and habitat and also host plants. The other is a Golden Guide to butterflies and moths. It has drawings, but they are colorful enough and detailed enough to make identification as easy as with a photo. It also gives descriptive details, measurements, range maps, host plants and includes drawings of larva (caterpillar) and pupa (chrysalis) stages. Both are easy to use for adults and older kids and although the text may be beyond younger kids, the photos and drawings can still be used for identification. Butterflies also like shallow puddles or saucers as a water source. Favorite nectar sources for adults include flat-headed flowers with multiple florets, like butterfly bush and swamp milkweed or daisy-like flowers. They need to be able to perch as they feed. What a pretty summer sight - a beautiful swallowtail with extended wings perched and happily feeding on a purple butterfly bush blossom.

Looking good in the garden - euphorbia, zinnias, celosia, Jupiter's Beard (reblooming), calendula, love-lies-bleeding and gem marigolds.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Long, hot summer

It's been one long, hot summer. The weather extremes of the year seem to continue. Of course, we're not suffering through floods or hurricanes so it could be much worse. My summer schedule has been to work outside in the morning end retreat inside by lunch.`

Lucy has figured out the best time for her walks is early in the morning end after supper. She keeps getting up earlier and earlier. Today, she wanted to go out when it was still dark.

Here's another hot weather-cold dish recipe that's always been popular in our family. My mom made this a lot in the summer. The original recipe contains no herbs, but it you wanted to herb it up try adding parsley, dill or even a little mint.

Copper Penny Carrots
2 lb. sliced carrots
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, sliced in rings
3/4 cup vinegar
1 can condensed tomato soup (undiluted)
1 cup oil
1 scant cup sugar
1 tsp. Worcester sauce

Cook carrots until tender. Layer carrots with peppers and onions in serving dish. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold.

We're still getting requests and question about cilantro. See our previous posting on cilantro for information and advice on its culture.

have HUGE euphorbia or snow on the mountain this year. It reseeded from last year, and with all the ground water from the snow, it got off to an amazing start and just kept growing to about 5 feet tall. It has very small flowers, but its main attraction is the very pretty green and white variegated foliage. I dry it for use in wreaths and arrangements - it makes wonderful, neutral filler. Euphorbias have milky sap, so after cutting, you must seal the stems by dipping in boiling water or sealing with a match or lighter. I get John to help and he uses the butane torch.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Never the Twain Shall Meet!

I've had several people ask for cilantro plants in the last week.
Most people want cilantro when tomatoes come in season so they can prepare salsa. Unfortunately, you can't get cilantro to grow then tomatoes come in.

Cilantro is like lettuce - it°s a cool weather annual, with the heat of the summer, (which came early this year) it will bolt, flower and go to seed just like lettuce does then the weather heats up. We sell a slow-bolt variety and you can put your plants in partial shade, but this lengthens the season only slightly. Once it gets really hot, the nature of the plant is to flower, set seed and die.

I always recommend planting early, harvesting foliage and freezing it until tomato season. Allow your plants to flower and seed to drop. You should get a second crop late in the season as the weather cools off. If you can find seed now, you can plant during the second half of August for a late season crop.

In the spring, we carry a plant called Vietnamese coriander. It is a heat tolerant substitute for cilantro. To me, it smells and tastes like cilantro, although smell and taste are very individual. But if you plant cilantro and let it reseed, Vietnamese coriander will give you a substitute during the hot weather between cilantro crops. It is not winter hardy, but stems root easily in water,
if you want to hold some over inside during the winter

Speaking of cilantro, it can add a southwestern touch to the black bean salad recipe I posted a little while back. Just substitute cilantro for the savory in the original recipe and use lime basil in place of regular basil. Lime basil is also great on chicken and fish. I think I like it even better than lemon basil.

Another great basil is cinnamon basil. It's sweet, spicy flavor is far removed from Genovese basil (the one to use for pesto, spaghetti sauce, etc.). Chop it over fresh fruit, brew it for tea, or add a sprig or two to mint tea. You can also steep it in warmed milk, strain out the leaves and use the flavored milk to prepare instant pudding, muffins, quick brands, pound. cake, etc.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Late July

We dodged another bullet. We‘ve been lucky this year. With all the severe storms we've had, here we've gotten only rain and some wind, but not enough to cause damage. Our neighbors lost a large limb from a willow tree. We‘re very open here, and windy, but our trees are mostly far enough away from the house. And the greenhouses have held up well. Well built (thanks John.)

Lucy's been doing bunny training. We have a few small and medium sized bunnies from at least two litters. They‘re young enough so they°re not too fearful of other animals and humans yet.

When we see them out walking, we put Lucy on the leash and let her get close enough to "encourage" them into the brush, but not close enough to get them. They seem to be learning. Last week, three of them scattered when they saw her coming. She goes out and looks for them in the areas where they hang out. It's a fun game for her.

I've been going through the gardens every couple weeks and doing a big cutting back. I deadhead both annual and perennial flowers, to promote longer blooming. I remove flowers from basil plants to delay seed promotion. And I cut back perennials hare after they bloom. This encourages new growth. It neatens up the plants and promotes re-bloom on some perennials - like hyssop, Jupiter's beard, catmint and salvia. Don't forget to let seed heads develop on biennials (like foxglove and sweet william) and annuals that you want to reseed - like dill. If you want to save seed from plants like snaps and calendula, deadhead them now to encourage more blooms, and let seed heads develop at the end of the season before frost.

This is a great time to trim and shape lavender plants if they are sprawly or unshapely. Cut back by about 30-40%, remove too long or branches with minimum foliage and cut off spent flower stalks.

Lots of harvesting once things revived with the rain- mints, basils, calendula petals (great for lotions, salves for skin irritations,) lemon verbena and lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, parsley. Also drying annual statice with its beautiful and long lasting colors celosia and lemon mint for wreaths and arrangements.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Watering Tips and Pretty Combos

A lot of plants are suffering from the heat and dryness. Luckily, most herbs are pretty tough. Most culinary, Mediterranean herbs are drought tolerant once established. Lavender, thyme, sage, rosemary and savory like hot weather and will tolerate drought. Established perennial herbs like oregano and tarragon should weather these conditions too.

If you're going to water, concentrate on annuals like basil and perennials like mint that like more moisture. Of course, it's difficult to duplicate a soaking rain when you water. Soaker hoses work well. If you're watering with a hose, make sure to water in early morning or late evening. During the heat of the day, you'll lose water to evaporation.

Some pretty plant combinations I've been admiring throughout the season -

Pink Coneflower and Russian Sage - classic combination, pretty pastel colors and contrasting textures.

Butterfly Bush & Day lilies - dark purple "Black Knight" butterfly bush and lemon yellow day lilies, opposites on the color wheel.

Blue Hyssop and White Coneflower - classic blue & white color scheme. Fine texture vs. coarse texture.

Gray Santolina & Rye - this is all about foliage - shiny, bright, fine textured santolina and the bluish-green foliage of rue

Pink perennial Poppies and Blue Flax - big, showy poppies with a blue-black center and the needle-like foliage and sky blue blooms of blue flax.

Our plant sale is on-going. If you have an empty spot i your yard or are anxious to try a new plant, stop by. We have a good selection at great prices. Free basil with every purchase while supply lasts!

Believe it or not, I'm thinking of next spring! I'm potting plants to provide perennial divisions for next spring.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hot Summer Recipes

It's hot - very, very hot. When you work outside, hot weather can be a pain. I will say on those days when it was hot, but not humid, it wasn't too bad. So it really is the humidity! All I can do in this weather, is to work outside in the morning and retreat inside for the afternoon.

Lucy's hot weather routine - get up early (farmer's hours,) go for a walk and play a little, then expend the minimum amount of energy necessary for the rest of the day. This involves sleeping a lot. In the evening, play a little more and then go to sleep.

It's too hot to think, but here are a couple cool recipes for the dog days:

Black Bean Fiesta Salad

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 C. cooked corn
1 small red pepper, diced
1/4 C. chopped onion
3/4 C. cubed mozzarella
1 medium tomato, chopped

Mix ingredients. Combine dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Chill 2 hours or overnight.

3 T. light olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 T. wine vinegar
2 t. fresh basil, chopped
1 t. fresh savory, chopped

We serve lavender lemonade at our spring open house and it's always a hit. Wonderfully refreshing on a hot day.

Lavender Lemonade

Place 2 t. dried lavender flowers in a teapot or tea ball. Heat 2 C. water and add to teapot. Cover and let steep 5 minutes. Cool. When mixing lemonade concentrate, replace one can of water with lavender tea. Chill.

For a gourmet touch, fill ice cube trays half full and freeze. Place borage flowers on top of frozen cubes. Add water to fill tray and freeze. The cubes make a pretty addition to the lemonade or other cool summer drinks.

Monday, June 28, 2010

June in the Garden Part 2

Some people prefer annuals for their color all summer long and some prefer perennials, since it's not necessary to plant them every year. But I do laugh when people say that the only work with perennials is to plant them.

They are not entirely carefree. Perennials should be dead headed, like annuals, to promote best blooming. Perennials have a season of bloom, from a relatively short 10-14 days to a long bloom of 3-4 weeks. After blooming, many perennials go into decline, in terms of appearance. Cutting back the old foliage and dead flower stalks encourages the plant to push out new fresh growth, improving the plant's appearance. Some perennials, like catmint, Jupiter's beard, salvias and coneflower will usually rebloom after being cut back. Eventually perennials need to be divided to prevent overcrowding or taking over too much space in the garden.

What's looking good in the garden-

lots of annuals - calendula or pot marigold with lots of tallow and orange daisy-like flowers
profusion zinnias - lots of color and low maintenance
nicotiana or flowering tobacco - white, tubular flowers, fragrant at night
tall verbena - pretty purple flowers for butterflies
lots of culinary herbs, too - all the culinary sages with gray or colored foliage. I particularly like Berggarten with its broad gray foliage. It almost shines in the garden
purple basils - just as yummy and beautiful color, too
lemon grass - starting to develop into a nice big clump
dill - I love the bluish-green foliage, bright yellow flowers and sharp aroma

Our plant sale begins July 3. Great time to try a new plant or fill in any holes in your garden. Annuals are half off and perennials are buy 3, get 1 free. We're out of a few things, but till have a very good selection. Stop by and see!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June In the Garden

Like a lot of other things, Lavender bloomed early this year. Once the florets open, the bees go wild.
When they're done and the blooms turn brown, trim off the flower stalks. This is a good time for shaping up your plants. I cut back my lavender hard early in the spring. I just didn't get around to all the plants. So now I'll go through and trim off all the floppy branches and the ones with bare wood and foliage at the end. There's a lot of new growth underneath, which will push out and be more compact and shrubby. The plants have plenty of time to push out new foliage before cold weather arrives.

What I've been harvesting-

culinary herbs - tarragon, oregano, savory, mints, lemon balm (cut off the little white flowers on the lemon balm like the ones in the picture before it seeds or it goes everywhere.)
golden yarrow - also early love in a mist seed pods, larkspur
chamomile flowers - lots of them!

What looks good in the garden-

hydrangeas - they look great
lady's bedstraw - looks like a ground cover, then gets tall with tiny gold flowers. Sweet fragrance like honey.
clary sage - sturdy, upright plants with long lasting blooms
hyssop - dark green foliage, dark blue flowers in a spike and the bees love it. Also anise hyssop, with purple flowers
coneflower - I just love them and when the goldfinches come to them, it's even better.

We have to keep Lucy away from a small bunny that's living in the back corner of the yard. It's out of the nest, but still awfully small to be chased. This is at least the second batch of babies so far this year.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Late Spring

Lucy's had a good spring so far. There are bunnies to chase and holes to dig. She loves to be out with us when we're working. She does help dig holes, but John says she has no garden etiquette. She plops down in front us, sometimes on a plant. She likes to jump over plants when she's running. And there are sugar peas and alpine strawberries to eat from the garden. She thinks vegetables are a great treat.

We didn't plant any basil till the third week of May. It's pretty well established now. Remember to pinch your basil back - pinch the stem off just above a news set of leaves - so the plant will start to branch out, If you pinch when the stems get leggy for the first month, the plant will be full and you'll have lots of yummy foliage. Creek columnar is a low maintenance basil. Whether you pinch it or not, it grows like a little shrub. Very few flowers to remove and the flavor is great. A great herb and a good garden plant

Lavender is still blooming with some later varieties. After I've harvested, I always let the flowers stand for the bees. We've been seeing some honeybees, but not many. Beekeepers say it was another bad winter with up to 50% losses.

'When the bees are done with the lavender, cut off the spent flower stems. If you want to shape up your plant, this is the time. Cut off errant stems. Trim back by 1/3 to 1/2, as long as you don't go into old, hard wood. This plant will push out new foliage before fall.

What looks good in the garden:
  • Clary sage - big showy flowers,long lasting
  • Santolina - cute, yellow button flowers, I love the shiny gray foliage
  • Love in a mist -pretty cornflower-like bloom, attractive seedpod so its pretty a long time
  • Hydrangeas - in mass, they're hard to beat for color and effect

Friday, June 4, 2010

Return from Spring!

Well, I'm back! We've made it through the peak of the season, and although there's lots of spring left, I've gotten enough accomplished outside so I can get back to blogging.

Thanks to everyone who has visited the farm this spring and also to all our Landis Valley customers.

We had a good show at Landis Valley. Friday is always our better day and it was great this year! The weather was pleasant, sales were brisk and we had extra help this year. Maryanne and Tina, my soap ladies were kind enough to lend a hand in addition to my friend Candy, who helps me every year. Candy and I waited on customers and Tina and Maryanne kept things stocked and watered, directed people and helped to answer questions. It was great! Our extra hands made a huge difference.

Saturday morning was pretty good and then it got windy - really windy. We wound up taking the tent down, which was a first. Even with the weather, it was still a good show.

We've been busy at the farm helping customers, working in the gardens, and beginning to harvest and dry herbs. I've cut back the vigorous perennials, like oregano, mint, tarragon and catnip. Those I either hang in bunches to dry or dry them on my nice rack of screened shelves that John made. Remember, herbs will re-absorb moisture from the air on humid days. I often finish the drying process in my dehydrator. Make sure your herbs are thoroughly dry before storing, so mold does not develop.

It's lavender season too. Harvest it in bud, before the individual florets open. Bunch and hang upside down where it's warm, dry and dark.

What looks good in the garden:
  • Snapdragons- easy, pretty and reliable
  • Jupiter's beard- rosy red flowers, cut back later for rebloom
  • Valerian- tall, white, fragrant
  • Lady's mantle- colorful filler with roses
  • Roses- lots of varieties, I like them fragrant

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Notes and Musings

I was surprised at how quickly the snow melted (happy, too). Guess it was the perfect combination of warm weather and rain. Lucy misses chasing snowballs, but she was happy to see the grass again. On nice days, she gets an attack of spring fever and rolls around on the grass, kicking her legs. She's on the lookout for bunnies too.

Very little winter damage in the yard, I'm happy to report. A few things took a hit, but no worse than an average winter. Our star magnolia, with its white, shaggy flowers was in full bloom and got zapped on the last cold night. That's the risk with the early bloomers.

Our Greenhouse opened April 1. I'm hard at work potting seedlings and dividing perennials. Hope to move perennials out by mid-week.

It's still early to plant- I usually start planting perennials in the garden by mid-April, weather permitting. Annuals don't go out till mid-May. Most plants are ready for sale by the end of April and continuing through the season.

Our spring open house will be April 23 & 21~ from 9 to 5. Open house specials, refreshments and prize drawings.

We recently sent out our spring newsletter. If you would like to receive one and didn't, give us your name and address or e—mail address when you visit.

Mark your calendar for the Landis Valley Herb Faire Friday and Saturday May 7 & 8, 9-5. We'll be in our usual location across from the millstones in the Brothers Courtyard.

Lots and lots of growth in the garden now! Wormwood, valerian, coneflower, hyssop, chamomile, tarragon, chives, burnet - everywhere I look, something's growing - weeds, too!

Blog posts will be sporadic for the next two months, while we concentrate on plants and customers. Please bear with me - I shall return.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Garden Notes

Dill is the 2010 herb of the year. All parts of the plant are useful. The ferny, blue-green foliage or dillweed can be chopped and added to carrots, green beans, fish, potato soup or macaroni salad. A sunny yellow flower adds just the right flavoring to a jar of pickles. Dill seed can be added to brine for pickling in the absence of foliage or flowers. Dill is a reseeding annual. Let seeds fall and your crop should come back reliably each year.

Garden updates—Brazilian button flower was new for us last year and lived up to its catalog description. The flowers are like those of fuzzy purple ageratum, but bigger and showier. Very nice for the back of the garden or a large container. Also, we’ll again carry several scented geranium varieties that had become unavailable. Back on the list are chocolate mint, ginger, lime and rose along with the new bitter lemon.


Spring Open House – April 23 & 24, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Greenhouse and shop specials.

Also, Landis Valley Herb & Garden Faire, May 7 & 8

Don't forget to check out our classes, listed in this older post.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Texture in the Garden

Gardening is an evolving process. Tastes, sensibilities and interests change over time as you work with plants and expand your garden. Appreciation of color and flowers can lead to an interest in fragrance. More subtle differences in form, foliage and texture can develop from other gardening interests. Herbs add so much in terms of foliage and texture to nearly every garden setting.

Texture generally relates to a plant’s leaves, although it can include flowers. Fine textured foliage is generally narrow, needlelike, finely cut or ferny. The needlelike foliage of rosemary, narrow leaves of thyme or the ferny foliage of dill and fennel are examples. Coarse foliage is larger and often more complete. Hollyhock, sage, coneflower and lady’s mantle have coarse foliage.

In garden design, you strive for sameness to provide continuity, but also differences to provide interest. Alternating textures can provide subtle differences in a garden design tied together by repetition of like plants or colors. Among drifts of similar flowers or colors, a few interesting foliage plants can provide contrasting texture in any planting. In a shady spot, finely cut sweet cicely foliage would contrast nicely against broad foxglove and lady’s mantle leaves. In our sunny beds, narrow-leaved hyssop complements coarser coneflower and perennial salvia. Also, broad-leaved hollyhock, echinacea and joe-pye weed stand in contrast to finely cut Russian sage, hyssop and dianthus.

Herbs, whether they flower or not, can provide interesting textural notes with their foliage. Look at plants—flower and foliage—and begin to categorize them by texture.

Grass-like - Includes Chives, Lemon Grass and Blackberry Lily

Ferny - Includes Bleeding heart, Love-in-a-mist, Chervil and Feverfew

Finely cut - Includes Dill, Blue flax, Chamomile and Cosmos

Narrow/needlelike - Includes Rosemary, Curry plant, Lady’s bedstraw and Lavender

Broad - Includes Sage, Cleome, Comfrey, Many basils. Borage and Valerian

Look around your beds. If you have basil, borage and lovage growing together, add a contrasting foliage, like feverfew, love-in-a-mist, blue flax or parsley for textural variation.

Scented geraniums are great for adding textural interest. Although related, the differences in texture and foliage within the group are amazing. Peppermint and chocolate mint produce broad, fuzzy leaves. Foliage of concolor lace and lemon is small and crinkled. Nutmeg, lime and coconut have smooth, rounded leaves. Rose, apricot and lemon rose have coarse texture with deeply cut leaves. A collection of scented geraniums provides a bounty of contrast in terms of texture, foliage and fragrance.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Garden Question

Q & A “Can I grow culinary herbs in containers?”

Yes! Nearly all culinary herbs have a form or variety that will grow and produce well in pots. Look for compact varieties of basil and sage. Creeping rosemary and savory look pretty trailing over the front of a container. Parsley, oregano, marjoram, chives, burnet and thyme varieties do well planted together in a large pot or singly in individual containers in a sunny location. You can add calendula, nasturtium or another edible flower for color and variety. Just make sure all the plants in one pot prefer either sun or shade. Containers also let you confine invasive mints to their own pots. Always choose containers with drainage holes to shed excess water and use only potting soil. Potted herbs should be fertilized regularly with either a water soluble or time release fertilizer.

Monday, March 29, 2010

NEW plants for 2010

Kent Beauty oregano
Origanum rotundifolium ‘Kent Beauty’
Like oregano ‘Herrenhausen’, this plant is ornamental rather than culinary and is grown particularly for its attractive flowers. The blooms resemble hops strobiles, and ripen from green to pinky-purple. Replaces dittany of crete, with similar flowers, but ‘Kent Beauty’ is perennial in Zone 6. (18” P)

Paris rosemaryRosmarinus officinalis ‘Paris’
It’s not often that I try a plant based on one line in a catalog, but here’s an example. The supplier claims ‘Paris’ is the most frost hardy variety yet. I’ve had many conversations about rosemary’s hardiness and I believe it depends primarily on weather. Extended winter cold will kill off even the hardier varieties. However, here’s another choice (along with ‘Arp’ and ‘Hill Hardy’)—if you want to try maintaining a rosemary outside for more than one season. (up to 48” TP)

Bitter Lemon scented geraniumPelargonium x citronellum ‘Bitter Lemon’
This fragrant variety is a descendent of the cultivar ‘Mabel Grey’ with an upright habit, large toothed leaf and pinkish-purple blooms. Popular fragrance in a form different from most lemon geraniums. (24”+ TP)

Cosmos ‘Rose Bonbon’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Rose Bonbon’
A very showy variety of an old garden favorite. Cosmos are tall, easy to grow and bloom abundantly. This double form produces rose pink flowers that more closely resemble an English rose or peony. Great cut flowers and attracts butterflies, too. (24”-36” A)

DianthusDianthus superbus ‘Crimsonia’
Many of you know of my passion for the old-fashioned perennial dianthus or clove pinks. Their spicy-sweet fragrance is heavenly. Here’s a new color which is reported to be equally fragrant. Rich crimson color with deeply cut, fringed petals. (15”-20” P)

Friday, March 26, 2010


Lemon grass is an attractive and useful plant native to southeast Asia. It’s often paired with meat and fish in Thai cooking. It forms a large, grassy clump that’s an attractive addition to the garden. The blades have sharp edges and should be used only for tea. As the season progresses, the base of the stalks become bulbous. Break off a stalk at ground level and slice the rounded base for use in cooking.

Lemon grass is not winter hardy in temperate areas, but is easy to overwinter in a pot. Plant in a 10”-12” diameter pot with lightweight potting soil. Maintain throughout the summer. Before frost, cut back foliage in a fan shape. The plant goes dormant for the winter. It requires little light and just enough water to keep the roots alive. (water every 3-4 weeks.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010



There’s an old song with the lyrics “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.” The same could be said about winter seasons. Some slide by quickly, without much inclement weather and produce occasional spring-like days. Others are a cold, hard, snowy slog toward spring. This winter was definitely the latter. Luckily starting seeds helps me maintain my sanity throughout the winter. Seeding flats, waiting for them to germinate and watching them grow under lights is proof positive that spring is approaching. Tending the seedlings as the inventory grows eases me into the spring routine. Before I know it, the greenhouses are full and another spring season is underway. Won’t we be thankful for that this year!

Each spring sees the arrival of some new varieties and this year happily, the return of some favorites that were temporarily out of stock.

Our spring open house will be held Friday and Saturday, April 23 & 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nearly all plant varieties are available by then and we’ll have open house specials in both the shop and greenhouse. Don’t forget to mark May 7 & 8 on your calendar for the Landis Valley Herb Faire.

Also, check out our spring class schedule. I bet there’s at least one topic that interests you. Bring a friend and spend an enjoyable, informative evening with us.

Class Schedule

AROMATHERAPY: Thursday, April 15, 7 p.m. $20.00
Learn about the therapeutic properties of essential oils; for example, oils to energize, relax or to balance your mood. Easy ways to incorporate essential oils in your life. Includes samples of 2 oils.

WILDLIFE IN YOUR GARDEN: Thursday, May 13, 7 p.m. $15.00
In times of shrinking habitat, your garden can support butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. Learn about host and nectar plants, butterfly life cycles and garden maintenance that encourages pollinators to visit. Free plant included.

COOKING WITH DILL, BASIL AND THYME: Thursday, June 3, 7 p.m. $20.00
Learn to grow, maintain and use the herb of the year and two more culinary favorites. Growing and cooking tips, lots of recipes plus make an herb butter to enjoy at home. Choose one of the highlighted plants for your garden.

LEAF PRINTING: Thursday, June 17, 7 p.m. $20.00
Use simple materials—a variety of leaves and acrylic paints to create a unique printed treasure. Print a small bag and a notecard—all materials provided. Bring an additional prewashed 50% cotton item to print if you like.

Classes are limited in size, so please register early. Your payment is your reservation and is due in full when registering. If you’re unable to attend, you may send a substitute in your place. Complete the attached registration form.

Make checks payable and mail to: Cloverleaf Herb Farm, 1532 Cloverleaf Road, Mount Joy, PA 17552