Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Greenhouse Construction Update

We are half-way through building our new energy efficient production greenhouse, funded in part through a Federal Rural Development Grant and a Connecticut Agricultural Viability Grant. All of our tropical plants will need to be undercover and protected before frost sets in so we plan to finish by mid-September. Look at the process over the past two months. Edwin's Greenhouse Construction company from Pennsylvania and Rimol Greenhouse from New Hampshire and Dave and Terry Papuga of Donovan construction are doing an amazing job.

Our group of managers toasting the start of the new greenhouse.

(left to right)
Sham, Byron, me and Margaret sipping on sparkling lemonade.

The empty back lot at Logee's.

A total of 72 holes for the steel poles being dug.

The first of many tractor trailer trucks backing down the narrow pathways.

It's a tight fit maneuvering between our freestanding greenhouses.

Unloading the poles between the plants.

Poles standing tall

Green foam board hand placed for the radiant heat.

Tubing which will carry hot water for heating purposes.

Byron taking a break for a picture, Corey kneeling and Dave Papuga organizing the project during the heat wave.

A sea of green.

Byron explaining the project to Elijah, our 14 year-old son.

Byron meeting with Robyn from New Alliance bank.
The concrete has been poured over the green foam.

Another Truck loaded with the polycarbonate for the roof.

The truck was carefully unloaded by hand.

Each sheet was in good shape.

More Steel arrives.

Trusses are being built by the construction crew.

Trusses secured on the base structure.

Byron and John Wells from Rimol Greenhouses.

Deciding where to put an interior sliding door.

The polycarbonate roof is carefully going on the 4 bays.

The new greenhouse from afar.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July Heat Wave at Logee's

Like most of the country, this past week and a half has been humid and hot. How do tropical plants do in this weather? Mostly the plants, as long as they are kept well-watered, do well and in fact, is a time that our plants rapidly grow. The workers on the other hand get here at 7 am to water plants and get their "hot" work done before the heat of the day is upon them. However, the greenhouses can reach temperatures up to 105 degrees and our staff needs to keep well-hydrated to complete their daily tasks. This year, we are in the middle of building an energy efficient greenhouse so many of our plants are growing outside this summer. Take a look.

Two Angel's Trumpet standards with colorful hanging baskets on either side of our front entrance.

Pelargoniums adding a relief of color to the outside oppressive humidity.

Rows of Bananas growing fast in the heat. Musa 'Dwarf Lady Finger' and Musa 'Double Mahoi' are growing here in 4-inch pots.

A "Hardy Banana" Musa basjoo is rapidly growing in a 10 gallon pot.

Trays of Buddleia davidii 'Peacock'. Some of the flower bracts have gone by and will be groomed before they are shipped.

Solanum quitoense "Naranjilla" a new variety with heart-shaped purple leaves is an unusual plant that produces small orange edible fruit.

Healthy looking "Chocolate plants" or Theobroma cacao are on a cart getting ready to find a growing spot for the holiday season.

A large specimen "clown fig" Ficus aspera grown for its variegated fruit.

"Angel's Summer Dream" Brugmansia is known for its ability to grow and flower at less than a foot. Pictured here it is grown as a standard and is about 6 feet tall.

Papaya's love the heat and can create fruit this size in less than a year. This Carica papaya 'T.R. Hovey' is about 6 feet tall and is a three-year old specimen.

Little papayas shown growing in 4-inch pots.

The new greenhouse structure on the left and hibiscus growing on the right.

Here's a close-up of Hibiscus 'Estelle K'. Its orange blossom is large and magnificent and glows the fiery heat of the sun.

A new colocasia to be released this fall called 'Thai Giant.' It has happily grown in our test gardens for two years. The leaf span will reach 4 feet across by the end of the summer.

Finally, this hardy perennial "Bouncing Bet" Saponaria officinalis 'Flore Pleno'- is growing outside of Logee's retail store and is perky as ever on this 95 degree day.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Wall Climbers

Byron Martin’s three favorite summer wall climbers: Schisandra berry (Schisandra chinensis), “Goji Berry” (Lycium barbarum ‘Crimson Star’), and “Hops” (Humulus lupulus ‘Williamette’). All three are extremely easy to care for and are growing side by side at Logee’s. Also, they are hardy perennials so once established on a wall or lattice, they will come back year after year and produce delicious berries and flowers.

Pictured here is the Schisandra vine growing on a lattice. This chinese herb is said to increase and balance body energy or chi.

The vine flowers in April and May followed by berries.

Here are the green berries in the beginning of July.

By the end of August they will ripen to clusters of bright red and this beneficial berry will be ready to eat.

The “Goji Berry” vine is Hardy to Zone 5.

“Goji Berries” will form the first year.

The ripe “Goji Berries” are a super food and will grow and ripen from August to October. They are sweet and delicious whether eaten off the vine or sun-dried and saved for later.

“Hops” is a fast growing hardy perennial.

This vine at Logee’s is two-years old and by the first of July has already reached the top of the lattice.

The fragrant flowers bloom in abundance from female plants.

We grow ‘Williamette’ an aromatic variety which is one of the most favored hops for pale ales, brown ales or UK style ales.

Grow all three vines on support in full sun. Feed during the active growing season and be prepared for a delicious harvest at the end of the growing season.