Sunflower Acres is a revolutionary garden center and farm in the mid-Willamette Valley in Oregon.

November Spotlight

November Spotlight

November Spotlight

Fall has arrived, and we’ve been blessed with another dry season in which the leaves fall, crisp up, and beg for even the biggest of kids-at-heart to rake them into a pile and jump on in.

In the Willamette Valley we are fortunate to be able to grow such a wide variety of trees – from Acers to Zelkovas – that bring us beauty and life all year, but really turn up when the temperatures cool down.

Top 5 Plant Picks
Farm To Table Recipes
November Container Combos

In this month’s spotlight, you’ll find five of our favorite trees to add striking color to the street or garden.

Acer griseum

Acer griseum

This is one of the most coveted maples to have in your garden and not just because of the striking fall color! Known as Paperbark Maple, this variety has the most beautiful, cinnamon-colored peeling bark that is striking in the fall and winter when the tree becomes bare. It’s also perfect for those smaller spaces because it reaches only about 20’ high and is a slower grower.

Gingko biloba ‘Jade Butterfly’

Gingko biloba ‘Jade Butterfly’
This particular variety of gingko is a beautiful selection. The leaves are stunning in the spring with their rich green color and beautiful shape. But when they turn in the fall, the leaves light up a vivid yellow in the garden. ‘Jade Butterfly’ is a perfect selection for rock gardens, containers, or even bonsai.

Prunus x yeodensis ‘Akebono’

Prunus x yeodensis ‘Akebono’

Most of their glory is donned in the spring with a gorgeous display of fluffy pink flowers, but I’d be remiss not to include flowering cherries on our list of trees with striking fall color. As the leaves turn on cherries from green to orange and yellow, they fall off in masses, delivering fall color to the streets everywhere and leaving a beautiful structure and chocolate-colored bark behind for you to fall in love with throughout the winter.

Cotinus ‘Grace’

Cotinus ‘Grace’

Another amazing tree that provides beauty from spring to fall is the smoke tree. ‘Grace’ is a popular hybrid and often planted for its enormous, fluffy pink flower clusters that arrive in summer. The foliage offers something other than green in the garden – starting out light red and turning purple-red as the leaves mature, and finally beautiful shades of red, orange, and gold in the fall. Easily grown as a shrub or small tree.

Liquidambar styraciflua

Liquidambar styraciflua

A large specimen tree for the garden with unsurpassed fall color, and also one of Crystal’s personal favorites, this one is a must-have for large spaces or streets without powerlines nearby. The leaves are a unique star shape and deliver a roaring fire of colors come fall. Along with maples, sweetgums make the perfect trees for creating leaf piles for the kids to play in! Another cool reason to plant this tree? It bears decorative fruit that can be dried and used in creative ways.

Farm to Table Recipes

When we think of fall recipes, the first thing that comes to mind is savory. What better way to savor the flavors of the season than to use the harvests right from your own garden” This month’s farm-to-table recipes include two delicious sides – perfect for turkey day or any fall day!

Savory Squash, Shallots & Sherry

It seems one can never grow enough bush delicate squash to have the recipe every night, because it is so good we absolutely would. Alas, we save it for those Friday or Saturday night meals where we go all out and pair it with a nice cut of meat and a bottle of wine.

Savory Squash, Shallots & Sherry

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bush delicate squash
  • 3 large shallots, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh or dried sage
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup dry sherry or marsala cooking wine
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350˚. Using a potato peeler, peel the squash and slice off the ends. Because this type of squash is pretty tender, it’s okay to not get all the peels in the crevices. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh and seeds in the center. Slice the halves crosswise, roughly ½” thick.

Heat half of the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the squash in a single layer and cook for a few minutes on each side until the squash begins to brown. Once all slices are lightly browned, transfer to a baking dish. Sprinkle the squash with half the sherry, salt and pepper. Heat the remaining olive oil and butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Add the sage and remaining sherry to the pan to deglaze and scrap up the brown bits. Spread the shallot mixture over the squash.

Place the dish in the oven and bake until the squash is tender, roughly 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Savory Herb and Pear Stuffing

Over the years we have tried many different recipes and variations for stuffing but always come back to this one. The savory herbs and sweet pears come together and make this dish standout from any other stuffing. Perfect to bake alone or inside the turkey.

Savory Herb and Pear Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf fresh bread, wheat or white
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced into ¼” pieces
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into ¼” rounds
  • 2 large leeks, sliced into ¼” rounds
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 large pears, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ Tbsp. fresh thyme, de-stemmed
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, melted
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions:

In batches, slightly toast bread in the oven at 200˚ until the bread begins to gain some crisp, but is not browned. Chop the bread into large dices and place is a large bowl. Chop all vegetables and the pear and add to the bread. Add all the fresh herbs to the bowl and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, melt the butter and pour over the stuffing mixture. Pour the chicken stock over the stuffing and mix thoroughly.
Place stuffing in a baking dish or inside a turkey. If baking in a dish, back at 350˚ for 50 minutes. If placed inside a turkey, the stuffing is cooked through when the turkey is cooked through.

 

November Container Combo

November Container Combo
Alas, the colder temperatures are now upon us. Frosts every so often for the next few months are likely, making container foliage favorites such as Coleus not the best choice. For this month, we put together a combo that is sure to keep your porch bright and cheery for those drab winter days. Best of all? This combo easily transitions into spring with its vivid shades of lime, spring-blooming evergreen perennials, and a quick swap of pansies to fancy primula.
This combo contains:

  • Euonymus japonica ‘Greenspire’
  • Bergenia cordifolia ‘Winter Glow’
  • Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’
  • Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’
  • Vinca major ‘Wojo’s Gem’
  • Pansies & Violas

Photos copyright by Crystal Cady. All rights reserved.

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Sunflower Acres Farm & Garden™

PO Box 5843
Salem, OR 97304
Phone: 503-967-5902

www.sunfloweracresfarm.com

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