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

April Spotlight

April Spotlight

April Spotlight

The countdown is over! Spring is here, and the days are getting longer. The world outside our windows is bursting with open buds and new life every day. The month of April is when you stop and smell the flowers – things are coming into bloom and leafing out so fast, if you don’t stop and look around you’ll miss it!
April Plant Picks – Flowers, Foliage, Fun
Farm To Table Recipes
April Container Combo

One of the most joyous reasons to garden is to watch it come back to life each spring. Here are a few favorite plants we can’t wait to see burst into their full glory with the return of spring.

Malus ‘Radiant’

Malus ‘Radiant’

This small crabapple tree lights up the landscape this time of year when it’s covered in bright red buds that open to beautiful pink flowers. Reaching a mature size of 15 feet tall and wide, Radiant will fit into a variety of spaces. The small red apples grow to be about the size of a pea and are a great food source if you’re looking to attract birds.

Spirea japonica ‘Walbuma’

Spirea japonica ‘Walbuma’
April is a great month for Magic Carpet Spirea. The fresh foliage is a stately collage of yellows, greens, and orange. The foliage color offers a great backdrop to the clusters of pink flowers that follow, generally towards the end of April. The tight habit of 2-to-3 feet tall and wide makes it a great choice for a showcase piece or as a border plant.

Hosta x ‘June’

Hosta x ‘June’

If you are looking to add color interest to a shady spot in the garden, Hosta June is the answer. Yellow and green variegated foliage are fully emerged by April and are a fantastic addition to a woodland-style garden. This hosta mounds to a mature size of 12 inches tall and 2 feet wide each season.

 

Farm to Table Recipes

Hearty Ham & Potato Soup

Hearty Ham & Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 leftover ham bone
  • 2 ½ cups ham, pre-cooked and coarsely shredded
  • 4 small red potatoes, peeled and chopped into a large dice
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼” slices
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped into ¼” slices
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable ‘Better than Bouillon’
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley
  • Heavy cream or coconut milk, if desired
  • Grated asiago cheese, if desired
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Place ham bone in a large crockpot. Add all of the chopped vegetables and dried herbs, including the bay leaves. Pour the chicken stock over the vegetables, add the ‘Better than Bouillon’ and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. After 8 hours, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve into bowls and add a couple tablespoons of cream or milk to each bowl to desired creaminess. Top with fresh parsley and asiago cheese if desired. Serves 4.

Bacon & Brussels Sprouts Pasta

Making preserved lemons in the winter is such a treat, because it reminds you of those summer days spent canning all your harvest—but also because they’re a tasty winter item you can preserve now and savor later. This month we show you how to preserve lemons, and later this coming spring we will share a recipe or two to put those beauties to use.

Bacon & Brussels Sprouts Pasta

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. long pasta such as fettucine, spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends removed and quartered
  • 1 small Walla Walla onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped in ½ pieces
  • ½ cup dry white wine or Marsala
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Once water is boiling add a tablespoon of olive oil and the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and drain. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally and cook until lightly browned. Remove bacon from pan, reserving bacon grease. Add Brussels sprouts, onion, shallot, and garlic and cook until lightly browned and caramelized, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the wine or Marsala, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the pasta and reserved pasta water, and toss to combine. Add the ½ cup parmesan cheese and toss with pasta dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. Serves 4.

April Container Combo

April Container Combo
Spring has arrived, and that means pansies are out and geraniums are in! April is the month things really come alive in the garden – blooms are bursting everywhere, and the world outside is a little brighter each day. If your front entry is in need of a little cheer and some spring-like shades, this combo will deliver a beautiful show from now until it’s time to turn up the heat and bring in bold summer color. Salmon shades don’t match your house or container? Swap the Primula and Geranium for purple or another cheery color.

Pictured in this container:

  • Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’
  • Primula malacoides
  • Zonal Geranium
  • Polystichum setiferum
  • Dusty Miller
  • Lamium maculatum ‘Purple Dragon’
  • Heuchera ‘Peach Flambe’
  • Bacopa ‘Gulliver White’

Photos copyright by Crystal Cady. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Sunflower Acres Farm & Garden™

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

www.sunfloweracresfarm.com

Tweets By Sunflower Acres

Sunflower Acres Newsletter

Receive the latest news including gardening tips, farm to table recipes, upcoming events and more!