Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What the Wind Blew In

We have friends who have lived on the North Oregon Coast for a long time- most of their lives, some of them. They both surf and fish, and as a result they pay attention to the weather in a very serious way. Saturday, December 1st, our friend Doug told us that the low pressure readings off the coast to the north of us were so low that the only time they had read lower was right before the 1962 Columbus Day Storm. We generally don't name our storms out here on the West Coast, so I figured that if this weather system was being compared to a storm that had earned itself a name, we had best batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst.

Packy got all of the plants cleared out of the greenhouses and moved them to the barn, and we went around the farm and tried to pick up anything that looked like it had potential for flight and put it somewhere safer. We stocked up on candles and batteries, made sure we had enough non-perishable food to make it through a few days without power, went to the library and stocked up on books to read and then just waited. The waiting was the worst.

When the storm finally started to hit on Sunday mid-morning, it was almost a relief. The sooner it starts, I thought, the sooner it will be over. Hah! I heard afterwards that this is the first time that the National Weather Service has used the word 'hurricane' to describe a storm in the temperate zone of the Pacific Northwest- usually hurricanes only occur in tropical or semi-tropical regions. A lot of the wind meters in the area snapped, but those that stood up to the storm were clocking sustained winds anywhere from 40-80mph, with gusts well over 120mph in many places. We've had sustained winds like that before, and they aren't fun, but the thing about this storm was that it lasted so long- over 36 hours of steady wind, with gusts that shook the house like an earthquake. Everyone agrees that what really did a lot of the damage was that the wind blew for so long, it just wore things down until they snapped.

We lost power, which we were expecting. We didn't think it would be out for five days, but who can anticipate that? Fortunately our local community radio station KMUN managed to stay on the air throughout (even after a tree fell on their building) and with the miracle of a hand crank radio, we were able to find out what was happening around us. Our area was totally cut off- all highways in and out were blocked by downed trees or were flooded, there was no phone service (not even 911!) and no cell phone service. You couldn't call outside the area, or even from town to town, and there was no power anywhere. It was a little weird to realize how isolated we were.

We hardly slept that Sunday night, each gust sounded like it was going to take the roof off. When dawn finally broke on Monday morning, we could see that Greenhouse #2 had exploded sometime in the night, and that Greenhouse #1 was barely hanging on, and had been dealt a couple of fatal blows. I felt like we should be playing 'Taps' as we stood there and watched it ripple like a swimming jellyfish. Packy finally couldn't stand it any longer, and during a brief lull went out with his utility knife to cut the plastic off and put it out of its misery. There was still a whole day of storm to get through at that point, so other than venturing out during a sort-of lull to make sure that the barn roof was still on, and to check out the downed trees, we just stayed inside, listened to the radio, read books, tried to keep Eddie the Cat entertained and just waited for it to end.

We were lucky, really. Not that the loss of our greenhouses isn't a huge blow, and certainly not an expense we really needed at this time. But so many people were hit worse than us, and had no power for far longer. Two farm friends that we know of, Jeff at Kingfisher Farm down in Nehalem, and Larkin at Green Angel Greens up in Long Beach, WA both lost their greenhouses as well- and theirs were a lot bigger and fancier than ours were, with large crops of over-wintering greens growing inside.

We ventured out on Tuesday the 4th to check on friends, and see if everyone was OK. We stopped in at the Blue Scorcher Bakery in Astoria- I was supposed to work there that day, but as there was no power at all I figured we could just stop by and make sure their big windows hadn't blown in, and see if there was anything useful we could do. I should have known that our friend Iris, one of the Blue Scorcher owners, would be there finding a way to make a bit of lemonade out of the situation, even though the bakery ovens and cook top are all electric. Until her friends Steve and Kathy came by with their big camp stove, she borrowed the gas range stove top of the fabulous Fort George Brewery next door to boil water for coffee, and as soon as the camp stove was up and running, she and pastry chef/ cook extraordinaire Sheri led the crew that showed up into dealing with the situation by clearing out the refrigerators and making a big pot of 'Cream of Perishables Soup' to serve with Sheri's wonderful biscuits baked off in the oven next door. We also sliced up all the loaves of sandwich bread left in the bakery, sliced up a whole lot of cheese that wasn't going to last beyond the next day, rounded up whatever lettuce we could find and brought sandwich fixings to the retirement living apartment building next door- many of the senior citizens there had been without a decent meal for far too long because of the storm. Many storm weary Astorians stopped by the bakery over the next few days and each day were able to at least get hot coffee, a hot bowl of delicious soup with warm biscuits and a healthy dose of good cheer thanks to Iris and the crew at the bakery.

The worst news we got on Tuesday was when someone came by the bakery and said "Did you hear about the Big Red Net Loft? The roof blew off!" Our good friends Royal and Sarah Nebeker own that historic building, and Royal's art studio was on the top floor. Royal is a brilliant artist, and we knew that he had been spending all his time lately getting prepared for two big shows, one in Seattle and one in Germany. Packy took off at once to see if he could help while I stayed a bit longer at the bakery to help out there. When I finally made my way to the Net Loft, I was stunned to see the destruction. We spent the rest of the day there with friends, trying to help Royal salvage what he could.

The official name of the building is the Union Fisherman's Co-Operative Packing Co. Net Loft, although locally it is known as 'Uppertown Station', or 'Big Red'. The building was one of three constructed by the co-operative after a disastrous strike by local fishermen in 1896, who were frustrated by the local canneries low prices for fish, hazardous working conditions and other issues. Largely formed by Finns who were unhappy with the settlement reached between the unions and the canneries, the Union Fisherman's Co-Operative Packing Company was a worker-owned co-operative that went on to became one of the largest canneries on the Columbia River in its heyday. The Net Loft was the building where the fishermen would make repairs to their nets and fishing boats.

Sarah and Royal have spent the last decade trying to save this piece of Northwest history from sliding into the Columbia River, drawing upon what funds they had to straighten the building, work on rebuilding the roof (oh, the irony), and to put 50 new pilings underneath the building to stabilize it, as well as countless other repairs, many of them carried out by Royal himself. They envisioned the building becoming a center for the arts on the Oregon North Coast, a place where Royal could work, but where he could also share the enormous space with other artists as affordable studio space, as well as have a space for art events and programs that could begin to attract the kind of National attention that this area, with its rich and diverse arts community, could thrive upon. The Nebekers well understand that when places with active arts communities like the Oregon North Coast become 'discovered', as this area has been in recent years, some of the first people priced out of the area are the artists, and when they are forced to leave, a lot of the richness of the community leaves as well. That they have tried to address that issue in their own way, by quietly and steadily laying the foundations for the kind of contribution to their community that most people far better off than they are seem to avoid making these days is tremendously inspiring to me, and I have been in constant awe of the way they kept working away at it, no matter how great the challenge.

The challenge has gotten a whole lot harder for them now. This is a recent picture of the Net Loft, looking quite good after so much work had been done on it:

This is a picture of it soon after the December 1st Storm:

And this is what Royal's art studio looked like after the storm:

We spent much of that first day trying to dig out paintings that were pinned beneath huge beams, rescue flat files full of delicate prints, salvage art materials and a lifetime's worth of collage ephemera, as well as countless other pieces of furniture and fixtures. In spite of all the artwork we were able to salvage, much of which was damaged,Royal figures that over half of his paintings just blew out into the Columbia River. Over the last week, volunteers have shown up to help Royal and his son Israel dismantle the roof, try to shore up the building as best they can, and get tarps over the top so that what undamaged studio space still exists on the lower floors stays dry. The Nebekers need help, obviously- trying to save and repair this historic building is now a huge task. Their daughter Hannah is helping to organize the effort, and is asking that anyone who can think of grants, or organizations that might help, or individuals- they need grant writers, contractors, carpenters, architects, electricians and engineers, to please contact her at hannahnebeker@gmail.com.

I cannot even imagine what it would be like to loose, in a night, your entire livelihood, and potentially your life's dream. At least Royal and his friend Eddie, who were both there in the building during the storm, are alive. They thought that if they could just keep the wind out of the building during the storm, it could maybe hang in there for another hundred years. Eddie suffered a broken wrist after being tossed by wind while trying to nail up a sheet of plywood, and their tale of crawling across the bridge from the building to land is one that still raises the hairs on my neck.

Somehow seeing all that Royal and his family are going through helps to put the loss of our greenhouses in better perspective for me. If this had happened in spring, when the greenhouses are usually loaded with tomato plants and basil and all the plant starts for our summer season, it would have destroyed us. It was devastating to loose the greenhouses, but we don't actually over-winter a whole lot of plants anyway, so the potential loss of crops isn't that bad. We will rebuild, as soon as possible, (we'll probably have a 'Greenhouse Raising Party and Work Day- you are all invited!) and we can hope that whatever we build will be able to weather the next storm. We don't need expensive engineers to help us do it, and we have not lost our livelihood, and our place of work.

I suppose it just makes me feel grateful to have all that I have in life- family and friends most of all, a strong and feisty community around me that reaches out to one another when times get a bit rough, and to know that I have the ability to start again this next year with a few handfuls of seeds, a bit of water, some good soil and a lot of hard work. There is something comforting in starting seeds, starting the cycle over again, re-planting where things have been torn up, and moving forwards with the coming season. It is hard to feel very much Holiday Spirit in the air right now- I think we are all a bit wonky and wind-blown here on the Northwest Coast. But we will all be OK.

And we all have a lot of firewood for next season now.

Still, I would really appreciate it if Mother Earth could hold off on sending another hurricane our way for the foreseeable future.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Changing Seasons and Chores

I hadn't realized how distracting our Summer Market Season is until it occured to me that I hadn't posted anything since that last discussion of growing basil. Well, the basil is just about gone- a few plants are lingering in the greenhouse, but they will soon become pesto, and the greenhouse will be cleared out to accomodate the plants that prefer a wee bit of protection from our wet, windy and chilly winter season.

Last Saturday was our last market of the year, the annual Harvest Festival at Alder Creek Farm, the lovely property in Manzanita owned by the Lower Nehalem Community Trust. It was a glorious day- bright blue skies and warm sun made for a wonderful contrast to the soggy weather we have been having all summer long. It was a bittersweet sunshine- we all knew it was bound to be one of the last truly glorious days of the year, and we all tried to savor and enjoy every moment of it.

This really has been a cool, wet summer here on the north Oregon coast, and we struggled with plants that were slow to grow, bloomed late, or hardly at all, fruit that refused to ripen, flowers that rotted from being continually soaked with rain. More than once we had to completely strip the whole sweet pea trellis and throw all of the rain ruined flowers in the compost, like piles of brightly colored sodden, fragrant tissues. Come to think of it, it did feel rather as if the garden had an ongoing head cold all summer long. Usually I have more statice than I know what to do with, but this year it was miserable, the flowers hardly beginning to bloom before a rain would come and turn them all to brown mush. Our fall wreaths seemed less colorful to me, as I had less color to work with!

There were a few troopers in the flower garden this year, chief among them the Dahlia Gang, who stood up to the rain all season long, and they continue to bloom ridiculously even through the cool nights we are starting to have. I know it is only a matter of time before the first killing frost reduces them to a brown slimy mess, so I savor every flower. We were able to cut enough flowers to bring a last gasp of Ball Jar Bouquets to the Harvest Festival, and they were quickly snapped up by loyal customers eager for one last blast of color from summer.

Fall brings about lots of gear shifting and new chores here at Ostman Farm- with our main selling season done, we shift our focus to cleaning up the farm, putting pots away, getting the garlic planted, sowing cover crop while there is still time, and making sure the hatches are battened down for the inevitable storms that are going to blow hard this winter. Lots of our craft items will be winging their way off to spend the fall and winter for sale in local and regional stores- we will keep you posted on where they will be.

Our work shifts as well, changing to focus some on riparian restoration work, where we will be outside planting native trees and shrubs along our local creeks and rivers to help improve wildlife habitat, working with the North Coast Land Conservancy, and the Necanicum Watershed Council among other groups. It can be challenging work, often done in full rain gear for good reason, but the satisfaction of spending a day planting hundereds of trees that will (hopefully) still be growing long after I am gone cannot be equaled.

This year will find us also filling a few shifts at the fabulous Blue Scorcher Bakery Cafe in Astoria, Oregon to round out the winter work season. I had already been going up there weekly to do seasonal flower arrangements, and it just seemed to be a logical shift to pick up a knife and start chopping vegetables for a pot of soup one day. It is a great place to work, full of fun, talented people who are committed to producing delicious food and the most glorious bread and pastries this side of the Coast Range. Their determination to use locally produced, organic ingredients wherever possible is inspiring, and I think it shows in the quality of the food coming out of their kitchens. It will be great fun to be a part of it all, although I will have to learn to control my lust for Jeff's Cinnamon Rolls somehow. One thing I love about working at the bakery is that it is as much of a communtiy hub as the Astoria Sunday Market is, and many of Ostman Farm's regular customers are also loyal fans of the great Blue Scorcher, so I will get to keep in touch with people over the winter season.

We are already chewing on ideas for next year's market season, debating the tomato varieties that we grew this year, deciding which to do again (feel free to weigh in with your opinion!), thinking about lettuce varieties too, as well as blooming plants. As I pull out the spent snapdragons and sweet peas, I am already planning which ones to grow next year. We had several people ask us for a 'Flower Bouquet Subscription Service' so that they could get flowers regularly each week, and for longer than the regular market seasons, and we are pondering that and will see if we can work that out.

In the meantime, I will work on posting to this blog more regularly, as this season has given me lots to think about.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Growing Basil on the Northwest Coast (A Labor of Love and Insanity)

Finally, FINALLY, we are bringing basil to market this weekend! It has been a long, cool, wet summer so far, and our basil has just been sulking in the greenhouse, refusing to grow and shrieking like a two year old having a meltdown whenever we even suggested that it might like to step outside for an afternoon and see how things felt.

Basil is one of the most wonderful herbs- the very fragrance of crushed leaves can send me into a state of bliss, and many people comment that basil just plain ‘smells like summer’. All this may go some way to explain why, in spite of the fact that I live in a climate that is not really all that favorable to basil growing I, and many of my fellow basil-mad North Coast neighbors, insist on trying to grow it every year.

The problem is that basil really likes to be warm- especially at night. The two things that is really does NOT like are to be cold and wet, and anyone who has spent any significant part of a summer in this area knows that cold and wet are not unusual here in the summertime. Our costal climate is very dynamic, and though we may get days of glorious sunshine (in fact, we have just had two days in a row of some of the most beautiful sunny weather I can remember in recent months) what generally happens is that all that lovely heat reacts with the cool Pacific ocean, and the fog just gets sucked in onto the coast, often bringing with it a cooling drizzle that can last until the ocean breezes decide to blow it away.

Once you understand that your basil plant would really much rather be spending the summer in Tuscany, you can get to work helping your plant be as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. Basil will sometimes resign itself to its location, and you can often be rewarded with a decent basil harvest for your efforts. Or it can all end in a tragic, black-leaved, fungus-ridden death. Gardening is just full of these amusing risks and challenges, isn’t it?

I won’t lie to you- this is where having a greenhouse or a decent sunroom really can be a matter of life and death. Just the added protection of a layer of plastic or glass can make all the difference- it will keep the plant warmer at night, and keep moisture off it, the two worst potential killers. The next best option is to grow your basil in a container- a two-gallon sized pot is good for one plant. Place it in the warmest, sunniest spot in your garden, and let it grow outside until we get one of those inevitable summer storms blowing in, then bring it inside to your warmest, sunniest spot in the house, and keep it there until the danger has passed. Then put it outside again. Repeat every few weeks throughout the summer until a hard frost kills the plant anyway.

In the meantime, you will be able to savor the unique and irreplaceable flavor of fresh basil harvested from your own garden, and feel justifiably smug that you have managed to grow basil successfully on the Northwest Coast.

We have selected six varieties of basil to grow this year, trying to focus on ones that seem to do as well as basil can here.


A classic Genovese-type basil, this is the one most people thing of when they think ‘Basil’. The good thing about ‘Nufar’ is that it is a strain bred to be resistant to fusarium wilt, that ‘sudden basil death’ that can plague even the best of gardeners. We have found this variety to be pretty hardy here (given proper care) and the flavor is fantastic- wonderful fresh, frozen or pounded up into pesto. Grows to about 24” tall, good branching habit, great leaf production.

Lettuce Leaf

Another classic basil, sometimes called ‘Neapolitan Basil’. ‘Lettuce Leaf’ is prized for its distinctive foliage- huge, crinkly, bright green aromatic leaves that really do resemble loose-leaf lettuce leaves when they get big. Wonderful flavor, great for all your classic basil needs. A little less hardy than ‘Nufar’, but this remarkable basil with its enormous leaves is worth the effort. Grows to about 24” tall.


Thai basil is used throughout Southeast Asia where it adds distinction to a wide variety of regional cuisines. It has a sweet basil flavor with an undertone of anise- unusual and delicious. Thai basil grows about 18-24” tall, has slightly smaller, narrower leaves than its Italian cousins, and the leaves grow more purple as they near the flower. It is particularly delicious cooked with poultry, fish and vegetable dishes, and many Thai recipes are pointless without it. We have found this variety to be slightly hardier than the Genovese- type basils.


In Greece, this little basil is THE basil, found growing in containers (often old olive oil cans) outside most homes and many restaurants. It is a compact or ‘globe’ basil, its small leaves forming a 6-10” round somewhere between a ball and an umbrella shape. Sweet tasting and just a little bit spicy, it is slower to flower than most other basils, and it is the hardiest of all the basils we have grown here. It seems able to tolerate fairly cool, wet weather and does not give in to death without a fight. Greeks are tough, and their basil is too.

Sweet Dani Lemon

A 1998 All-American Selections winner, this yummy basil packs a high citral content in its essential oils that gives is a sweetly pungent lemony basil flavor- a perfect addition to your summer culinary menu. A lovely ornamental plant as well as a highly fragrant one, it grows 24-30” tall, with light green, narrow leaves. Wonderful paired with fish, poultry, vegetables, in salads- any where you can imagine basil and lemons working well together.


An attractive, stocky plant with lovely purple-green leaves and spikes of rose-colored flowers, Cinnamon basil is another vigorous basil that seems to be able to tolerate a bit of cooler weather. It has a warm, spicy flavor- basil with a hint of cinnamon and cloves, most unusual. Try it chopped up into fruit salads, curries or stir frys for an delicious twist. Grows to about 2 1/2’ tall.

Swiss Sunset

Our favorite purple basil! ‘Swiss Sunset’ comes from the fabulous Territorial Seed Company, who get it from a biodynamic farmer in Switzerland who has been growing and selecting for “ deep red, full flavored and vigorous” plants for over 20 years. This is a great plant- beautiful and delicious. The purple leaves make for an unusual pesto, add color and flavor to salads and pasta dishes, and they make the most beautiful infused vinegar, turning a decent white wine vinegar into a deep rich garnet color treat. Grows to about 24” tall.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ostman Farm Tomato List 2007

This is a list of the tomato varieties that we are growing for the 2007 season. Many of these varieties are very popular, and we can’t guarantee availability- we advise you to buy the ones you want early to avoid disappointment, or contact us to have plants put on reserve. All plants are sold in 1 gallon size containers


Sungold 65 days. Hybrid. Indeterminate. Early season
We could not imagine a summer without Sungold tomatoes. Our favorite cherry tomato by far, this vigorous vine produces abundant clusters of deep orange-cherry tomatoes that explode with tangy sweetness. Great in salads, if any make it back to the kitchen. Most of ours get eaten right off the plant. Bred to be resistant to Fusarium and Verticillium wilt.

Black Cherry 64 days Indeterminate Early season Organic seed
This tall, vigorous plant produces abundant crops of 1” deep mahogany brown fruits. The only truly ‘black’ cherry tomato around. Delicious and sweet, with the rich flavor that ‘black’ tomatoes are known for.

Koralik 61 days Determinate Early season Organic seed
This is a prolific cherry tomato from Russia. Known for its early maturity and huge production, the 1” fruits are bright red and tasty. Borne in clusters of 6-8, the fruits all ripen at once, making for some wonderful presentation possibilities.


Black Plum 82 days Heirloom Indeterminate Mid-season Organic seed
A lovely little Russian variety that produces a nice steady crop of 2” plum shaped tomatoes. They turn a mahogany-red with green shoulders when ripe, and have a delicious sweet and tangy taste. Lovely in salads.

Yellow Pear 75 days. Indeterminate Mid season Organic Seed.
This old-time favorite is a great addition to your tomato garden. It produces an abundance of small 1-2” pear-shaped fruits that are a lovely deep yellow color. Mild tasting and low in acid like all yellow tomatoes, it has good flavor and looks great mixed with other color tomatoes in a salad. Good for snacking.

Principe Borghese 80 days Heirloom Indeterminate Mid-season
In Tuscany this is the preferred tomato to grow for drying, and it is our favourite one for that use as well, although here in Oregon we have to use a dehydrator rather than the sun. Principe Borghese produces generous clusters of small 1-2” red fruits that have a nice tomato flavor when fresh. The flavor is greatly intensified when dried.

Thai Pink Egg 75 days Determinate Mid-season Organic seed
A most popular tomato in the Kingdom of Thailand, this lovely little grape tomato is gaining a strong following in America for its abundant production of dark pink egg-shaped fruits. The 1-2” fruits burst with candy sweet flavor, and they resist cracking, even in heavy rain seasons. We are excited to be trying this one out this season- let us know what you think!


Stupice 52 days. Heirloom. Indeterminate. Extra-early season. Organic Seed.
This potato-leaf heirloom from Czechoslovakia is one of our most reliable tomatoes. It is a cold-tolerant tomato that bears an abundant crop of small 2-3” fruits over a long season. For us, it is the first one to bear fruit, and the last one to still be producing in October. Delicious sweet/acid flavor balance. Grows very well on the North Coast.

Oregon Spring 60 days Sort of Determinate Early season Organic seed
The classic tomato for Oregon! Developed at OSU by Dr. James Baggett, this tomato has earned a strong following in Oregon for its tolerance of cool summers. Small 2-3” fruits are produced on bushy plants that can still grow pretty big, so plan on supporting them. The early fruit production means more chance of ripe fruit- so you can enjoy the sweet, juicy, tasty tomatoes all summer long.

Gill’s All Purpose 75 days Determinate Mid-season Organic seed
A bit of Northwest history, re-introduced by Territorial Seeds. This cross between Wasatch Beauty and Pepper tomato was first bred in 1947, in Portland, Oregon by the Gill Brother’s Seed Company. A great ‘all-purpose’ tomato, it’s good for canning, juicing, slicing and just eating fresh off the vine. Determinate vines are said to be quite disease resistant. We’re trying it out for the first time this year, so let us know what you think.


Paul Robeson 74 days. Heirloom Indeterminate Mid-season Organic Seed
This is one of our favorite tomatoes- tasty and beautiful. Bred by Moscow seedswoman Marina Danilenko, it is named for the acclaimed operatic artist and social activist of the 1920’s, Paul Robeson. The slightly flattened round fruits grow up to 4 inches. A deep burgundy red with dark-green shoulders when ripe, the flesh is dark red and delicious. This tomato won ‘Best in Show’ at the 2000 Carmel Tomato Fest, and we fully understand why.

Green Zebra 75 days Heirloom Indeterminate Mid-season Organic Seed.
One of Ostman Farm’s Head Farm Girl Teresa’s favorite tomatoes. Developed in 1985 by tomato breeder Tom Wagner, Green Zebra is considered an ‘heirloom’ among tomato growers for its unique qualities. The 2” round fruits ripens to a yellow-green gold with dark green stripes. The flesh is lime green, the flavor is tangy and delicious. Great mixed into salads or on a tomato tart.

Eva Purple Ball 70 days Heirloom Indeterminate Mid-season Organic seed
We are growing this one in honor of the Ostman’s daughter Eva, and her granddaughter Eva Sophia. A gorgeous heirloom from the Black Forest region of Germany, dating from the 1800s, Eva Purple Ball produces round, 2-3” fruits that are a dark purple-pink color. Said to be delicious, and a big producer! Let us know what you think.

Brandywine 80 days Indeterminate Mid season Organic seed
A tomato with it’s own cult following, Brandywine is the famous Amish heirloom that has been grown since the 1800’s. This large, potato-leaf tomato plant produces beautiful reddish pink fruits that average 12 ounces, but have been know to grow up to 2 pounds. A challenge for the Oregon coast, as larger fruit is harder to ripen, but we love a challenge, and we know many of you do too! This one has to be tasted fresh off the vine to be believed.

The Best Tomato Starts on the North Coast

Tomato plants will be on sale at our farm booth at the Astoria Sunday Market starting on May 13th , 2007, and at the Tillamook Farmers’ Market starting on June 9th, 2007. Quantities are limited, and many varieties do sell out early. If you are particularly interested in any, please contact us through our website to arrange to have plants put on reserve. We cannot hold plants for long, but we will try to make sure you are able to get the ones you want.