Thursday, October 09, 2008

158 geese

Hello Elmira,
One our our customers counted the geese in our cornfield – 158 to be exact. I tried to get a picture of them but they were suspicious of me. Well its October and we still have produce – tomatoes, beans, yellow squash, winter squash, pumpkins, Native American corn, Swiss chard, eggplant, lettuce, and onions. We had purple lettuce on our sandwiches today and it was good.

If you folks are in need of some entertainment this weekend, come on over to our house – Denny and I are, once again, on the Elmira Open Studio Tour. Denny is showing his new drawings and I am showing new films and sculpture.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Octagon Fair

Hello Elmira,
Frost tonight??? We’ll find out, but for now Janowski Gardens still has corn, tomatoes, yellow beans, squash of all kinds, radishes, potatoes, cabbage, basil, and Swiss chard.

This Saturday, September 20 is the Octagon Fair of my alma mater Elmira College and I will be signing books in the New York History Review tent. Come on over and visit me - 10:00 to 5:00, rain or shine. Hopefully shine! The Octagon Fair is located on the campus between Park Place and the Campus Center. Lots of things to do, see, hear, and eat!

All my books including the new Our Own Book – A Victorian Guide to Life and the Janowski Gardens Cookbook will be on display and available for purchase.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Perfect Corn RIGHT NOW!

Hello Elmira,
Hurry and enjoy summer as fast as you can. We still have PERFECT corn – at the best of the season right now, PERFECT tomatoes – the best in years – we even have them by the bushel for the first time in I can’t remember when.

Also lettuce, spinach, squash and winter squash, potatoes (in half bushels if you want), onions, Native American corn, cornstalks for decorating, radishes. We are “in between” on beans – will have more shortly.

It was a very good year for corn and tomatoes. Not good for peppers. I have been drying herbs for winter – did a whole shopping bag each of basil and parsley. Been making homemade spaghetti sauce every few days. Pretty good eating.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Heirloom Tomatoes

Hello Elmira,
This week in our farm stand we have corn, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash, kale, collard greens, basil and zinnias.

Our heirloom tomatoes are great – if you haven’t tried them yet, please do. They aren’t as pretty, but they sure make up in flavor and texture. We also have a trial corn – a yellow corn called “Mr. Mira.” Small plump ears with lots of yellow kernel and great flavor.

Today should be beautiful. If you’re not doing anything - the Olde Tyme Festival in Brand Park today – from 10 –5. Lots of stuff to see and do. Food, music - a swing band this afternoon, kid stuff, ice cream, and me signing books in the Janowski Gardens tent.

“We Grow What We Sell”

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mmmmm mmmmmm mmmm

Hello Elmira,
First, our corn, melons, and tomatoes are PERFECT right now. The perfect flavor of the summer is now. Don’t wait, get some. I’m not kidding. We had corn for lunch today. Denny’s comment was “Mmmm, mmmm mmmm.”

Second, a homemade creamy tomato sauce recipe for you. We had this last night and loved it. I’ve made this a couple of times. This is my version of a recipe in Gourmet magazine.

Creamy Tomato Sauce (enough for 1/2 pound your choice of pasta)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 really big tomatoes – pureed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup sweet red vermouth
3/4 cup heavy cream – we use fat-free half and half
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice – I did forget this last night

Puree the tomatoes with a blender or hand blender. In a heavy skillet, heat oil, and add garlic, and oregano. Stir in vermouth and tomatoes. Add cream and lemon juice. Gourmet says to simmer 5 minutes, but I let mine simmer about 30 minutes – so anywhere in between there. Then salt and pepper to taste. Add over your choice of cooked pasta.

Third, the Olde Tyme Festival in Brand Park next week – Sunday, August 24 from 10 –5. Lots of stuff to see and do. Food, music, and me signing books in the Janowski Gardens tent. I will have copies of….

The Janowski Gardens Cookbook, of course
Our Own Book – A Victorian Guide to Life
Victorian Pride – Forgotten Songs of Central New York
Victorian Pride – Forgotten Songs of Upstate New York
Victorian Pride – Forgotten Songs of Pennsylvania
Victorian Pride – Victorian Wedding Songs
The Great Inter-State Fair, Elmira, New York 1890

Fourth, the cookbook
The cookbook will be unavailable on the website for a few weeks while it becomes the “second edition.” The original book is now the “collector’s edition.” The two differences will be that the new one will be a regular paperback – won’t have a spiral thing, but it will be available through bookstores anywhere. Everything else is the same. If you want a cookbook before the new one comes out, or prefer the spiral – which I like in a cookbook because it lies flat on your counter – please email me. I have about 40 of the spiral ones left.

This week in our farm stand we have corn, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash, kale, collard greens, basil and zinnias. Our giveaway this week is packets of Tony’s Creole Seasoning – use as you would salt. Denny’s and my all-time favorite seasoning. Best thing that ever happened to corn. We’re not kidding. Not hot, just flavorful. Not a salt substitute because there is a lot of salt in it, but because of all the flavors it has about half the sodium. You can’t find it locally, but there is a website listed on the back should you want some. We buy it by the case.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Brand Park Olde Tyme Festival

Hello Elmira,
It has been kind of a tough season for vegetables, weatherwise. My dad says we have had 14 inches of rain including yesterday’s brief downpours. Not good for growing peppers and tomatoes. Let’s hope for some dryer weather this month.

This week in our farm stand we have corn, onions, potatoes, a few peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash, kale, collard greens, basil and zinnias. I just added some beautiful zinnia t-shirts (from Denny’s drawing) to our gift shop – you can get there from our website.

Coming up is the Brand Park Olde Tyme Festival on August 24. I will be doing a booksigning in the Janowski Gardens tent. I will tell you more about that next week.

Hope to see you soon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What perfume do farmers wear?

Hello Elmira,

What perfume does a farmer wear?

I found this great perfumery called Demeter Fragrance Library that makes “comfort scents” - scents based upon real life objects and experiences. My current favorite is “Dirt” - smells to me like, well, DIRT - brings back my most favorite early memories of visiting my Grampa and Father in our greenhouse in the middle of winter. Warm, green, and moist. I also wear their “Greenhouse” which doesn’t smell like our greenhouse because we never grew flowers in ours - I like to mix it with “Dirt.” I also have their “Wet Garden” which smells like April - I also mix that with “Dirt”. “Sugar Cane” smells like Louisiana - also mix it with “Dirt”. I like their “Rain” - again mixed with “Dirt”. And their “Snow” just by itself - reminds me of wet snow pants and sledding on the dike. Other ones I want to try are “Fresh Hay,” “Grass,” “Green Tomato,” “Tomato,” and “Parsley.”

They make hundreds of fragrances not just garden smells. Check them out at

This week in our farm stand we have corn, tomatoes - including those fabulous heirlooms, zucchini and yellow squash, new potatoes, nice small cabbages, swiss chards, onions. Peppers and melons coming soon.

Janowski Gardens is open every day on Elmira’s Southside. Remember to bring exact change. Visit our website if you need a map. Please pass this email on to anyone who may like it.

Our motto is "We Grow What We Sell"

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Emailers

Hello Elmira,
Welcome to our new Emailers. My goodness a lot of you joined in the last two weeks – over a 100 new addresses. Welcome. I’ll give you a brief intro into our family farm….

My name is Diane Janowski and I write this newsletter once a week or so to let you folks know what’s what on the farm. Besides working on the farm I have 4 or 5 other occupations – depends on the time of day. Anyway, this is our 135th growing season here on Esty Street. We’ve been here since 1873. I am the 5th generation. Homegrown vegetables at Janowski Gardens in 2008 will include sweet corn, cabbage, squash, potatoes, beans, strawberries, lettuce, Swiss chard, onions, collards, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and melons. Lots more family history, photos, nice slideshow, and recipes from our cookbook can be found at our website

Check out our new page – “Watch our Flowers Grow” – click on the flower on the homepage. All our archived newsletters (3 years worth) are available on our Blog – off of our homepage.

We also have a vegetable hotline (recorded message) to let you know the availability of produce on any day 734-4406.

This week in our farm stand we have CORN, lettuces, beets, Swiss chard, basil, green onions, kale, collard greens, zucchini and yellow squash, and our favorite zinnias.

Tomatoes will be along soon – including those great Heirlooms.

Please pass this email on to anyone who may like it.

Janowski Gardens is open every day on Elmira’s Southside. Remember to bring exact change. Visit our website if you need a map.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Japanese Beetles are here

Hello Elmira,

Yikes, the Japanese beetles have attacked. They were interested in two things – each other, and eating my zinnias. They have calmed down since I put up 5 beetle traps. I probably caught two thousand.

This week in our farm stand we have spinach, several kinds of lettuces, mixed baby greens, beets, Swiss chard, basil, green onions, kale, collard greens, zucchini and yellow squash, zinnias. Some of you lucky people may have gotten my special mixed baby greens on Thursday - I added some beet sprouts, baby spinach, golden purslane, and one other green but I lost the label so I don’t remember its name right off hand. Corn is coming soon. Tomatoes, too - they are huge.

I started something new on the website “Watch our Flowers Grow” - you can see the progress of our zinnia crop week by week. I did start selling zinnias at the Ithaca Farmers Market this past Tuesday. Went well except it was really hot!

We Grow What We Sell

Diane Janowski
Janowski Gardens

Farmers' Market Day

Hello Elmira,
Kind of a damp week on the farm. I went to the Big Flats Farmers’ Market yesterday and just beat the rain at 6:00 - it was a downpour.

This is an in-between week. Strawberries and peas are just about gone. Zucchini and yellow squash in about 7 days, beans in about 10 days, corn about July 14.

This week at our farm stand we have spinach, lettuce, and young beets. Our stand is open daily from dawn to dusk - although our best choices are after 9:00am.

We Grow What We Sell.

Diane Janowski
Janowski Gardens


Hello Elmira,
That was too hot. Today is quite refreshing. The rain helped a little but we have been irrigating everyday because of the dryness. Everything is growing better now.

This week at our Farm Stand we have STRAWBERRIES, an extremely limited quantity of PEAS (first-come, first-served - please no orders for peas), lettuce, mixed greens, spinach, and radishes.

We are open seven days a week – please stop by and visit us.

"We Grow What We Sell"

Diane Janowski
Janowski Gardens

First Newsletter of 2008

Hello Elmira,

It has been a slow spring on the farm – with the cool nights so far. This week we planted tomatoes, including those great Heirloom Tomatoes we had last year, peppers – sweet, hot, and my favorite - jalapenos, and zinnias.

We had to purchase a new New Holland tractor this past winter. It makes planting much easier.

Our first corn was ankle-high by Memorial Day. The cabbages for the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Festival are coming along nicely. The blackberry bushes are in bloom. Killdeers are making nests in the fields.

Dramatic News from Janowski Gardens!

Farm Stand News…
Our stand on Esty Street is open for business, and will be open “dawn to dusk” all through the summer. (You’ll find a better selection by about 9am.)

This week we have spinach, mixed green lettuce, and radishes. Strawberries and peas are coming soon.

2. Farmers Market News…

After 11 years, Janowski Gardens will not be returning to Wisner Market in downtown Elmira. We will concentrate our produce offering at our stand on Esty Street.

Diane has decided to sell Zinnias (only) at the Tuesday Ithaca Farmers Market in DeWitt Park, Ithaca, NY.

Please visit us at home, 517 Esty Street. Janowski Gardens is the only farm garden located within the city limits of Elmira. It’s fun for the whole family. Remember to bring exact change for the honor box.

Thank you.

Janowski Gardens