1 Our special gardening chat was done right in my vegetable garden at the farm. This garden was originally located next to my greenhouse, but we moved it about three ago after a huge infestation of mole crickets. It is doing great down here by my chicken coops.
2 My gardener, Wilmer, does a lot of work to make sure the garden is as productive as possible - he makes perfect raised beds, and he uses a flat edged spade to make the foot paths around them.
3 Do you know the difference between a shovel and a spade? They are both intended to move earth and materials, but the shovel is better for ‘scooping and lifting’ and the flat edge of the spade is better for ‘cutting, digging and scraping’.
4 We always use rich, composted manure for all our garden beds, especially when top dressing them at the start of the season. It is a good way to ensure big, bountiful crops come summer. I call this "black gold".
5 Our Facebook chats generate more than 160-thousand views, and they are so easy to do. Our video web producer, Samantha Schutz, shoots the entire broadcast LIVE from an iPhone. Joe holds the boom microphone above me to capture all the audio.
6 These are onion sets I bought from a small feed store in Portsmouth, Ohio several weeks ago - I am so excited to see how they grow.
7 Here I am using a dibber to plant the onion sets near the front of the garden - plants should be about four-inches apart.
8 I love planting onions - they grow so big here in my garden. I like to use them for soups, sandwiches and salads.
9 I always try to work in the gardens whenever my busy schedule allows. It is such good exercise.
10 I decided this spot would be great for planting some basil, so Wilmer began placing the plants - all evenly spaced several inches apart in the bed.
11 In another section of the garden, we planted potatoes. Place the potatoes cut side up about eight-inches apart in a pre-dug trench. And, don't forget to label the bed, so you know what kind of vegetable is grown where.
12 In another quadrant of the garden, I planted leeks. Leeks should also be planted deep in the ground, and about five-inches apart.
13 While I was doing the Facebook chat, a garden tour came by to watch. This large group is from the Garden Club of Orange and Dutchess Counties.
14 More than 60-people visited my farm on this day - it was so nice to see such an enthusiastic crowd eager to learn more about gardening.
15 I asked a few of the visitors to join me and ask questions on camera.
16 I showed the group what we were planting in the garden, and how we care for the crops during the growing season.
17 These guests asked about herbs and which ones I like to grow. I love to use herbs, so I grow many of them including cilantro, basil, and thyme.
18 I showed the group how we prepare the soil. When tilling our vegetable field, we use this electric tiller called "Tillie". It is made by Johnny's Selected Seeds, and works great in the garden. http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-9776-tillie-a.aspx
20 Director of Content Marketing, Marci Greenfield, is with me for every Facebook show. She monitors the questions and reads them to me, so I can answer them during the hour. I love answering all your questions.
21 After the gardening group left to continue the tour, I also continued planting. When planting seeds, place them into the ground furrows using your hand or a special seed dropping tool. Try to space them out, but don't worry if they aren't exact.
22 These Facebook chats are great for showing every part of a process. We went all around the garden, demonstrating the best ways to plant this season's vegetables.
23 Wilmer continued to tend the beds - jute twine is used to keep all of the raised beds straight and tidy.