Bedner's Farm & Greenhouse

Weekly News, 8.5.20

Hello there,

As I type this the smell of fresh veggies sauteing fills the room, and PA Produce Month is on my mind. I love this time of year for the abundance of fresh produce, right here at the farm. What I love even more are the sounds and smells of Russ chopping and cooking them up. Dinner is almost ready, and I’m thankful to have a husband who likes to cook!

Growing fresh produce is in the Bedner DNA, and though it’s a smaller part of the business, it’s one that is important to us to keep going. We believe it is our responsibility to continue the family tradition of providing healthy, fresh food for the community. We’re working on extending our produce growing season too, by utilizing some of the production greenhouses. Stay tuned… we’ll be filling you in on our exciting plans soon!

In other news this week—

  • produce currently available includes tomatoes, (regular, heirloom and roma), sweet corn, two types of beets, zucchini, green beans, cabbage, green bell peppers, hot banana peppers, shoshito peppers, cucumbers, pickles, Soergel’s apples, and Chambersburg peaches. Availability may change daily due to weather and crop conditions. Buy some to eat now and extra to freeze or can for later, (see the video below for easy freezing tips).
  • our mum crop is coming along nicely, as well as other fall annuals like ornamental kale, an ornamental eggplant called ‘Pumpkin on a Stick’, seven different colors of ornamental peppers, a burgundy colored cordyline (like a giant spike plant), five colors of celosia, and more. Look for these to be ready by Labor Day.
  • we only have one spot left in Thursday night’s terrarium workshop. This Saturday Russ will be giving a DIY demo on how to build small hardscape edging and walls. Then next Thursday night we’re looking forward to welcoming back Denise Schreiber, (aka Mrs. Know-it-All of the KDKA radio gardening show). She’ll be here to entertain us with a talk on urban myths and legends in the garden.
Next week I’ll share another garden tour with you. This time from a long time customer, friend, and fellow plant lover, Barbara Alsip. I’ll also share an inspiring gardening story with you of how a local woman volunteered her time to plant raised bed vegetable gardens for a high rise community in Hazelwood.

Happy gardening, and produce-eating too!


Plant Spotlight


No, not Louis XIV of France, rather, a fabulous high-impact perennial. Aralia ‘Sun King’ brings a bold pop of glowing color and texture – the perfect anchor for the shade to shade-to-part-shade border. “Discovered” by plantsman Barry Yinger in a Japanese garden center (atop a department store), this perennial has become a beloved shade garden staple across the country. Bright yellow shoots emerge in spring, then grow up, up, up…can reach 6′ tall and nearly as wide. The small, cream-colored umbels of flowers are attractive to bees and are followed by tiny dark (inedible) drupes. Despite the Sun King’s stature, it’s very well behaved – little to no reseeding or suckering.


USDA Zones 3 to 9


Part shade to full shade. A few hours of sun brings out the yellow; tends to be
more chartreuse in deeper shade.


Not picky – but can flag during dry spells, so provide additional water as necessary. 


Terrific in combination with hosta, ferns, and past PPOY stars such as Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ (2013) and Brunnnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (2012). A knockout when placed near Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ or other maroon-leaf woody. And don’t forget containers – Sun King is bold and beautiful in
a big pot!


Bold, gold, compound foliage is deer resistant. Bigger than your average perennial, Sun King is frequently described as 4’ tall and as wide, once established, but 6’ tall is not unusual for older plants. Aralia ‘Sun King’ won the International Hardy Plant Union Outstanding Plant Award in 2012. The species Aralia cordata is a member of the Araliaceae family. Native to Japan, Korea, and SE China, where the young shoots are harvested and blanched or pickled. 


Low maintenance deciduous perennial; remove dead foliage after a freeze. Supplemental water helps keep foliage from getting crispy during a dry spell. 

2020 Perennial Plant of the Year, Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’

Other Plants of Interest at the Greenhouse This Week

What is PA Produce Month? Established by the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing & Research Program, PA Produce Month is a good ol’ celebration of one of Pennsylvania’s shining stars – vegetables! It encourages all Pennsylvanians – consumers, farmers, and the media – to express gratitude, excitement, and pride for 31 days out of the year when many local vegetables are in their prime, August!

To celebrate, we’ll be giving away prizes every Friday in August on our facebook page. Follow our page for your chance to win. 
Happy PA Produce Month! Preserve your PA-veggie bounty and enjoy delicious, local vegetables all year long with these three easy tips!

Russ’ Recommended Roasted Beet Recipe:
  • Slice and chop into 2″ pieces.
  • Toss in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Roast at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
  • Serve warm.