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My blog posts can now be found at http://www.thisgardencooks.blogspot.com/ 
Questions? Email info@thisgardencooks.com   Enjoy!

22 Mar 10

Tornado Season will soon be upon us here in the midwest...

...And with tornado season comes lightning.  And my favorite quote from Roger Swain, Victory Garden TV alum, in his book, Earthly Pleasures: Tales from a Biologist's Garden:

 "My curiosity about lightning is tempered by my reluctance to be electrocuted."   

Nevertheless, there's nothing like a good spring light show... 

8:23 pm cdt          Comments

20 Mar 10

The Spring Equinox Arrives...

The past 24 hours has been a List of Firsts:

The first day of spring. The first spring snowfall. The first flock of turkey vultures.  The first butterfly landing on a beehive at the nature center. The first big day of garden cleanup--cutting back the miscanthus grasses and raking up the debris from last fall.  The first prairie fire--a conflagration that consumed acres of dry phragmites, the flames jumping in the great gusts of wind. The first bumble bee.  And the first pair of wasps visiting the pansies--the first flowers to arrive at the local garden center.  The first flat of flowers to make it into my car.  

7:33 pm cdt          Comments

18 Mar 10

Big Bumble Bee Look Alikes...

Another sure sign of spring...when the goldfinches change from their dull winter coat to a bright shiny new look.  Like a feathery bumble bee.



10:18 pm cdt          Comments

16 Mar 10

Spring is Inspiration,,,
ninaspringgaren.jpg One elegant observation that I turn to each spring is a passage in the 1876 book, "A Year in the Fields" written by the American naturalist John Burroughs: "Spring is the inspiration, fall the expiration. Both seasons have their equinoxes, both their filmy, hazy air, their ruddy forest tints, their cold rains, their drenching fogs, their mystic moons; both have the same solar light and warmth, the same rays of the sun; yet, after all, how different the feelings they inspire!  One is morning, the other the evening; one is youth, the other is age." 

2:26 pm cdt          Comments

6 Mar 10

Coming to a Gardening Center Near You:  ONIONS!


Onion "sets"--those bags of little dried white or red onions--will soon hit the garden centers.  For a continued harvest, I buy several, store them in a cool spot and then use them to replant every 7 to 10 days until early June, harvesting them as scallions (green onions).  For bulbing onions in zone 5, "transplants" (see www.thisgardencooks.com home page) of long-day onions work best.

8:21 am cst          Comments

3 Mar 10

Season's Starters--The Fastest Crop on Earth
If your only experience growing radishes involved a paper cup, soil, a few seeds and a teacher’s encouraging words, or you gave up after harvesting round, red orbs that tasted like peppery plywood, you are in for a treat. Radishes1.jpg

Given the right conditions, radishes are fast growing, colorful root crops that offer a range of flavors from deliciously mild and mellow to pungent and spicy.  

Sliced thin and served raw, they add a crispy zing to salad, but their versatility entitles them to a place in soups, dips and in many side dishes.

Radishes are incredibly easy to grow--they’ll perform in a pot on a sunny patio or balcony, in a windowbox or in a small row or two in the garden. Growing is the easy part.  The secret to tasty radishes is to harvest while they’re tender before hot weather settles in. 
8:50 pm cst          Comments

1 Mar 10

Bambi Meets Bird Seed


Each winter, we cover up the birdbath outside the kitchen window and sprinkle a little seed out there for the chickadees, bluejays, cardinals and sparrows.  A suet feeder hangs nearby.  The deer come by in the late afternoon -- and sometimes during the day -- to check out the sunflower seeds.  A tap on the  window gets their attention. Except, instead of being frightened, they think that's their cue for more grub. 

8:47 pm cst          Comments


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