A Visit To An Advanced Master Gardener’s Farm
By Alan on Jul 24 in Daily Inspiration tagged a visit to an advanced Master Gardener's farm, asparagus, currants, Dennis Adamson, Duane and Erln Madsen, gooseberries, Mapleton, master gardner, raspberries, Ut | 2 Comments
A Visit to an Advanced Master Gardener’s Farm
A couple of weeks ago many of our Advanced Master Gardener Group visited the farm of one of our members. Duane and Erlyn Madsen’s farm is in Mapleton, UT. They have 20 acres and are trying to be more self sufficient. When you first walk down the lane you pass a large traditional garden.
We then went inside a large building they call Mapleton Manor. This is used for many family functions, storing farm equipment and once a year for an Advanced Master Gardener/Master Gardener lab and luncheon. Erlyn was busy preparing for the luncheon.
Her husband Duane gave us a brief outline of what they were doing on the farm.
He said it is in a low cold area of Mapleton so they don’t grow any fruit that has a pit.
They have 2 chicken coops and this year they have 100 baby chicks. They were offering them free to anyone that wanted to take them home.
They had a well drilled and at 360′ they hit water. A column shot 200′ into the air. They were hoping that it would turn into an artesian well, but after things settled down the water only came up 200′ into the well. They have a pump on it that runs their irrigation system for the farm. The rock is a fake one that covers the electrical system for the pump and the controls for the irrigation system.
For instance they irrigate their raspberries 2 hours every other day when the berries are ripening. They have a large orchard of filbert (hazelnut) trees. They have several apple trees. They are also looking into growing apricot trees from Uzbekistan that are especially hardy and also said to be sweeter than the American and Western European varieties. They may even try a cold hardy pistachio.
Duane is also proud of his asparagus. He makes a trench 18” deep and 18” wide and then fills it with organic mulch. He then continues to mulch it every year. He grows millennium, purple that he likes better and Jersey Giant which he likes best of all. He took us to the purple asparagus and broke some off to eat raw. I was surprised how good it tasted.
One of their specialties are raspberries, currants and gooseberries. They like them for their antioxidant properties as well as their flavor. They turned us loose in their patches and we gobbled down red, purple, black and yellow raspberries and blackberries.
They also had black currents and Invicta gooseberries to try. Duane said that the Invicta gooseberries had to be fully ripe when picked.
I don’t think that I had ever had a gooseberry before, but I found the flavor to my liking. My favorite is still the blackberry.
Duane talked about the Triple Crown and Chester blackberry varieties which are thornless and are floricane varieties. This means they grow on last years canes. The Prime Jim, Prime Jan & Prime Ark 45 are primacane varieties that grow in the current years growth and fruit in Aug-Oct.
We ate so many berries that we almost ruined our appetites for the luncheon. While we were eating our luncheon Janet Stocks talked to us about the Cornaby family raspberry farm in Salem, UT. They grow 20 acres of raspberries and they harvest with an automatic harvester. They only grow primacane varieties so all the fall pruning that they have to do is to cut the canes down to the ground each year.
Erlyn provided us with a list of the red raspberries
that Janet gave her. Autumn Bliss:
This variety does not have as many berries as other varieties, but are great for fresh eating. They are a rounded berry and very sweet. They have truly big berries, but also big seeds.
Maybe this has one has the biggest berries of all the varieties grown in their raspberry farm. Carolines: Of their 20 acres 14 are planted in Carolines. They have the smallest seeds, have the traditional raspberry flavor, are lighter in color and can be picked when they are a little greener. These are Janet’s first choice for jam. They are very high in antioxidants.
Heritage: A good spring bearer. This has a heavy crop. It is a sweet berry and softer than the other. Not as disease resistant as the fall bearers they grow.
Jacqueline: This has a long and skinny oval berry. It is very dark purple with a rich, intensely sweet flavor. It is quite seedy but, holds up well.
Joan J.: The core of Joan J has a hook at the bottom which makes this one harder to pick than other raspberries. It is an awesome berry and ranked very high on the antioxidant list.
Polka: This is a SHOW berry. It is 2nd biggest of those on this farm. It is a pretty red but, lighter in color. They come on earlier by about 2 weeks of the other fall varieties listed here. They have a tight skin which makes them shine and they hold their shape well. This variety is a favorite for fresh picking and for selling at the farmers’ market. They are planting more of this kind. Janet puts a fondant in the cavity and then dips them in chocolate.
They don’t grow the black raspberries because they have a lot of seeds are also tricky to prune.
The ones that the Madsen’s grow are: Huron: large, glossy attractive fruit, ripens early, bred to replace “Bristoll Black” which is also early but smaller.
Munger: Most disease resistant
Jewel: Superior quality, excellent flavor.
The purple raspberries they grow are: Brandywine: fairly erect, large, unsurpassed for pies, jams & jellies out produces reds by 25%, place 30” apart.
Royalty: sweetest of the purple raspberries, and good for jams and jellies.
The Taylor a red/purple raspberry: the Madsen’s think it is the best flavored of the reds/purple when really ripe, ready the first week of July.
Erlyn had the following comment on yellow raspberries, Brent Black grows 41 varieties of red raspberries (no purples or blacks) and a few varieties of yellows at his Utah State experimental station in Kaysville, UT. Every year they have taste tests and every year the yellow Anne’s win for the best taste of the reds and yellows he is growing.
Janet had several flavors of the jams that they make. They had a raspberry/jalapenos that she recommended trying it on the ham sandwiches we were making. I took her up on this and it was delicious with just the right amount of kick.
Janet also told us that their farm also provides many of the raspberries for the Bear Lake Raspberry Days held each August. Bear Lake, especially the Utah side, used to produce large crops of raspberries. This has declined in the last few years. This is similar to Strawberry Days in Pleasant Grove, UT where I reside. There used to be many acres of strawberry here and the celebration was started over 100 years ago to showcase the strawberries. Now they have to be shipped in for our celebration. Garden City, UT on the shores of Bear Lake is also known for their famous strawberry shakes.
There was even an article in the New York Times in 1989 about these shakes. My wife especially likes these shakes since she is an ice cream nut.
Of course there are many more varieties of all of the blackberries, currants, gooseberries, and raspberries than were listed in this article.
“I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley…” Song of Solomon. 6: 11
Next week: Tips on growing and pruning
blackberries and raspberries.
Dennis Adamson - Master Gardner
email@example.com = Send Dennis any questions you may have!
For The Tamily
Rhubarb. – By: Master Gardner Dennis Adamson.
By Alan on May 16 in Blog tagged all about, Dennis Adamson, master gardner, Rhubarb, rhubarb pie, The Family, theFamily, Week 19 | Comments Off
When our youngest son and his wife came over for Mother’s Day they said that they had another present for my wife. This one would be delivered in several months. They couldn’t even tell her exactly what the gift was going to be. I was so dense that I didn’t get the meaning for a few minutes. For some reason this made me think of our son’s favorite desert, strawberry/rhubarb pie. Since I have already talked about strawberries, I will discuss rhubarb this week.
The history of the rhubarb, in Western Europe, goes back to Roman times. They imported the root came from an unknown barbarian land beyond the Vogue (sometimes called the Rha) River. The plant became known as the plant imported from the barbarians across the Rha River, hence Rha barbarum or rhabarbaum. The modern English word became rhubarb. Later it was found to come from China where it can be traced back to 2700 BC. The plant also grows naturally in India and wild along the Volga River. This is often called Russian rhubarb.
It has primarily been used for medicinal purposes and not until the late 1700s or early 1800s are there records of its use for culinary purposes. It is primarily eaten in Britain, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Many think that it is a fruit because of the way that it is used in cooking. In the United States it became even cloudier because a New York court considered it to be a fruit for regulatory purposes in 1947. This way, if called a fruit, it could be taxed at a lower rate than as a vegetable. A similar thing happened to the tomato in the US and is why many think that the tomato is also a fruit. They are both botanically vegetables. Its botanical name for rhubarb is Rheum rhabarbarum and is a cousin to the sorrel plant. The common garden rhubarb is Rheum x coltorum. The x stands for hybrid.
The petiole (leafstalk or just stalk) is the edible part. The root was and still is used as a laxative. The leaves, though huge and lush green, are poisonous. The main poisonous substance is oxalic acid which is nephrotoxic (toxic to the kidneys). The LD 50 (Lethal Dose where 50% of the population will die if they ingest q certain amount) of pure oxalic acid is about 25 grams. It would require eating 5 kilograms (11 lbs) of the leaf to produce this amount. There are probably other toxins in the leaf so it definitely shouldn’t be eaten. The oxalic acid breaks down during decomposition so the leaves are safe to place in your compost pile. The stories that the stalks become more poisonous, if they are exposed to frost or freezing temperatures, are not true. However, you will still find one state extension service still reporting that freezing causes the oxalic acid to migrate from the leaf to the stem making it more poisonous. The stalks do contain small amounts of oxalic acid, but not in high enough concentrations to be considered hazardous. It is reported that you can make an organic pesticide out of the leaves by letting them steep in hot water and then using the solution to spray the foliage of your plants.
Most consumers prefer the bright red stalk varieties, myself included. The stalks range in color from the bright red to nearly green with pink or speckled varieties in between. Even though most of us think that the bright red are the sweetest and most flavorful, it is reported that they don’t grow as well and have a lower yield. Green varieties are said to be more productive and are the sweetest according to one source. Victoria is probably the greenest variety available. Other varieties recommended by the University of Illinois Extension Service are: Canada Red (long, thick stalks, extra sweet), Cherry Red (rich red inside and out), Crimson Red (tall, plump petioles), MacDonald (tender skin; brilliant red), Ruby Valentine (petioles 22 by 1-1/2 inches, good flavor).
Rhubarb is low in calories (26 in one cup of uncooked diced) and high in potassium (350 mg in one cup). The calcium is bound by the oxalic acid and can’t be used by the body so it shouldn’t be used as a source of calcium. The vitamin C content is fairly low (10 mg) as is the fiber content (2 grams). The high acidity (pH 3.1) is counteracted by the sugar used in most of the recipes.
It is a cool season crop that grows during the spring and summer and then becomes dormant and dies back during the winter. It then resumes growing in the spring. It grows best in areas where there are cool fall and winter temperatures with fertile well drained soils. Rhubarb does best in full sun, but can take some shade. The plants do best if the soil is moist, but not soggy. The plant will usually remain productive for 8 or more years. Fertilize in the spring and then again in midsummer with a balanced fertilizer to maintain the vigor of the plant.
You shouldn’t harvest rhubarb during the 1st year after they are planted. This allows the plant to establish a vigorous root system. During the 2nd season it is recommended to harvest for only one to two weeks and then subsequent years for 8 to 10 weeks. Most recommend that they not be harvested after midsummer (some say mid-June) unless you plan on discarding the plant the next season. However, the University of Illinois Extension says that in Illinois they don’t start harvesting until mid-June and do a 2nd harvest in August. Once the stalks start getting smaller you know that the food reserves in the plant are dropping. Continued harvesting during the summer weakens the plant and decreases the next years harvest. It is also recommended that only 1/3 to 1/2 be harvested at a time. The stalks should be harvested when they are crisp, fairly thick and before they develop coarse fibers. If cutting is used to harvest the plant, be careful not to damage emerging growth. Purists tell you to harvest by hand. Grasp the stem as close to the base as possible and then gently pull and twist until the leafstalks come away. Another technique is to pull down and slightly to one side.
If the plant starts to form seed stalks and flowers, these should be cut at the base of the plant as soon as they appear because they take food reserve away from the rest of the plant. Maturity of the plant, genetics and environmental conditions are factors in the plant flowering and setting seed.
Rhubarb is usually grown from dormant crowns or by division. Growing from seed is said to work best in warmer climates. Division of the rhubarb crown is usually done after 5-6 years of growth. This is done in spring when the 1st buds appear. Use a shovel to carefully dig down around the plant and lift it from the ground. If parts of the root break off they can be left in the ground. I use my garden knife, but you can use your hands, a hatchet, shovel or other sharp instruments to divide them. Remove any rot that you see at this time. Try to include a crown, as much root as possible and try to have 4-5 buds with each division. Loosen the soil to a depth of about 10 inches and add compost, peat moss or well-aged manure and a small amount of fertilizer high in phosphorus and potassium. Tamp the soil down to remove air pockets. Cover the crowns with 1-2” of soil and water well. Once the new buds start coming up add a mulch to help control weeds and keep the plants from drying out as easily. Keep a 2” clearance of the mulch around the crown. The spacing between plants should be 36-48”. If you are going to be delayed in replanting them, place them in the refrigerator. Rehydrate them by soaking for a couple of hours or overnight before planting.
Common problems for rhubarb are: the snout beetle, Rhubarb curculio. This beetle bores into the stalks, crowns and roots. These will need to be treated with an insecticide or by removing and destroying the diseased portions of the plants. Their eggs are usually laid in July. Potato-bugs and many other plant insects can be a nuisance. These bugs lay their eggs on the rhubarb stalks and leaves and then will hatch and start eating the plant. Slugs can also be a problem. Keep the area well weeded and have good spacing between it and other plants. You can treat the insects and slugs by picking them off by hand. Another technique to control insects is by using an insecticidal soap spray. Make sure to spray the underside of the leaves and stalks. Fungal growth can occur on the crowns and stems resulting in rot. This usually occurs in humid climates with poor air circulation. Remove the diseased portions and apply a fungicide. You will see spots on the leaves and possibly holes in the leaves as well. A serious crown root rot is caused by a fungus called Foot Rot. These plants have to be removed and discarded. You may have to relocate your rhubarb plants to an area that is drier. Red Leaf disease has been reported in Western Canada. The leaves turn reddish and quickly wilt. The roots decay in the center. These plants must be removed and new ones shouldn’t be planted in these areas.
Rhubarb can be grown in pots. They will need a large container that has at least a 3 cubic foot capacity. Grow only one plant per pot. If your summers are hot, choose a light colored pot. Use dark colored pots if you are in a cooler climate. Plastic pots don’t leach the water and are lighter in weight. Make sure that you are able to move the pot. This is especially true it you want to move the pot to maximize the amount of sunlight that the plant gets during the day. Use or make a good potting mix for the soil. You can use slow release fertilizer in the mix. Rhubarb grown in a pot will need more care to ensure that they receive the necessary nutrients and water. They can be covered by a shade cloth if it is particularly hot.
Another technique for growing rhubarb, mainly in England, is called forcing. Forcing is done when you want to harvest rhubarb earlier in the season. It is also reported to produce sweeter, more succulent stems. Forcing is done the moment the new buds appear. A pot with a large hole in the bottom is place upside down over the plant until the shoots start to grow up through the hole. The pots warm up in the sun and gets the plant off to a faster start. Some even place manure around the pots. As the manure decomposes it gives off additional heat. Larry Sagers says that covering your rhubarb with a plastic garbage can will produce the same effect.
Fresh rhubarb stalks can be put in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. They can be chopped into 1/2 ” pieces and placed on a cookie sheet and frozen. Once frozen they can be put into a freezer bag where they can be stored up to 6 months. When cooking the rhubarb use a non-reactive pan such as anodized aluminum, stainless steel, teflon or enamel coated cast iron due to the high acidity. Otherwise they will turn brown. Rhubarb can also be canned and dried.
Rhubarb, is often called ‘the pie plant’. It is prized for its tartness which adds zest to pies, tarts, jam and other desserts. In the US it is most often teamed with strawberries. English recipes often use ginger with it and the French puree it into a sauce served with fish. The pastry chef, Gina DePlama says rhubarb is wonderful when accented with flavors such as lemon, vanilla and mint, and when cooked its soft texture is nicely matched with raspberries and strawberries. There are even whole recipe books out on cooking with rhubarb.
If you haven’t grown rhubarb, give it a try. At least go to the grocery store and get some rhubarb and use it in a recipe. As the saying goes, “Try it, you’ll like it”.
Some links that will provide you with more information on rhubarb are:
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalms 34:8
Next week: Clarence Whetten’s garden
Master Gardner For The Family
firstname.lastname@example.org Write to Dennis with any questions!
Herbs – Master Gardening With Dennis Adamson
By Alan on May 09 in Blog tagged Dennis Adamson, herbs, master gardner, provident living, The Family, theFamily, Week 18 | Comments Off
Week 18 Herbs
When I was an undergraduate in college in the 60s, Simon and Garfunkel sang a song called Scarborough Fair. It came out in an album whose title name came from the 2nd line of the song. The song was originally an old ballad from the United Kingdom. Later it came out as a single after being featured in the sound track of the movie The Graduate. The 2nd line is: Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. At that time I wasn’t into gardening and thought the line was: Parsley, sage, rose, mary and time. I wasn’t sure what it meant, possibly about a girl named Mary who at that time liked parsley, sage and roses. As a matter of fact older versions of the ballad had these version: Sober and grave grows merry in time, Every rose grows merry with time, There’s never a rose grows fairer with time. The version using herbs didn’t appear until the 1800s.
Before the advent of the modern grocery store, where both dried and fresh herbs have become readily available, herbs grown in gardens were the major source of seasonings for foods. They were also used for medicines, storing with linens, early air fresheners, means of covering the bad taste of meats or stale water before refrigeration, dyeing homespun fabrics and as fragrances.
They are now primarily used for flavoring foods, in fragrances, as ornamentals plants, in perfumes, cosmetics and for medicinal purposes. As Master Gardeners we are advised not to discuss ways to use plants that we grow as medicines. We are able to point out those plants that have been scientifically studied and proven safe and reliable for use with humans.
Medicinal herbs have long been used to cure illness. Many of these cures are anecdotal, meaning the reports of effectiveness are based on personal accounts or testimonials and not on proven facts or sound research. “But while present medical knowledge recognizes some herbs as having healing properties, others are highly overrated.” as quoted in a West Virginia Extension Service bulletin. They go on to say, “Medicinal herbs should be used carefully. Some herbs are harmless while others can be dangerous if consumed.”
By some accounts there are 40-60 or more different kinds of herbs. They do not come from a specific family and this is why there will never be an absolutely defined number. Most herbs were originally from the Mediterranean region so they may not grow quite as well in your climate.
My experience with growing herbs has been limited mainly to use as an ornamental plant. I have chives, lavenders and sages growing among other annual and perennial ornamentals. I use varieties of thyme as a ground cover. I grow parsley and cilantro for use in cooking, that is my wife’s cooking. I also grow mint for sentimental reasons. My deceased mother grew mint and brewed a tea from its leaves. She served it to us with lots of cream and sugar. I remember enjoying it as a child. Since it has a tendency to run, I have it planted in an area where it can’t get away.
I planted my spare strawberry pot with herbs using the same technique described in the week 15 article on strawberries. I then placed it in my greenhouse. All of these herbs have been thriving wonderfully.
Recently I had the opportunity to hear about some of the herbs in our Advanced Master Gardener class at Thanksgiving Point. It was entitled, 7 Must Have Herbs for the Kitchen. It was given by Tessa Zundel, one of our classmates. As I go through it you will find that she actually lists 8 herbs. Since, as far as I know, none of us are professional editors or English majors, I get a good laugh out of such things and don’t get too critical over these matters. Few in our class are professionally trained in horticulture or work in the field. We are just lovers of gardening trying to learn as much as we can about gardening for our own benefit and to pass this love of gardening on to others.
1. Basil Ocimum basilicum Tessa lists this as her all time favorite herb for the kitchen. It is considered a summer annual in many climates. The seeds should be sown after any danger of frost has passed. It germinates best if the soil is 70 F (21C). It can also be grown as an indoor plant. If you start it indoors, be cautious of moisture. The seedlings are prone to damping off. Damping off is caused by a fungal infection that can destroy plants rapidly. Basil is probably the most prone to this of all the herbs. A damp environment, crowding and poor air circulation all contribute to this. A light covering of the soil with sand or perlite will help absorb the moisture and a fungicide may be needed. Plant in fertile well drained soil with lots of sunlight. Prune every 2-3 weeks to encourage growth. Stem cuttings can be taken late in the season and planted indoors to overwinter plants. There are several varieties. Tessa likes Thai, Genovese, Sweet Dani and Lime among others. ‘Purple Ruffles’ is also a favorite variety with purple ruffled edged leaves.
Basil is most commonly used for tomato sauces, pestos and vinegars. It can also be placed whole or torn into pieces in salads or on tomatoes. They can be used in salad dressings. Place them in the garden where you will brush against them and release their aroma.
They can be used fresh, dried or frozen. Most recommend brushing the leaves with olive oil before freezing. There is the recommendation to tear vs. cutting the leaves when using them in salads. The reason given is that cutting damages more cell walls and causes the leaves to discolor more rapidly. Others say that cutting will also discolor the other greens in the salad. Try both ways and see which you prefer.
2. Garlic Allium sativum This is a hardy perennial herb that is usually grown as an annual. It prefers sun, but will grow in partial shade. Plant it in rich well drained soil. It should remain moist until it begins to ripen. Then you should withhold water. The individual cloves can be planted 1 1/2 – 2” deep in fall or spring. Carefully dig the bulbs in late summer so as to not bruise them. The common or soft necked varieties will store for months in a cool dry place. These are the ones you see braided and hung and also the ones found in most grocery stores. The other main type is the hardneck garlic. There are several varieties and it has been recommended that you buy a sampler to plant so you can see which you like. The garlic plant has long stalks called garlic scapes. There is an ongoing debate over whether to remove the scapes as they grow or to leave them. Those that remove them feel that the cloves in the bulb grow larger. They often use the scapes in salads or in cooking. Bruising the garlic clover refers to placing your knife flat on top of the garlic clove and hitting it so that the garlic is a bit smashed, but preferably still in one piece. This releases the flavor.
Garlic can be used fresh, dried, roasted, powdered or cubed. It can be infuse in oil and vinegar.
3. Chives Allium schoenoprasum (not to be confused with garlic chives Allium tuberosum) They are grown in similar conditions to garlic. Propagation is said to be easier from division of existing plants, but they can be grown from seed. The division can be done every 3-5 years. Plant the bulbs in small clumps.
The flowers can be harvested and added to salads. Tessa says that harvesting the flowers will improve the taste of the stem. Use the stems on any dish that might benefit from a mild onion flavor. Chop the stems and add to potato and other salads, in omelets and other egg dishes, on baked or mashed potatoes, sandwiches and soups, . They can also be added to cream cheese and butter. When doing this, allow them to sit for at least an hour so the flavor will be infused throughout the product.
As previously mentioned, they are also a wonderful ornamental with the bright round flowers and sleek foliage.
4. Sage Salvia officinalis This is a hardy perennial that grows in zone 4-8. Mulch it in the winter. It prefers full sun and a light, dry well drained alkaline soil. Propagate by seeds or 4” cuttings. There are several varieties. The non flowering broad-leafed variety is often called Holt’s Mammoth. There are several flowering varieties. If using these, pick the leaves before the plant flowers. One class member likes the variety Pineapple. They said it is a good pollinator and smells and tastes something like pineapple.
Sages are used for flavoring. I especially like it in dressings (stuffings). It is also used in medications, perfumes and cosmetics. They are also used as ornamental plants.
5. Fennel Foeniculum vulgare Plant in full sun, avoid planting in clay soils. It is a perennial herb that has a mild anise flavor. The leaves and fruits (often called seeds) can be eaten. The Florence fennel has an enlarged base that looks like a bulb and is eaten as a vegetable.
6. Thyme Thymus vulgaris
It grows best in full sun, well drained fertile soil, preferably alkaline. It is a hardy perennial growing in zones 3-8. Mulch in the fall. Propagate by taking 2-3” stems or by division in spring or autumn. They can also be grown from seed. Harvest frequently to promote new growth. Some people think the flavor of the leaves are best when the plant is in bloom. Thyme can be added to stuffings, marinades, fish dishes and the lemon thyme can be made into a tea. There are several varieties of thyme that are grown as a ground cover. When they flower they are good pollinators.
7. Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis Place in a sunny area with fertile well drained soil. It is a tender perennial that will need protection in colder climates. The variety Arp will handle Zone 6. Seeds can be started indoors or seeded outside when temperatures permit. It is easier to propagate by cuttings. They can be harvested year round, but take the largest crop before flowering. Dry the whole branch and then strip the leaves when storing. Use fresh or dried in salads, lamb & pork dishes, potato dishes, breads, butters and oils. They are also used as ornamental plants and are good pollinators.
8. Coriander (cilantro) Coriandrum sativum In the USA the fresh plant is often referred to as cilantro. The dried seed is referred to as coriander. It is an annual in cold climates, but self-sows readily. This can create spreading problem. Cilantro can take sun/part sun in rich well drained soil. It will go to seed in warm weather so seed in succession to have a constant supply of leaves. The leaves, stems and roots are edible. Young leaves are used in salsas (why I grow it) and for salads. The stems are used for flavoring soups, bean and casseroles dishes. The roots are cooked as vegetables and used in curries. The dried seeds are used as a spice. Tessa says it can be grown indoors, but she finds it to be stinky.
If you plan to dry or freeze herbs, pick them in the early morning, just before the flowers open when the leaves are at their most flavorful. Remove unsightly, damaged or diseased leaves. Gently wash them and then let then remove the excess moisture by allowing them to sit on a paper towel.
Many prefer to air dry herbs, but they can be dried in ovens or food dehydrators. A small amount can even be carefully dried in a microwave oven. They are dry if the leaves crumble off the stem. As with all dried herbs, be careful not to crush the leaves before you plan to use them. Crushing the leaves releases the aromatic essential oils.
Freezing will result in a limp leaf when thawed and are best used in cooked dishes. Marilyn Herman, in a University of Minnesota Extension Service article describes methods of freezing.
Place a few sprigs or leaves in freezer wrap or in an airtight, freezer container.
Spread on a tray or cookie sheet and place in the freezer. When frozen solid, pack into airtight containers.
To use in soups or stew, dice washed herbs and pack into freezer ice cube trays. Fill the spaces with water. Freeze and pop out cubes and put in airtight containers.
The following links have other lists of herbs that you might want to look at to grow in your garden or inside your home:
(This site will lead you to several other links on herb gardening.)
Growing Herbs indoors
You can grow many herbs indoors, but usually less productively. They require the same conditions as herbs that are grown outdoors: plenty of sunlight and fertile, well-drained soil. Most will use indoor grown herb fresh rather than drying or freezing them.
A south or west window is best. Even with maximal light during the winter, you may need to supplement the natural light with “grow lamps” or fluorescent lights.
Herbs grown in a container inside or outdoors will benefit from a soil or potting mix of approximately 2 parts soil mix to 1 part of perlite or sand. Vermiculite may retain too much moisture and cause the damping off previously described in some herbs. Some recommend adding one teaspoon of ground limestone per 5-inch of pot.
Good drainage is important. Avoid leaving water in the overflow saucer at the bottom of the pot. Allow some drying between waterings, but don’t allow wilting.
You can seed annual herbs in pots in late summer. Perennial herbs can be placed outdoors during the summer. Bring back indoors before the first frost.
Fertilize like you do your houseplants. Prune to encourage growth and maintain appearance of the plant.
From Growing Herbs at Home by Ray R. Rothenberger Department of Horticulture, University of Missouri-Columbia as found in savvygardener.com
Inspect your herbs for pests. If in a small container, dip the whole plant in an insecticidal soap and swish for a couple of minutes to coat the entire leaf surface. Repeat 1-2 times a week for about a month to clear up the problem. Plants in larger containers or in your garden can be sprayed with insecticidal soap.
Proverbs 15:17 “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is…”
Next week: rhubarb
Correction on a previous article on composting. A reader noted that there was an error in the list of items to compost. The edited article placed treated lumber and walnut shells with those items that can be composted. When articles get edited they are sometimes reformatted. Parts can be highlighted, cut and then pasted into another area of the article. In this case this method left the last 2 items that shouldn’t be composted with the items that can be composted. This also meant that they were not included in items not to be composted.
Treated lumber products, even with the newest method of pressure treating, probably shouldn’t be composted. Some gardeners won’t even consider using treated lumber in the frames of their raised beds. You will find horticultural specialist that will have differing opinions on whether to use them in the garden. The following statement from Askville by Amazon might clarify the issue of using treated lumber in the frames, “Certain national gardening publications have raised concerns about the safety of using treated lumber in food gardens. Pressure-treated lumber uses CCA (chromated copper arsenate) or ACA (ammoniacal copper arsenate) as a preservative. However, studies done by Texas A&M Agricultural Extension Service showed insignificant movement of these compounds into surrounding soil. Pressure-treated lumber has no proven effect on plant growth or food safety. However, on Feb.12, 2002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a voluntary decision by the lumber industry to move consumer use of treated lumber products away from a variety of pressure-treated wood that contains arsenic by Dec. 31, 2003, in favor of new, alternative wood preservatives. Alkaline cooper quaternary (ACQ) is a relatively new wood treatment that is available in some areas of the country. This product is higher in copper than CCA but is free of arsenic.”
As for walnuts shells, the black walnut produces a compound called juglone. This can be toxic to other plants. The following was gleaned from an article produced by the West Virginia Extension Service on Black Walnut Toxicity. Juglone is not only found in in the shell, but in buds, leaves roots and stems. Plants growing next to a black walnut tree can be effected. Other trees producing juglone are butternut, English walnut, pecan, shagbark hickory, and bitternut hickory. The quantities in them are so low that adverse effects to other plants have not been noted. Some plants sensitive to juglone are cabbage, eggplant, pepper, potato, tomato, apple, blackberry, and blueberry. Other plants tolerant of juglone are lima beans, snap beans, beets, corn, onions, parsnips, cherries and black raspberries.
I appreciate any input on my articles and if corrections are warranted, I will bring them up in subsequent articles. This gives me an opportunity to clarify some issues especially when there aren’t unanimous opinions on subjects or contradictory information found in the literature.
Send any questions here: email@example.com
Strawberries. By Master Gardner Dennis Adamson
By Alan on Apr 15 in Blog tagged containers, Dennis Adamson, diseases, everbearing, fertilization, junebearing strawberry, master gardner, minimal space, raised beds, strawberries, The Family, theFamily, Week 15 | Comments Off
Strawberries – The Family Garden
When I was growing up we had several rows of strawberries. I was often required to weed and then when ripe, pick them. Since they were growing right on the ground I remember how sore I would be bending over to complete the tasks. When I started gardening as an adult strawberries weren’t high on my list of things to plant. I mainly did it because my wife enjoyed eating fresh strawberries even if it was only a handful. I bought strawberry pots and tried raised beds, but I was never very successful. When I got into Master Gardening I decided that it was time to learn how to properly grow them. Because of limited space I have gone to a raised bed. This year I broke out the old strawberry pot and decided it was time to try this technique again.
In a Utah State University Extension Service article the authors state that “strawberries are one of the most popular small fruits in the home garden…relatively easy to grow, require minimal space, and produce the first fruit of the new season. A properly maintained 4 feet by 8 feet bed of strawberries will produce 10 to 15 pounds of berries per year for three to five seasons.”
(Strawberry plants only produce for about 3-5 years, then the quality of the fruit becomes less flavorful and is much smaller. The runners that start new plants then become the mother plants. It’s a way to reproduce strawberry plants, but very time consuming and doesn’t lend itself to small raised beds and containers.)
First we need to talk about the 3 main types of strawberries. The following is found at an excellent site that I would recommend researching before starting to grow strawberries:
Strawberry Plants .org The ONE stop for EVERYTHING related to strawberry plants and growing strawberries…
“Junebearing strawberry varieties: Any list of strawberry varieties will probably contain more June-bearing strawberry varieties than any other. June bearers are tremendously popular and common. They typically produce the largest strawberries, and do so over a period of two to three weeks, on average. Most June bearing strawberry varieties produce a harvest around the month of June, hence the name. However, strawberry varieties are further classified into Early Season, Midseason, and Late Season. By selecting strawberry plant varieties that produce during different parts of the season, you can prolong your harvest and enjoy fresh strawberries for an extended period of time. June bearing strawberry varieties are often planted using the matted row system.” (see the StrawberryPlants.org site for details of this planting system.)
“Everbearing strawberry varieties: Everbearing strawberry varieties aren’t really “everbearing.” They generally produce two harvests per year: one in the spring and another in the late summer or fall. Under ideal conditions, it is possible for some everbearing strawberry varieties to produce three berry harvests. In general, everbearing strawberry varieties put out less runners (or no runners at all) than the June bearing varieties, as most of the plants productive energy is directed toward producing multiple strawberry harvests. Everbearing strawberry varieties are often planted using the hill system or in locations where space is limited.” (This system is also described in the above site.)
From the USU Extension Service article: “Strawberry plants propagate themselves by sending out runners (stolons) that form daughter plants. The two management systems best suited to home garden production are the Matted Row and the Hill systems, and differ in how they handle runners. The Matted Row system is often easier to manage effectively, but the hill system also has advantages in weed and disease management and improved fruit size and quality.”
Returning to the StrawberryPlants.org: “Day-neutral strawberry varieties: Day neutral strawberry varieties are unique. Unlike June bearing varieties, day neutral strawberries will produce a good yield in the first year they are planted. They flower and set strawberries whenever the temperature is between 35 and 85 degrees. They will still be producing fruit in October during milder years. The drawback to day neutral strawberry plants is that they produce smaller strawberries than do the June bearing and everbearing strawberry varieties. Their fruit is usually small to medium in size, rarely exceeding one inch. Day neutral strawberry varieties are can be planted using the hill system or in raised beds or containers.”
For small raised beds and containers I would recommend using day-neutral strawberry varieties because of higher yield and longer production. They also don’t tend to send out runners that form daughter plants.
Crowns must be placed right at the top of the soil line or they will not survive (rotting if placed too deep and drying out if placed too high). Blooms exposed to late freezes (without protection) result in a limited harvest.
Plant viruses are a common problem in strawberries as are crown, root and fruit rot caused by fungal infections. Powdery mildew and mites can also be a problem. Avoid keeping strawberry beds in the same place for more than five years to prevent buildup of soil-borne pathogens. Also, avoid planting strawberries in areas where peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, or okra, have been grown recently, as these harbor the Verticillium wilt pathogen according to the USU Extension Service article. Once infected you will need to replace the plants. Some varieties have more resistance than others.
Strawberries do best in sandy or sandy/loam soils. If you have clay soil, raised beds are a must. The site must get 8 hours of full sun for best production. A balanced fertilizer should be worked into the soil and again in late summer. Some even recommend applying a low rate of nitrogen fertilizer every 3 weeks when the plant is actively growing. Since they have shallow roots they need to be watered frequently, especially during the fruiting period, if the weather is hot and dry. You can put your finger into the soil down to the 1st knuckle and if dry water the plants. You can also use a water meter to determine the need for additional watering. During the winter water infrequently. Strawberries don’t compete well with weeds so keep them under control. Plastic or organic mulches will aid in controlling the weeds in raised beds. During the winter strawberries should be provided protection against severe frosts. Organic mulches or heavier garden fabrics can be placed over the plants for winter protection. A low tunnel can be helpful in the early spring to protect the first blossoms. These blossoms are the ones that tend to produce the largest strawberries.
Strawberries do very well in pots. This is a bonus for those with little growing space. Additionally, pots can be moved to maximize the growing conditions or to winter over the plants. Optimum growing temperatures for strawberries are between 70 and 85F. If it gets hotter the container can be moved to obtain some afternoon shade. Keeping the roots cool in the summer with light colored pots will also help. The best containers for growing strawberries are strawberry pots. These have multiple small pockets around the sides. The small pockets will hold individual plants and the top opening can usually accommodate 6 plants. If the strawberry pot is terracotta, the pot should be soaked before planting so the dry terracotta won’t wick the moisture out of the soil. There are plastic strawberry pots that mimic terracotta like the one I have or ceramic ones. They come in various sizes and prices. Containers generally need to be watered more often than raised beds.
Step-by-step planting of a strawberry pot
Thoroughly clean the pot with a dilute bleach solution, especially on the inside to prevent any diseases from old plants and soil from getting into the new soil and plants.
If the drainage hole is in the bottom, protect it with a rock or piece of broken pottery so the soil won’t come out the drainage hole.
Prepare a 1 1/2” PVC pipe watering stem.
a. Cut a length of pipe that is 2” or more above the surface.
b. Mark a line parallel to the top of the container and then one 3” below this to start your holes so your holes will be below the soil level.
1) drill holes that are 1 1/2” apart with a 1/8-1/4” bit (I used a 3/16”)
2) drill straight through both sides, split the difference between the first 2 holes and drill through again, it works out to 1 1/2” between them.
3) drop down 1 1/2” and offset and drill again until you reach the bottom of the tube.
c. Plug the bottom of the pipe to allow the water to come up the tube and water the whole container and not just run out the bottom. (I used a plastic grocery bag wadded up in the bottom of the pipe.)
d. Cover the top of the pipe with something while placing the soil so the soil won’t get in the tube.
Use a good potting soil or the compost/vermiculite/peat moss type mix. Moisten the soil before placing it in the container.
a. Add fertilizer (I use a time release form so I don’t have to repeat the fertilization process as often) Check the labels, I purchased one that was $3 more, but lasts for 4 months vs another one of the same size that lasts only 2 months.
b. Fill with soil to the first row of pockets and then plant the pockets.
c. Continue to fill the container in layers until your last layer is 2” from the top of the container.
a. Fill the tube at least twice.
b. Gently water the soil around the plants at the top and in each pocket.
One last concern, birds. Birds, especially robins, love strawberries as much as we do. If this becomes a problem then you might need to cover the plants with netting. This does make picking more difficult, but may be the only way you will have strawberries for yourself. Many other techniques such as scarecrows, rubber snakes, fake owls, etc. as less effective. Slugs and snails can also be a problem.
Harvest berries as soon as they are ripe.
Remove any rotted fruit or yellowing leaves as you see them.
Some article,s that you might research, will suggest using blood and/or bone meal for fertilization. These can be purchased at most nurseries or stores with garden centers.
Overwintering any sheltered location such as a garage or workroom.
Strawberries are self fertile, but they need the actions of insects, or the wind to transfer the pollen to the correct flower parts in order to produce fruit. You can grow them indoors, but you will need to play bee. Rub a Q-tip or a fine small paint brush around on all of the flowers in order to pollenate them if you want berries. Wait for the flower to wilt. If it wilts within 48 hours, then the plant was successfully pollinated. If not, repeat the process. You can try natural methods such as setting the plant outside when it is windy or shaking the plant gently. You could borrow bees from a bee farmer, but it might be difficult getting them to leave your house :- )
Deuteronomy 30:9 “And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in…the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good.”
Next week: Sprouting
By Dennis Adamson
firstname.lastname@example.org = ask Dennis any gardening questions?
For The Family
A Survival Garden – Master Gardener Dennis Adamson
By Alan on Jan 05 in Blog tagged a Survival Garden, buy gardening books, canned vegetables and fruits, Cold Frame, Dennis Adamson, gentleman farmer, master gardener farm, master gardner, raise bees, raise chickens, small space, sprouting, square food gardener, storage area, survival seeds, survive, take classes, urban farming, week 52 | 2 Comments
A Survival Garden – Week 52
Alan has asked me to talk about having a survival garden. When I was a young boy we had a barnyard behind our home. One of my first memories was watching a pig being slaughtered in the barnyard. We also had beef, sheep and rabbits. We went deer and pheasant hunting. We would cut and package all of the animal meat and put the meat in our deep freeze. Later we started canning our deer meat. We had a large garden and some fruit trees. My maternal grandfather also had a large garden and an orchard. My mother canned many of the vegetables and fruits. Both of my grandparents had cellars to store items during the winter. We had a basement storage area. We probably could have survived on what we produced, hunted, processed, canned and stored. I know that my father said that because of their ability to raise their own food they didn’t suffer during the Great Depression. For most of us those days are long gone. Most urban areas of cities are zoned so you can’t have large animals on our property nor do we have enough land to produce the fruits and vegetables for us to survive on without supplementing from the grocery store.
To show you have far we have removed ourselves from this era can be demonstrated by my trying to find a photo on the Internet for a barnyard. Almost every barnyard picture that came up was a cartoon, toy, game or party favor. An illustration of this is Nicktoons cartoon series “back to the barnyard”.
During this article I will be referring to several blogs that I have written for Alan and TheFamily.com over this last year. Just type the article in Search box at TheFamily.com to bring them up.
One of the latest crazes is to purchase survival seed systems. These are touted to have enough seeds to plant an acre of land to provide year round survival. They usually cost well over $100. There are several problems with this type of system.
- Number one: few of us have an acre of land. My total property, including my house, is 1/3 acre. Lots are becoming smaller and smaller.
- Secondly, seeds don’t store indefinitely. The viability of seeds declines with each passing year and many don’t last more than 5 years unless you go to extreme measures for storage.
- Third, seeds have to be stored under the proper conditions. The lower the humidity, the cooler the temperature and darker the storage area will increase the length of seed viability. (See my articles: 2/2/11 Seeds!, 2/12/11 Saving and Storing Seeds and 2/18/11 When & How to Start Your Garden Seeds)
- Fourth, if you aren’t growing a garden now don’t expect, in an emergency situation, that you will have the expertise to even grow a sustainable garden.
- Lastly, many don’t, at the present time, have the equipment to can the fruit and vegetables, the place to store them, and the expertise to do so.
What can we do? If you have never gardened, take classes, buy gardening books and look for information on the Internet. Your local extension service can provide you with information on classes in your area. Start slowly. Container gardening is an excellent way to start out, especially if you have limited space. (See my 1/28/11 article: Gardening in Small Spaces) Sprouting can be done in your kitchen and you will see results in just a few days. (See my 5/5/11 article Sprouting).
Find an area in your yard to start a small garden and use techniques that will maximize your growing power such as Square Foot Gardening, interplanting, using the same space for a fall garden, etc. Use season extending techniques so you can start your garden earlier and grow later in the season. Cold frames are an excellent way to have certain cool season crops all winter long. (See my 2/25/11 article: Season Extending Techniques)
Urban sites are often available for neighborhoods to have gardens.
I recent read about a group that has been the using construction sites that have not progressed because of the economy.
Gardeners got permission to use the land until they started construction again. This particular group used milk crates and placed soil in them to grow their produce.
These could then be moved from site to site. If a neighbor has some unused ground, ask them if you could plant a garden and offer to provide them with part of the garden produce. (See my 7/13/11 article: Urban Farming)
Other articles, where I have talked about gardeners that have large enough gardens to be considered survival gardens, can be seen by going to my 8/31/11 article: The Ultimate Square Foot Gardener.
The September 21, 2001 blog is about ‘ A Visit to an Advanced Master Gardener’s Farm’.
On 9/7/11 I wrote about ‘A Gentleman Farmer’.
For 3 consecutive weeks I talked about Clarence Whetten’s gardening enterprise. It includes his large backyard and a neighbor’s land across the street. The neighbor is allowing him to use part of this land for a garden. Clarence’s whole family is involved and they raise chickens , bees and all types of produce. He built a high tunnel over part of his garden to extend the growing season to all year long. (See my 5/03/11 article on Chickens, 5/08/11 Honey bees and 5/21/11 An engineer’s method of making hoops for both high & low tunnels.
With the long winter nights, I would suggest that you spend some of your time going over these articles and other information available to you. As previously recommended, go to some gardening classes. Spend some time picking the brain of a friend or neighbor that has a garden that you admire. Then devise a plan for starting a garden if you don’t have one, improve a garden that you already have or find ways to utilize more of your space for a larger garden.
This holiday season has been both a joyous and a sad one. Our beautiful 10th grandchild Margaret (Maggie) was born on December 29th. I was ill and had to wait a couple of days before I got the chance to hold her. That very same day a friend died after a courageous battle with ALS. When I talked to her husband on Sunday he was grateful that she had been released from her suffering.
“A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;” Ecclesiastes 3:2
(and a time to think about planting!)
Next week: Planting Extra to Share with the Needy
Dennis Adamson – Master Gardener
email@example.com (Send Dennis your questions.)
For The Family
Vital Foods Guide? – Master Gardner Dennis Adamson
By Alan on Nov 23 in Blog tagged canner, Dennis Adamson, disasters, emergincy preparedness, food storage, insects, LDS, long term, master gardner, moisture, MRE, PETE, rodents, temperature, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, vital foods | Comments Off
Week 47: 37 Vital Foods Guide?
This is another emergency topic that Alan suggested. I did a Google search and the only way that you can find out what the 37 Vital Foods for Survival are is to buy a book called, 37 Food Items Sold Out After a Crisis. The author has apparently come up with 37 vital foods that he feels you will need to survive a crisis that shuts down the grocery stores or causes these foods to fly off the shelves during a crisis before you get to the grocery store. I tried to find reviews on the book and seemed to only find those that tried to get you to buy the book. I finally found the following at: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2738803/posts This reviewer says, “I took a look at it and it looks like the same information you can get through any prepper web-site for free. Nothing on that list of contents that I haven’t seen covered on those sites.”
It is also not available through any of the major book selling websites either new or used. It can only be purchased through the author’s website. That is why I put a (?) mark at the end of the article title. I don’t feel that I should be endorsing books that don’t give you any information other than the title and scare tactics to get you to buy the book. Since I am not going to purchase this book, I can’t tell you what the 37 vital foods are. Look up the book and decide for yourself. What I will do is give you some basic recommendations if you want to pursue any emergency food storage. If you google food storage books you can go to Amazon and get all 3 of their top selling Emergency food storage/survival/disaster preparedness books for less than the price of the other book.
Early in our marriage we were living in western Nebraska. We had a late season blizzard that put the area at a standstill for several days. We were living about a mile out of town surrounded by wheat fields. We quickly ran out of some food items, one of them being milk. I heard on the radio that one of the grocery stores had opened for business. The problem was that the roads weren’t open. I bundled up and trekked the mile to and and a mile back to get some much needed items. Since then we have had some form of food storage. Because we moved frequently and ofter had limited storage space, we purchased freeze dried foods.
During the economic downturn of the last few years I have know several people that have made use of the one year food supply that our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has recommended for many decades. (Some Google sites will state that it is a 2 year supply, but this is incorrect.) Their food storage supply provided them with a buffer until they could get themselves financially back on track. I have know of other that have used their food supplies to help other family members and friends during emergencies or in times of financial crisis.
Members of our church have been given the following counsel:
“We encourage Church members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.”
“We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.”
“We realize that some of you may not have financial resources or space for such storage. Some of you may be prohibited by law from storing large amounts of food. We encourage you to store as much as circumstances allow.”
Their latest council on how to accomplish this is: “Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage.”
Their recommendations for longer term food storage is: “gradually build a supply with food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans.”
“Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (24°C/75°F or lower) remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought, according to findings of recent scientific studies. Estimated shelf life for many products has increased to 30 years or more.”
“Previous estimates of longevity were based on “best-if-used-by” recommendations and experience. Though not studied, sugar, salt, baking soda, and vitamin C in tablet form also store well long-term. Some basic foods do need more frequent rotation, such as vegetable oil every 1 to 2 years.”
“While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.”
They list the “Life-Sustaining” food items, that when properly prepared, that will store for 30+ years: wheat, white rice, corn & sugar; those that should last 30 years: pinto beans, pasta, potato flakes & apple slices; those that should last 20 years: non-fat powdered milk & dehydrated carrots. (I am sure that other dehydrated foods will last a similarly long period of time.)
Honey will last indefinitely, and even though it will crystalize, it can be heated up back to its liquid form. I was watching an episode of ‘Life After People’ where they showed a family eating a fruit cake that an ancestor had baked and then died right after taking it out of the oven. It was 130 years old. They said the density of the mix and the alcohol content may allow fruitcake to be edible for approximately 250 years. I am sorry, but I am not going to store fruitcake. This show also claimed that Twinkies would last 25 years on the shelf. That should make my Dad happy since he is a big Twinkies fan and took them in his lunch for over 35 years. I don’t plan on having a years supply of Twinkies either.
Also on the lds.org site they give the suggested amounts for one adult for one month as 25 lbs of wheat, white rice, corn and other grains and 5 lbs for beans.
Storage recommendations from this site are:
Temperature: Store products at a temperature of 75°F/24°C or lower whenever possible. If storage temperatures are higher, rotate products as needed to maintain quality. (We have a storage area that stays below 65F even during the summer and cooler in the winter.
Moisture: Keep storage areas dry.It is best to keep containers off of the floor to allow for air circulation.
Light: Protect cooking oil and products stored in PETE bottles from light.
Insects and rodents: Protect products stored in foil pouches and PETE bottles from rodent and insect damage. (When I was deployed during Desert Shield/Desert Storm we had to keep our Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) plastic packages off of the ground. Those with cheese foil packets inside the heavy plastic MRE package were routinely chewed into by the desert rats. I would have thought that they wouldn’t have been able to smell the cheese through both layers, but it seems they could.)
Packaging recommendations, using oxygen absorbers, are #10 sealable cans, foil pouches, canning jars with metal lids with sealing gaskets and PETE bottles for dry products.
They give the following warning: “Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in packaging that reduces oxygen. When stored in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers, products must be dry (about 10% or less moisture content).”
PETE bottles are by far the least expensive and easiest to procure. Just save soda and juice bottle or have neighbors and friends save theirs for you. PETE or PET bottles are Polyethylene terephthalate. This is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family. Because it is a good barrier material it is often used for soda and juice bottles. You can tell if they are PETE bottles by looking on or near the bottom for the recycling triangle symbol. It should have a #1 in the triangle and PETE below it. I found that soda (pop) bottles seem to have it on the side near the bottom and the PETE may be difficult to see. The juice bottle had it on the bottom of the bottle. I found the following site to be very instructive on using PETE bottles and oxygen absorbers for food storage: http://www.instructables.com/id/Storing-Bulk-Dry-Foods-in-PETE-Bottles-using-Oxyge/
By clicking on the pictures near the top of the article you can go through the 5 steps of using PETE bottles for food storage plus additional information.
I found one comment at the bottom of these instructions, from grandpajoe, to be interesting: “If you are storing grain, the following “rule of thumb” might help: Put a kernel of grain on a white piece of paper, on concrete. Hit it with a hammer. If it shatters, it is probably dry enough to store. If it does not shatter, but rather smashes flat, it is definitely too moist. If the impact of the grain leaves an oily spot on the paper, it is too high in oil content.”
The lds.org site has the following recommendations for using PETE bottles:
Use PETE bottles that have screw-on lids with plastic or rubber lid seals. You can verify that the lid seal will not leak by placing a sealed empty bottle under water and pressing on it. If you see bubbles escape from the bottle, it will leak.
Clean used bottles with dish soap, and rinse them thoroughly to remove any residue. Drain out the water, and allow the bottles to dry completely before you use them for packaging food products.
Place an oxygen absorber in each bottle. The absorbers can be used with containers of up to one-gallon capacity (4 liters).
Fill bottles with wheat, corn, or dry beans.
Wipe top sealing edge of each bottle clean with a dry cloth and screw lid on tightly.
Store the products in a cool, dry location, away from light.
Protect the stored products from rodents.
Use a new oxygen absorber each time you refill a bottle for storage.
Foil pouches should be made of multilayer laminated plastic and aluminum. The material should be 7 mils thick (178 microns) and protects food against moisture and insects. (photo foils pouches) These are available at LDS home storage centers, at Distribution Services, and online at: store.lds.org. They need to be sealed by an impulse sealer and not by using an iron or home heat sealer. The pouches are not rodent proof.
The lds.org site also advises not to use the following in long-term food storage: jerky or other dried meats, nuts, pearled barley, dried eggs, whole wheat flour, brown rice, brown sugar, milled grains other than rolled oats, granola and vegetables and fruits unless they are dry enough through the center to snap when you bend them.
For more detailed information, on the above and on use of plastic sealable pails with dry ice, go to lds.org listed above.
There are several basic recommendations that can be found on the web for short and long-term food storage. One such site recommended, with no distinction between short-term or long-term storage:
wheat (both hard and soft), rice (white and brown, although brown has a shorter shelf life), salt
various varieties of beans, sugar, honey, spices, herbs and seasonings (according to preferences)
dried milk, peanut butter, powdered beverage packets, including coffee & hot chocolate, canned soups, vegetables, fruits, etc., rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, oil, shortening, breakfast cereals, you also might want to consider some desert mixes and candies for an occasional treat. Freeze-dried meals, vegetables and deserts usually found in camping sections and are great for the 72 hour kits recommended by Homeland Security and (CERT) Community Emergency Response Teams.
I googled ‘the top ten foods to store’ and got such varied recommendations as:
Site 1 …………………………………….Site 2
Lentils/Pinto & Black Beans
One thing, that you want to remember when storing wheat and corn, you will need something to grind them before you can use them. You could always use the old Indian way of a mano (flat stone) and metate (grinding mortar). Otherwise you will need a mechanical or electrical grinder specifically made for grains. It will also take your body a while to adjust to a diet of only “life-sustaining” foods if you have to resort to them.
Even though I had recently seen a spate of programs on worldwide cataclysms from the Mayan Calendar, Hopi prophesies, Nostradamus, historic sun flares, etc., I am not much of a believer that civilization, as we know it, is going to end in December of 2012. Remember the Y2K disaster that was predicted and didn’t occur? What I do know is that economic problems, local and regional disasters occur all of the time. This I why I would advise considering food storage of some type.
“And again, verily I say unto you, that every man…is obliged to provide for his own family…” D&C 75: 28
firstname.lastname@example.org Any Questions? Send Dennis an email!
Next week: 72 hour kits!
Sustainable Gardening – With Dennis Adamson
By Alan on Nov 09 in Blog tagged Dennis Adamson, diet related diseases, Environmental education, healthy eating, local food growers, master gardner, natural, paper vs. plastic, polution, pressure cooker, right fats, Roslynn G. Brain, sustaqinable gardening | 1 Comment
Week 44 Sustainable Gardening
My wife and I do service for our church for 7 hours on Wednesdays. I used to go to a salad bar in the cafeteria and buy my lunch. I finally realized, especially since I starting my cold frame, that I should be bringing my own salad. During the summer months I have lots of vegetables that I can add to the greens. During the winter I use sprouts, that I grow, to provide variety to the salad. I don’t know how far away the produce for the salad bar comes from, but my salad only comes 2.4 miles.
I am finally getting around to covering the topic that was given, during the Master Gardener Conference September 24th, on ‘Sustainability in Gardening & Eating’ by Roslynn G. Brain, PhD. She first introduced herself and told us that she was originally from Canada where their family had a farm. She said that she came to Utah State University in Logan because Utah has her favorite animal. Living here she will have more time to study it. She then asked us to guess which animal it was. I quickly spoke up and said, “Mormons”. That cracked everyone up. Once the crowd settled back down, she said “No, but that was close”. It turns out it is the yellow-bellied marmot. Dr. Brain has a Ph.D. from the University of Florida with a major in Extension Education and a minor in Environmental Education. Since graduating in 2008 she has worked for the University of Georgia’s cooperative extension system as a state 4-H grants specialist and as an environmental educator for Rock Eagle 4-H Center. She has also worked as a naturalist instructor for the Great Smoky Mountains Institute in Tennessee and for the Yellowstone Association in Montana. Dr. Brain recently arrived in Cache Valley where she will be working as the new Extension Specialist in Sustainable Communities at Utah State University.
I found this a very informative and thought provoking presentation. Some of the information contained below might be somewhat controversial. I will discuss some of this in next weeks article. The article will be fairly clear on those things that Dr. Brain presented with a few clarifications or additions by me.
The first part of her presentation was on food miles. Our food is delivered by truck, rail, cargo plane or ships. Virtually all of these use fossil fuels. She pointed out that these fuels produce carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and more. She had a slide showing that this leads to acid rain, smog, air and sea pollution and the possibility of climate change. I would point out that those of us who live in mountain valleys especially see some of these effects of this during winter inversions. Sometimes you can’t see the mountains on the far side of the valleys. She put up a slide that showed local and regionally produced foods result in 17 times fewer pollutants. The next figure was on the difference between local vs. distant food sources. On average grocery store foods comes from 27 times further away than local sources. The produce usually comes about 1500 miles and most fruit comes from overseas. She explained that the US consumes approximately $600 billion of food annually. When it isn’t procured locally, only 7% of the dollars stay in the community. She then showed us figures from the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Report, 2002. It stated that if consumers only bought 1% more food directly from the farm, the farmers would see a 5% increase in their income and that 90% of the dollars would go directly back to the farm. I found that Utah’s Own and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has this logo to let those of us living in this state know that it is produced locally.
The next part of the presentation was on lowering our food footprint. Her recommendations were:
Look for items produced in the USA or in your region.
Join Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or Food Cooperatives.
Shop at Farmers/Gardeners Markets.
For the exotics, that can’t be produced locally, look for:
a. “Fair Trade”: Small scale farmers, in developing countries, work directly with buyers to provide better trading conditions so they can get higher prices, prioritize sustainable farming methods, along with promoting no use of forced child labor or of most harmful pesticides.
b. “Rainforest Alliance”: The is a US non-government organization that has developed standards and certification to preserve biodiversity through integrated pest management (IPM), soil & water conservation. They work to build sustainable livelihoods by helping certified Rainforest communities and businesses market their products effectively and increase technical ability.
I would add:
Share excess produce from your garden with neighbors, family & friends.
Utilize neighborhood and community gardens.
Dr. Brain then discussed sustainable eating and shopping. She started out showing statistics that 68% of diseases and 30% of cancers are diet related. (National Academy of Sciences, 2010) She also stated that 12% of our Gross National Product (GNP) was healthcare related.
She introduced us to the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) It Evaluates an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals & antioxidant capacities. Some of the examples she showed were mustard, kale & watercress with a score of 1000; Bok Choy/Baby Bok Choy 824; and Spinach 739. I found that this index was developed by Dr. Joel Furman, a family practice physician, and is described in his book ‘Eat For Health’.
She then went on to show the 4 pillars of healthy eating:
Whole foods: the minimal amount of processing
2. Plant strong: lots of plants added to the recipes
3. Nutrient dense: ANDI
4. Healthy fats: mono & polyunsaturated fats
A further Internet search show: An easy formula for buying the 4 pillars at the grocery store
Stick to the least processed products. Choose more whole foods and colorful produce. Purchase lots of the leafy greens. Buy the right fats: more from plants and less from animals.
Additional information on sustainable eating: At home, raw is the best for flavor & nutrition. If you need to cook it, use steaming or other processes that minimizes the loss of nutrients. Recently we purchased an electric pressure cooker. This method of cooking uses a very small amount of water, which is sealed inside the cooker along with the food, and builds up pressure turning the water into steam. This cooks the vegetables and helps retain their color and nutrients. It is also very fast and tasty. After using it for a week, we decided to buy one for each of our daughters-in-law that want one.
Dr. Brain talked about the paper vs. plastic debate and showed a chart that was enlightening.
1 ton = 17 trees
1 ton = 11 barrels of oil
1 month to biodegrade, same as plastic in landfill
5-1000 years to disintegrate
To produce 1 bag = 5.75 lbs of air pollutants
To produce 1 bag = 1.2 lbs of air pollutants
Generates 5 X the solid waste of plastic
40% less energy to manufacture & 90% less to recycle than paper
More fuel used to transport & store
3% end up as free-floating litter
Manufacturing: 50 X more water pollution
Easily washes into rivers, lakes and oceans where wildlife can be injured or killed by it
Based on the table she said that plastic is in many ways more earth friendly than paper. One thing that was not discussed was renewable vs. nonrenewable, paper being renewable.
Then she discussed how going to cloth shopping bags was the best way to go. This is where I raised my hand and played the Devil’s Advocate. I will wait until next week to get into this. (This is just a teaser to get you to look for next week’s article.)
Her final topic was Weeds or Plants? Double your garden yield!
This is a subject for another article.
“Cast thy burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain thee…” Ps. 55: 22
Next week: Playing the Devil’s Advocate
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For The Family
Preparing The Garden For Winter – Week 43
By Alan on Nov 02 in Blog tagged Dennis Adamson, master gardner, preparing the garden for winter, The Family, week 43 | Comments Off
Week 43 – Preparing the Garden for Winter
The weatherman has been predicting the first hard frost for northern Utah October 27th. This got me going on preparing for winter. One of the 1st things I did was put the snowplow back on the ATV. There is a story behind this. Our driveway slopes down and my wife decided that I was going to have a heart attack shoveling the snow. She said that I needed to buy an ATV with a snowplow. That was one of those ‘Throw me in the briar patch’ moments. The next day I purchased the the ATV with a detachable snowplow. Of course the grandkids think that it is only a recreational vehicle and make sure that I use it this way also. The photo shows one of my grandson’s pumping his arms, in exhaultation, after climbing some mine tailings. The ATV can be seen in the right background.
I also put the the plant containers in the greenhouse. The orange tree didn’t produce any fruit this year and appeared to be dying, so out it went. The lemon tree only produced one lemon and it is still green. I may purchase 2 new lemon trees next spring. I have a neighbor that sells 1/2 hay bales and pumkins. To take the place of the flower containers on each side of the front door I always get 2 half bales. I attach 2 scarecrows on the back of the bales and then place pumkings on the bales. My wife also hangs an autumn decoration that one of our daughter-in-law’s mother made us.
Even though the main garden is finished there are things that we are still picking. I got my last basket of winter squash in. There are still lots of carrots left and the grandkids picked several and took them home to eat. The cold frame has kicked into high gear and I am producing more that we can eat. This year I am growing several varieties of lettuce and spinach as well as mustard greens and arugula. I have found that the arugula grown in the cooler weather of the cold frame isn’t bitter like that grown in the heat of the summer.
The fall flowers in the garden are lovely, especially the daisies and Japanese anemone. The Indian blanket flower is still blooming well and the bees are loving it. The plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) ground cover leaves are changing to a maroon color and with its blue flowers it makes a nice contrast. I have planted the recently purchased ornamental grasses and other plants together in a part of my garden and have put garden fabric over it them to give them further protection this winter. You will notice, in the picture of them completely covered with the garden fabric, that I haven’t pushed the ground staples all of the way in. This will allow the grasses to grow and push the fabric up as they do so. Next spring I will put them in their permanent spots. The flowering hawthorne berries are bright red. Unfortunately, the birds don’t seem to like them. Even with the hard winter we had, they would try to eat them and then leave after trying just one. I remember an old Scout saying that you don’t eat any berries that you don’t see the birds eating. I guess I won’t eat any of the hawthorne berries. My roses are still producing and I made my wife very happy by picking some for the house.
I did my final harvesting of tomatoes on the vine and brought them into the kitchen. I then pulled up all of my tomato plants and prepared some of the vines, with tomatoes still attached, to hang upside down in my workroom. This year I decided to remove the leaves like some recommend. This will make much less mess in the workroom. On the far left are some radish seed pods hanging to dry out. Those tomatoes that fell off I put in a cardboard lid to allow them to ripen also. As the tomatoes start to get pink I will take them up to the kitchen to fully ripen.
The hard frost came, just as predicted by the weatherman. I went out and cleaned up the rest of the vegetable garden. There were a few things that could be retrieved to eat. The strawberries were from the container that I put in the greenhouse and the grapes were a few that the birds didn’t find. My bell and jalapenos peppers didn’t do too well this year. Part of it was the cooler early summer and part because the area got more shade than normal because of all the vines I planted near them. Next year I will plant them in a sunnier spot. The last of the green beans and radishes and one fat carrot that got pulled up when removing other plants finished this picking. I cleaned up the dead plants, leaves and weeds in the raised beds. There are several carrots that I left in the ground. They can be picked when we want or left to over-winter. The last thing that I will need to do, somewhat at my leisure, is load up the bed of the truck and the trailer with the green waste and take it to the composting site.
If you spade or till your garden, work leaves, grass clippings and other compostable materials into the soil so they can be breaking down during the fall and winter. This way you will be ahead of the game when spring comes.
“Do thy diligence to come before winter…” 2 Tim. 4: 21
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For The Family
Next week I will finally try to do the sustainable gardening article done.
The Joys Of Autumn – Master Gardener – Dennis Adamson
By Alan on Oct 27 in Blog tagged Dennis Adamson, master gardner, the joys of Autumn, week 42 | Comments Off
Week 42 The Joys of Autumn
Fall has always been my favorite season. The weather, in our area, is generally the nice with cool nights and warm days. The changing of the leaves are a favorite for my wife and I. We have lived near areas where the fall colors are spectacular like Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the North East. The canyons of Utah are also lovely. One of the things that we often do is take the chair lift at Robert Redford’s Sundance Ski Resort, about 30 minutes from our home, during this time of year. At the top you can get off and hike the trails or come back down on the lift. The view of the changing leaves with majestic Mt. Timpanogos in the background are awe inspiring.
This past week we have done several other things that have made this season enjoyable. I and another leader took four of our Varsity Scouts on a 25 mile bike ride along the Provo River Parkway Trail. The upper (eastern) section continues on the trail along the Provo River as it enters Provo Canyon. The trail goes right by Bridal Veil Falls. (photo To finish the ride we took the boys up the South Fork of Provo Canyon and let them ride 7 miles back to the parking lot.
Once a week my wife and I like to take a lunch and drive less and 6 miles to a picnic site in American Fork Canyon that is on the American Fork River. This past week we met a couple and their 7 year old daughter from Venezuala. They were touring the the American West and were enjoying the nature trail that runs from the picnic grounds to the Visitor’s Center for the Timpanogos Cave National Monument. We had a nice visit with them as we walked along and enjoyed the fall colors.
This last weekend we drove Preston, Idaho to visit our oldest son and his family. Preston sits on the north end of Cache Valley. Cache Valley is on the Utah/Idaho border. The main city in the valley is Logan, Utah. It is home of Utah State University and the home of the Utah State Extension Service of which the Advanced Master Gardener program I am associated with is a part of. Also in the valley is the American West Heritage Center where we had the Master Gardener Conference last month. This year is a much happier one than last year. Last year our son was home for R&R (rest & recuperation) from Afghanistan exactly a year ago. That time we went to the Halloween/cornmaze event held at the Center. Soon after this he was on his way back to Afghanistan.
This year we went to the Pumpkin Walk held near the University. The whimsical scenes are mostly made from various squahes, including pumpkins. This is about the 4th time that we have gone, but every time is a joy. I will only give you a sampling of what you can see. There are literally hundreds of figures in dozens of scenes. They had several cut out pumpkins in a covered area. The scene of Flower the skunk and Bambi with the wild flowers was lovely. Next was Winnie the Poo and friends. I especially liked Tigger. Kung Foo Panda was one of the last scenes along with a scene that had the American flag painted on pumpkins. There was also a waterfall made out of pumpkins that the grandkid thought that I should make for my yard. They particularly liked the water coming out of the Jack-o-lantern’s mouth. I think that I will leave it to the pumkin walk people. It looks like a lot of work to me.
Our son has a small orchard and this year has a been a bumper crop for their apples.
My wife loves to make applesauce and then freeze it. She has alread done 3 batches. This weekend we picked several more boxes to take home with us to make more applesauce and also to give to family and friends.
They still have so many apples that they are going to have to invite neighbors and friends to pick the rest of them. On Saturday we had a production line and canned 45 1/2 quarts of applesauce for their family. I cleaned the leaves off of the apples and then placed them in the grandkids bathtub. The grandkids, Malia & Logan, then washed them and put them in a clean bucket. My wife and son, Austin, cut them into smaller pieces. I then put them in large pots of water and boiled them. Once they boiled I took them and dipped them out and put them in the hopper of the food processor and pushed them into the the apparatus that my son was turning. This in turn forced the apples through a cylindrical mesh that made the applesauce. Once we had the plastic bowl full I took it to my daughter-in-law, Lee, who put it into jars, sealed them and put them in the pressure cooker. I forgot to get a picture of this part of the process so I had to do a fake one with the already processed applesauce jars in the pressure cooker. The last photo is of the many finished jars. We brought some back to one of her cousins who is having chemotherapy.
“Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart.” D&C 59: 18
Next week: Preparing the Garden for Winter
Missouri Botanical Garden
By Alan on Oct 19 in Blog tagged Biblical Garden, Blanke Boxwood Garden, Children's garden, Climatron, Dennis Adamson, English Woodland Garden, Grigg Nanjing Friendship Chinese Garden, Kemperer Center for Home Gardening, Marty Adamson, master gardner, Missouri Botanical Garden, Ottoman Garden, Shoenberg Temperate House, Strassenfest German Garden, Swift Family Garden | Comments Off
Week 41: Missouri Botanical Garden
I had planned on talking about sustainable gardening when we got back from our trip to St. Louis and Virginia. There have been some unplanned events that have come up and will continue for several more days. I thought that you might enjoy seeing some of the sites at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.
When my wife was growing up in St. Louis her mother would take her and her sister there frequently. Last year we went there with a group, but the Climatron was closed for renovations. When we went to her high school reunion 2 weeks ago we decided that we would visit the garden again so we could see it.
The garden was started by Henry Shaw in 1800. He was born in Sheffield, England and came to America to find markets for his father’s iron factory. He eventually traveled to St. Louis, then a small French village. He set up a hardware store and sold high quality goods to farmers, soldiers, immigrants and pioneers. He did so well that by age 40 he was one of the largest landowners in St. Louis and was able to retire. He then traveled to pursue his hobby in botany.
He had his home, the Tower Grove House, built on his estate. With the help of leading botanists he built a first class garden. As the garden became larger he decided to open it to the public and it eventually it became the Missouri Botanical Garden. Shaw is buried in a mausoleum near the home. There are now a total of 79 acres with 4800 trees. There are 6200 plant specimens and has one of the 6 largest herbariums in the world. The annual attendance is near 1 million.
The Climatron geodesic dome, covering more than 1/2 an acre, was opened in 1960. It mimics a tropical rainforest with more than 2800 plants from 1200 species of tropical plants. It is maintained by a computerized climate control system. The inside temperature ranges from 64°F (29° C) at night to a high of 85°F (18° C) during the day. The average humidity is 85 percent. Plants are watered with reverse osmosis purified, tempered water. For those of you old enough to remember the science fiction movie Silent Running, the spaceship Valley Forge had horticultural geodesic domes based on the Climatron according to the director, Douglas Trumbull.
Next to the Climatron is the Shoenberg Temperate House. It houses plants found in the Mediterranean region, Southwest US, China and Japan.
The Biblical Garden portion contains 30-40 of the 110 plants mentioned in the Bible. The stone portico was salvaged from the main entrance to St. Leo’s School in south St. Louis when it was demolished in 1978 and sits in front of the Moorish Garden that resembles an 11th century garden at the Alhambra in Grenada Spain. There were many cacti and beside them was a cork trunk and the bark of it that is used to make cork products. I had forgotten that was where you get cork.
We then walked through the Kemperer Center for Home Gardening. There was a Master Gardener on hand to answer questions and several pamphlets that you could take free of charge. I picked up ‘The Gateway Gardener’ for September 2011 that had an article on Fall Color For the Shade and the October 2011 issue that included Hot Trees for a Cooler Landscape. I also picked up 2 printouts from the University of Missouri-Columbia Extension on Pollinating Fruit Crops and Home Fruit Production: Apples for my son in Preston, Idaho who has a small apple orchard.
There are examples of different types of gardening and vegetables on display in small gardens around the Center. They had an example of a vertical garden on a wall, tomatoes grown in an open greenhouse using rebar for a trellis, exotic winter squash growing on an arbor and kohlrabi (see my week 30 article on unusual produce) growing in a traditional plot.
Also demonstrated was paper tubes to entice Mason bees to your garden.
I picked up some paper tubes at the Master Gardener Conference and plan to try to attract them to my garden next year.
The Seiwa-en Japanese Garden was designed by the late Professor Koichi Kawana. It is an authentic Japanese garden covering 14 acres with a 4 acre lake. It is the largest Japanese strolling garden in the Western hemisphere. There are waterfalls, dry gravel gardens raked into rippling patterns, stone lanterns, streams and water-filled basins.
The Children’s Garden has changed a lot from when my wife came here as a child. She said that there were the typical playground swing sets back then. Now there is a tree house, slides made to look like twisted tree trunks and they had beautiful purple pea vines growing over an arche at the entrance.
Other featured gardens are: the Gladney Rose Garden, English Woodland Garden, Grigg Nanjing Friendship Chinese Garden, Blanke Boxwood Garden, Ottoman Garden, Swift Family Garden and the Strassenfest German Garden.
We enjoyed a nice luncheon at the Sassafras Cafe overlooking part of the garden. It is a Certified Green Restaurant and has a mission to create an ecologically sustainable restaurant. The ‘plastic’ cups were a compostable resin made from corn. The cups and all of the paper products are composted on site. As we ate we watched people setting up for the ‘Best of Missouri’ farmers market. It wasn’t going to start until 7 PM and we had other places to go to, but I wish that we could have walked around it.
Gen. 2: 8 “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
Next week: to be announced