Bush Cherries – A Game-changer for the Home Orchard

Cherries have been a favored fruit for centuries, eaten by people since before recorded history.  Sweet cherries, Prunus avium, are native throughout most of Europe, western Asia and parts of northern Africa. Naturally, they have been used extensively in holiday cooking through the years.  But tart cherries, Prunus cerasus, are the most common and well-adapted cherry grown... Continue Reading →

Water Your Compost Pile

What? Why should I water something that isn’t growing? Ah, but it is growing…you just can’t see it. A compost pile is a combination of many elements; brown stuff (tree leaves, twigs, coffee grounds), green stuff (kitchen waste, grass clippings) and microscopic animals called microbes.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins are typically thought of as a Halloween decoration, however, they are also a staple of our holiday season. Everyone loves pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also, pumpkins and gourds make great Thanksgiving decorations! Description Pumpkins are a member of the cucurbit family of plants. They are in the same family as cucumbers, squash,... Continue Reading →

Curing and Storing Popcorn

The history of popcorn in the Americas is very old, with the oldest samples of popcorn found in the Bat Cave of west central New Mexico dated at about 4,000 years old. According to the Popcorn Board, an organization of United States popcorn processors, it’s thought that the first use of wild and early-cultivated corn... Continue Reading →

Summer Berries – Gooseberry

Gooseberry is another great fruit for the home garden.  The genus Ribes is home to both gooseberries and currants, so these two plants are closely related. Both are hardy and productive.  One way to distinguish gooseberry from currant, is the arrangement of fruits.  Gooseberry produces single fruits, or small clusters of 2-3 berries, from leaf... Continue Reading →

Summer Berries – Serviceberry

Whether for fruit production, habitat or beauty, serviceberry is an excellent addition to any landscape.  You might know these plants by other names such as Juneberry, named for the month when fruits ripen, sarviceberry, and shadbush referring to the plants bloom time "when the shad (river herring) run". There are about twenty plant species within... Continue Reading →

Summer Berries – Raspberry & Blackberry

The popularity of home vegetable gardening has certainly been strong this year, continuing a trend that started 10-15 years ago. But this year's shelter-at-home practices encouraged an even larger group of new gardeners to try their hand at home food production.  Similarly, there is a growing interest in home fruit production.  Aside from strawberries, there... Continue Reading →

Harvesting Greens

What’s the best way to harvest your greens, such as lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard?  Before starting, remember these harvest tips. ·       Small leaves are tasty and tender. Over mature greens often become bitter.   ·       Harvest mid-morning after the dew has dried but before the hot sun comes out. Harvesting leaves dry lengthens their... Continue Reading →

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