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 →

Espalier: Create Living Art with Form and Function

An old horticulture practice of controlling plant growth in a flat plane against a solid surface or trellis has merit in today’s smaller landscapes. This is the art of espalier, pronounced ess-PAL-yer, or ess-PAL-yay. The word espalier is French, but is derived from the Italian word spalliera meaning “something to rest the shoulder against.” The... Continue Reading →

Controlling Cucumber Beetles and Squash Bugs With Fewer Insecticides? Yes, it’s Possible!

Cucumber beetles and squash bugs are two serious insect problems of the cucurbits – cucumber, summer squash, winter squash, pumpkin, watermelon and zucchini.  They are both difficult to control, but new research gives an option to reduce their numbers using low-chemical control. The Culprits Cucumber beetles and squash bug adults both cause damage through their feeding.... Continue Reading →

COVID-19 and Farmers Markets – The Show Will Go On!

New guidance for farmers market operators was released by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture April 15, 2020. Nebraska farmers markets will be allowed to take place this year if they follow the mandatory guidance requirements, many of which are similar to procedures we are currently seeing in grocery stores. Here are a few excerpts from Guidance... Continue Reading →

Coronavirus and Food Safety: 4 Common Questions

The coronavirus COVID-19 has instigated a new normal for us all, affecting almost every aspect of life. We are all aware of the everyday preventive actions the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends. Avoid close contact with others. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean your hands often, including... Continue Reading →

2020 All-America Selection Vegetable Winners

This year All-America Selections (AAS) announces seven national and two heartland vegetable award winners. To see pictures of these and other great plants visit the  All-American Selection Website. Consider trying one of these great cultivars this year by purchasing seeds or transplants. National Winners Cucumber ‘Green Light’ - This little beauty is an excellent mini cucumber,... Continue Reading →

2020- The Year of Sweet Corn

The final plant of the year, promoted by the National Garden Bureau, is sweet corn. Whether picked fresh from the garden or purchased from the farmers market or local produce aisle, sweet corn continues to be among America’s favorite vegetable. Why is it so Popular? Versatility! Eaten straight off the cob or included in side dishes,... Continue Reading →

Growing Onions – Sets, Plants or Seeds?

Planting onions from small bulbs or "sets" is not the best way to grow large onions for storage.  Plants grown from sets often begin blooming in mid-summer and stubbornly refuse to stop. Once that happens, onion bulbs don't increase much in size.   Onion Sets This happens because onions are biennials. They grow foliage and a bulb the first... Continue Reading →

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