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Archives for June 14, 2014

The Truth About Being A Dad, According To 14 Really Funny Famous Guys

Comedians are known to tell it like it is, and their jokes on the topic of fatherhood are no exception. Leave it to these guys to hit the nail on the head when addressing life as a dad. (Oh and Happy Father’s Day!)

1. On how kids’ songs should really go:

“There should be a children’s song: ‘If you’re happy and you know it, keep it to yourself and let your dad sleep.’” -– Jim Gaffigan

jim gaffigan

2. On how simple dad-hood should be:

“Be a dad. Don’t be ‘Mom’s assistant.’ That’s depressing, just waiting for her to write you a list, walk around a store staring at it, calling her from the cereal aisle to make sure you got the right thing. Be a man. Make your own list. Fathers have skills that they never use at home. You run a landscaping business and you can’t dress and feed a 4-year-old? Take it on. Spend time with your kids and have your own ideas about what they need. It won’t take away your manhood; it will give it to you. I did that. I spent more time with my kids. And I found out that I’m a pretty bad father. I make a lot of mistakes and I don’t know what I’m doing. But my kids love me. Go figure.” — Louis C.K.

louis ck

3. On bedtime:

“The bedtime routine for my kids is like this Royal Coronation Jubilee Centennial of rinsing and plaque and dental appliances and the stuffed animal semi-circle of emotional support. And I’ve gotta read eight different moron books. You know what my bedtime story was when I was a kid? Darkness!” — Jerry Seinfeld

jerry seinfeld

4. On potty time:

“A new father quickly learns that his child invariably comes to the bathroom at precisely the times when he’s in there, as if he needed company.” — Bill Cosby

bill cosby

5. The truth:

“When I hear people talk about juggling, or the sacrifices they make for their children, I look at them like they’re crazy, because ‘sacrifice’ infers that there was something better to do than being with your children.” — Chris Rock

chris rock

6. The truth truth…

“Having children is like living in a frat house — nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.” — Ray Romano

ray romano

7. On why it’s really beneficial to have kids:

“I learn things from my kids constantly. Most of their knowledge comes from Snapple caps.” — Jimmy Kimmel

jimmy kimmel

8. On what you’re really doing everyday:

“Fatherhood is great because you can ruin someone from scratch.” –- Jon Stewart

jon stewart

9. On yelling:

“My daughter said, ‘Why are you yelling at us?’ and I said, ‘I’m trying to discipline you!’ And then she looked up at me with her tear-stained eyes and said, ‘This is how you teach children, by making them cry.’ And it was such a clenching reminder — she won not only the argument, but she won life with that statement. I just burst out laughing, and I think they were so surprised that I burst out laughing, that they did too.” — Stephen Colbert

stephen colbert

10. On love, kind of:

“I really love my kids for about six minutes a day.” —Michael Ian Black

michael ian black

11. On how to make kids laugh… if you’re Paul Rudd:

“If I can walk around in my underwear and pull it up super high so it’s just gross looking and then try and be very serious with them. I like to do that … pretend to be very mad and have my underwear hiked up … really high.” — Paul Rudd

paul rudd

12. On your new-found neuroses:

“I want my son to wear a helmet 24 hours a day.” — Will Arnett

will arnett

13. The bottom line:

“[Kids] are just like annoying short people.” — Hank Azaria


14. On the only thing you need to know:

“Having a kid is like falling in love for the first time when you’re 12, but every day.” — Mike Myers


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Davis: Window dressing, landscaping paves the way for buyers

Here in Southern California we can enjoy the benefits of multicultural surroundings. The diversity in cuisines, arts, ideas and customs lends itself to rich and beneficial experiences. It also brings with it a wide variety of preferences in housing structures, locations and lot orientations.

The question is how does a seller maximize the potential to attract the most buyers? According to the California Association of Realtors, the ultimate luxury in a home setting is the view 69 percent of the … Click here to login or subscribe and see more.

More from Huntington Beach

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Grass Roots plants produce personality

Grass Roots plants produce personality [UPDATED]

Published 7:00am Saturday, June 14, 2014 Updated 10:12am Friday, May 30, 2014

This article first appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of our In Good Company magazine. For more articles visit our In Good Company website.

Article photos by Maggie Vertin

Deb Gluesing and Tom Meinhover created and operate the enchanting Grass Roots at the Farm Nursery and Gift Shop in Ottertail County. These two kindred souls have grassroots at their very cores. “Bloom where you are planted” is a better description of the two of them than of any particular seed, fallen on good ground or bad.

They are entrepreneurs in the purest sense – optimistic risk takers, enthusiastic and generous.

Many years ago when Deb opened the doors of the renovated Ford garage in Perham and hung a “GRASS ROOTS” sign on the door post of a home grown retail gift shop, she invited Tom to sell a few veggies and plants from her shelves. Today, several moves and enhancements later, Tom is just as happy to have you stop by the farm to discuss world politics on the elevated barn deck as he would be to sell you an apple tree.  Or he might invite you to sample something Deb is testing for a cookbook.

The non-traditional couple has hopped from opportunity to opportunity with enthusiasm, wit and integrity. “I guess we are entrepreneurial spirits,” quips Deb, “We get so excited about making something happen – the next big venture.” “No one thing was ever going to be enough – we had to keep trying more things to be successful. Basically, every time we had a financial crisis we started another business,” added Tom.

Deb released her spirits early while “Tomato Tom” was living bachelor hippie days researching organic foods in greenhouses.  She joined forces with her sister, who was running a gift shop of handcrafted items in Minneapolis, to market regional items to a larger area. They began wholesaling and going to other markets and eventually acquired a showroom at the Minneapolis Gift Mart.  “We started pushing the “From MN with Love” gift line and then combining Deb’s educational background in Theater with her sister’s in Folklore, they pursued their own product lines. “The most fun was working at the grassroots level with local artists and regional manufacturers,” she explained. “We had designed and produced small bags of black licorice in the shape of loons and cows. We wrote and published regional cookbooks from Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota. We introduced new and upcoming potters, painters and poets.” Then Deb meshed these ef-

forts with the farm, ensuring that her fast pace during the week is mellowed when she returns on the week-ends.

Grass Roots is more than the name of the current commercial farm/nursery/greenhouse. It more closely reflects the business acumen that Deb and Tom employ and that is often undertaken with a grassroots community in mind. For instance, they sell hydroponically grown veggies under one roof and hold seminars on aging and care giving under another. Although they can’t compete with big box retail, they more than make up for it by offering a huge variety of healthy plants all season long and they willingly share their knowledge and skills and design services. Tom will offer 900 varieties of plants and flowers, almost half of which he has grown from seed. Key here is that the varieties are available all summer long, as are opinions such as how to cook with herbs or how to make a succulent wreath.

A trip to Grass Roots isn’t just a stop; it’s an outing in itself, with so much to see and do for the whole family. Whether the stop is to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, or to take a whiff in the herb greenhouse or to play with the kittens, or to design a landscaping plan or attend a writer’s workshop . . . plus, the silo bulletin board lists items wanted at the farm and the owners have been known to barter for nursery items.

But, it takes a village to run a farm and Deb and Tom have been fortunate in finding ideal candidates to help them. The pair literally cherishes their talented employees, who through creative, entrepreneurial sensibilities have allowed Tom to flourish as the charismatic “hippie” /kindred spirit organic farmer: they operate the retail business, service customers and clean up after him.

Pam Hemquist works long lonely hours on site because she loves her one on one with these living plants. “It is more like fun than work to me,” she insists, “I love to work my hands while my mind is meditating”.

Pam’s artistry for “arranging flowers” transcends to a magical level as she combines blossoms and grasses and herbs into works of art and the yard becomes her gallery.

Trish McCellan, a teacher from Perham, brings her people skills and marketing expertise to the business designing signs, creating videos and developing sales ideas. And, Trish can encourage even the most stubborn veggies and perennials into a dance of spring growth if she isn’t otherwise preoccupied with staging yet another Grass Roots event.

Together, Deb and Pam and Trish innovatively create or employ trends throughout the nursery and farmyard, the herb gardens, orchards and flower displays and the Fairyland gift shop and mancave.  Tom will have the barn refurbishing completed this summer and hopes the three will work their magic on a rooftop coffee shop.

Deb will continue to pull tricks from her hat to expand the wholesale gift business, which means that fulltime effort leaves her less time for the nursery but Spring brings everyone together with its green promises: planning, planting, propagating in anticipation of a


Spring opening busting with color.

Deb is always looking forward and across the horizon to her next adventure – perhaps publishing short stories. “But I have also just signed a six year lease on a new gift showroom,” she adds. “I want to keep challenging myself as a way to stay young. Have a good attitude about aging, keep healthy, work hard and know a good chiropractor.”

Deb sums up her whole attitude about life, family, work and community with these words “. . . and they all lived happily ever after.”



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Take your pick … or both

Gardening and birding seem to go together about as well as peanut butter and jelly.  Most people who have any level of interest in wild birds also seem to have a green thumb.

And very often, those who enjoy the outdoor hobby of gardening and landscaping also have an affinity for the birds.  The popular magazine, Birds and Blooms, would be further testament to how well the two seem to compliment each other.

I know that at our household — here on LaGrange Road in Wyoming — enjoying the birds and the gardens are high on our list of hobbies and summer enjoyment.

Thursday evening, we hosted a little bird and garden walk, while the balmy winds blew thunderstorms around us.  It was a nice evening for just being outside and seeing the many perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees all with fresh foliage.  The perennials, some of which are already blossoming, promise to take turns providing a great show of color throughout the summer and fall.

One perennial we enjoy very much is the delphinium.  We have quite a few of them, and they are looking so nice just now starting to bloom.  It is such a beautiful sight to see these tall flowery stalks of color with a hummingbird working the blossoms for nectar.  We grow them on the east side of the house to give them a little protection from the prevailing west winds.

In the shrub department, the spireas are really looking nice with the traditional white ones already in blossom — I believe they are called bridal vale and snow mound.  Yet, others are showing beautiful clusters of buds for near term blossoming which will also be beautiful to see.

The lilacs were so beautiful this year, as were the magnolias.  We have a couple of later blooming lilacs, one which just now finished blossoming and was so fragrant and now we have what I believe is a Canadian lilac just coming into full bloom.

As for trees, the catalpa has leafed out nicely and soon will blossom profusely.  When the blossoms fall, it will make this beautiful white carpet on the lawn.  Last Sunday’s storm brought down a pretty good sized black locust tree next to our garden. This tree had three trunks and the tree split three ways.  I think that since the locust trees were in full bloom (smelling so nice) that all the rain collecting on those blossoms made the weight of the branches extra heavy.

All of these neat trees, bushes, and flowers provide great places for the birds to nest, hide, and search for food.  Working in the gardens gives us a great chance to be close to nature, and especially the birds.  Our bluebird and tree swallow nest boxes have yielded successful broods of young.  As soon as they young fledge, it is good to clean out the old nesting material.  Bluebirds, especially, will likely re-nest in the same box within two or three weeks. We also had a good opportunity to see the mockingbirds feed their young.

The warmer weather has resulted in more insect food for the birds, thus a little less action at the feeders from the rose-breasted grosbeaks, orioles, and indigo buntings. Watch and listen for not only the Baltimore oriole, but the orchard oriole — a very active, chattery type of bird.

Yes, June is a great time of year for enjoying our gardens and the many birds around us. Both provide so much beauty and make the spring and summer seasons that much nicer.  It’s so nice to see how many people take pride in their gardens wherever you go!  And it’s amazing how many people are enjoying feeding their birds!

So, take your pick — birding or gardening — or, better yet, BOTH.

Birding to do list for June:

Watch and listen for the black-billed cuckoo (They love to eat tent caterpillars)

Watch for hen turkeys with young

Watch for nesting red-bellied and red-headed woodpeckers

Watch for young wood ducks and hooded mergansers on wooded ponds

Watch for nesting warblers

Keep your hummingbird water and oriole grape jelly fresh

Make sure you are still offering plenty of pure sunflower and nyjer seed

Check your bluebird nest boxes and clean them out if necessary

Give grassland birds more time to nest before mowing that field

Take the children for an evening ride around the block or through the park to see wildlife

Watch for eagles everywhere

Consider providing a bird bath and keep the water clean every day or two

Enjoy and respect nature

Step foot into a forest early in the morning!

What to watch for in June:

All kinds of nesting birds

Bluebirds feeding young

Turkeys with young

Killdeer chicks running in the driveway

Waxwings in small groups

Goldfinches in small flocks at the feeders or eating weed seeds

Purple finches at the sunflower feeder – the female sings as well

Hummers in the flower bed

Orioles’ nests in your shade tree

New robins’ nests higher up

Young birds in the road – slow down!

(Hans Kunze writes a monthly column on birding for The Daily News. It appears the second Saturday of each month. To reach Hans regarding birding questions or walks contact him by calling (585) 495-6797 or emailing him at

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Tips for summer gardening

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – With 15 years of landscape maintenance experience under his belt, JR Madrid of Stewart Lawn and Garden shared some secrets to help keep flowers blooming and grass green throughout this sometimes dry, and sometimes wet, summer.

Stewart Lawn and Garden offers a multitude of services to meet everyone’s gardening needs. Stephen Stewart, owner of the landscaping company once said, “anything you need the moment you walk out your backdoor.” Madrid adds, “Design and Build is our bread and butter. We have a great design team with great ideas: from redesigning a front yard landscape for curb appeal to installing a resort style pool.”

In addition, landscape maintenance (weekly service, mulching, seasonal color installed, irrigation monitoring), fertilization (lawn and bed care), irrigation, drainage, and lighting are just a few of the services Stewart Lawn and Garden offers.

Here are the plants perfect for a summer in Texas:

  • Knockout Roses
  • Pineapple Guava
  • Loropetalum
  • Vinca (Annual)
  • Zinnias (Annual)
  • Verbena (Annual)
  • Texas Mountain Laurel (Tree)
  • Live Oak (Tree)
  • Magnolia (Tree)

To take care of the plants, they will need a good base of mulch. Madrid highly recommends Native Hardwood mulch. He, however, warns against gardeners using Dyed mulch (the kind that turns your hands black). It will eventually damage and kill the plants. Dyed mulch is a cheaper choice, but will not help flowers grow big and strong. Plants need to be fed the right nutrients, and get plenty of water and sunshine to stay healthy. Madrid treats flowers as if they were, well, alive.

“Plants communicate and show you signs of how they are doing. If not getting enough water, they droop and wilt. If they get too much water, they will start to yellow. They will even change colors if you over fertilize them. Plants are living, breathing organisms and have characters of their own.”

In the back of the company’s office, there is a nursery where Madrid discussed a tree that had been struck by lightning and how it was stressed from the incident when it was first brought to them. Now it is healing by growing a second layer of bark over the scar that remains from the lightning bolt, thanks to the care of Stewart Lawn and Garden.

The issue most people have in The Woodlands is taking care of gardens in the fickle Texas weather. For the dry sessions of summer, Madrid shares some tips for how to properly water lawns without messing with drought regulations.

“First mow your St. Augustine lawn as tall as possible. Set up a deep water cycle so your lawn and landscape take in as much water as possible and reduce runoff (wasted water). You can achieve this by setting up two start times on your irrigation controller. Have one start late in the evening and then have it start again early morning. Make sure you leave enough time between start times so they do not overlap. If you live in The Woodlands you will need to abide by the rules set up by the WJPA and The Township.”

“Adding compost to lawns is very beneficial as well. Replacing the nutrients in the soil will make your lawn healthier with deeper root systems,” Madrid adds.

Recently, however, there has been a great deal of rain.

“If you don’t already have a rain sensor, get one! They are the best and cheapest way to save water and money, and very easy to install for the DIY. If you don’t have one just make sure you manually turn off your irrigation so it’s not running while it’s raining. Yes, your plants can definitely get too much water. In certain areas we have clay soils and clay does not drain well. Plants sitting in water will most likely develop some sort of fungus and die.”

For those who have black thumbs rather than green, these tips can help anyone become more confident in growing a garden they’re proud of.

For more information on Steward Lawn and Garden, and more tips for gardening this summer, visit their website provided below.

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Victory Garden’s EdibleFEAST (New Series Premiere)

VICTORY GARDEN’s EdibleFEAST takes viewers on a journey across America, traveling from garden to sea, mountains to fields, to learn about fresh local foods and the people who grow and produce them. Hosted by passionate foodie and TV personality Amy Devers, each episode features the work of 2013 James Beard Award-winning filmmaker and chef Daniel Klein, who introduces viewers to gardeners, farmers and food producers around the country. Employing a magazine-style format, each of the 13 episodes begins with three 4-6 minute segments from Klein’s travels, enjoying what Michael Pollan has described as “real food TV, in every sense.” Then it’s back home to the Victory Garden, concluding with a gardening piece with Roger Swain, followed by recipes and garden-to-table cooking with chef Marian Morash.

Chef Daniel Klein in the kitchen. VICTORY GARDENs EdibleFEAST travels from garden to sea, mountains to fields, to learn about fresh local foods and the people who grow and produce them. Amy Devers hosts. Each episode features the work of chef Daniel Klein.

Courtesy of Carole Topalian

Chef Daniel Klein in the kitchen. VICTORY GARDEN’s EdibleFEAST travels from garden to sea, mountains to fields, to learn about fresh local foods and the people who grow and produce them. Amy Devers hosts. Each episode features the work of chef Daniel Klein.

A goat. VICTORY GARDENs EdibleFEAST travels from garden to sea, mountains to fields, to learn about fresh local foods and the people who grow and produce them.

Courtesy of Carole Topalian

A goat. VICTORY GARDEN’s EdibleFEAST travels from garden to sea, mountains to fields, to learn about fresh local foods and the people who grow and produce them.

Colorful rainbow of swiss chard. VICTORY GARDENs EdibleFEAST travels from garden to sea, mountains to fields, to learn about fresh local foods and the people who grow and produce them.

Courtesy of Carole Topalian

Colorful rainbow of swiss chard. VICTORY GARDEN’s EdibleFEAST travels from garden to sea, mountains to fields, to learn about fresh local foods and the people who grow and produce them.


From THE VICTORY GARDEN to your kitchen, try some of the creative recipes you’ve seen on the show!


Find helpful information on all kinds of plant and vegetable choices for your garden.


Read overviews of gardening and landscaping tools you’ve seen on THE VICTORY GARDEN.


Read more about some of the gardens we’ve visited.

Episode 1 airs Saturday, June 14 at 1 p.m. – Host Amy Devers previews VICTORY GARDEN’s EdibleFEAST. Chef Daniel Klein is off to Arkansas to learn about shiitake mushrooms grown in a purely sustainable way. Then it’s on to the northwest to dig for geoduck and harvest sea salt and sea beans. Back in the Victory Garden, Roger Swain shows different varieties of cherry tomatoes and Marian Morash makes a delicious garden fresh salad.

Episode 2 airs Saturday, June 21 at 1 p.m. – Chef Daniel Klein is on the road to South Carolina to learn about the value of heirloom seeds and how they produce flavorful and sustainable food. After that, it’s time to explore community supported rooftop gardens in Brooklyn and the Bronx, New York, before heading back to the Victory Garden. Roger Swain plants potatoes and leeks, while chef Marian Morash makes a garden-to-table rhubarb crisp.

Episode 3 airs Saturday, June 28 at 1 p.m. – In this episode, see an entirely different approach to dairy farming — the cows are raised naturally and humanely, producing exceptionally delicious milk. Then venture to North Carolina to meet a farmer growing heirloom corn and sugar cane. Back in the Victory Garden, it’s time to harvest some greens, which chef Marian uses in a crisp spinach salad.

Episode 4 airs Saturday, July 5 at 1 p.m. – Sail a small boat off the coast of Louisiana, harvest local shrimp and fish, and prepare an amazing lunch onboard, complete with fresh herbs from a local garden. After that, set off to the canyons of Utah to learn how two brothers farm in a truly sustainable way in one of the most remote areas of the country. In the Victory Garden, Roger plants his own corn and beans; then chef Marian sautés bok choi fresh from the garden.

Episode 5 airs Saturday, July 12 at 1 p.m. – It’s a good and full day on sea and land, first to harvest crab and sea urchin off the California coast. Then, with the catch in hand, prepare a feast with local farm workers who strive to maintain their traditions and culture while doing the hard labor of sustainable farming. Further up the coast, at Magnolia Farm in Oregon, learn the story of naturally raised lamb and a feast to celebrate it. In the Victory Garden, Roger checks on the endives and makes mulch; chef Marian creates an artichoke appetizer.

Episode 6 airs Saturday, July 19 at 1 p.m. – In upstate New York, learn about the devastating impact on local farmers by Hurricane Irene and the importance and role of CSAs in helping them weather the storm. Chef Daniel demonstrates how to make some wonderful side dishes with farm-to-table ingredients. Then, ride the river in Peoria, Illinois, to catch the sustainable Asian carp. Back at the Victory Garden, Roger plants eggplant and chef Marian makes a Chinese cabbage salad.

Episode 7 airs July 26 at 1 p.m. – This week, take a trip to Vermont to meet people involved with sustainable farming and see the foods they produce. In San Francisco, three local farms combine the foods they produce for one amazing restaurant meal to celebrate their hard work and support of local agriculture. In the Victory Garden, Roger explains how to grow butternut squash, and chef Marian makes cilantro and mango chutney.

Episode 8 airs Saturday, August 2 at 1 p.m. – Off the coast of Maine, catch lobster and learn about the sustainability issues faced by the local captains. Then meet a unique man who’s discovered a way of life that feeds his soul while harvesting seaweed to feed others. Staying on the water, head to Maryland and learn about the virtues of oyster farms and their critical role in helping preserve natural resources. Back in the Victory Garden, Roger demonstrates how to prepare a garden bed and plants leeks and tomatoes, while chef Marian prepares a broccoli and crabmeat quiche.

Episode 9 airs Saturday, August 9 at 1 p.m. – In the mountains of the Eastern Cascades, hunt for morel mushrooms and see how they’re prepared for an unforgettable dinner around the campfire. Outside Taos, New Mexico, meet a farmer and outdoorsman who illustrates how to find flavorful food growing naturally on the land. In the Victory Garden, it’s time to learn about apples and sorrel; chef Marian uses the sorrel to prepare farm-fresh salmon.

Episode 10 airs Saturday, September 6 at 1 p.m. – In Arkansas, we catch and prepare frogs, before traveling to Maryland to explore the other end of the spectrum, meeting a local farmer who’s created an animal sanctuary to save livestock from slaughter. It’s a study in contrasts of two approaches to sustainability. Back at home, Roger plants and harvests peas, and chef Marian makes a pea and cucumber side dish.

Episode 11 airs Saturday, September 13 at 1 p.m. – In Montana, meet a rancher and his family with an entirely new take on raising cows and horses and the related management of the land. In Florida, spend a day with a fisherman — armed only with a hand net — who catches local mullet that chef Daniel prepares for a local dinner. At the Victory Garden, Roger checks on the onions and potatoes and chef Marian makes a braised broccoli rabe.

Episode 12 airs Saturday, September 20 at 1 p.m. – In California, visit with farmers and community groups who distribute excess crops to food pantries and people in need. In Rhode Island, learn about small stock food strategies and the role that insects can play in food production. In the Victory Garden, it’s time to harvest cauliflower, onions and leeks, and chef Marian then makes a garden-to-table lettuce salad.

Episode 13 airs Saturday, September 27 at 1 p.m. – Travel to Georgia to meet farmers and foragers who gather local ingredients for a feast in the fields, with chef Daniel showing how to make a spectacular farm-to-table meal. Back in his home in Minnesota, Daniel takes fresh, local ingredients to make bread and pickles. In the Victory Garden, Roger shares the secrets of growing garlic and eggplant, and chef Marian uses them to make a delectable eggplant and goat cheese dip.

Watch full episodes of THE VICTORY GARDEN Season 35.

edible Feast is on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and you can follow @Edible_Feast on Twitter.

The VICTORY GARDEN Presents edibleFEAST Preview

Hosted by Amy Devers, VICTORY GARDEN’s edibleFEAST is a fresh take on the long-running PBS series, THE VICTORY GARDEN. Award winning film maker Daniel Klein takes viewers on an adventure that showcases the best in sustainable eating, alongside classic Victory Garden segments with Roger Swain in the garden and Marian Morash in the kitchen.

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10 Fun and Easy Practical Gardening Tips

Over the years I’ve collected a number of these tips from friends, magazines, online, or at conferences. Here are a few:

  1. Turn a wooden long-handled tool into a measuring stick. Using a permanent marker or a wood burner, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance you’ll already have a measuring device.
  2. To keep garden twine untangled and handy when you need it, stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole and set the pot upside down—in a wagon, the garden, or on a work station.
  3. If you don’t wear gloves while you work in the garden (as I rarely do), to prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails draw your fingernails across a bar of soap before you begin. You’ll seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. After you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.
  4. To keep watermelons from resting on the ground and possibly rotting from the moisture, place an inexpensive plastic colander underneath them when the fruit is about the size of your fist.
  5. To create more natural looking plant markers for the summer, using a permanent marker write the names of plants on the smooth flat faces of light colored stones and place them near the base of your plants.
  6. The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don’t pour the water down the drain. Keep a pail or watering can nearby and drain the vegetable water in it to cool. Use the “greens” water for potted patio plants. You’ll be amazed at how well the container grown plants respond.
  7. Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias, some hydrangeas and even blueberries. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.
  8. The quickest way to dry herbs: lay sheets of newspaper (black ink only) or paper grocery bags on the seat of your car, arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will quickly dry AND the bonus is your car will smell great.
  9. Clean a hummingbird feeder by filling it with warm water and break a denture-cleaning tablet into it. Let it fizz for the time indicated on the package, then rinse. Denture-cleaning tablets are antibacterial and nontoxic—a near perfect cleaning solution for keeping the hummers healthy!
  10. Need a sturdy trellis? Recycle metal flat-link bedsprings from old bunks, cots, or day beds. Set 4×4 posts in ground just wide enough apart for the bedspring frame to hit on center. The metal frame is predrilled so it’s easy to secure it with long, rust-proof screws. Secure it so it will be 6-8 inches above the soil line. Paint or not as desired.

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Gardening Tips: Controlling bagworms

Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 1:02 pm

Gardening Tips: Controlling bagworms

By Matt Stevens

The Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids, NC


Some insect and disease problems are so rare that when they appear it can be hard to identify the problem and its solution. Problems such as these leave us scratching our heads. Other problems are so frequent and common we almost expect to fight them year after year. However, just because these problems tend to recur does not mean they are untreatable. Let’s look at bagworms as one example of a pest that always seems to be lingering, yet is easy to control if done properly.

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Gardening tips with Caribou Coffee

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Tips for growing sunflowers

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 7:00 pm

Tips for growing sunflowers

• Seed one crop, then two weeks later seed another close by. Plants will mature at different times, extending your garden’s overall bloom period.

• Plant sunflowers to attract pollinators to your garden.

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Friday, June 13, 2014 7:00 pm.

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