Radio Show: Happy Halloween – the tradition continues
Pumpkins were not the original Jack o Lanterns! It was the turnip…
Scary, huh?!? (The Vikings pumpkin not the lantern!!) This is what night watchmen carried on their rounds. Pumpkins were used only in the United States. Ancient Celts celebrated the New Year on November 1st. It was called Samhein (pronounced Sow in). This was the end of the Harvest and summer and entering into the dark days of Winter.
They believed the veil between the living and the dead was thinnest … [Continue reading]
Mischief night in the garden
When I lived out east, the night before Halloween was called “Mischief Night”, the night the older kids went out and soaped windows, tee peed trees and got into trouble!
What creatures create nighttime mischief in our backyards?
The top prankster has got to be that cute little bandit, the Raccoon! From tossing our garbage to making their home in our uncapped chimneys, they are a nuisance to say the least. The DNR on Raccoons.
Toads are rather creepy looking with their warty bodies … [Continue reading]
Radio Show: Creepy creatures in the garden
What creepy creature lurks in the garden? Nightcrawlers!
Halloween will bring out the little ghosts and goblins at your door but it’s the invasive nightcrawler you may be frightened of!
eek! I’m not a worm lover. These nightcrawlers are an invasive species. Yes, I was surprised too. When dumped on forest floors, they will crawl and eat through the decaying leaves and mess up the natural ecosystem. Think of these Earthworms as the milfoil of the forest floor. Don’t dump them in the … [Continue reading]
Radio Show: Urban chicken farming
It’s becoming more and more popular as people realize the benefits and cities are relaxing their restrictions. That doesn’t mean you can just go ahead and build a coop and bring in a rooster!
Check your city ordinances, but likely you’ll have to get a certain percentage of your neighbors to give your their permission. If you’re really serious about raising backyard chickens, take a class. The University of Minnesota Extension has a great deal of information “Backyard Chicken Basics”
Egg/Plant is a great … [Continue reading]
Radio Show: Bees and beekeeping
Bees are our survival!
They pollinate our fruits, vegetables and nuts as well as flowers to continue to bring beauty into our environment. And, of course, they have one of the two best natural foods in the world, honey! the other I’m thinking of is maple syrup. Bees pollinate approximately 70% of the world’s crops!
I had the chance to interview Victoria Ranua, a beekeeper at Wozupi, part of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. She said the most important thing for those … [Continue reading]
Radio Show: Unusually colorful vegetables
I was recently perusing my Organic Gardening magazine (my 2nd favorite behind Northern Gardener!) and came across an article featuring some easy grow vegetables with unique colors! I love kale – it’s loaded with what’s good for you and fantastic in soups. A Portuguese kale is supposed to be sweeter, crisper with flatter leaves.
You can see the leaves are much different, the color is lighter. Portuguese kale is also more heat tolerant. I found seed for this kale at Renee’s Garden. The above … [Continue reading]
Radio Show: The Mulch Store and more
I toured The Mulch Store in Empire township last week and felt like a kid in a candy store! They recycle organic food waste, yard waste, sod/soil and wood waste. They sell compost, soil blends, landscape mulches and landscape supplies. They get food waste from restaurants and college campuses to create some really good stuff!
I sought them out as I am looking to add good compost to my new vegetable bed before planting. As we’ve talked about before, the best thing you … [Continue reading]
Radio Show: Protecting young trees
Harvesting ‘Honeycrisp’ apples from your backyard is a slice of heaven here on Earth! But the bunnies love their bark. Young fruit trees are especially vulnerable to rabbits.
Protect those trees this winter with a simple solution. The plastic white spiral guard.
white spiral tree guard
Sink this guard into the ground about 2 inches. Make sure there’s air circulation around the trunk, you don’t want this too tight. Not only does this tree guard protect from critters but also from the winter sun. Listen … [Continue reading]
Radio Show: Boxelder bugmania
Boxelder bugs may be benign but it sure doesn’t feel that way when they fly in your hair! EW, it’s like a scene from a horror movie as I approach my garage and have to bat away the bugs. I’d scream but I don’t want to open my mouth – what if they fly in?!? Egad.
Boxelder bugs on Boxelder tree!
Use caulk, expandable foam, fine mesh screens or steel wool to secure all your windows and doors. Even those areas you don’t think they can … [Continue reading]
Radio Show: rubbing alcohol vs bleach
This isn’t the most exciting garden bite, but as we move into Fall, there are chores to do. One of them is cleaning up containers and pruning dead or diseased branches. I repeat, the pruning should ONLY be on dead or diseased wood. The ideal time to prune for anything else is in late winter or early spring.
I’ve used a 10% bleach solution to disinfect tools and clean pots but rubbing alcohol comes cheap and is less corrosive. Should you use bleach, be … [Continue reading]