It has been a longstanding tradition in our kitchen; come August and September, we are canning the summer’s bounty. A day in the raspberry patch or a trip to the apple orchard yielded jams of ruby elixir and fragrant apple butter.
My garden muse presented himself in the unsuspecting form of my next door neighbor, Glenn Heins. Glenn is a coupling of all that is both brilliant and quirky.
If it’s Saturday morning and it’s summer, our farmers market is open for business. The center aisle is packed with shoppers. A folk music group serenades us with background tunes. A young couple meanders, sipping their steaming cups of freshly brewed Cherrybean coffee. Others are loaded down with bags of vegetables or a massive bouquet […]
Insects Galore The other day, when picking produce from my community garden, I was enthralled by a bumble bee buzzing in front of a cucumber blossom. It landed on the edge of the flower, burying its head inside. Soon it moved on to another blossom, then a third. Later, little hoverflies worked their way across […]
Abundant Produce Now that summer is in full swing, gardens are following suit. I find myself wandering to my garden beds before almost every meal prep, snipping this, gathering that, filling my basket. After all, marinated Italian white beans need mint. Furthermore they have to be served on a bed of bitey arugula. Lettuces are […]
An Unsuspecting Gift When we moved into our house, a weird, little tree was growing in the corner of our garden. I didn’t think much about it for a couple of years. One June I noticed berries forming on the branches. They looked like little blackberries. After doing some research, I discovered that this was […]
The Heritage of Rhubarb When I think of the classic plant that has anchored the corner of every Midwestern garden for the past century, I think of rhubarb. Some of my favorite dessert recipes are based on rhubarb. Rhubarb custard pie is oh, so delicious! I remember with fondness my Mom’s strawberry rhubarb freezer jam […]
What Happened to All the Dirt? The new house we were moving into was in a section of town that was being carved out of native prairie. The neighborhood was located on a large (mostly) limestone plateau that looked out over the city below. I was excited. It was a large lot for a new […]
A Ginger Collection Who knew when we were young and sipping on a can of ginger ale that this root would become such a large part of our culture and diet? As one of Scandinavian heritage, I was first exposed to the spice in the form of my Aunt Joyce’s incredibly crisp ginger snaps and […]
As early spring begins, I am starting to think about what seeds I want to plant in my garden beds for the first planting of the season. You are probably thinking it is too early to start thinking about one’s summer vegetable garden. However, this is the ideal time to plan and purchase those first […]