Buyers who call Johnstown Bean Co. get a field report on the pinto and black turtle bean harvest from Jim Karley.
The owner of Johnstown Bean Co. not only sells edible beans across the United States and around the world, he grows them. During late September Karley spends most days in the cab of the combine harvesting the 2,000 acres he planted this spring.
When I approached an ATV sales representative, I warned him that I had absolutely no experience driving an ATV and that I didn’t want to go solo. He told me that there would be a lead driver and that I could follow him around the track.
The single biggest stress facing trees over much of the state has been the exceptionally dry weather early in the growing season in recent years. Other stresses include insect damage and, construction damage caused by compacted soil.
Today, you can drive across the United States in all directions and stay in the same hotel chain and eat the same food in the same restaurant chain and drive on freeways that all look the same.
The scenery changes as you go, of course, as do the accents of the gas station clerks and the waitresses, but if you’re just passing through it is possible to think that everything else is pretty much the same.
Wrong. Culture changes, too. But a person doesn’t notice that until you stick around a while and get to know the locals.
With summer soon but a memory as crickets chirp, days lengthen and temperatures drop, it’s time to think about planting. While most gardeners think of spring as the time to do major planting in their yards, we can do more in autumn and get a jump on 2010.
While the real glory of hostas is in their foliage, the thin spikes of white or blue trumpet-shaped flowers that appear for several weeks in the summer can be a bonus. Originally from Asia, this perennial, which is also known as plantain lily, comes in a wide variety of leaf shapes, sizes and color.
Warm summer weather finally has arrived which means it’s time to mulch our gardens.
Summer mulch, which can range from well-rotted compost to a wide variety of other plant materials, is said to be the gardener’s best friend. We agree.
A garden staple in cold-winter regions, lilacs are best known for their flamboyant and typically fragrant flower clusters. And just when you thought we were done with the lilacs for another season, there is another on the scene — the Japanese tree lilac.
Trees are not only a good way to improve the environment, but they also add beauty to our yards. Unlike other plantings, shade trees are a long-term investment, one that could continue for half a century or longer. So, we must choose wisely.
This spring, interest in tree planting is even greater than normal as we face another possible disaster — the loss of our ash trees to the emerald ash borer.
This is probably the most beautiful week of the year. The petals of the flowering crab blooms have started to drop while the lilacs are just opening for one sensual, scented week of bloom.
Unfortunately, for most people this week is also the busiest week of the year. People are as busy as the bees on the blooms.
Serendipity brought us to Holland when the spring flowers were in bloom, but the spectacle is worth planning a trip around.
I went to Germany to visit my daughter, who is working there temporarily. A month or so before I arrived, she found round-trip plane tickets for a weekend jaunt from Hamburg to Amsterdam for about $125. They were too inexpensive — and Amsterdam too alluring — to pass up.
Even Steve Sagaser, Grand Forks County extension horticulturist, has been surprised by the interest in home gardening this year. Maybe it’s a sign of the economy. Or, it could be the times. In any event, growing your own vegetables is one of the hottest trends in gardening in 2009.
Georgia Heitmann’s daughters — Jan Heitmann and Jill Kiel — share her passion for making things grow
Gardening is the life for Georgia Heitmann and her daughters Jan Heitmann and Jill Kiel.
For the three women, growing, nurturing and selling plants, flowers and trees at All Season’s Garden Center is not a job, but a vocation.
“It’s a love,” Georgia said. And she and her daughters enjoy sharing that love of nature and growing things with others.
“It’s part of our being,” Georgia said. “I can’t imagine a better job in North Dakota than living and being with nature.”
If you are in hurry to see fabulous tulips in bloom, there are several sites in Iowa and Michigan that host tulip festivals. These events draw thousands who come not only to see the flowers, but to enjoy Dutch heritage, including cuisine, crafts and parades. Several years ago, the Prairie Gardener took a bus tour to western Michigan to take in the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Mich., near Grand Rapids.
I think parents, our children’s primary teachers, also need to do our part to introduce children to the outdoors. Children, as we all know, learn by example, so if we get off the couch and show interest in the outdoors, our children will likely do the same.
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