Gardener's Grapevine 2012.07.25

Written by David Green.

Seems like Sunday never lasts long enough. It’s my favorite day of the week and seems like it’s the shortest. I am sitting on the side porch writing this and watching hummingbirds fly back and forth from the hanging baskets to the butterfly bushes. There is a gentle breeze blowing and the lake people parade is just starting. Ah, summer at her best! The much needed rain was sure a blessing this week. I think everything grew a foot. We sure could use some more. I think I heard the corn actually sighing as I drove home in the rain. 

The tomatoes are beginning to turn red and few things taste better than a big juicy summer vine-ripened tomato—unless it’s said tomato slapped on two pieces of warm toasted ciabatta bread with bacon and mayo. Art brought in the first few tomatoes and showed me some with bottom rot. He googled the cause for it and came up with a lack of water and a lack of calcium in the soil. Well, by the look of our water bill, I know it’s not the lack of water, so we added some calcium to the garden around the tomatoes.

As a nurse it just seems to me something is always lacking in someone’s diet and I’m pushing a vitamin for this or that. My children are grown, so I don’t have to hand them a daily vitamin. Now I’m giving the garden vitamins and minerals, go figure.

Speaking of vitamins and minerals here’s a new one. We went to Whole Foods last weekend to pick up a few groceries and they had a guy demonstrating a Vitamaster mixmaster. If the smoothy he made was any indication, everyone should have one of those little $500 miracles on their counter. One of the ingredients in the smoothy was kale. Since I already drank it and liked it, the “ick” factor wasn’t too effective. I was sharing this little twist of knowledge with the girls I work with when one of them pipes up and says she makes kale chips every night for a snack. According to her they are delicious and very nutrient rich. 

Because I was curious, I went to the market and purchased kale after the Ann Arbor Art fair so I could try this and judge for myself. Apparently you take a cookie sheet and put olive oil on it, chop the kale up and throw it on the cookie sheet, drizzle more olive oil on it, salt it well and put it in the oven and bake until crunchy. Sounds appetizing, eh? I’ll let you know.

I have learned from my son being a celiac that not all healthy food is tasty. Some of it tastes awful or has no taste at all. Kale chips? We shall see. 

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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