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. 

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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