Gardener's Grapevine 2012.08.01

Written by David Green.

Sometimes when I write this article I feel like the local farm report for crops. If you consider I know next to nothing about actual crop farming, it’s kind of a comical thought.

This summer with the drought I guess the crops are on all our minds, even the people who have never set foot on a farm. I work with people who don’t even plant a flowerpot and they talk about the drought’s effect on the crops and food supply.

This weekend Art and I made a trip to Angola, Ind., to see friends. The crops weren’t looking too bad, there were ears on the corn and it looked to be pretty tall in most places. Granted, none of the fields anywhere look topnotch.

I am a big fan of farmer’s markets. Some communities have massive ones. When we are in Kalamazoo on a Saturday we try to go to theirs, as it is awesome. Not only do you get fresh fruit and vegetables, but also a wide array of other things related to nature are on display like potted plants, seedlings, cut flowers, baked goods, skin care products made from plants and many more items. All are from small businesses that are able to display all their wares and discuss them. I saw an ad on TV this week for farmer’s markets and they said, “be a localvore” meaning eat locally grown produce. I thought that was a really good word.  Eating locally grown produce helps support people in our own towns. 

Have you looked at your hostas? Do they have brown burnt leaves? Well intense heat with no water will do that. I did a little reading on what to do to improve the looks of them without killing them or damaging their health. Most of what I read is that a hosta’s strength comes from its root system not its leaves. You should trim off the damaged leaves down by the base and leave the good ones. You can even prune them all the way back to the ground and leave no leaves and the plant will still come back in the spring. It will not put much effort into becoming larger, but will not die either. They truly are the wonder plant that anyone can grow. 

Are you pruning your roses? With the recent shift in weather, my roses are trying to rebound. A pruning off of the dead heads and hips will encourage new growth and give you new blooms (if it’s an ever-blooming variety).

With the weather change a lot of pruning, weeding and attention needs to be given to our gardens. Don’t grumble either, because with the drought you’ve had a reprieve from doing much weeding this summer. I can tell all of you not to grumble, but if you were in our garden Saturday you would have heard a lot of grumbling as I pulled out an enormous amount of weeds.

We are starting to get a lot of tomatoes and I was hoping for a big mass of green beans. The beans had lots of immature ones and masses of blooms but not many mature beans. Isn’t it hard to be patient for something so yummy! Guess I’ll just have to be satisfied with some more BLTs…what a sacrifice! (that was sarcasm–I love them!)

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    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
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    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
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    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
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    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
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    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
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    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
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