Saturday, December 27, 2014

Home Grown: When to Prune.

It is generally better to prune trees and shrubs in February or early March just before spring growth begins. This is the ideal time to prune fruit trees, shade trees, crape myrtles, shrub roses, hollies and other evergreen plants.

Pruning in late winter minimizes the time the wound is exposed. As trees break dormancy in the spring, their rapid growth will quickly heal over any exposed wounds or cuts.

Continued at... When to Prune.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Recipe Archive: Sagne e lenticchie

Sagne e lenticchie (Lentils and noodles).

from Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way by Oretta Zanini De Vita and Maureen B. Fant

This winter recipe comes from the Sabine country an hour two northeast of Rome, where sagne, as the locally made fettucine are known, are practically a cult object. Every household makes them almost every day. They are almost as thin as capelli d'angelo and are cooked very al dente... Any lentils will be good in this recipe, and domestic brown lentils, the smaller the better, will give the closest approximation of the original dish.

You'll make the soup in two pots, one for the lentils and one for the tomato condiment, which ass red highlights and sweet notes when blended with the brown lentils. Although this is technically a soup, it is quite dense, and you should certainly set forks at the table as well as spoons.

see the full recipe

Pasta the Italian Way
by Oretta Zanini De Vita and Maureen B. Fant
W.W. Norton & Co., 2013
Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Out of the Past: A Right Jolly Old Elf

This Santa Claus is certainly a magical fellow. He flies through the sky, is rarely seen outside of shopping malls, possesses an uncanny intelligence about who has been naughty or nice, and has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of toys.

Some say he is descended -- or evolved -- from Kris Kringle, a legendary figure from Norse folk tales. Or perhaps he's related to Odin, the Lord of the Winds who rode through the stormy nights on an eight-legged flying horse.

continued Out of the Past

History and American West Titles
Out of the Past: History Lessons
Artwork: Spirit Of Santa

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Home Grown: Tabletop Christmas Trees.

Not everyone is able to enjoy a full sized Christmas tree in their home. For some, budgets may be stretched or space can be at a premium. Others may not have the time to put up a tree this holiday season.

Whatever the reason, an alternative to full sized Christmas trees are tabletop plants that can be decorated for the holidays, offered as holiday gifts, and in some cases can be used for several years.

Continued at... Tabletop Christmas Trees.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Christmas Trees
Artwork: Snow Tip Pine Tree with Lights

Monday, December 8, 2014

Home Grown: Scouting Key to Mole Control.

Two moles per acre is considered an infestation and ridding a home lawn of moles can seem like a never-winning battle. But the odds of success are increased when the right scouting techniques are used

No matter what the control method -- granular or gel baits, repellants, or traps --scouting techniques are the key.

Moles will feed on earthworms and grubs every two hours, 24 hours a day. Once a mole has eaten the food supply throughout a run, the mole will stop using that run and start a new one.

Mole traps and baits must be placed in the active runs to be most effective. That makes good scouting essential.

Continued at... Scouting Key to Mole Control.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Farm Supply
Pest Control
Artwork: Live Animal Trap

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rural Delivery: Winter Lights.

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

There are some nights so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face. There are some nights so dark you'll lose your bearings, mistaking north for south and near for far. There are some nights so dark they penetrate the soul.

Once you've seen this kind of darkness it's easy to appreciate a flashlight, a candle, even a match. The glow of a campfire is like a warm blanket against the cold. The lights of town reassure us that we are not alone.

It is little wonder that early civilizations devoted so much attention to the heavens and obsessed on figuring out the mechanics of the seasons. Even those of us who live in cities notice the days growing shorter and the night extending its domain. How frightening it must have been to see the darkness and coldness of winter spreading while supplies dwindled. .

Continued at... Winter Lights.

Rural Delivery
The Nature Pages
Second Nature
Artwork: Golden Light Flows out of a Window on a Winter Night