Recent Blog Posts

A simple germination test for your old seeds

February 20th, 2018

After taking inventory of our seeds last week, we had to decide which seeds we were going to keep and which we needed to throw out. Each year we write the date on the seed containers, that gives us a starting point. Some seed packs slipped through our system though and had no date on … Continue reading A simple germination test for your old seeds

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Taking inventory of seeds

February 20th, 2018

Seed catalogs have been showing up in our mailbox since before the beginning of the new year. Most of the catalogs that we regularly order from have arrived. We’re still getting a few duplicates and reminders from impatient seed sellers and some catalogs from new outfits. I’d rather go to mailbox and see what catalog … Continue reading Taking inventory of seeds

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One local interpretation of Groundhog Day

February 01st, 2018

Growing up in a rural area of Monroe County Michigan, I had a chance to absorb a lot of our local farm culture. Back them there were plenty of old-timers who, in their younger days, had farmed their acreage with teams of horses. Those gray-haired farmers had plenty of advice and time-worn proverbs to pass … Continue reading One local interpretation of Groundhog Day

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The State of the Union is Fantastical

January 31st, 2018

via GIPHY President Trumps first state of the union speech was just as remarkable as his first year in office. David Graham from the Atlantic had a good summary. The reality is somewhat less rosy: By a wide margin, Americans believe that the nation is on the wrong track, and the presidents approval rating is […]

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What Would Jesus Do?

January 30th, 2018

via GIPHY This is such a common phrase that it now shows up on jewelry, t-shirts, license plates, and coffee mugs. It is supposed to associate whomever is wearing or using or driving the WWJD thing with a certain Christian mindset. That mindset is summarized in these verses from Philippians 1: 1-5 If there be […]

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Use warm temperatures during January thaw to control insects with water

January 25th, 2018

  During many winters we have a January thaw. We had a very welcomed warm spell last week and it looks like there will be another warm-up this week too, even though it may not be quite as warm this time around. I always like to take advantage of those warm mid-winter days to freshen … Continue reading Use warm temperatures during January thaw to control insects with water

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Really?

January 22nd, 2018

via GIPHY What we have just witnessed on the floor was a cynical decision by Senate Democrats to shove aside millions of Americans for the sake of irresponsible, political games,” Mitch McConnell 1/20/18 The problem with this statement is that it is the Republicans who are playing cynical games. These games mask a radical […]

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New research on potential organic insecticide

January 18th, 2018

While it’s popular to bash seemingly frivolous tax payer funded scientific research, I think most people would agree that a vast majority of research is worth while. There is some really interesting research happening over at the US Department of Agriculture that may have the potential to spill over into the organic gardening area. A … Continue reading New research on potential organic insecticide

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Start early to grow your own gourmet onions from seed

January 11th, 2018

Onions are a staple in our kitchen and I’m guessing are in yours too. While homegrown vegetables are always the best, it’s especially true with onions. Those little onion bulbs, called sets, that you find in the garden center were grown last year from an onion variety selected for good storage characteristics, not flavor. I … Continue reading Start early to grow your own gourmet onions from seed

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Pants On Fire

January 10th, 2018

via GIPHY Trump is liar. It isnt that he is just a liar. He is a liar of historic proportions. The NYT has a complete list and a couple of charts comparing Trump’s lies (repeats excluded) and Obama’s lies.   In our political system, public officials normally pay a price for lying. That’s because a […]

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Irrational Risk

January 05th, 2018

via GIPHY There is some good research out that suggests that power actually causes physical changes to the brain. Those who feel that they are in a powerful position lose their ability to experience empathy. The result is that they become more willing to take risk because they dont consider how these risks may potentially […]

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When the Levee Breaks

December 30th, 2017

With appropriate attribution to Led Zepplin, we find ourselves less than a year from the 2018 elections in a moment when it appears that there is a Democratic wave election building. First lets look at the evidence. Then lets speculate on why. Harry Enten of the FiveThirtyEight blog printed an excellent analysis of where the […]

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Remember to collect Christmas wreath materials in season next year

December 28th, 2017

It’s a lot of fun seeing all of the different kinds of Christmas decoration folks have put together out of natural materials. Wreaths have evolved way past just a simple circle of evergreen boughs with a red ribbon tied to it, although you still see plenty of those. As gardeners we have the opportunity to … Continue reading Remember to collect Christmas wreath materials in season next year

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Repeal Day, Monroe and Prohibition

December 05th, 2017

A state convention gathered in Utah on this date in 1933 to ratify the 21st Amendment. A three quarter majority was needed to make it official and Utah became the 36th state to do so. Making December 5 the official day the 21st Amendment was ratified. Now this date will be known as Repeal Day. […]

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Above The Law

December 05th, 2017

On May 1, 1977 David Frost had the interview of his career. This was three years after Nixon resigned. Nixon was working on his memoirs and his publicist believed that these interviews would boost his popularity. Frost was able to get Nixon to admit that he DID cover up the Watergate burglary but that it […]

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Use old camera as light meter for plants

December 04th, 2017

If you are like me, you find it hard to toss or give away any of your really good stuff, even if it is obsolete. I still have my old SLR film camera, a Pentax K1000 that I bought way back when. It was one of the first things that I splurged on during my … Continue reading Use old camera as light meter for plants

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Native witch hazel shrubs bloom in the fall

November 30th, 2017

By the time mid-November in Michigan rolls around you’d think that we’ve seen the last of blooming plants until spring, that’s what I though anyway. Once again, I forgot all about our witch hazel bush that started blooming a week or so before Thanksgiving. Witch hazel is a native plant in our area. Back when … Continue reading Native witch hazel shrubs bloom in the fall

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Lupine seed pods in the house

November 27th, 2017

I was a startled the other day as I was putting on my coat getting ready to go outside. It was quiet in the house and I was the only one home. All of a sudden I heard a snap and the clickey-clack sound of what sounded like small beads landing on the table and … Continue reading Lupine seed pods in the house

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Featured Brewery Site: 1121 S. Monroe St.

November 26th, 2017

Welcome to our first Featured Brewery Site. Today we are taking a look at the old Wm. Noland & Sons building. It was once used to store excavating equipment. At 5 thousand square feet, it is large and open space with high ceilings. The location is less than a mile south of town on the […]

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When Youre Beer, Youre Family

November 25th, 2017

Monroe has spoken. Every time my fellow citizens gather to discuss what Monroe needs to make it a better city the number one answer is an Olive Garden. But at least one voice pushes through the oil soaked endless iceberg lettuce bowl to say microbrewery. The real question is with around 250 breweries in Michigan […]

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