It's mid-August...

and that means it’s time to go back to school!  Cook County’s Master Naturalist Training Program kicked off its first session at the Dan Ryan Woods.  Feels like I might have jumped into the deep end. This will certainly be a “more questions than answers” experience.

and that means it’s time to go back to school! Cook County’s Master Naturalist Training Program kicked off its first session at the Dan Ryan Woods. Feels like I might have jumped into the deep end. This will certainly be a “more questions than answers” experience.

Echinacea purpurea...

or coneflowers, are a great addition to any garden.  They’re colorful, easy to grow, heat and drought resistant, and bloom into the fall.  But the real reason I intersperse them throughout the beds, is that they are tremendous pollinators!

or coneflowers, are a great addition to any garden. They’re colorful, easy to grow, heat and drought resistant, and bloom into the fall. But the real reason I intersperse them throughout the beds, is that they are tremendous pollinators!

Onions...

left behind last year…make their appearance in a bed of garlic. And they have bloomed! Onions are biennials and don’t set seed until their second year.  What a lovely sight, and the pollinators are very grateful. Could I save the seed? Farm life is always about “more questions than answers!”

left behind last year…make their appearance in a bed of garlic. And they have bloomed! Onions are biennials and don’t set seed until their second year. What a lovely sight, and the pollinators are very grateful. Could I save the seed? Farm life is always about “more questions than answers!”

Finally!

A day with  0%  precipitation!  Finally…a day that feels like summer.  Hope those tomato plants take advantage of all this beautiful sunshine! They have some catching up to do!

A day with 0% precipitation! Finally…a day that feels like summer. Hope those tomato plants take advantage of all this beautiful sunshine! They have some catching up to do!

Chilly!

The weather here continues to challenge growers. Greens and roots are thriving, but I’m not sure that I’ll be harvesting any tomatoes and corn this summer! Our radishes are beautiful and John is on a mission to add 15 new ways to add these beauties to our meals. Joshua McFadden, in his recent book  Six Seasons,  has a wonderful recipe for a salad in which he pairs radishes with spring onions, mint, and lemon cream, on a bed of baby Romaine….yum!

The weather here continues to challenge growers. Greens and roots are thriving, but I’m not sure that I’ll be harvesting any tomatoes and corn this summer! Our radishes are beautiful and John is on a mission to add 15 new ways to add these beauties to our meals. Joshua McFadden, in his recent book Six Seasons, has a wonderful recipe for a salad in which he pairs radishes with spring onions, mint, and lemon cream, on a bed of baby Romaine….yum!

Buttoned up for winter....

and just in time, as those cold winds are starting to blow through. The trees dropped all of their leaves this week. Have been busy planting garlic and mulching each of the beds. Now, I can turn my attention to what’s happening inside…in the greenhouse!

and just in time, as those cold winds are starting to blow through. The trees dropped all of their leaves this week. Have been busy planting garlic and mulching each of the beds. Now, I can turn my attention to what’s happening inside…in the greenhouse!

I found him!

My little friend (a Cope’s Gray Treefrog or  Hyla chrysoscelis)  has not been seen since July…when I hung that impressive snakeskin on the bulletin board in the greenhouse. And I’ve missed him!  But yesterday after taking lavender cuttings ,in an effort to “make more plants” (thank you Ken Druse!) I found him perched on top of the saran wrap keeping my new cuttings moist.  Welcome back!

My little friend (a Cope’s Gray Treefrog or Hyla chrysoscelis) has not been seen since July…when I hung that impressive snakeskin on the bulletin board in the greenhouse. And I’ve missed him! But yesterday after taking lavender cuttings ,in an effort to “make more plants” (thank you Ken Druse!) I found him perched on top of the saran wrap keeping my new cuttings moist. Welcome back!

Who knew....

you could grow rice in Wisconsin?  Not the traditional paddy rice, this is an upland variety called Duborskian, a Russian heirloom. I planted it in anticipation of an upcoming trip to Thailand. Hopefully there are enough weeks of good weather ahead for the outer husks on the rice grains to turn a golden brown. Then all I have to do is figure out how to thresh it! As always, more questions than answers!   

you could grow rice in Wisconsin?  Not the traditional paddy rice, this is an upland variety called Duborskian, a Russian heirloom. I planted it in anticipation of an upcoming trip to Thailand. Hopefully there are enough weeks of good weather ahead for the outer husks on the rice grains to turn a golden brown. Then all I have to do is figure out how to thresh it! As always, more questions than answers!