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The Cultivator
Crabapple Jam and Winter Greens - The CobraHead Newsletter
November 2010
Hello, Friends of CobraHead,

My dad and I have had a gardening rivalry going on for the last fifteen years.  We argue over the best way to make compost, how wide raised beds should be, and who has the greatest melon trellis design.  In fact, it took me over a year to try the "super tool" that he had developed in his own garden and raved about like a madman.  We later renamed this tool the CobraHead.


Now we discuss whether south central Wisconsin or central Texas has a better growing season.  Pops, just so you know I am eating fall broccoli raab that should produce all winter and I am still getting the last couple of okra and loads of hot peppers from my summer garden.  However, as I write this I am eating homemade grape crabapple jam that my mom sent me.  She shares the recipe in this newsletter.  There are still a few things that I miss from the badger state.


We are pleased to present the winning story of the new gardener contest and thank everybody who participated.  Noel also explains his LED grow light set up for winter salad greens.


Happy Gardening,



The Winner's Garden
The Winner's Garden
Contest Winner!
You may remember that last month we announced an essay contest in which participants were asked to write about a young gardener.  Today we are pleased to announce the winning entry was written by Sharon Reed.  Sharon chose to write about her nine-year-old grandson, Fisher.  Read Sharon's entry here.
Grape Crabapple Jam
Grape Crabapple Jam
Grape Crabapple Jam
After discovering a "lost" crabapple tree, Judy set off on an adventure to make something sweet.  Concord grapes round out the the flavor.  Click here to see Judy's recipe.
Grow Light Table
Winter Greens under the Grow Lights
Using LED Grow Light for Winter Greens
Noel and Geoff have been having a lot of fun with their grow lights.  Learn about Noel's set up for growing salad greens in the middle of the Wisconsin winter.  See the set up here.

If you like our newsletter and our products or if you have some suggestions, we'd love to hear from you.

If you have gardening friends or if you know potential gardeners who might be interested in CobraHead and what we have to say about gardening and eating, please forward this newsletter to them. 
It is the mission of CobraHead to help people grow their own food and to provide exceptional products and services to all gardeners.  We try hard to "walk the walk" when it comes to issues of sustainability and in deciding what is best for ourselves and the environment as we grow our little company.  We've chosen to make our tools locally, here in Wisconsin, and we think that bigger is not necessarily better.  Gardening might just be earth's great hope, and in any case it's a great hobby.
Thank you,
Noel, Judy, Geoff and Anneliese
The CobraHead Team
In This Issue
Contest Winner
Grape Crabapple Jam
Noel's Grow Light System

It's mid-November and southern Wisconsin continues to escape the really cold freeze and any snow.   The weathermen say we'll stay relatively warm until two days before Thanksgiving then we'll finally get to enjoy our normal freeze-your-butt-off-until-April weather.


November, if it doesn't freeze up solid, is actually the best month of all to be weeding and prepping in the garden.  The soil goes through a change in late October and November.  The weeds lift out more easily and the soil has a moist softness that makes it easy to work.  I've only got this weekend left to finish off whatever cleanup I can do before the ground gets too cold and probably too wet, so I better take advantage of the nice days ahead.


The picture at the top of the sidebar is of plant markers we are now selling.  They are BioMarkers and like the handle for our CobraHead Weeder, the plastic is made of  what the industry calls a "bio-plastic".  That is plastic either made entirely of grown materials or plastic blended with grown or biologically based material.  It is the supposed future for the plastics industry, which is now mostly dependent on petroleum for its main input.  The markers are made of recycled plastic blended with corn-cob waste.  They are made in Iowa and I understand there is some corn cob waste to be had over there.


The bio-plastics that are based on pure biological inputs as in plastics made totally from hemp or corn do not yet have the desirable physical properties of petroleum based plastics.  It's a problem that the plastics people say will be overcome, and the race is on to develop all-around useful plastics that are made primarily with agriculturally grown material.  In the meantime, we are happy to contribute to better plastics in our own small way.


We are looking forward to our Thanksgiving and we hope you have a good one, too.  We will be cooking and eating a lot of the good food we grew this year.  We strongly encourage anyone who can, to give a try to growing some of their own food.  It's good for you and good for the planet.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Gardening from Noel and the CobraHead Team!

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