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The Cultivator
Beans, Beans, Good for the Heart- The CobraHead Newsletter
February 2011
Hello, Friends of CobraHead,

We had an unusual cold snap in Austin, but except for some damage to my citrus and the final death blow to some wimpy broccoli raab, the garden seems to have pulled through.  The Sugar Ann peas that I sowed just before the temperature drop somehow knew not to germinate until the freezes had passed, and last week's warmer weather gave me the opportunity to transplant out beets, kohlrabi and garlic chives that I'd started indoors, as well as direct sow more greens and cilantro.  Since our busy spring travel season is about to kick off, I also set up the drip irrigation and set the timer.


This month we share ideas on growing herbs for the heart as well as tasty ways to prepare green beans.  Noel also spotlights a truly skilled woodworker in Wisconsin who we have been fortunate to know and now work with in creating display materials for our small business.  What new herbs are you going to try in your garden this year?  Email me at and let me know.

Happy Gardening,



Hibiscus Flower
Hibiscus Flower and Calyces

Plant a Heart Garden 

Looking to have some fun in the garden this year while also taking care of yourself?  Geoff writes about several herbs that he is or will be growing that are also good for the heart.  Read more about them here.

Walnut Green Beans with Pasta
Walnutty Green Beans with Pasta
Walnutty Green Beans

Still eating the green beans that you froze last summer?  Judy cooks up two versions of green beans with tamari and walnuts.  Good stuff.  Click here for the recipes. 
Bill Bale and Displays
Bill Bale and CobraHead Displays

Local Partnerships 

As our presence in garden centers grows, we have had to enlist help in making our tool display racks.  Enter woodworking craftsman Bill Bale of Sandhill Designs.  Read about Bill's contribution to our displays and his Arts and Crafts/Mission Style Furniture 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 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
Herbs for the Heart
Walnutty Green Beans
Sandhill Designs
Anneliese at Wisconsin Capitol
Anneliese at Wisconsin Capitol
I'm not native to Wisconsin.  I grew up in Michigan and spent a few years in Minnesota before moving here for a job in 1986.  I had a choice between moving from Minnesota to New Jersey to keep the job I had, or taking a position for a new company setting up shop near Madison.  Nothing against New Jersey, but the opportunity to stay in the Midwest made the decision easy.  I've never regretted my move here.  

Wisconsin has a rich political history and is adding to that, right now.  I'm solidly with the teachers and working people marching on the streets and demonstrating in the Capitol building in Madison.  Democracy works best when the voters are well educated.  Free public education was the cornerstone for America's development and now special interests are working very hard to destroy that.  Uneducated people are easier to control and manipulate than educated ones.  I'm hoping the demonstrations in Wisconsin wake up the rest of the U.S. to the purposeful deterioration of pubic education and workers rights.  For the most part, unions have helped the human condition.  It's not unions and workers that screw up this country or the world.  It's the insatiable and unchecked greed of the rich and powerful.  

And now, back to gardening.  Anneliese and I had planned to prune her two fruit trees, and in turn, she would help me with mine, but a Saturday trip to Madison to visit the Capitol and freezing rain on Sunday have postponed that task.  I'll be seeding flats of onions, soon, and I'll be planning what I hope to plant where as we enter the new gardening year.

Geoff is here in Wisconsin to help us prepare for two totally different trade shows that he will be also be attending.  First up, the MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin, February 24 - 26. Geoff and Anneliese will be working our booth and attending workshops at the largest organic farming conference in the U.S. 

Immediately following, Anneliese, Geoff and I drive to Philadelphia for the Philadelphia International Flower Show, March 6 - 13.  The show bills itself as the world's largest indoor (horticultural) exhibition and it certainly is impressive.  It's a tough show to do because of the long hours, but the crowds are huge and it is an excellent way for us to get the CobraHead name in front of lots of gardeners. 

Thanks for reading our newsletter.  We like to talk food, gardening, and occasionally politics. They really are closely intertwined.

Noel and the CobraHead team.

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