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The Cultivator
Pomegranates and Pierogi-The CobraHead Newsletter
April 2011

Hello, Friends of CobraHead,


Wisconsin and Texas are at opposite extremes this spring.  Here in Austin, temperatures have already reached the 90s and we are in drought conditions.  Up in Wisconsin, the spring has been unseasonably wet and cold and snow fell just this week.  But in both places we garden with what we are given. 


I can't stress enough how much drip irrigation has been a lifeline in my garden.  I am harvesting sugar snap peas, lettuces, cilantro and other crops that can quickly bolt or otherwise degrade when the hot weather kicks in.  This morning I wandered out my back door to pick some beet greens to sauté with my breakfast.   


This month Judy updates one of my favorite foods, pierogi, with a savory sweet potato filling.  Noel discusses the challenges of April showers and I describe an evolving poly-cultural pomegranate perennial border in my backyard.


How are you dealing with your weather related challenges this year?  Drop me a line at


Happy Gardening,




PS  We want to congratulate Nancy Gronewold who won a $50 gift certificate from our newsletter sign-up contest at the QCCA Flower and Garden Show in Rock Island, Illinois.

Pomegranate Flower
Pomegranate Flower

Pomegranate Borders 

Over the last few years Geoff has been developing a pomegranate border along the north side of his vegetable garden.  Read about how he incorporates multiple species into this fruiting hedge row here.

Sweet Potato Pierogi
Sweet Potato Pierogi

Sweet Potato Pierogi

At Geoff's request, Judy updates this traditional Polish dumpling with what else - sweet potatoes.  Click here to learn how to make them.
Noel's Garden April 2011
Noel's Garden April 2011

April Garden in Wisconsin 

Noel reflects upon how April showers can alter his spring garden schedule.  April has been most cruel, so far, however the gardening does not stop.  Read more about Noel's garden 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
Poemgranate Borders
Sweet Potato Pierogi
April Gardening
Brick Path

It's fairly common for gardeners to make new discoveries in their gardens.  Whether it's noticing a flower on a plant you don't remember planting or realizing you have volunteer tomatoes or squash growing in your compost pile, gardeners are used to all kinds of surprises. But this discovery was a bit different. 


Two weeks ago (when we actually had a weekend of 70 and 80 degree temperatures), my roommate, Amy, and I decided to mount an all out attack on our garden. I tromped around the yard with loppers and a handsaw and chopped down every unwanted sapling I could find (invasive Buckthorn is quite a problem around here). Meanwhile, Amy took it upon herself to clean up the woefully overgrown and weedy flowerbed next to the front door. This particular bed had been all but taken over by a very aggressive groundcover.


Some time into her endeavor, Amy shouted out to me, "Hey, there are some bricks here!"  To which I replied, "Yeah, I know!" (I had seen a few bricks next to the sidewalk when I made a feeble attempt to clear out the bed last year. This was before the mosquitoes took over Cambridge and made it impossible to work outside the entire second half of the summer.) But it wasn't too long before we both realized the bed didn't just have "some" bricks in it. As you can see in the photo above, an entire pathway had emerged.


I wish I'd had the forethought to take a "before" picture, but just the fact that we didn't even know there was a pathway in the bed should give you some clue as to its prior condition. Also, major props to Amy for doing such a great job clearing it out. It's definitely a satisfying feeling to look at the brick path and feel like something major was accomplished, but then I remind myself how many other outrageously overgrown garden beds there are in the yard.  Sigh.


I'll try to remember to take a few "before" pictures next time.


All the best to you in your garden adventures,




P.S. If you're in Texas, Geoff will be exhibiting at the TX State Master Gardener Conference April 27-28 in Glen Rose.

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