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The Cultivator
Sweet Potatoes, Garlic Tomatoes, and Parking Lot Gardening
The CobraHead Newsletter
October 2011

Hello Friends of CobraHead,


Fall has actually arrived in Austin. After record shattering heat and drought lasting well into September, I had forgotten that this magnificent season exists. But now that it's here, my fall garden has gone into high production. I'm eating fresh greens daily: chard, rapini, Asian mustard greens and I'm still getting okra, basil and hot peppers from the summer garden.


Thank you to everyone who donated to Austin's Urban Roots last month. Because of all of your contributions we raised over $850 to help keep this inspiring youth agriculture program running strong. We want to give a special thanks to Martin Perna who went above the call in publicizing this via his multiple social network connections including his personal blog. To thank him, we are sending him our Garden Essentials Package.


In this issue Noel explains his methods for harvesting, curing and storing sweet potatoes, Judy cooks yet more tomatoes and makes them even tastier than before, and I talk about my experience making container gardens with Austin's Save our Youth program.


Gardening can be a powerful tool for social change. Do you volunteer with any youth or community garden projects? I want to hear about them. Drop me a line at


Happy gardening,



Noel's Sweet Potato Harvest
Noel's Sweet Potato Harvest

 Harvesting Sweet Potatoes  

The fall frost hit Wisconsin,  making it time to harvest the sweet potatoes.  Noel explains his harvest techniques and also how he cures and stores the potatoes so that we can enjoy them throughout the winter and spring.  Read more here.  


Judy's Garlic Roasted Tomatoes
Judy's Garlic Roasted Tomatoes

 Garlic Roasted Tomatoes 


Are you tired of tomatoes yet?  Not Judy!  It seems like the more she removes from the kitchen counters to cook down or preserve, the more that magically appear in their place.  For a change of pace, she roasted some of them with garlic.  Learn how to make this delicious and simple dish yourself here.
Showing off Self-Watering Planters
Showing off Self-Watering Planters

 Making Self-Watering Planters 


Geoff worked with the Austin's Save our Youth program to turn part of a parking lot into a vegetable garden using self-watering planters made out of reclaimed five gallon pails.  Click here to find out more.



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
Harvesting Sweet Potatoes
Garlic Roasted Tomatoes
Self Watering Planters
Late September Harvest
Late September Harvest

It's October and we have been enjoying some beautiful fall weather. However, the frosts are coming and we have to get the garden beds ready for winter, which means a lot of weeding and clean up ahead. Fortunately our show schedule is winding down, so the upcoming weekends should be mostly free.


The whole family has been busy with fall trade shows. While we expect to do a lot of garden shows in the spring, fall shows have turned out to be excellent opportunities for us to get CobraHead tools in front of a lot of real hands-on gardeners, (our best customers) and for us to make more contacts in the garden industry.


Last month we mentioned the National Heirloom Expo  in Santa Rosa, California. Anneliese was barely back from California, when she and I drove out to Seven Springs, Pennsylvania for the second Mother Earth News Fair 

at that location on September 24th and 25th. This is another show with a sustainable living theme. It was almost twice as well attended as the 2010 show, and we were very happy with our sales and contacts. It was heartening to see a lot of what one might term "just folks" very interested in gardening and in living a more sustainable lifestyle.


As I didn't get my fill of driving with the 1295 mile round trip to Pennsylvania, I followed it up last week with a 1250 mile round trip to Charleston, West Virginia, where Judy and I exhibited for CobraHead at the International Master Gardener Conference on October 12th and 13th. As the name implies, this show audience was all gardeners, and we were very happy to be there.


Shows like these are extremely important to us. As much as they are financially helpful, they are equally important in that they give us confirmation that real gardeners like our products and we know that if the hard-core gardeners like us, they'll let the more casual gardeners know about CobraHead.


We are happy to announce some recent winners for the newsletter sign-ups we offer at trade shows.  Marilyn Moore won at the National Heirloom Expo, Jerry Senger won at the Mother Earth News Fair, and Karen Martin was our winner at the Master Gardeners Conference in West Virginia.  All won a $50 gift certificate good for shopping for any of the items we sell on our CobraHead website.


Thanks for reading our newsletter. We like to talk gardening and food. Please don't hesitate to send us your comments or ideas.


Noel and the CobraHead team.  

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