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Well, the big news at Papershell is the hatching of our new baby hawk! We found a bit of eggshell under the nest, and have noticed a lot more activity up there, with Mom and Dad now bringing food to the nest instead of just visiting empty-handed.  Last year, our adults raised 2 babies and we're hoping for two more -- so stay tuned! Look for pictures on Facebook and in the next newsletter!
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Always on the job...
Summertime is fast approaching, this week of cooler, drier weather notwithstanding. Are you ready for the summer veggie garden? Diana's got another class this Sunday at 2:00 to get you started.

Please note a change in our policy! Because Diana has to drive to Papershell from Spring Branch, we'll have to cancel the class if we don't get a minimum enrollment of 8 students by Friday afternoon.

If you're interested in this wonderful class, please give us a call quickly so we can get you scheduled.

Have you got your hands full with produce from the spring garden? Then you need Anne Ondrusek's class in Home Canning! This one's Saturday afternoon, from 3:00-4:30 and addresses Vegetables & Tomato Products.

I expect to have sweet potato plants ready to sell by the weekend of May 5 -- and this year we have four different varieties to choose from, including some that don't vine as aggressively as our traditional favorite, Beauregard.

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the email -- many of our fruit trees are on sale through the end of the month or while supplies last. Everyone has room for at least one little fruit tree...

Thanks for signing up for our email newsletter!  Come see us soon!

Mushrooms & Nuisance Fungi

When we get our usual spring rains, sometimes mushrooms or toadstools pop up in our lawns.  These fruiting bodies represent the reproductive structures of some types of fungi. Mushrooms display a fascinating variety of sizes, shapes and colors a
nd their purpose is to house and disseminate spores.
Lawn Mushrooms
Most mu
shroom-producing fungi in lawns are not dangerous and and don't cause disease or signal disease. One exception is the fairy-ring mushroom, which can sometimes cause dead areas of grass. Mushrooms are only the above-ground portion of the underground fungi, so removing them does not kill the fungi. Picking them or destroying them can prevent their spores from spreading to new sites, but it's just as likely you'll get new ones blown in from a neighboring lawn.

Don't allow children or pets to play with the mushrooms -- and certainly don't eat them! Otherwise, these mushrooms will soon go away without your having to do anything at all!

Summer Veggies

Don't give up on your vegetable garden just because the weather's getting warmer! Summer is the perfect time for planting okra, melons, sweet potatoes, climbing spinach, gourds and more!
Sweet Potato
Last Year's Biggest Tater!
Cucumbers, melons, squash and okra plants are available now and we'll have 4 different varieties of sweet potatoes to choose from around the end of April or beginning of May.  By the end of summer, you can be eating your own homegrown, homemade sweet potato french fries!

Sweet 'n Sassy Jalapeņos

If you planted your jalapenos early, you should be just now getting some pepper ripe for the picking! Varieties like Mariachi and Mucho Nacho are very productive and you may end up with more peppers that you can eat fresh.
Here's one of my favorite pickled jalapeno recipes. Based on a sweet pickle recipe, this one perfectly combines sweet and spicy. Take your nachos in a new direction or just enjoy with buttered crackers.

2 cups sliced fresh jalapenos
1 or 2 fresh cayenne-type peppers
* sliced onions, optional
2 cup 5% acid white vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

Soak the jalapenos in cold water for one hour. Skim off any seeds that float to the top and discard.

Combine vinegar, honey and spices in a large pot and bring to a slow boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the vegetables and return to a simmer, stirring and simmering for 10 more minutes.

Pack peppers in hot sterilized canning jars. Leave 1/2" head space. Pour the hot sweet pickling sauce on the peppers, again leaving 1/2" head space. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes at 180°. Remove and age in a dark cupboard for 6 weeks.

For more great canning recipes, plan to attend Anne Ondrusek's Home Canning Class this Sunday! Our topic: Vegetables & Tomato Products!

Please stop by and visit!  Have a glass of world-famous lemonade (or a beer!) -- we'd love to meet you!


Elizabeth Barrow
Papershell: A Garden Gallery

Home Canning: Vegetable & Tomato Products
Saturday April 28

Preserve the bounty of the spring and summer garden! This is the second in a four-part series on food preservation, led by Master Gardener and Cook Extraordinaire Anne Ondrusek. In this class, we'll go over preparing vegetables and tomato products in the home kitchen. Topics may include juices, sauces, salsas, vegetables & soups.

This class is $10 and reservations are suggested: call (281) 232-4485 or email us to sign up.
Summer Vegetable Gardening
Sunday April 29

Plant a vegetable garden for your family this summer! Learn to grow southern favorites like okra, basil, peanuts, cowpeas, sweet potatoes and eggplants. This class is taught by horticulturist Diana Liga and participants receive a coupon good for 15% off that day's purchases.

This class is $10 and reservations are suggested: call (281) 232-4485 or email us to sign up.
Summer Lawn Care
Saturday, May 5

Help your lawn survive the summer! This seminar is devoted to grass - both St. Augustinegrass and Bermudagrass. Learn how to keep your lawn healthy using both organic and conventional techniques. Participants receive a coupon valid for 15% off today's purchases.

This class is $10 and reservations are suggested: call (281) 232-4485 or email us to sign up.
The Edible Mexican Garden
Sunday May 6

Salute Cinco de Mayo! This class focuses on growing foods that originated in Mexico. Many of our favorite plants are native to Mexico and Central America, from vegetables to teas. Join horticulturist Diana Liga for this fun and informative class. Participants receive a coupon good for 15% off that day's purchases.

This class is $10 and reservations are suggested: call (281) 232-4485 or email us to sign up.
Watercolor Painting: Handmade Cards
Saturday, May 12

Artist Michael Vollmer leads this class in creating one-of-a-kind watercolor greeting cards. Landscape or abstract themes are appropriate. The class includes the watercolor papter needed to make a set of 8 cards.

 This class is $45 and space is limited.  Please reserve  your spot in advance: call (281) 232-4485 or email us to sign up.
Mother's Day
Sunday, May 13
Every waking minute...

This is a public service announcement. Do not forget Mother's Day! Need a plant or an artsy gift? Stop in and consult with one of us!

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Monday: Closed

Tuesday through Saturday: 9:00am-5:30pm

Sunday: Noon-5:30pm


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Save 30%
Selected Fruit Trees on sale! Choose from apple, peach, pear, Asian pear, plum, persimmon, pomegranate, fig and avocado! Limited to stock on hand - no special orders. Got a friend who doesn't get our email? Please feel free to share this coupon with her!
Offer Expires: April 30 or while supplies last