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Turkey Dinner anyone? is that you Fred, I told you to learn to fly
Welcome to the Paul Parent Garden Club 2014 Newsletter
*How to print article's at bottom of newsletter.
 
The Turkey Song
The Turkey Song


 

Harvesting cranberries on beautiful cape cod
 

On November 19, 1620, when the Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod, they had all the food they were to need for the next year aboard their ship the Mayflower. In the spring, as the weather improved the Pilgrims were met on the beach by a curious and friendly group of Native American Indians from the Wampanoag tribe, who were also eager to learn about their new neighbors.

The two different groups sat down and began this new adventure by learning about each other's customs, how they could work together to help each other and share their knowledge for a better life together. This was the first and one of the few times two nations sat down and talked for the better of all. The pilgrims brought new farming methods, new food crops, herbs, animals, and medicine to help the sick. The Wampanoag brought skills for fishing, hunting, trapping and their own type of agriculture which dealt with native plants and how to survive the elements during a harsh New England winter.

At that first Thanksgiving dinner the two nations celebrated their first year together, they cooked their native foods to celebrate their mutual friendship and their bond to work together in the future. One of the foods the Wampanoag Indians probably served was the native cranberry, as it was used by them fresh, dried and preserved for winter use. At that time cranberries were only one of three native fruits available to the new settlers. The other two are the Concord grape and the blueberry. Cranberries are an evergreen shrub or trailing vine and a member of the Blueberry family known as Vaccinium. The plant can be found growing in acidic bogs of the northern hemisphere where the climate is cooler, from New Jersey north to most of southern Canada and west to Washington State, but it grows best in the sandy bogs of Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

The plant will grow 3 to 8 inches tall depending on the variety and the many vines the plant produces can run up to 6 feet long. The vines are slender and wiry and covered by small evergreen leaves. The plant is so unique it must have a growing season that extends from April to November. The soil must be made up of just the right combination of acidic peat moss, sand, gravel, and clay to create the bog or wetland environment for them to grow in and thrive.

These special areas were created more than 10,000 years ago by the glaciers; they are like pockets in the earth. The first layer of the pocket is clay to hold all the material in place and prevent leaching into the ground water. Next is gravel and rock from the receding glaciers, then peat moss grew in over the stones, and finally sand blew over the peat with wind and storms to create the perfect growing conditions. Also water plays a major part with the plant's growth and berry formation, as the berry is 95% water. Ponds, small streams, ditches, and natural water sources like springs are needed to provide the habitat for the plant to grow.

Cranberries have beautiful dark pink flowers that are very unusual because of the reflexed flower petals that leave the style and stamens exposed and facing forward for easier pollination by insects. The open flower resembles the head of the wild Crane that lives in the same area and it was often called the crane-berry when the fruit formed on the plant. The berry itself was also called the bear-berry, as wild bears were often seen feeding on them during the fall and winter months. Here are some fun facts about cranberries to discuss around the dinner table on Thanksgiving:

  • In 1683, cranberry juice was made by the Pilgrims for their active ingredients that seemed to help with health issues present at the time.
  • Cranberries were first harvested and commercially grown in 1816 in Dennis, Massachusetts by Captain Henry Hall.
  • In 1838, a 2-inch layer of sand was spread on the cranberry bogs to help stimulate vine growth and berry production with great success, a process that is still used today to keep plants healthy and more productive.
  • In the 1850's, cranberries were used to prevent scurvy at sea, and the cranberry scoop was invented to harvest berries more efficiently.
  • In 1854, there were only 197 acres of cranberries grown in North America, Barnstable County, Mass.
  • In 1860, the state of Maine begins growing cranberries and develops 600 acres of bogs.
  • In 1888, the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers association was formed in Massachusetts.
  • In 1930, women were allowed to pick cranberries with scoops.
  • In 1953, the cranberry crop industry reached one million barrels of cranberries; one barrel of cranberries equaled 100 pounds.
  • In 1960, the first water harvesting system was developed, as cranberries would float to the surface when the bogs were flooded and easily removed from the vines with paddle board harvesters. This system used less labor and produced higher yields with less damage to the fruit.
  • 1994: cranberries made the official state berry of Massachusetts.
  • 1998: the University of Maine adds a cranberry specialist to the organization to study antioxidants, which cranberries are high in--and they also provide some significant protection against Alzheimer's disease.
  • Crop in Maine grows to 21,000 barrels 21,000,000 pounds in 2004.
  • In 1960, Massachusetts led the country with 13,000 acres, followed by Wisconsin with 4,200 acres producing cranberries. As land value rose Massachusetts dropped to 11,200 acres in 1970 and Wisconsin grew to 5,700 acres.
  • In 1990, Massachusetts grew to 12,400 acres but Wisconsin jumped to 9400 acres.
  • In the year 2000, Massachusetts grew again to 13,900 acres but Wisconsin increased production because of less expensive land to 15,100 acres and now leads the country with the production of cranberries for the first time.

Just in case you're thinking of turning your wetlands or bogs into cranberries...the average cost to plant and maintain is $28,000.00 per acre. Value of the crop is $41.30 per barrel or 100 pounds for fresh-picked, $16.20 per barrel or 100 pounds for processed berries. 95% of all berries are processed into sauce, juice, dried berries, etc. and only 5% is sold as fresh berries. In the year 2000, total berry production was 6,250,000 barrels--and one barrel equals 100 pounds--that's a lot of berries. By the way, it takes approximately 333 berries to make one pound.

Now...here is the final total of barrels of berries produced by the 5 top producing cranberry states for the year 2000. Wisconsin 4,500,000 barrels, Massachusetts 2,100,000 barrels, New Jersey 542,500 barrels, Oregon 400,000 barrels, and Washington 142,000 barrels. That totals 7,684,500 barrels of berries. Not bad for a wild-growing plant found on Cape Cod when the Pilgrims first arrived. When in Europe if you are offered loganberry as a side to your meal, it is the equivalent to our cranberry but grows much smaller and has a slightly different taste. Finally...cranberry sauce sells 2 to 1 over whole cranberries. Eat Up!! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broccoli and Cranberry salad
BROCCOLI WITH CRANBERRIES SALAD

 

THE SALAD:

 

5 TO 6 CUPS OF BROCCOLI FLORETS CUT INTO 1/2 INCH PIECES, 2 GOOD SIZE HEADS.
1 LARGE RED ONION  THINLY SLICED AND CHOPPED
1 CUP OF SHREDDED SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE.
1 CUP OF CRUMBLED COOKED BACON., ABOUT HALF A POUND.
1 CUP OF SWEETENED DRIED CRANBERRIES CUT IN HALF.
1 CUP OF SHELLED SUNFLOWER SEEDS.
1 CUP OF CHOPPED CARROTS,1/2  INCH PIECES.
1CUP OF CHOPPED CELLERY, 1/2 INCH PIECES.
1 CUP OF BLACK OR GOLDEN RAISINS.

 

DRESSING:

 

1 1/2 CUP OF MAYONNAISE.
3 TABLESPOONS OF GRANULATED SUGAR.
3 TABLESPOONS OF RED WINE VINEGAR.
1/2 TEASPOON OF SEA SALT.
1/4 OF FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER

 

MIX ALL THE SALADE INGREDIENTS IN A LARGE BOWL.

 

IN A SMALL BOWL, BEAT ALL THE DRESSING INGREDIENTS WITH A WIRE WHISK
UNTIL WELL BLENDED.  POUR SLOWLY OVER THE SALADE, AND TOSS TO MIX WELL.
REFREGERATE 1 HOUR BEFORE SERVING TO GIVE THE SALAD MORE FLAVOR.

 



Cranberries Forever Lyrics
Cranberries Forever Lyrics  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet homemade apple cider

 

 

When the weather begins to cool down and the foliage on the trees begin to change color, it is time to make homemade apple cider or purchase it at your local orchard. The term apple cider means "unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic beverage made from fresh ripe apples and nothing added."

The type of apples you use will determine the color and flavor, and produce a tangier/less tangy taste to the cider. The opaque color of the cider will be determined by the particles of apple solid found in suspension after crushing the apples. Filtered apple cider will be less tangy in taste due to less apple pulp in the juice. Untreated apple cider is usually produced locally and available at the orchard only--as it will have a limited shelf life and does not keep well even under refrigeration.

Apple cider has been around for centuries and is still an important industry in agriculture but the methods of production and preservation have changed a great deal over the years. You have everything you need to make apple cider in your kitchen today. A sharp knife to cut up apples in quarters and remove the core to make the process easier--and it produces less waste. Keep the skin on the apple. Use a food processor or blender to crush up the apples, and use some cheesecloth to filter the liquid and the fine pulp into a container to store the cider you have made. The finer you chop the apples, the more juice you will produce. Chill and enjoy.

What apples make the best cider and how do these apples affect the taste of the finished product? 'Red Delicious,' 'Fuji,' 'Golden Delicious,' 'Baldwin,' 'Cortland,' 'Macoun,' and 'Rome' will make a sweet-tasting cider. 'Granny Smith,' 'Macintosh,' 'Jonathan,' 'Gravenstein,' 'Winesap,' 'Imperial,' and 'Rhode Island Greening' will make a cider with a more tart taste. The best tasting cider will be produced if you're able to mix different varieties of apples in the blend. If possible, use red, green, and yellow apples for the best taste. Avoid bruised or damaged apples. You will need about 3 dozen apples to make a gallon of apple cider.

Before you cut apples for crushing, be sure to wash them properly to remove any soil or pesticide residue. If you're using organic apples, be sure to wash well to remove soil that will otherwise end up in the cider after crushing. Spread the cheese cloth in a large container and add pulp. Squeeze as hard as you can to force the juice out of the pulp to make your cider. Fresh squeezed cider will only last 7 days in your refrigerator, as there are no preservatives in it. You can also add different spices to the cider to give it additional flavor. Try lemon peel, clove, nutmeg, and ginger, depending on the taste you desire. It will taste best fresh from the squeezer but if you want to keep it longer you will have to pasteurize it by heating it at 160 degrees, and then it will last for up to three weeks.

If you want to make apple juice you will have to filter more and remove all solids and pasteurize it to keep it fresher longer--up to 3 weeks. Also vacuum sealing of the juice will also keep it fresher longer.

In 2001 new regulations were passed by the FDA requiring that all cider sold directly to the public and produced at farm stands, apple orchards and the like for direct sale can be natural and without preservative but must be treated to the new HACCP principles to reduce possible pathogens. This pasteurization process will result in some change of the sweetness and flavor of the cider. Unpasteurized cider is only sold on-site at the orchard. Because it is not pasteurized, naturally occurring yeast in the cider is not killed and the cider will begin to ferment in just a few days, so it must be consumed in 5 days or less. This cider will begin to become carbonated within a week even if refrigerated and become so-called "hard cider" as it ferments. Sparkling cider is cider that carbonation has been added to, from a machine such as a Soda Stream (used to make carbonated water). Mulled cider is heated just below boiling with cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg, and clove. Enjoy your favorite type of cider while we still have fresh apples. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 


"After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations."    

Oscar Wilde       

 

Pecan nuts ripening on the tree

Pecan trees are the only native major nut trees that grow wild in North America. They are also considered the most valuable nut tree in North America for the nuts they produce. "Pecan" is an Algonquin word used to describe all nuts that require a stone to crack. The nuts were used by colonial residents because they were easy to shell--and for their great taste when eaten raw or when used in cooking.

Native Americans used the pecan as a major food source, because they kept well all through the winter months when food got scarce. Many Native Americans cultivated the pecan tree for food sources during hard times. Fermented pecans can create an intoxicating drink called "powcohicora." The pecan tree is a species of the hickory tree. It grows wild from Illinois to Missouri and south to Georgia, Texas, and Florida. Pecan trees will grow 60 to 100 plus feet tall and spread 40 to 75 feet wide.

The leaves are pinnate, with 9 to 15 leaflets that grow 2 to 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. The flowers the tree makes are wind-pollinated and resemble pendulous catkins that grow 7 inches long. Both male and female flowers are produced on the same plant. The pecan fruit, being a member of the hickory family, is not a true nut but technically a "drupe" (a fruit with a single stone or pit surrounded by a husk). The husk is oval in shape, 1 to 3 inches long and 1 to 1.5 inches wide. It will start off green in color and mature when it turns brown. At this time, it will split into four sections and release the thin-shelled nut. This nut is edible and has a rich buttery flavor. It can be eaten raw or used in cooking. The wood of the pecan is still used in furniture making today, wood flooring and for flavoring meat and fish when used in a smoker. In the late 1800s, pecans were grown commercially and today 80% of the world's pecans come from the USA.

Pecans are hardy and can live for more than 300 years. Pecans were first planted on Long Island in 1772 and they were soon planted in gardens along the Atlantic seaboard--after George Washington planted a small orchard in 1775 at his home in Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson in 1779 at his home in Monticello. As the settlers moved to the Gulf Coast, they brought with them the pecan tree to plant in their gardens. In the early 1800s the French and Spanish colonists began to export pecans to Europe and the West Indies. The tree became a source of commerce for early colonists and a new industry was born in America--pecan production. In the Gulf, the pecan tree became more valuable than cotton for the nut it produced. In the early 1800s, a discovery of grafting pecan buds from superior trees to average trees helped to create more productive trees. Production increased on average trees, increasing the amount of trees planted for nut production all over the South.

Pecans are a great source of protein and unsaturated fats and, like the walnut, are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Pecans can lower the risk of gallstones in women. The antioxidants and the plant sterols in the pecan help to reduce high cholesterol. The University of Georgia has confirmed that pecans contain plant sterols which are known for their cholesterol-lowering ability. Pecans may also play a role in neurological health. Eating pecans daily may delay age-related muscle nerve degeneration, according to a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts. This Thanksgiving, make the pie that comes from our native American tree, the pecan.

Now you know why cranberries from Cape Cod to Washington State, apples from around the country and pecans from our native forest of the south and eastern seaboard are used to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. Native berry--the cranberry, native nut--the pecan and native fruit--the apples. The Pilgrims did find a land of plenty in their search for religious freedom in the New World.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

.
Southern pecan pie
 

     

CLASSIC SOUTHERN PECAN PIE

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

1- 9 INCH PIECRUST, UNBAKED FROM THE BOX.
1 1/2 CUPS PECANS CUT IN HALF
3 JUMBO OR LARGE EGGS
1 CUP OF PACKED LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
1 CUP OF LIGHT CORN SYRUP
1 TEASPOON OF VANILLA
1/2 TEASPOON OF SALY
2 TABLESPOONS MELTED UNSALTED BUTTER

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

PREHEAT THE OVEN AT 350 DEGREES. DUST THE PIE
PLATE WITH FLOWER AND ADD THE PIE CRUST, EASING
TO THE BOTTOM AND SHAPPING. TURN THE EDGES OVER
 AND CRIMP TO CREATE A BORDER. 

 

SPREAD THE PECANS EVENLY IN THE BOTTOM OF THE CRUST.
WISK THE EGGS IN A MEDIUM BOWL, THEN WISK IN THE BROWN
SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, VANILLA, SALT, AND MELTED BUTTER.
POUR OVER THE PECANS IN THE CRUST.

 

BAKE FOR 55 TO 60 MINUTES. IF THE EDGES BROWN UP TO FAST
COVER THEM WITH STRIPS OF TIN FOIL OVER THEM.  REMOVE FROM
THE OVEN AND COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE CUTTING.  SERVE WITH
ICE- CREAM OR WHIPPED CREAM. REFRIGERATE ANY LEFTOVERS.

 

 

 

 

              Garden Journal - A garden is a friend you can visit any time. Gardens require planning and cultivation, yielding beauty and joy. This garden journal helps make planning and organizing easy. This book makes a great gift for gardeners, family, friends, birthdays, Christmas, new home or as a self purchase.

Cover holds a 5 x7 or 4x6 photo, Heavy-duty D-ring binder

1. 8 tabbed sections
2. 5 garden details sections with pockets for seeds, tags....
3. Weather records page
4. 6 three year journal pages
5. Insect & diseases page - 3 project pages
6. 3 annual checklist pages
7. Plant wish list page
8. 2 large pocket pages
9. Sheet of garden labels
10. 5 garden detail sheets
11. 5 graph paper pages for layouts
12. 5 photo pages holds - 4- 4x6 photos in landscape or portrait format

Journal, Planning, Inspirations. 

 To Order call 207-985-6972

Regular price $34.95  Special Price $29.95! Limited supply!! Now Available!!!!

            

 THE HISTORY OF WILT-PRUF PLANT PROTECTOR

 

Just after World War II ended, US building construction came alive once again. Homes were built to help returning service personnel. With the buildings came landscaping. Whether it was winter or summer, the weather was always a factor. But horticulturists knew that some plantings would not make it through the hot or cold windy weather and drought that was destined to arrive. A gardener by the name of Dr. Luther Baumgartner developed a chemical mix that he felt would reduce evaporation from foliage. Luther experimented with his invention at a nursery in Hawthorne, NY and it worked. He was able to get a well known Chemical Co. to bottle his formula which he called Wilt-Pruf. He sold his new product to his neighborhood nurseries to help them protect their plantings. Wilt-Pruf became successful almost overnight, so Dr. Baumgartner sold his Wilt-Pruf to a company in Connecticut who was familiar with the lawn and garden distribution process.

The chemical formula being used back then was a bit difficult to use for several reasons. It was sticky, difficult to clean up, could not be frozen, and had a limited shelf life. A company in Pennsylvania produced many agriculture sprays using pine resin as their base material and they felt they were a natural to make Wilt-Pruf. After extensive experimenting and testing, Wilt-Pruf was now ready to be produced, bottled, stored, and shipped from this company in Pennsylvania. Not only was Wilt-Pruf a very useable garden spray, but Wilt-Pruf also boasts being organic, biodegradable, and non-hazardous. It has an indefinite shelf life and is not damaged by freezing.

Now that Wilt-Pruf was in demand throughout the country, a distribution system had to be determined. New ownership was necessary and the product was sold to its present owner over forty years ago. Sales representatives were hired and lawn and garden distributors were solicited to sell Wilt-Pruf to garden centers and other retail outlets.

 Now Wilt-Pruf was entering a new era. Gardening was growing by leaps and bounds. Wilt-Pruf has been accepted nationally as a much needed plant protector during periods of water stress. It is being distributed by some of the country's largest lawn and garden distributors as well as many highly professional smaller garden supply stores. Wilt-Pruf is currently in demand overseas with customers in England, Belgium, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea.

Wilt-Pruf spray dries to form a clear transparent and flexible protective coating without interfering with plant growth or materially affecting respiration, osmosis, or photosynthesis. Ultraviolet rays from outdoor daylight react with our film polymer which produces a continuous flexible film which forms a coating similar to having numerous bed sheets on a bed. When the top sheet is removed there are still many more sheets left. The same phenomenon is true with Wilt-Pruf. As the outside layer wears off with the sun, wind and rain and powders away, another layer has formed. This process continues until all layers have worn off which takes three to four months and sometimes longer depending on climatic conditions. Wilt-Pruf is the only horticulture anti-transparent that has the ability to provide this long lasting protection during severe periods of water stress.

 




 
  
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  Written by Paul Parent                         Produced by Christine Parent


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