Friday, March 23, 2012

Swiss chard is a good provider

I may have mentioned in an earlier blog, but this bears repeating....SWISS CHARD IS AWESOME! Not only is it delicious, it usually grows all summer and fall in Southern Michigan. Add to that, it is usually low maintenance, fairly easy to weed, fast to pick, (just twist and snap) and good for you. It may not be as nutrient-packed as kale or spinach, but I think it tastes much better than kale and lasts a lot longer in the garden than spinach.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Time to plant the greens

It's so warm, it really feels like Spring and most greens should be planted right now. I took advantage of some complimentary seeds from and have planted some container lettuce: Sweetie Baby Romaine and Garden Babies Butterhead.
My husband worked some fresh soil into our container box garden and tomorrow I hope to plant Broccoli Raab Super Rapini, Sweet Curly Parsley, Salad scallions, delicious duo, container chard Pot of Gold and Portugese Kale.
Renee Shepherd's seeds are her selection of heirloom, open-pollinated and hybrid varieties. Her seed packets come with good descriptions and planting instructions tailored for each plant.

There are so many different types of seeds available to us now. It is a bit overwhelming. Not only are there different varieties of the same plant, there are different ways the seeds are produced. There are cultivar (cultivated variety which can be a hybrid or open-pollinated); genetically engineered; genetically modified; open-pollinated; hybrid; heirloom and of course organic.For more information on this, visit

Friday, March 9, 2012

Michigan Home & Garden Show

The Michigan Home & Garden Show brings an abundance of ideas for homeowners’ landscaping, gardening, home improvement and energy-efficiency projects at the Pontiac Silverdome, March 9-11
“All the major home product categories from heating and cooling, kitchens and baths, windows and doors to room additions, siding, closets, vacuums, appliances, fixtures, furnishings, landscaping and decorative accessories are represented,” said Mike Wilbraham, show producer of ShowSpan Inc. of Grand Rapids. “There truly is something for everyone, whether they are interested in new homes, green living, remodeling or maintenance.
Twiggy, The Water Skiing Squirrel, sporting a life jacket and water skis and pulled by a remote-controlled boat in a custom-made swimming pool, as seen on ESPN, “Good Morning America” and “The Late Show with David Letterman,” will entertain and teach the importance of life jackets and safety on the water.
Author Joey Green will present strange but useful household tips during his “Wacky Uses for Brand Name Products” such as polishing furniture with Spam, removing carpet stains with Pampers and cleaning diamond rings with Efferdent as seen on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Good Morning America” and “The View.”
Outdoor living space will be shown in professionally landscaped gardens and landscapes with blooming annuals and perennials, reflecting ponds, waterfalls, fountains, brick walkways, decks and patios created by area landscapers.
Michigan Garden Clubs Inc., members of the National Garden Clubs Inc., will display a flower invitational exhibition of floral design themed “Memories of the Past Forging into the Future.”
Free educational seminars and how-to demonstrations for new ideas and instruction led by gardening, interior design, home improvement and cooking experts will be on the Food, Home and Garden Stages. Chefs will cook and provide recipe cards on the Food Stage. America’s Master Handyman and WJR radio host Glenn Haege will be among the experts covering design, home improvement and energy on the Home Stage. Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association experts will conduct the seminars on the Garden Stage. Children will have the opportunity to climb on inflatables and a portable climbing tower at the Cran-Hill Family Zone.
Decorative home accessories, Michigan landscape and nature photography and food products will be available for purchase at the Garden & Art Market.
Homeowners can compare products and services and find professionals for landscaping, building, remodeling, do-it-yourself and home decorating projects. Experts will be on hand to provide tips, advice and knowledge on home renovations, improvement, maintenance, environmentally friendly living, gardening and landscaping.
The Pontiac Silverdome is at 1200 Featherstone Road, north of M-59 and west of Opdyke Road in Pontiac. Show hours are from noon to 9 p.m. March 9; 10 a.m. to  9 p.m. March 10 and 10 a.m. to  6 p.m. March 11. Admission is $10, $5 for children 6-14 and children 5 and under admitted free. Discount coupons for $2 off Friday or Sunday adult admission are available at show’s website and participating Wendy’s restaurants. Advance tickets are available online at Family Day is Saturday with free admission until noon for children 14 and under and special activities and demonstrations. On-site parking is available for $5. Follow the show at and become a fan on Facebook at
For more information, visit or call 1-800-328-6550.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Seeds may be responsible for contaminated sprouts

Jimmy Johns E. coli O26 Linked to Clover Sprouts: Seeds Likely to Blame but No Formal Recall