2008 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 23


Newsletter 23 – August 21, 2008  Decorate for Fall   Squash   Recipe


“The notes I handle no better than many pianists.

But the pauses between the notes – ah, that is where the art resides.”

Artur Schnabel


The Art of Gardening

I found the following while I was searching the web for the phrase ‘between the plants,’ in an attempt to tie the above quote to gardening.  It is from ‘Where is the Art of Gardening?” by Veronique Faucheur, Marc Pouzol, atelier le balto, Berlin.  I have considerably paraphrased the article, which is found at www.rali.boku.ac.at/7645.html


“That a garden is a place to walk through is not something new.  But, is the garden not also what is between these spots, these ‘pictures’, these ‘paintings’; is the garden not the promenade itself and what is going on in your head when you are going through?”

“We often define the garden as a place being in between two elements: for example two walls, which define or give the character to the garden; or between two spaces: for example the street and the backyard.”

“But the garden is also there to make feel what is between yesterday and tomorrow, between last year and next year; between three hours ago and right now.  The philosopher Michel Onfray wrote:’ In a garden, the river of time is slowed down, held back, accelerated, increased in its efficiency, guided, controlled and formed as sculpture.”


“A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine; something Brussels sprouts never do.”P. J. O’Rourke from the Bachelor Home Companion joke 1


It’s Time to DECORATE For FALL

The fading blossoms of our lilies, perennial hibiscus, and rudbeckia are visual reminders that fall is just around the corner.  With Labor Day less than two weeks away it’s time to fill your patios, planters and beds with stunning fall color.  America’s Best Flowers is ready to help you with our fabulous mums and asters.  Our early varieties are just starting to bloom, and are they beautiful!  We grow over 6000 mums in early, mid, and late season varieties to give you an extended bloom period, and have asters available in several shades of bright pinks and blues.  Come on out today for the best selection.


What kind of vegetable likes to look at animals?

“A Zoo-chini!”  joke 2


Coming in September

September is a busy month at the greenhouse.  Labor Day weekend kicks off the month, and many gardeners take this opportunity to accomplish fall chores.  The following Saturday, September 6, our fall Dollar Days starts, offering everyone an opportunity to cash in their orange dollars for up to 50% off their total purchase.  In conjunction with Dollar Days, we will have a workshop on dividing perennials Saturday, September 6 at 10:00, and Container Workshops from 10-4 on September 6th, 7th, 13th, and 14th.  For the container workshop, we provide FREE soil and assistance to help you create beautiful fall containers.  This will be your last chance this year to work with our talented design staff. 


No matter how you try, you can’t plant the right amount of zucchini.

If you only plant one, it will die.

If you plant two, you will have far too much. joke 3


Squash, Squash Everywhere!


Whether you planted patty pan, yellow crookneck, or green or yellow zucchini squash, now is the time to eat it.  Last week Bonnie shared her favorite zucchini bread and soup recipes.  Since then we’ve had customers ask for more ways to use their bountiful harvestsRemember all types of summer squash can be used interchangeably in recipes.  The trick is to keep the vines picked while the squash are small.  .If some do get big on you, you have choices.  You can let your children use them for baseball bats, leave them on your neighbor’s doorstep, compost them, or freeze for future use.  To freeze, simply wash them, cut off both ends, quarter lengthwise, remove seeds and fiber and grate into big bowl. Package it in 2 cup portions in quart freezer bags to use for this winter.  Add directly to soups and stews, or thaw completely in a fine strainer and allow some of the moisture to drain before using for baking.  The only time I would ever peel summer squash is if they are really huge and the skin is tough and bitter.


I went to www.foodnetwork.com – searched for zucchini, clicked on zucchini recipes (twice) and found over 200 zucchini recipes.  I even found one for chocolate zucchini cake that sounds very much like one I used to make.  You can find it by typing in chocolate zucchini cake in the search field.  We ate this cake warm from the oven with just a bit of whipped cream, although the mousse topping in the recipe sounds wonderful.

The easiest cooking method I know is to slice your squash 1/4 inch thick and steam in a basket over boiling water. For this recipe, use small to medium squash that are 2" or less in diameter – the cooking time will be 5 minutes or less – depending on the tenderness you prefer.  If you cook it too long, it will be watery and mushy Top with a little real butter and salt, or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  This is a wonderful delicately flavored veggie – though don’t expect young children to be thrilled with it.

An old standby is fried zucchini – simply slice, dip in beaten egg, roll in seasoned flour and fry in ¼” oil (canola and/or butter) until lightly browned. Sprinkle with salt and eat while very hot. This is soooo good! You can also do some mushrooms at the same time.

Another favorite is stir fry – combine any sliced summer squash with other favorite veggies – I like onion, red and yellow peppers and mushrooms.  Saute in a little olive oil just until crisp-tender.  This one can be varied in so many ways.  Seasonings that are excellent in stir fry are minced garlic, soy sauce and terriyaki sauce.  My sister likes to start with fresh Italian green beans,  let them saute alone for 5-10 minutes (depending on how crunchy you want them to be), then add zucchini, onion , and diced tomatoes cook 5 more minutes.  Sprinkle with dried italian seasoning (or fresh basil) and serve with either fresh parmesan cheese or feta.

Summer squash is also very good stuffed.  I really like the ones that have a stuffing based on bread crumbs.  Any stuffing recipe will work.  Alternatively you can slice summer squash and layer the stuffing ingredients in a casserole and bake.  This presentation is better for a potluck.

One of my favorite ways to eat small zucchini (green and/or yellow) is just to cut it into long strips.  Arrange on a relish tray with other veggies and your favorite low-fat dip.

If you park your car in a suburban neighborhood in August, be sure to lock it.

If you don’t, someone will put zucchini in it!Joke 4



September 6    –    How to Divide Perennials 10AM

September 6 & 7 – Fall Container Workshop FREE soil & assistance 10-4pm

September 6-14 – ABF Dollar Days Use your ABF orange bucks.

September 13-14 -Fall Container Workshop FREE soil & assistance 10-4pm

September 15-28 – Scarecrow Days Make your own scarecrow. Free popcorn on the weekends. Fun for the entire family. $12.99 includes scarecrow kit. Bring your own clothes, or purchase ours. An ABF favorite!


What is a zucchini’s favorite game?

Squash! joke 5


Mark Your Calendar

Plan to attend one of our Make-A-Scarecrow Workshops, September 15-28, and create a one-of-a-kind scarecrow.  We provide a kit, which contains your scarecrow’s head, frame and stuffing, and assistance to help you create your unique scarecrow.  You can either bring old clothes to dress it in, or buy some from us at garage sale prices.  While you’re here, we encourage you to pick up a bale or two of straw, a few pumpkins, some mums and asters to create a traffic-stopping fall display.


We had just finished listening to an old Simon and Garfunkel tune

 when my young daughter asked, “Well, did he?”

“Did he what?” I asked back

“Did Parsley save Rosemary in time?” joke 6

Reader’s Digest September 2008


I love tabouleh. And think having it, and a tall glass of iced tea on a hot day, make the perfect lunch! This recipe is from Kathleen Daelmans of the Food Network.


1/2 cup medium grain bulgur

1 1/4 cups water

4 cups loosely packed, roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 1/2 cups peeled and diced tomatoes (about 3-5 if using Romas)

1/4 cup chopped green onion, white and some of the green (about 2)

1/4-1/2 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped mint leaves


1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 t minced garlic

Pinch of Kosher salt

1 T extra virgin olive oil

Bring water to a boil, pour in bulgur, stir, cover, and turn off heat. Let stand 20-25 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and bulgur is fluffy and tender. Pour off any remaining liquid.

To prepare dressing, in a small non-reactive bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, salt and oil. Taste and adjust seasonings.

In a large salad bowl, toss together parsley, tomatoes, green onions and mint. Add bulgur. Pour dressing over salad, toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.

That’s the basic recipe. Here are some optional ideas;

1. Add more diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, and diced raw zucchini.

2. Add rinsed, drained canned chickpeas, and rinsed, drained canned lentils.

3. Grill some boneless, skinless chicken breast, dice, toss with the taboleh and wrap it up in fresh pita.

“What is that sound?” a woman visiting our nature center asked.

“It’s the frogs trilling for a mate,” Patti, the naturalist, explained.

“We have a pair in the science room.  But they’ve been together so long,

that they no longer sing to each other.

The woman nodded sympathetically. “The trill is gone.”joke 7

Reader’s Digest September 2008



May the Holy Spirit Guide You!  God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
President Berry Hill Farms, Inc.
DBA Americas Best Flowers Garden Center
4311 Vilas Hope Road
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627
https://www.americasbestflowers.com/home.htmlAlso President of The Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin  http://www.cfgw.org/ an Organization that is a division of the six group Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF) a 3 Billion dollar industry with over 4700 businesses and over 43,000 employees in Wisconsin
Senator Representing Wisconsin members of the American Nursery and Landscape Association – ANLA
Also Board member of Garden’s Beautiful Garden Centers
Also member of legislative of Committee of WGIF
Also Board Member of (WGIF) Wisconsin Green Industry Federation

Carol and Ed Knapton, owners of Americas's Best Flowers You’ll Love Your Garden … It’s Our Promise! May the Holy Spirit Guide You! God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
Sec – Treasurer Berry Hill Farms, Inc.
DBA Americas Best Flowers Garden Center
4311 Vilas Hope Road
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627