2009 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 7

Newsletter 7 – April 16, 2009

Events             Recipe        Plants for Cool Weather 


“It is for us to make the effort.

The result is always in God’s hands.” Gandhi


Last weekend we held our community Egg Hunt. What an outstanding turnout! Over 400 children had a wonderful time gathering eggs throughout our greenhouses.  Even though we had thousands of eggs, we still had to re-hide them about 15 times (the White House egg hunt has nothing on us)! Our own Deb Stevens was the beloved pink ABF Easter Bunny, and she got so many hugs and kisses, she couldn’t believe it.

Don’t miss our annual Spring Open House this weekend. We’re serving complimentary hotdogs and popcorn in our meeting room, to YOU, our loyalty customers from 11-3 both days. This is always a fun time for all of us because we get to do a little socializing with all of you and to us it’s a symbol that spring is FINALLY here!

The following weekend, April 25 & 26 is quite special also. We’ll be giving away a FREE Black Hills Spruce with purchase in celebration of Arbor Day. On that Saturday we will have FREE activities for kids, who are accompanied by an adult, from 10-2PM. See details below

What did the hot dog say to the relish?

You’re smothering me. Joke 1

Cool Weather Crops

The warmer temperatures and sunshine of the past few days have done a lot to prepare your garden’s soil for planting.  Mid April is a good time to plant the cool weather crops, like radish, lettuce, carrots, spinach, beets, peas, onion and potatoes.  Cole crops, like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi, can also be planted now.  Many of these crops can be planted at two week intervals to extend your harvest.  It’s also a good time to plant asparagus, strawberries, and raspberries.  So stop out today and let us help you get started.  You can have your own fresh produce right outside your door.

How does planting onion sets in with your potatoes save you time?

The onions make the potato’s eyes water, so you don’t have to ! joke 2

Warm Weather Crops

No discussion about early vegetable gardening would be complete without talking about the warm weather crops that you can grow yourself from seed. Although April has been cool so far, it is time for you to plant tomato and pepper seeds inside.  We have everything you need to get started.  Seeds planted in the next two weeks will be ready to put in the ground by the end of May.  Perfect timing for our northern climate, and a great family project.  Come on out today and choose from our large selection.  When you bite into that first tomato, grown with your own hands from seed, you’ll be so glad you did.

Did you hear about the popcorn that joined the army?

They made him a kernel. joke 3

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

America’s Best is featuring a new line of heirloom vegetable seeds this year.  The beautiful black packages of Baker Creek Seeds really show off the gorgeous pictures of the produce.  Be sure to stop by the rack and pick up a few packs to grow yourself.

We had these seeds with us at the Garden Expo, and one variety that was very well received was the Ground Cherry – Strawberry Husk Tomatoes. Grown like regular tomatoes, these plants produce huge yields of tart-sweet berries that are excellent for pies, jams and preserves.  They are also delicious fresh.  The fruit grows inside a paper-like husk.

Chioggia Beets is another variety available from Baker Creek.  This Italian heirloom beet, named for a town in Italy, has light red skin and beautiful rings inside, like red and white candy stripes.  The flesh is very tender, mild and sweet.  If you enjoy the incredible flavor of homegrown beets, this is a ‘must try’ variety for you.

What do you get when you cross popcorn with ice cream?

A Popsicle joke 4


April 18-19      Open House – We invite our loyalty members for FREE hot dogs and popcorn from 11-3.

April 25           Earth Day Celebration – FREE CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES 10-2 PM. Bring a white T-shirt to paint, make seed balls and create a peanut butter bagel birdfeeder. Caution: If your child has a peanut allergy, you will want to avoid this activity.

April 24-26     Arbor Day – Receive a FREE Black Hills Spruce with purchase.  While supplies last.  Limit 1 per family.

May 2-3     Container Workshop Your all-time favorite event kicks off Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3, from 10-4 each day. If you’ve never attended, you might want to consider that we provide FREE SOIL AND ASSISTANCE and clean up the mess!  All you do is choose a variety of plants from our large inventory of annuals and perennials, pick out a pot (or bring in your own) and create a beautiful, mind-boggling creation for your porch, deck or patio.  Many people use these workshops to plant all the containers they will need for the season.  No registration is required, but if you will need a lot of assistance, you might want to come in the morning, before it gets too busy.  Sharon, Barb, Chris, Cathy, and Marilyn will give you unique ideas to personalize your containers.  This is truly an event you won’t want to miss!

May 2          It’s that time of year again. We’ll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, May 2nd this year and serving our customary complimentary salsa and chips from 11-2 that day, while you shop to a Latin beat!

Salsa Recipe Contest

HURRY !!! Enter our Salsa Recipe Contest by April 26 and you could win the first prize of a $50 gift card or one of two honorable mention winners of a $10 gift card to Americas Best Flowers. Email your favorite salsa recipe to ed@americasbestflowers.com. Please put ‘Recipe for Bonnie’ in the subject line. You can also drop it off at our main greenhouse in Cottage Grove. All entries must be submitted by April 25.  Our staff will judge the finalist recipes and we will notify the winner on May 1st. Winning recipes will be available to our customers on Salsa Saturday, May 2nd.

May 5 & 7     Special Mother’s Day activities on Tuesday and Thursday, at 6:30 pm.  You can plant up a beautiful ceramic herb or flowering pot or a Topsy Turvy tomato planter for mom.

We will have free classes on vegetable and perennial gardening continuing throughout the season, along with our Make and Take Workshops.  We also promise many exciting surprises. Our goal is to hold events that are interesting and helpful to our customers. Remember to give us your input. We’re listening!

What do you call bad popcorn jokes?

Corny! joke 5

Bonnie’s Kitchen

I usually am not crazy about scones, but these are really good. From “Mad About Food”, the Junior League of Madison.

Blueberry Lemon Scones

1 c plus 1 T all purpose flour

1 c sifted cake flour

2/3 c sugar

2 t baking powder

½ t baking soda

¼ t salt

3 T chilled butter, cut into pieces

¾ c fresh blueberries

2 t grated lemon rind

¾ c vanilla nonfat yogurt

Vegetable cooking spray

2 t sugar

Raspberry Butter

½ c butter

½ c raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine 1 c flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt.

Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Place blueberries in a small bowl and coat with 1 T of flour. Add blueberries and lemon rind to flour mixture; toss well. Add yogurt, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened (dough will be sticky).

Spray hands with cooking spray and turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead 4 or 5 minutes. Pat dough into an 8” circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut dough into 8-12 wedges, cutting into but not through. Sprinkle 2 t of sugar over the dough. Bake 12 minutes or until golden.

For raspberry butter, mix the butter until creamy, add raspberry preserves and blend well. Chill until ready to serve, Serve with warm scones.

Makes 8-12 scones

I came across the following website and thought you might like to have it, too.  It has great information on the best way to keep food fresh, as well as explanations regarding sell buy and use by dates. www.stilltasty.com

John was upset when his steak arrived too rare. 

“Waiter,’ he shouted, ‘Didn’t you hear me say, ‘well done’?”

“Oh, thank you, sir,” replied the waiter.  “I hardly ever get a compliment.” joke 6


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