2019 Newsletter 9 – Spring is Just Around the Corner!

2019 Newsletter 9 – Spring is Just Around the Corner!

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As a famous amphibian sang: “It’s not easy being green.” It takes a lot of work to be a natural, pest control garden center. A greenhouse is the perfect environment for aphids, white flies, thrips, and mites to thrive because its warm, relatively dry conditions, and no predators from the outside. 
While many other garden centers and growers try putting out a few predator insects here and there, it is very rare to totally rely on beneficial bugs, like America’s Best Flowers. It may surprise you to learn that even organic growers have approved use of insecticides, derived from plants, that will harm humans!
We moved to using a total biological program of beneficial organisms to control the “bad bugs” in 2011, in order to avoid using pesticides. Today, every basket we plant has a little sachet where predatory mites come out. These “good bugs” naturally target “bad bugs” and control them, yet do not harm plants or animals.
Yet, every now and then, even with all we do, we have failures. At that point, we will spray with oil or soap or use sprays that have bacteria in them that kill all the bugs. 
In case you can’t tell, I hate spraying. But the main reason why we chose to use a complete biological is you. Our precious children run around and touch the plants and we touch them, too. I wanted to be absolutely sure no person or animal is hurt from our growing process. The only way to do that is to spend the extra money and invest the time for a totally beneficial insect program like we use.
Signing off until next week,  
Garden Center Spotlight
Floral Shop Spotlight
Custom Spring Arrangements
Saturday, March 9
“What do you call a fly without wings?”
A walk.
Just as I suspected, someone has been adding soil to my garden..
The plot thickens.
Pączki Polish Doughnuts
You will typically only find pączki in stores or local bakeries between around Fat Tuesday up until the Lent season begins. The difference between a pączki and a doughnut is that paczki are made with a rich, sweet yeast dough consisting of eggs, butter and milk; sort of like a brioche doughnut, only better, if you can imagine! I don’t have a fryer at home, so I tried this baked version from Jenny Can Cook. Let me know what you think!
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons (1 packet = 7 grams) yeast (instant or regular)
  • 2/3 cup 1% milk – warmed to 120°F for instant/110°F for regular yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • about 1/4 cup extra flour
Filling & Coatings:
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar for coating
  • 1 cup jam, custard, or filling of choice
Tip from Michele:
Depending on how you decide to coat- use granulated sugar while they are still warm, so the sugar will stick, or wait until the Paczki are cool before coating with powdered sugar, as it will dissolve over time.


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