A Hoot and a Hay Bale

Newsletter 28 – Thursday, September 23, 2010


September 20-October 9

Now that fall is officially here, you won’t want to miss our fun-filled Scarecrow Days. Rain or Shine, daily from 10-4 you can come out to America’s Best Flowers and make your very own scarecrow! For a nominal charge, we provide the scarecrow kit and assistance.  Bring your own clothes, or purchase ours at garage sale prices.  Whichever way you choose, you will have one of the best-dressed scarecrows in town!  What captures your interest?  A Packer or Badger fan, a cartoon or theme character, or our most popular, a scarecrow wearing bib overalls and a straw hat?  Make it child or adult-size.  The possibilities are endless. 

This is true family fun at its best, though it’s a hoot with or without children.  Many adults come with their friends and have the time of their lives.  If you’d like to bring a small group, please call ahead to be sure we’re properly staffed to accommodate you at 608-222-2269.

We’re building scarecrows in the back of our main greenhouse, across the aisle from pottery.  Complimentary refreshments will be served on the weekends.    Remember, you can save your scarecrows from year to year by storing them in trash bags and hanging them up in the garage out of harm’s, and rodent’s, way.

How do you repair a broken Jack-o-lantern?
Buy a pumpkin patch!

Color Your Fall

Our mid-season mums are just starting to show color.  Other than bloom-time, the main difference in early, mid and late season mums is their size and bud count.  The later they bloom, the bigger they are and the more blooms they will have.  The reason for this is simply that they have more time to grow.  If you haven’t seen our mums lately, it’s time to drive out while the color selection is still good. Grown in our own fields in big pots, these huge plants are the perfect answer for putting color back into your fall landscape.

Scarecrow Days Specials

Buy 1 or 2 Mums   Pay 9.99 each
Buy 3 to 9 Mums   Pay only 7.99 each

50% off all Perennials, Trees and Shrubs

Fall Asters Buy One Get One Free

Half off remaining summer annuals

Mary was the most cantankerous woman that I ever met.
I hired her to stand in my cornfield to act like a scarecrow.
Not only did she keep the crows away,
the crows brought back the corn they had stolen the year before!

Pumpkins, Indian Corn, Gourds, Corn Shocks, Hay Bales!

It’s All Here, and Locally Grown, too!

Pumpkins from minis and pie pumpkins, all the way to 40 pounders.  Unique, colorful gourds, and long, bright ears of Indian corn. Straight from the field straw bales. Netted corn shocks that can be safely tied to the roof of your vehicle and arrive home safely.  All ready for your fall decorating needs.

If your busy schedule leaves little time for decorating, we have the answer.  Autumn Bundle #1 priced at $19.99 includes one of our larger-than-life mums, a straw bale and a bundle of corn shocks.  Autumn Bundle #2 is our best value, with three mums, a straw bale and a bundle of corn shocks for only $29.99. All you need for your fall display is a pumpkin or two and a unique scarecrow built by YOU at our workshop.

A couple were admiring their garden from the kitchen window.
The wife said, "Sooner or later, you’re going to have to make a proper scarecrow”
"What’s wrong with the one we’ve got?" asked the husband.
"Nothing, but mother’s arms are getting tired."

St. Vincent de Paul Food Drive

St Vincent De Paul

When you come out for mums, fall decorating needs, and scarecrow days, please bring along a non-perishable food item donation for St. Vincent de Paul food pantry barrel, located in the front of the greenhouse.  We are proud to support this organization whose emphasis is on providing for those in need within our own community. 

Did you know St. Vincent’s “Client Choice” food pantry was featured on the front page of the New York Times? That speaks volumes. They operate the largest food pantry in DaneCounty. Nearly 22,000 households were served in 2009 and they donated over $1,300,000 of food. 

People who need food are given 3 days of groceries. The customer choice model of distribution operates like a grocery store. Clients have a broader choice shopping for their food items. Recipients are eligible for assistance once every 30 days and identification for themselves and all family members is required.

Why Pumpkins are better than Men?
Each year you get a brand new crop to choose from.

Magic Gopher Game

If you are intrigued with numbers games like I am, here’s a good one for you.

Anti-Freeze For Your Plants!

Yup, you read it right now you can “FreezePruf” your plants.  Liquid Fence has a ready-to-use spray that improves cold tolerance of your plants by almost ten degrees.  That’s like moving your plants 200 miles south. FreezePruf protects the plant systemically and externally by enhancing natural “anti-freeze” properties increasing your plants’ ability to survive ice crystal damage.  FreezePruf is biodegradable and designed to resist washing away by rain or snow.  One application lasts up to six weeks.  Can you imagine FRESH tomatoes for Thanksgiving and geraniums blooming for Halloween? Or spray some on semi-hardy perennials and shrubs to increase their chance of coming back next year?  Stop by today before it’s gone.

What did one Jack-o-lantern say to the other?
Cut it out!

Find us on Facebook

Our fan club is growing. Please become a fan on Facebook, and invite your friends. Help us get one thousand fans and surprises will await you when you visit our page. We’re almost halfway there so please spread the word!

Why do Jack-o-lanterns have stupid smiles on their faces?
You’d have a stupid smile, too, if you had just had all your brains scooped out!

Bonnie’s Kitchen

Caramel-Apple Upside-Down Cake

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
    • ¼ c butter
    • 2/3 c packed brown sugar
    • ½ t cinnamon
    • 2 medium apples, peeled, cut into 12” wedges
    • 1 1/3 call-purpose flour
    • 1 t baking powder
    • ½ t cinnamon
    • ¼ t salt
    • 1 c granulated sugar
    • ½ c butter, softened
    • 2 eggs
    • ½ t vanilla
    • ¼ c milk
    Whipping Cream
    • 1 c whipping cream
    • 2 T granulated sugar

    Heat oven to 325°. Spray 8” or 9” square pan with cooking spray.

    In 1 qt. saucepan, melt ¼ c butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling; remove from heat. Stir in ½ t cinnamon. Pour into pan; spread evenly. Arrange apple wedges over brown sugar mixture, overlapping tightly and making 2 layers if necessary.

    In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, ½ t cinnamon and the salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat 1 cup granulated sugar and ½ c butter with an electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, until smooth. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture, alternately with milk, beating after each addition until smooth. Spread batter over apple wedges in brown sugar mixture. 

    Bake 55-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted center comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack 15 minutes. Meanwhile in medium bowl, beat whipping cream on high speed until it begins to thicken. Gradually, add 2 T granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.

    Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. Serve warm cake with whipped cream. Store cake loosely covered.

    Fall is in the air. Here are two good recipes for the crisper temperatures. My kids LOVED Pizza Joes when they were in school.

    Pizza Joes

    Pizza Joe
    • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
    • 2 medium onions chopped, (about 1 cup)
    • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
    • 2 jars (14 0z. each) pizza sauce
    • 1 package (3.5 oz.) sliced pepperoni, chopped, (about ¾ cup)
    • 1 t dried basil
    • ½ t dried oregano
    • 18 sandwich buns, split
    • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

    In a 12” skillet, cook ground beef and onions over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

    Spray 3 ½- 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Spoon beef mixture into slow cooker. Stir in bell pepper, pizza sauce, pepperoni, basil and oregano.

    Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

    To assemble sandwiches, spoon about 1/3 cup beef mixture onto bottom half of bun. Top each with scant 2 T cheese and cover with top half of bun.

    I usually don’t want to make that many sandwiches, and have frozen the remaining meat mixture. I’ve also made it stovetop in a Dutch oven and just cooked it covered until the peppers etc were nice and tender.

    OOPS! Last week we forgot to put in the baking temperatures and pan size for the Bucky Bar Recipe.  You must have liked this one, because boy, did we get the calls. Anyway, here is the information:

    Preheat oven to 350° Grease a 15”X10”X1” pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

    Chicken Farmer

    John, a city slicker from Boston, bought a pumpkin patch.
    He thought that he could make more money from chickens
    than the previous owner made from pumpkins
    so he went to a poultry farm and bought 50 chickens.

    50 is a lot of chickens for that little pumpkin patch,’ commented the farmer.
    ‘I’m used to big business’ John replied.’

    A week later John was back at the farm.
    ‘I need another 50 chickens,’ he said.
    ‘Boy, you are serious about this chicken farming,’ the poultry farmer told him.

    ‘Oh yes,’ John replied.
    ‘And I know it will be Ok if I can just iron out a few problems.’
    ‘Problems?’ asked the farmer.
    ‘Yeah,’ replied John,
    ‘I think I planted that first batch too close together.’

    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