2009 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 2: St. Patrick’s Day

Newsletter 2 – March 12, 2009


Events             Recipe        Seeds for Spring

“May God give you:

For every storm, a rainbow,

For every tear, a smile,

For every care, a promise,

And a blessing in each trial.

For every problem life sends,

A faithful friend to share,

For every sigh, a sweet song,:

And an answer for each prayer.”

Unknown author

20 Days and Counting!

April 1st is opening day at America’s Best Flowers and we can’t wait for you to walk through our doors.  The fresh smell of earth and acres of growing plants will overwhelm your senses and make you believe spring is FINALLY here and that in no time at all you’ll be rooting around in the dirt.  Actually you can root around right now by starting seeds inside.  America’s Best has expanded our great selection of seeds.  We have hundreds to choose from, including many tried and true varieties from Olds, exciting new varieties from Thompson & Morgan, and wonderful heirloom varieties from Baker Creek; along with everything you need to get started.  Even though we aren’t officially open, you are always welcome to stop out, take a leisurely walk through the greenhouses and pick up what you need.  Just give us a call before you come to be sure someone is here to help you.

In April we will have a lovely selection of Easter plants to cheer your home including lilies; potted tulips, daffodils, & hyacinths; begonias and hydrangeas.

“How can you tell if an Irishman is having a good time?”

He’s Dublin over with laughter! Joke 1

Come Join Us

America’s Best Flowers has a few select openings on our team for the 2009 gardening season.  Our friendly staff is a diverse group of interesting, knowledgeable and fun-loving individuals. If you have a background that includes basic plant knowledge, customer service, and retail sales, we would love to hear from you.  An ideal candidate would be interested in returning on a seasonal basis for years to come.  Experience with cash registers is preferred.  We offer a beautiful, smoke-free work environment and a generous employee discount.  You may occasionally be lifting up to 40 pounds.  We do require our staff to work on weekends, including both Saturday and Sunday in May.  If you would like to be part of our special family, we ask that you call us at 222-2269 for a short telephone interview and to set up a time to come out and apply.  We look forward to hearing from you.

“I married an Irishman on St. Patrick’s Day.”

“Oh, really?”

“No, O’Reilly!”jjoke 2

Birthday Cards

America’s Best Flowers sends Birthday cards to our Loyalty customers.  When the economy forced us to become a seasonal business, we adjusted when we mailed them to those who have birthdays while we are closed. If you have already had your birthday this year, please be assured we haven’t forgotten you.  Many of you will receive birthday cards either early or late. This isn’t a mistake.  We simply want to make sure you are receiving your card at a time when it can be used! This year’s card is worth $10 at our main location or $5 at our sites.  It’s our gift to you, and we want to make sure you have the opportunity to use it.

“What is out on the lawn all summer and is Irish?”

Paddy O’Furniture joke 3



April 1            Opening Day

April 4 -5        Sneak Peek Weekend – Take a look at the new season’s offerings and pick

up a lovely blooming plant for your Easter table.

April 11           Community Egg Hunt 10 AM Join the Easter Bunny and our staff for this ‘Sweet’ event!’ Rain or Shine! –  Children 6 and under, please.

April 18-19       Open House – FREE hot dogs and popcorn 11-3 for our Loyalty Members. April 25            Earth Day Celebration – FREE CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES 10-2 PM. Bring a white T-shirt to paint, make seed balls and more!

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

Watch for days of other spring events, including Container Workshops.

The first Saturday in May is our annual “SALSA SATURDAY when we celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Latin music, free samples of chips and salsa, and you can even plant a salsa container that weekend at our workshop. We will give away a $50 gift certificate for the best salsa recipe in our Salsa Recipe Contest.

Special Mother’s Day activities and free classes on vegetable and perennial gardening will continue 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 a diseased Irish criminal?

A leper con joke 4

Leap Into the New Year

With a little fun :http://funstufftosee.com/frogleaptest.html

We had such positive response last year to the computer game section of the newsletter that we want to continue it this year.  If you have a favorite, you want to share, please email it to us.

“How did the Irish Jig get started?”

Too much to drink and not enough restrooms. joke 5


Here’s a recipe I plan to make for St. Patrick’s Day. The Guinness marks it as absolutely Irish, and it will appeal to both my son and my brother-in-law! Serve with an easy Irish soda bread. I’ve added a recipe for Irish Stew the Bailey for those who prefer a more traditional feast

Irish Beef Stew with Guinness

Recipe from “Simply Recipes”.

¼ c olive oil

1 ¼ lb. beef stew, cut into 1” pieces

6 large garlic cloves, minced

6 c beef broth or stock

1 c Guinness beer

1 c good red wine

2 T tomato paste

1 T sugar

1 T dried thyme

1 T Worcestershire sauce

2 bay leaves

2 T butter

3 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½” pieces (about 7 cups)

1 large onion, chopped

2 c ½’ pieces peeled carrots

Salt and Pepper

2 T chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2. While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Saute vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for 1 hour.

3. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Salt and pepper to taste. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving. Serves 4-6

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

1 t salt

2 T caraway seeds

¼ cup butter

1 t baking powder

¼ cup raisins

1 1/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk

1 egg, unbeaten

1 t baking soda

1 egg yolk

Make in a 2 qt. round casserole.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into mixing bowl; stir in caraway seed. With fingers, cut in butter until coarse like corn meal. Stir in raisins.  Combine buttermilk, egg, baking soda, and stir into flour mixture, until just moistened. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead lightly until smooth, shape into ball. Place in casserole. With sharp knife make a 4” cross, ¼” deep in center. Brush with egg yolk beaten with a fork. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes or until done.

Traditional Irish Stew the Bailey

Courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces

1 ½   T. minced fresh parsley leaves

1 t dried thyme, crumbled

6 cups chicken broth, divided

2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into ½“ pieces

6 stalks celery, trimmed and ribs cut into ½“ pieces

6 T all purpose flour

¼ cup vegetable oil

In a 7-8 quart kettle, simmer lamb, parsley, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste in 4 cups broth, covered, 1 ½ hours. To lamb mixture, add potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and remaining 2 cups broth and simmer, covered, 1 hour.

Two Irish men met in a pub and discussed the illness of a third.

“Poor Micheal Hogan? Faith be, I’m afraid he’s going’ to die.”

“Shure, an’ why would he be dyin’?” asked the other.

“Ah, he’s gotten so thin.  You’re thin enough, and I’m thin enough—but by my soul,

Micheal Hogan is thinner than both of us put together.”I joke 6



If you are going crazy with the frogs, here is the solution.

It doesn’t matter if you number frogs from the right or left.

5 to 4, 3 to 5, 2 to 3, 4 to 2, 6 to 4, 7 to 6, 5 to 7, 3 to 5,

1 to 3, 2 to 1, 4 to 2, 6 to 4, 5 to 6, 3 to 5, 4 to 3.

Now try to do it again without looking.



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