What a Season!

Newsletter 32 – Thursday, October 21, 2010

What a Season!

Saturday night found me in front of the television with a bowl of chili and a beer.  Jim and I were so hoping for the Badgers to do well – our grandson was in the stands for the first time.  Being the cool ‘grandma’ I exchanged a few texts with him throughout the night beginning right after the opening 97-yard return.  Go Badgers!  Later, my “What a game!” was answered with, “Yeah, It really is!”  What a game and what an unexpected victory for the home team!  It makes us all proud!

The same thing could be said about our weather this fall, with day after day of sunshine and light breezes followed by cool, still evenings.  Conditions which extend the bloom season for many flowers, causing the color of the blossoms to deepen, with hues getting richer and richer as the days go by.  Nighttime temperatures have stayed above freezing, creating the perfect opportunity to enjoy fall’s brilliant colors.  We still have Red Riding Hood Mandevillas blooming on hooks outside the greenhouse.  Unbelievable!

What is a ghost’s favorite mode of transportation?
A scareplane

Enjoy More Fall Color

Fall Buoquet

The biggest and brightest of late season mums and asters are at America’s Best Flowers.  Add several of these late varieties to your landscape for bold seasonal color.  Mix in a few flowering cabbage and kale and the color will last into the winter.  These vastly under-used plants come into color in October and November.  They are available in small pots, as well as larger planters.  A very long vase life makes them a great cut flower as well.

Why do mummies have trouble keeping friends?
They’re so wrapped up in themselves.

Keep Watering

Less than a tenth of an inch of rain has fallen so far this month.  That’s an inch and a half below normal.  So please do all your plants a favor and keep the water coming.  Be sure to include your mum pots.  The more blooms a plant has, the more water it requires.  So be generous, the mums will reward you with brighter, longer-lasting flowers.

What is a ghoul’s favorite flavor?

Fall Fertilizer for Your Lawn

Now is the time to fertilize your lawn with Milorganite, America’s favorite organic fertilizer.  This no-worry lawn food has been used by golf and turf managers for over 85 years.

Why do witches use brooms to fly on?
Because vacuum cleaners are too heavy.


Planning Field Trips for the 2011 School Year??

We have a great Spring Tour/Mini-workshop for your group!  America’s Best Flowers offers FREE field trips/tours for preschools and schoolchildren 2nd grade and under, as well as senior groups, assisted living groups, etc.

Choose from scavenger hunts, growing seeds without soil,
making seed balls, pizza garden ideas, and more!

If this sounds interesting to you, please contact Deb Stevens, our Educational Tour Coordinator at 608-222-2269 or leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. For children’s group, be sure to plan for chaperones.

Pass the word if you think this is something your students or children would enjoy.  We look forward to meeting you.

Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers?
No, they eat the fingers separately.

Pumpkin Carving has Never Been Easier

This on-line version of pumpkin carving is so much fun.  Unlike the real thing, there is an undo button.  Hope you enjoy!

What do you get when you cross a werewolf and a vampire?
A fur coat that fangs around your neck.

Lush Boston Ferns

Winter is slowly creeping up again, the nights are getting longer and the days are getting chillier. Unfortunately, many of our summer annuals are leaving along with the heat but we have a solution! Why only enjoy plants in the summer when you can enjoy them all winter? Come on in and pick up one of our huge Boston ferns at half its normal price! We have the biggest –  guaranteed! Lively and lush these plants will brighten up any home and once spring comes around you can put it outside. The best part is they don’t require a ton of water making them worry-free. If the prehistoric looking fern does not suit your taste and you want something with flowers a streptocarpella may be just what you are looking for. Covered in dozens of small, lavender flowers, closely resembling violets; these plants are great for inside. Or you might prefer the even more exotic-looking chenille with its long red blossoms.

What did the skeleton say to the bartender?
I’d like a beer and a mop!

Bonnie’s Kitchen

With the cooler weather, I am craving soups, stews and chilies. I must have over fifty chili recipes, and 3 chili cookbooks, given to me by friends and family. This is the one I made again last Sunday for the Packer game. I think it’s from Food Network. And the bread machine bread is pretty good as an accompaniment. Serve with a spinach and sliced orange salad. YUMMY!

Southwestern Chili

Serves 6
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 2 T minced garlic (about 3 lg. cloves)
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup chili powder, or to taste*
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 T tomato paste**
  • 3 lbs. boneless beef chuck, coarse ground
  • 1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, including liquid***
  • 1 to 1½ cups beef broth
  • 4 T cider vinegar
  • 1-ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 (19 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Rice as an accompaniment
  • Toppings: Tortilla chips, sour cream, grated cheddar, chopped red onions, chopped jalapeno, diced avocado (YES!), mined cilantro, etc.

In a casserole cook the onions, peppers, and garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring for 2 more minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of the broth, the vinegar, and chocolate and bring to a boil, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Simmer the chili, covered, for 1 hour, adding additional broth if necessary. Add kidney beans and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes more. Ladle into bowls and serve with rice and desired toppings.

*I don’t trust a chili recipe that uses only about a T of chili powder—it’s got to taste like chili!

**Get the tube, for less waste.

*** I buy the petite diced tomatoes.

Tex-Mex Chile Cornbread

Recipe from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks: February 2001.
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 ¾ cups bread flour
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 T Reduced-Sodium Taco seasoning Mix
  • 2 T minced seeded jalapeno chilies
  • 1 ½ t bread machine dry yeast or active dry yeast

Use bread machine that makes a 1½ lb. or larger loaf. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Measure remaining ingredients carefully. Follow manufacturer’s directions for placing ingredients into bread machine pan.

Select Basic/White cycle.

If Dracula can’t see his reflection in a mirror,
How come his hair is always so neatly combed?

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