Visions of Green Dance in My Head

(April 11, 2013 snowstorm)
Okay, I admit it. The weather is wearing me down. I know I’m not alone in this. Even Luke is cranky.

I try so hard to accept whatever weather comes my way. Otherwise, life in Minnesota is full of constant weather frustration, but there comes a time when you need a living color fix.

Anoka County (which is where I’m a Master Gardener intern), had their Lawn and Garden Show last Saturday. Gardeners, who are living on faith, came to the event.

I learned some interesting things from Dr. Vince Fritz, about the compounds in certain vegetables that help fight cancer. He’s done research with the Mayo Clinic on the phytonutrients in foods and how to increase the levels in the plants we consume. There are a few companies already starting to market their phytonutrient levels, which is good. Not so great that Monsanto is one of them, even though their new product Beneforté is GMO free. 
To get the most nutrients out of the vegetables you eat, have them raw or only slightly cooked. The less heat applied the better. And if you juice, drink what you make right away. Don’t do as some people suggest, make up a big batch and store it in the frig. It may be more convenient, but you start losing the nutrients pretty quickly.

This has been a public service announcement…

The second speaker I saw talked about raising various kind of berry bushes. I’d like to add some berries to my yard, but they sound complicated so this may not be the best year to take on that project.

Last week, I went to the first instructional gathering on the hydroponic salad table. My table is already built and waiting for me to start the seedlings. I plan on having photos of my progress once I get the system doing something besides sitting in my garage waiting.

Some people brought up concerns about the plastic liner or tubs used to hold the water and nutrient mixture the plants grow in, wondering if the plastic would leach into the water and thus the plants. According to his research, Professor Michaels could not find any evidence that this would happen because of the type of plastic we are using. If we wanted, we could use food grade plastic, but it would be more expensive.
We met at the U of MN St. Paul campus. It’s where I used to go for my Technical Writing classes. Somehow Technical Writing was part of the Rhetoric Department, which was part of the Agriculture Department. Go figure.
But I loved that campus because it’s where the veterinarians, horticulture, and agriculture students all study. So you can hear the cows mooing, smell the manure, and see someone working with a hawk, all on your way to class. Below is a night shot of one of the barns.

To ensure that this week is better than my über-crabby last week, I went to the barn to see Luke last Sunday. It was super windy so there were lots of invisible noises to be heard in the indoor arena — something that horses don’t like much. But Luke did fine.

Well, until I told him that I forgot to bring treats with me. He was a bit incredulous.

And it’s that time of year… shedding season. I put the broom down to provide some sort of scale to the hair mass. I think I spent more time grooming than I did riding.

I’ll just end with a bit of pictorial reminder of what Spring is supposed to look like. Cheers!

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  1. Yes, yes…GREEN. It can’t be long now can it Maery?
    I loved that campus too… I went to design school and it was also on the St Paul campus. Exactly, go figure…but I loved hear the cows as I walked to class it the mornings.

  2. I would not support anything Monsanto produces. They are subjecting this planet to so many bad things. Sorry about your weather, but glad to hear that you are really into the Master Gardner thing…you’ll be good at it. How are the chickens doing with your crazy weather?

    1. I agree about Monsanto. I’m listening to the book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and can’t believe what the government and these corporate America are doing to us. Unbelievable stuff!

      The chickens are as tired of the weather as we are. One of the Australorps died of some unknown illness. Even sick, she was mean!

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