Parsnips
November 18, 2019

I love parsnips. But have you ever bought parsnips at a grocery store? Let me share my experience. At the checkout lane, the cashier always has a befuddled look when parsnips are up for scanning. A look that I know all too well.

“Oh, those are parsnips,” I tell the cashier.

Satisfied the cashier enters the code and scans the root vegetable, usually adding, “Hmm, looks like white carrots.”

Food Waste
December 18, 2019

‘Tis the season for…potlucks? That’s at least what it has felt like these past few weeks. Here’s the thing about potlucks – there’s always way too much food and you must try everything! To top it off, I throw out all the rules when it comes to making food for others to enjoy. I use lots of butter, salt, lard (if the recipe called for it) because I don’t want to serve something that tastes like a soggy Saltine. And I imagine, lots of other potluck-goers do the same.

Vegetable garden sketch
March 24, 2020

Starting a Garden: Begin with a Plan

The key to a successful and productive garden is a plan; it saves time and makes the garden easier to care for. By starting with a plan, you will be ready to get to work once planting time is here. So let’s get started!

Site Selection

basil seedlings in seedling flat
April 06, 2020

Much like humans after being cooped up all winter, plants require acclimation to the outdoors prior to being transplanted outside; for plants this is termed hardening off. Hardening off is the process of slowly introducing plants to outdoor conditions after being started indoors.

Sprinkler head
April 16, 2020

Watering. The inescapable task of any garden. No matter what, at some point, you will need to water your plants. That’s just the fact of the matter here in Illinois. We do get lots of rain, but then there are times we go through some very hot, and dry weather.

Can Watering Wait?

three lettuce varieties
April 24, 2020

Did you hear about the tomato and lettuce? Well, the lettuce was a-head and the tomato was trying to ketchup. I haven’t seen any lettuce and tomatoes racing lately; however, being a fairly hardy, cool season crop, lettuce does tend to thrive more than tomatoes (warm season crop) in temperatures we are currently experiencing, between 60 to 70F.

Sweet corn
May 15, 2020

Having 8+ years of experience with growing field corn and a master’s degree in crop science, I thought I knew all there was to planting sweet corn; however, my first time planting it was a flop. I planted the seeds as if I was raising 350 bushel field corn (who doesn’t want lots of sweet corn?) which resulted in lodged sweet corn plants. Come to find out; you don’t plant sweet corn exactly the same as field corn.