Your Seeds Have Arrived!

Newsletter 3 – Thursday, March 3, 2016

Current Hours

Cottage Grove location open

Mon – Sat 9am – 5pm
We are currently closed on Sundays.

Edgerton location open

Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm, Sat 8:30am-5pm, Sun 9am-4pm

  

We have seeds…lots and lots of seeds!

Seeds!

Seeds!

It’s never too early to start planning for this season’s garden.  If you are planning a vegetable, herb or flower garden, bring your seed list out to either our Cottage Grove or Edgerton location. We have a huge selection of Livingston seeds for you to choose from.

We make seed planting easy!

Seed Trays

Seed Trays

To help with your seed planting project, we have two types of seed starting trays available from Hsu, a Wisconsin based company.

  • The Flower and Vegetable Seed Starter Kit, which is filled with Hsu Professional Potting Soil. (32 cell and 24 cell insert and watering tray kits available.)
  • The Organic Seed Starter Kit, which is filled with Organic Rice Hull Potting Soil. (32 cell insert and watering tray kit.)

Just lightly moisten the soil, pop in 1-2 seeds in each cell, in the depth directed by the seed package, and cover with soil.  Place in a sunny, warm area.  Mist with water to keep soil moist.  Stand back and watch them grow. Then transplant when and where appropriate.

I went to the bank the other day and asked the banker to check my balance,                          so she pushed me! 

Succulents…the perfect plant for forgetful gardeners

succulents

Succulents

Succulent care is so easy.  Succulents like dry humidity and the warm conditions found in most homes.  They prefer direct light, but can also adapt to lower light.  All prefer a fast-draining potting medium that’s not watered too often. Allow the soil to dry out between watering, a few weeks of forgetfulness won’t hurt, and succulents will prosper.

Succulent plants are always in style. With their juicy leaves, stems, or roots, succulents form a vast and diverse group of plants.  The color variation of succulents seems almost endless: blue-green, chartreuse, pink, red, yellow, white, burgundy, almost black, variegated, and more. The leaves may be rounded, needlelike, berrylike, ruffled or smooth, fuzzy or spiky. Many have an enticing “touch-me” quality.

Select from our wide variety of succulents and create your own unique container whether planted individually, together, or maybe you would like to try a miniature garden.  Come and see us, we have everything you need to get started!

Beyond Borders Artwork

beyond borders 1 beyond borders 3 beyond borders 2

We are excited to feature handmade products from Beyond Borders, Inc. Even in the midst of the hardships and challenges of everyday life in Haiti, beauty still exists.  With the assistance of Beyond Borders the talent of the Haitian people is shared with the world.

Each piece of this unique metal art originates from a 55-gallon steel oil drum.  Through the talent of Haitian artists these once abandoned barrels are transformed into works of art.

Beyond Borders has been a member of the Fair Trade Federation since 2007.  The Federation is part of the fair global trade movement that is committed to creating opportunities to alleviate poverty.

The Beyond Borders products are available at our Cottage Grove location only.

I never wanted to believe that my Dad was stealing from his job as a road worker.
But when I got home, all the signs were there.  

Classic Brand Bird Feeders

birdfeeders

Classic Brand bird feeders are made by people who are passionate about birds.  Their goal is to develop quality bird products that will bring more birds and more joy into your yard.

People like these bird feeders because they are easy to fill and easy to clean.  Birds like them because it’s easy for them to get to the food and the larger perches make it much more comfortable for them. How do we know that?  Let’s just say a little birdie told us!

Instead of “the John,” I call my toilet “the Jim.”
That way it sounds better when I say I go to the Jim first thing every morning. 

More for the birds!

seedwreath

You can make it a happy, hardy, and healthy season for our feathered friends.  We have gift boxed hanging BirdieWreaths, from Pine Tree Farms.  This featured 2.5 lb. wreath will serve up a feast of black oil sunflower seed, red and white millet. Stop in and stock up your bird food pantry.

What a great gift for the bird watcher in your life!

Q: How do astronomers organize a party? 
A: They planet. 

America’s Best Flowers Fundraising Program

giftcard

Spring 2016 is right around the corner!  People are beginning to think about vegetable gardens, shade trees, flowering shrubs and glorious flowers.

What perfect timing for your non-profit organization to participate in America’s Best Flowers fundraiser program.  Non-profit organizations earn 25% of the proceeds from each gift card they sell.  For example, if your organization sells $500 of our gift cards, which are available in any denomination over $10, your organization would earn $125.

Please contact us if your non-profit organization is in need of funds for things such as (but by no means limited to):

  • local charities, (i.e. food pantry)
  • church mission trips,
  • new equipment or uniforms for your school sports program, or school band or orchestra.

America’s Best Flowers gift cards may be used at both our Cottage Grove and Edgerton locations.

If you are interested or have questions regarding our easy and profitable program, please contact Shirley at abfscimino@yahoo.com.

 A science teacher tells his class, “Oxygen is a must for breathing and life. It was discovered in 1773.”
A blonde student responds, “Thank goodness I was born after 1773! Otherwise I would have died without it.” 

Have you ever wondered how all our flower pots get planted?

Just stop in anytime between 10:00am and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday and watch our production staff in action.

When you look at the thousands and thousands of plants we have at our greenhouse it’s pretty amazing to think that our staff planted them all.

In a Catholic school cafeteria, a nun places a note in front of a pile of apples,
“Only take one. God is watching.”
Further down the line is a pile of cookies. A little boy makes his own note,
“Take all you want. God is watching the apples.” 

Upcoming Events for 2016

It’s going to be another wonderfully busy season for us at America’s Best Flowers. We are planning some new and exciting events and classes for the season.

Our hope is that we have a little something for everyone. Watch for details regarding our upcoming events in our weekly newsletters.

Remember, mark your calendar, our indoor Community Egg Hunt will be on Saturday, March 26 this spring.

 My friend thinks he is smart.
He told me an onion is the only food that makes you cry,
so I threw a coconut at his face. 

Our Kitchen

Just ran across this yummy sounding recipe in the online NYTimes.  Martha Rose Shulman provided the recipe.

And with the snow and cold weather back, a nice hot casserole sounds perfect for an evening meal.

CABBAGE AND POTATO GRATIN

02MARTHA-articleLarge

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • large savoy or green cabbage(about 2 pounds), quartered
  • pound baking potatoes, such as russets, peeled and sliced
  • garlic cloves, peeled
  • cups milk
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • Ground black pepper
  • ounces Gruyère, grated (1 cup, tightly packed)
  • ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)
  • teaspoons finely chopped or slivered fresh sage

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add quartered cabbage and potato slices. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil gently for 5 minutes.
  2. Drain and use tongs to transfer cabbage quarters to a colander set over a bowl or in the sink. Allow cabbage to cool in colander until you can handle the wedges. Core the wedges, then cut them in half lengthwise. Finally, slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons. Return to colander and drain for another 5 minutes. Place in a large bowl with the potatoes.
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart baking dish or gratin. Cut one of the garlic cloves in half and rub the dish with the cut surface. Then slice up all the garlic and toss with cabbage and potatoes.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together milk, crème fraîche, about 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Pour into bowl with cabbage and potatoes, add cheeses and sage, and gently toss together. Scrape into baking dish.
  5. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until top is golden brown. During the first 45 minutes, press the vegetables down into the liquid in the baking dish every 10 to 15 minutes, using the back of a large spoon. The gratin will still be bubbling when you remove it from the oven, and you will see liquid in the baking dish. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before serving, until liquid is reabsorbed. If liquid remains in dish, serve with a slotted spoon.