Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Newsletter 4 – Thursday, March 12, 2015

Current Hours

Cottage Grove location open

9am – 5pm, Monday through Saturday
We are currently closed on Sundays.

Edgerton location open

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

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 82

Lucy laying on the couch with a pink towel under her, a pillow under her head and a sleepy expression on her face
"A roll in the mud, a nice warm bath, and a nap on the couch. It’s been a good day."
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Snippet from Lucy’s April 2012 journal…

I can’t believe it!  Is this for real?  I see grass!  It’s brown grass, but it’s still grass.  And mud, oh, that precious mud!  It’s magical, I tell ya!  It holds all kinds of wonderful secrets.  The tangy smells of varmints that passed through the yard are embedded in each and every one of their muddy tracks.  Squirrels, rabbits, raccoons and opossums…it’s like a smorgasbord out there.

This is what my nose thrives on.  I gotta go!  I’m headed outside to do some investigating and if I have to do a little rolling in the stuff to clearly identify the source, well, so be it, I say!

One hour later…

Ahhh, yeah, well, it turns out that what I call ‘fragrant’, my mom calls ‘stink’. 

My dad is filling the bathtub.   

Till next time!

~Lucy

Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place in museums;
others, we take for walks.

Roger Caras

We have seeds…lots and lots of 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!

Some of the Flower and Vegetable Seed Starter Kits
Everything but the seeds, water and sunlight!
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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 is filled with Hsu Professional Potting Soil.  The Organic Seed Starter Kit filled with Organic Rice hull Potting Soil.

Both are a 32 cell insert and watering tray. 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 sunny, warm area.  Mist with water to keep soil moist.  Stand back and watch them grow. Then transplant when and where appropriate.

While supply lasts, take advantage of our $1.50 off coupon, on the purchase of two seed starter kits.  This coupon is good through March 31, 2015 and is valid at both of our locations.

Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical.

Yogi Berra

New Products Corner

By Marty Robbins
A package of Purple Cow Compost Teabags

Many of you have asked how we make our compost tea. And while we brew our tea in large batches you can now brew your own compost tea in convenient 1 gallon amounts. Introducing our newest product from Purple Cow Organics, Purple Cow Compost Tea Bags. Purple Cow now makes it even easier to get beneficial biology for your plants and soil.  They have taken Purple Cow Activated compost and turned it into a liquid form for easy home gardening. Purple Cow is trusted by farmers and gardeners alike. 

Purple Cow liquid compost tea has many uses, including; hanging baskets, potted plants, and raised garden beds. Use on flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruits and as a foliar. It can also be used when planting seeds. Compost tea provides the organic alternative you’ve been looking for and is safe for humans, pets and the environment. 

We recommend using every other week when watering, however, more frequent use will not damage your plants. The Purple Cow Compost Tea Bagsare all natural and easy to use. No manure or synthetic chemicals and is allowable for use in organic production. Conveniently packaged with 12-2oz. tea bags and it’s made right here in Wisconsin.  Purple Cow Organics, "Good Soil, Good Life".

Say ‘Happy St Patrick’s Day’ with a Shamrock

Our storefront display, which includes three varieties of Oxalis, otherwise known as "wood sorrel" or "false shamrock"
Click to see all varieties
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For each petal on the shamrock 
This brings a wish your way- 
Good health, good luck, and happiness 
For today and every day.

Our Shamrocks are in full bloom, colorful and ready for you to take home or give as a gift.  What a wonderful way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

If you’re Irish, it doesn’t matter where you go – you’ll find family.

Victoria Smurfit

America’s Best Flowers Fundraising Program

America's Best Flowers Gift Card
Their garden will thank you!
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Spring 2015 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.

My folks came to U.S. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens.
I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien.

Leonard Nimoy

Online auctions are fun and exciting!

Text: "Wisconsin Green Industry Federation Online Auction; March 17 - March 31; biddingforgood.com/wgif"

The Wisconsin Green Industry Federation is Getting Ready to Launch an Online Auction!  Beginning March 17th through March 31st, 2015, this organization will be auctioning off, from many different companies, a number of useful, fun and unique items to bid on.

America’s Best Flowers will also have a number of great items for you to bid on.  Check out their website at http://www.biddingforgood.com/wgif.

Has your email address changed?

If you are a Loyalty Customer and have submitted your email address to us you will receive our newsletter by noon, every Thursday.

If your email address has changed please remember to let us know by either calling us at 608-222-2269, sending us an email at abfbev@yahoo.com or just let us know the next time you are at the greenhouse.

Our newsletter can also be found on our website www.americasbestflowers.com.

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Officer asks a young engineer fresh out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "And what starting salary are you looking for?"
The engineer replies, "In the region of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."
The interviewer inquires, "Well, what would you say to a package of five weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a red Corvette?"
The engineer sits up straight and says, "Wow! Are you kidding?"
The interviewer replies, "Yeah, but you started it."

Upcoming Events

Sat, Apr 4
Community Egg Hunt

10am-2pm – Indoor – Rain or shine! FREE candy! For children 6 and under. Bring your camera and have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Accepting items for the Cottage Grove Food Pantry.

Sat, Apr 11 – Sun, Apr 12
Terrarium & Miniature Garden Container Workshop

10am-3pm – FREE soil and assistance. Create your own terrarium or miniature garden. Customers may bring in their own EMPTY containers, but all accessories must be purchased from America’s Best Flowers.

Sat, Apr 18 – Sun, Apr 19
Spring Flower Show

9am-6pm We have your all-time favorite plants plus a few new ones for the season and a HUGE selection of new pottery.

Sat, Apr 18
Herb Container Workshop

10am-3pm – FREE soil and assistance. Create your own herb garden. Bring in your own EMPTY containers or buy some of ours.

Sat, Apr 18 – Sun, Apr 19
Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

9am-3pm Get your tools ready for easier gardening.

Sat, Apr 25
Earth Day Celebration

10am-2pm Free children’s activities. Bring a white T-shirt to paint, make seed balls, plant flower seeds and more.

Our Kitchen

Cabbage rolls without the work!  Try a change from the traditional corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day.  This quick and easy recipe still uses cabbage, which is plentiful and inexpensive this time of year,  but the flavor of ground beef makes it very family friendly.  Enjoy!

‘No-Fuss’ Cabbage Rolls

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small head cabbage, chopped in 2” pieces
  • 1 cup rice, white*
  • 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 T fresh parsley, minced (2 t dried)
  • 2 t fresh dill, minced (3/4 t dried), optional
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t sea salt
Directions

Brown beef and onions in a large skillet with a lid. Drain.

Add garlic, cook an additional minute.

Add remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer about 25 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.  6 – 8 Servings

*If you prefer brown rice, use ¾ c, increase water to 1 c and double cooking time.


This week, I’m throwing in a little something for you to make for St. Patties. These brownies are so good.  I haven’t had one since Bonnie made them for us 5 years ago.  I feel the urge to bake coming on – hope you do, too.

Bonnie’s St. Patrick’s Irish Coffee Brownies

Bonnie’s St. Patrick’s Irish Coffee Brownies
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ c butter, softened
  • ½ c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 ½ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ¾ c milk
  • ¼ c Irish whiskey
  • 2 T instant coffee crystals
  • 1 c chopped walnuts
  • 2 ½ c sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 T Irish whiskey
  • 1 ¼ t vanilla
  • 3-4 T brewed coffee
  • chopped walnuts, optional
Directions

Heat granulated sugar, butter, and ½ c cocoa powder in a large saucepan over medium heat until butter or margarine melts, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat. Add eggs and 1 t vanilla; beat lightly just until combined.

Stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside. Stir together milk and 1/4 c whiskey; stir in coffee crystals. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to the chocolate mixture, beating by hand after each addition. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased 15X10X1” baking pan.

Bake at 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, for the Irish Coffee Glaze, stir together sifted powdered sugar, 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 T Irish whiskey, and 1 ¼ t vanilla. Stir in 3-4 T brewed coffee until of drizzling consistency.

If desired, sprinkle with additional chopped nuts. Makes 36 brownies.

“Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
Today the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare’
I know no thing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there?”

L. H. Bailey

SEE YOU SOON!!!
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