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Friday, November 28, 2014

Are Fall Mums Hardy?

A little Q&A
Are Fall mums hardy?
To answer the question....it really just depends.

For mums to truly be hardy, they are best planted in the spring. The mums we enjoy in the fall are nursed to set their buds for September and October blooming and not growing their roots. They put all their energy into blooming. This results in not guaranteeing sufficient time to get their roots established before colder weather sets in.

This leads to the "it really just depends."

Every fall I get asked that question by several of our customers,

 "Are fall mums hardy?"

 "Will the mums come back next year?" 

I always answer with it really just depends. 

When are they planted into the ground? If you plant them right when they become available in Early to Mid September then they have more time for their roots to get established before winter as opposed to planting them at the end of the season. 
What is the weather like? Is it warm out when you plant your mums. With the warmer weather, will also help the roots get established before winter. 

Where are they planted? Mums planted against a building for example are more protected from the cold winter winds that we often get. 

What kind of winter will there be? How cold of a winter are you expecting for your area. 

All these factors are important to determine if your beautiful fall mums will come back and bloom next year. You can also mulch them good at the time of planting, leave foliage on them until the following spring, and plant them before the first hard frost to help protect them and increase the chances of them coming back. 

Often times some mums come back the next Spring. When you start to see new growth sprouting from them mums, remove the old dead parts from the last season. This will look nicer for the new foliage growing.

With any luck, you will get to enjoy your mums the following year, usually larger and just as beautiful in blooming color. But if they don't come back, you will know why. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Meals on the go and in the field.....

With many hours spent in the field during harvest (and planting too) there are often times when the dinner table becomes the back of the vehicle. Long hours and a lot to get done in the field, it is nice to have a meal in the field so no time is spent traveling up to the house for a meal. Especially in those fields furthest from the house.

Photo from early summer of the kids having lunch in the field with grandpa and uncle.
I can remember eating meals in the field all growing up. It was fun. Mom would put the meal together, we would go to the field, eat, and go for a ride. Meals consisted from everything from spaghetti, casseroles, crock pot meals, to ham sandwiches and chips. It can be anything really, but is helpful when a full day is needed in the field. Time is valuable.

With those meals, it's nice to have a little dessert as well. Apples are in season in the fall and so I do a lot with apple baking and preserving apples by making applesauce for the freezer. I really enjoy making apple turnovers. They are great to have in the field as an after meal dessert as a mini apple pie or grab and go for a breakfast as a apple danish. However you want to consider them, they are pretty easy and also very nice to do a large batch at a time to put up in the freezer for winter too. My mom, aunt, and grandma used to get together every fall and work together to make large patches of applesauce and apple turnovers and the kids would all have a great time playing all day. I now make the same recipe and we enjoy them every year.

Simply apple turnover recipe. Great for freezing.


5 cups flour
2 cups + 4 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon salt
Mix together
Dissolve 1 package yeast in 3/4 cup of slightly warm condensed milk
Let stand a few minutes.
Add 2 beaten eggs
Mix with previous mixture for the crust.
Leave in refrigerator overnight.
Set out in room temperature.
Roll out thin. You can use any circle shape to cut out your crust depending on what size you want your turnovers to be. I use a coffee can lid to cut out my circles.

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 dozen apples diced
1 Tablespoon flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Mix together and boil until apples are cooked.

Place 1 Tablespoon filling on each turnover crust piece. Fold over the crust and press the seams down with fork. Optional: Sprinkle with sugar before baking.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Recipe makes 3 dozen.

Optional: If you don't sprinkle with sugar before baking, you can also make a glaze from powdered sugar and water and drizzle over top after baked turnovers are cooled.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Be Thankful

We see it everywhere. The stores we go in to. On television. As we drive by homes and notice holiday decor. This year we saw it even more so with the weather. Snow on Halloween! Only for a little bit and and it didn't last long but it did accumulate.

We jump right into Fall and before Halloween is over we are seeing lots and lots of Christmas.
Now don't get me wrong...I LOVE CHRISTMAS, giving, and the holiday spirit it brings!

But let's not skip the season to be THANKFUL.
We should be and are thankful 365 days of the year but in November are reminded of it more (you may see others doing the 30 days of thankfulness on their blogs or Facebook or others similar)

Every day is a new day and brings new reasons to be thankful for. Especially in November, it is the time to be thankful for those things that we do have. November is time to stop focusing on our wants but to spend time thinking about specific reasons in our lives to which we are thankful. It's time to let others know we are thankful for them.

Be thankful for all things. The big things all the way down to the little things! The good days and the bad days. Also why you are thankful for those specific aspects of your life. Yes, it is easy to say you're thankful for your parents, your kids, your home, all the obvious things. When you understand why your are thankful of someone or something specific it makes you truly appreciate what you have in life.

This month I am focusing on "In All Things, Be Thankful." To also carry it on past the season and into every day.
I challenge you to do the same.

I created a printable for you to enjoy. Print it off and hang in a place you see often to remind yourself "In all things, be thankful," on the best days to the worst days.

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