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Questions from the Neighborhood


Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, September 3, 2001

How do I tell when eggplant is ripe? According to Charles Nissley's Pocket Book of Gardening: 'The eggplant must be used while it is still highly glossy on the outside. As soon as the outside begins to dull, their season for use is over. If eggplants are kept well fertilized and are supplied with an abundance of moisture, they will bear until frost.' Who knew?

Is it too late to plant fall vegetables? Hardy crops can withstand a light frost, but not freezing. This includes: cabbage, cauliflower, beets, carrots, turnips, onions, lettuce, peas, endive, radishes and spinach. What is sweeter that a baby carrot whose top has been touched by frost? I seeded a row of beets last week and they were up in 3 days, I am hoping for a last batch of pickled beets. If frost beckons before they are ready, I can cover them and let them grow a little more. Seeds are cheap, throw caution to the wind and toss a few out now, it's the perfect time. Our average first frost date is not until October 6.

How do I tell when it is time to dig potatoes; and why do I have potato scab? As soon as the tops flower you can usually dig up a few, especially early or new potatoes. After the tops brown and wither, it's time to dig. Potatoes you plan to store should be fully mature before harvest. They can be left in the ground 4 - 6 weeks after the tops brown, if the weather is not too warm or too wet. After they are dug they should be allowed to dry as quickly as possible; store in a cool dark place. Always keep potatoes out of the sun to avoid having them turn green. (Everyone knows not to eat green potatoes, right???)

If your soil tends to be sweet or alkaline you may have more trouble with scab. Never add ashes or lime to your potato patch, they are alkaline. Acidify your soil with pine needle mulch, oak leaves or bark.

Cottonseed meal or peat moss will also acidify soil; however, cotton is not regulated as a food crop and is typically heavily treated with pesticides. Avoid using this for your vegetables unless you are sure that the cotton was grown organically. Peat bogs are now becoming an endangered habitat, so peat should only be used if nothing else is available.

My green beans have dried on the vine; can I save these and plant them next year? The simple answer is, yes, plant them and you will get beans. The complicated answer is still yes, but you may not get the same bean you started with. Beans .....
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Dry Spell

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, August 27, 2001


This has been one hot dry summer. Over the last ten weeks we have received less than two inches of rain. I dont know if that qualifies us for a drought, but it certainly is a wicked dry spell. Even with the satura ..... 
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A Journey West

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, September 3, 2001

June 1975

The northwest wind, gusting to 30 miles an hour, brought tears to my eyes as I concentrated on the road ahead. Huge cumulus clouds drifted across the blue skyline, playing tag with the sun. We drove ..... 
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Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, September 3, 2001

After reading the Fillmore County Journal and River Valley Reader concerning our public libraries I was compelled to write this letter. The comment made by Paula Michels (Fillmore County Commi ..... 
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Vernon H. Vigeland

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
Posted in

Vernon H. Vigeland, 77, of LaCrosse, Wis., formerly of Mabel, Minn. died March 12, 2001 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel where he had resided for only a week.

Vernon was born September 5, 1923 in Preble Township, Fillmore County, M ..... 
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