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Is It Really Winter?


Fri, Nov 30th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, December 3, 2001

As I sit down to write this column, I wonder if there is really anything left to say about gardening. This morning we all awoke to see a covering of white. It was quite lovely, but sad, as it does herald the end of the garden season.

But there is much left to say. In the last week of August I planted beets in a raised bed. Then following some good advice I covered the entire bed with plastic supported by hoops. This tiny little greenhouse continues to hold in enough heat that the beets are still growing. A quart and a half of pickled beets and several meals of beet greens have been enjoyed so far. Amazing. It really does work!

The most important work for the gardener now is to take time to reflect on both the joys and sorrows of last season - what worked out well and what was a complete failure.
Success and Failure

I have this bad attitude about staking. I don't like to do it. I don't want to do it, so I don't. And it has cost me dearly.

Tomatoes really do need staking. There is no room here for stubbornness. So I didn't stake my tomatoes. I mulched them really well and in defiance of the basic rules of gardening thought that maybe, just maybe; the mulch would keep them from rotting on the ground.

These tomatoes didn't stand a chance. Before there was any chance of rot, the slugs had a field day. They were ruthless. Hardly a tomato escaped. Except the cherry tomatoes. There were so many other good choices they didn't bother with the small stuff.

35 plants, over 9 different varieties, including Brandywine, Caspian Pink, Amish Paste, Persimmon, Better Boy and Yellow Italian Paste - I had such dreams of tomato goodness. . .

Canning books all say you shouldn't can tomatoes with slug bites. So we ate a lot fresh, but the chickens really made out like bandits. I kept telling myself that boy, we would have the best tasting chicken this year. Occasionally I would throw in a little parsley and basil, too. But the chickens are another story.

Thinking this would be the bumper crop of salsa and pizza sauce I also planted over 30 pepper plants. Sweet frying peppers, jalapenos, chili peppers, bell peppers and more. They did beautifully. What we didn't eat fresh ended up mostly dried or roasted and frozen, hopeful signs of a culinary destiny.

So, readers, what worked for you? What were your totally embarrassing failures? Write in and this winter let .....
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My Guarantee To You

Fri, Nov 30th, 2001
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Monday, December 3, 2001

I just got up off the kitchen floor. Our five-year-old dishwasher needed my attention. About two weeks ago it started running water out its door. Maybe it was trying to tell us that the kitchen floor needed scrubbing. ..... 
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Noodle Soup

Fri, Nov 30th, 2001
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Monday, November 26, 2001

“Food is the communication between the person cooking and the people eating,” I heard Julia Childs say on a TV program the other day.

I suppose Thanksgiving is the classic example of this axiom: a bronzed tur ..... 
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Fri, Nov 30th, 2001
Posted in

Fri, Nov 30th, 2001
Posted in

Fri, Nov 30th, 2001
Posted in

To the Editor,

I was growing up at a time when it looked like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. might one day have a run at the presidency. He had this to say about conflict:

Darkness cannot drive
out darkness;
Only light can do that.< ..... 
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Fri, Nov 30th, 2001
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To the Editor,

I must address Herb Panko's article, "Another View: Some root causes of the September 11 tragedy" in the Nov. 12, 2001 issue of the Fillmore County Journal. He says that "[Christianity, Judaism, and Islam] use ultimate authorit ..... 
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Nov 30th, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, November 26, 2001

To the Editor,

The 2001 tax bill passed last spring dramatically changed how many government services are funded. Under the new law, much of the cost of K-12 education will now be paid ..... 
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Vernon H. Vigeland

Fri, Nov 30th, 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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