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Becky's Food Tails


By Becky Hoff

Mon, Nov 16th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

Planting Garlic

The first part of November is an excellent time of year to plant garlic! During our recent spell of good weather, I was able to take an hour to put in a patch of garlic at the Harmony Community Garden. With any luck, I’ll be harvesting garlic in August of next year, and will have plenty to pickle, cook with, and share.

It’s very simple to plant garlic, here it is in four easy steps.

1) Select your garlic. You can choose between many different hard necked and soft necked varieties of garlic. This ‘neck’ business refers to the stem end which protrudes through the middle of the garlic bulb. Soft necked garlic has a soft, easy to braid stem; hard necked garlic not so much. Both types have their merits. Soft necked varieties store longer and are typically milder in flavor, while hard necked varieties are more able to withstand laying dormant through harsh Minnesota winters. Hard necked varieties are also typically more fiery and strong in flavor, which is exactly the kind of garlic I love.

2) Prepare your soil. Garlic loves well draining, nutrient rich soil that is free of lumps. Select your garden bed and amend it well with lots of compost, being sure to rake out any lumps in the soil. If you can get your hands on some composted manure, use plenty of that, too.

3) Planting your garlic. Separate the garlic cloves, taking care to leave the papery skin intact. Now you stick them in the ground, pointy side up! (This is where the shoot will grow out of in the spring.) Plant the garlic about two inches into the ground, taking care to leave 4-5 inches in between cloves.

4) Mulch your garlic bed, and leave it alone until spring. Mulching will help protect your garlic during the winter months, so don’t be afraid to lay it on thick! A good three inches or even more of whatever mulching material you have is recommended.

No need to water, just leave it alone until the shoots start to emerge in the spring. If you were heavy handed with the mulch, come spring you may wish to rake some of the excess away to help your garlic get started.

Now, how about a nice garlicky recipe? Garlic mashed potatoes are an excellent comfort food, and make a nice side dish to a roasted chicken or pot roast. We are all about the warm weather meals in our household this time of year, and use lots of garlic in much of our cooking.



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The Working Mom

By Tammy Danielson

Mon, Nov 9th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

The “Firsts” in Our Lives We had a huge reality check this year when the idea of ACT test scores and scoping out colleges suddenly became a reality. I can imagine that most parents wonder about their child taking off for college and question ..... 
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Sue's Muse, Gilbert - Homecoming

By Sue Ommen

Mon, Nov 2nd, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

Gilbert came home the week before Halloween. Once inside the door of our house, Gilbert cautiously surveyed his surroundings, sniffing everywhere before settling in. The festivities started after a hurried supper. The doorbell rang, announcing th ..... 
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A little of this, A little of that.

By Kathy Little

Mon, Oct 26th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

How are Halloween and political campaigns alike? a. Participants ask for stuff b. Participants disguise their true identity c. Both cost big bucks d. Both can be scary e. All of the above And the answer is E. All of the above! According to se ..... 
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A View from the Woods

By Loni Kemp

Mon, Oct 12th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

On Being an Ecotourist, Right at Home I step outside for a walk in the bright yellow forest of early fall. Although I’ve walked these paths for for most of my life, I am still filled with wonder and questions about what I am observing. For exa ..... 
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Becky's Food Tales

By Becky Hoff

Mon, Oct 5th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

Brown Sauce- You Don’t Know What You’re Missing Brown sauce? What is Becky talking about today? The name doesn’t sound all that appealing, but it’s pretty heavenly stuff. If you haven’t heard of it before, brown sauce is a popular British ..... 
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Sue's Muse - 9.21.15

By Sue Ommen

Mon, Sep 21st, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

Gilbert - searching for a service dog The day has begun. My husband swings his bare feet off the bed and greets our black lab, who is dancing about next to the bed. “Get my socks, Gilbert,” he commands, and the dog excitedly scampers off to the ..... 
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A little of This, A little of That - 9.14.15

By Kathy Little

Mon, Sep 14th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

Hats off to the growers, Who raise the crops and tend the livestock! I’ve tried to grow fruits and vegetables. It is hard work. True, the only animals I have ever tended are several cats and l dog. I know that any animal I took care of cow, p ..... 
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Real Bites - 9.7.15

Tue, Sep 8th, 2015
Posted in All Columnists

Meat and music To quote Billy Crystal acting as Larry in Throw Momma from the Train, “The night was sultry.” Yes, a little humid, so maybe sultry is an overstatement. On the eve of Friday, August 21, 2015, I had a hankering to venture out to ..... 
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