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Saturday, October 25th, 2014
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A View From The Woods - Why Garden?


By Loni Kemp

Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists



Most mornings I grab a small bowl and walk out to the little ever-bearing strawberry patch I started last year. I make my way around the edges of the bed, plucking red berries that apparently like our hot and humid summer just fine. Pushing the coarse leaves aside, I find treasures, tossing those already invaded by picnic bugs across the lawn. A cupful of berries is my daily take.

The dew moistens a garden which hasn’t seen a good rain for at least six weeks but is still thriving with my sporadic watering. I look up to see the sky a pale blue, crossed with hazy white summer clouds lazing their way eastward. I hear a blue jay, a cardinal, and various other tweets and songs from birds which remain hidden in the woods. Grasshoppers and cicadas fill the air with sound. I glance up to see apples turning red, and walnut trees across the meadow turning yellow amongst their green neighbors, as they always do before we even realize summer is ending. The neighbor boy rides up bareback to round up a few other horses needed at home and chases them along the forest trail to their place. The air smells humid and rich on this windless day in mid-September.

Having fresh berries with granola every morning is surely one reason I garden. Raising wholesome organic food is very important to the way we want to eat. One simply can’t buy, at any price, fresh green peas still in the pod, or heavy Brandywine tomatoes ripened to absolute perfection, or unusual melons like Crenshaw and yellow watermelon. Even ordinary foods bring a special satisfaction when you grew them yourself, like big fat potatoes and skinny green beans picked young.

Yet what keeps me enthralled in the garden goes far beyond the tangible products. The unexpected gifts of engaging on a personal level with nature never cease to delight me.

The miracle of the seed is a mystery. I bury it in dirt, but then a different life force takes over to reveal a distinct leaf and flower and harvestable food.

A rare and beautiful butterfly flits by, which I see to be a Monarch. This one is the fifth or sixth generation of this year, now making its way for the winter in Mexico, a land which this individual has never seen. I used to see dozens of Monarchs clustered on Joe-Pye Weed at this time of year, but only few have visited all summer. I pray for plentiful milkweeds along the butterfly’s journey south, and that farmers will stop exp .....
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Yum-m-m - September 9, 2013

By Katie Van Sickle

Fri, Sep 6th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

This dessert recipe is over 30 years old, but a great one to fix ahead. I got it from my sister-in-law (I have five) while we were living in Bismark, North Dakota. The most I ever made at one time was eight. Our youngest son was a senior in high sc ..... 
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Becky's Food Tales - September 2, 2013

By Becky Hoff

Fri, Aug 30th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Tomato Season - A Tale of Irrational Gardening Tomatoes are easily my favorite thing to grow in the garden. Every year I have to try new heirloom varieties in my quest for ‘The Perfect Tomato.’ This year I have no less than 11 varieties plant ..... 
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The Working Mom - What’s Your Definition of Camping?

By Tammy Danielson

Fri, Aug 23rd, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

I will apologize up front for concentrating a column strictly to camping but, hey, who doesn’t love it? Now, when I say camping, that does not include a tent. It also avoids dewy air mattresses, your food along with grass and dirt floating in da ..... 
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Postcards from the Windy City - Doing Summer

By Abby Stocker

Fri, Aug 16th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Hi, Readers. Well, we’re reaching the point in the summer when even the most nonchalant among us will soon be forced to reckon with The Question: what have you done this summer? For some I know, this question doesn’t seem to cause much stre ..... 
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A little of this, A little of that.

By Kathy Little

Fri, Aug 16th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Uno, dos, etc. Yes, I did take Spanish in high school long before Taco Bell became a restaurant chain. Mrs. Worley, our Spanish teacher, wanted us to learn not only the language but also about the culture of Spain and Mexico. So we had a Spanish par ..... 
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Postcards from the Windy City - Art in the City

By Abby Stocker

Fri, Aug 9th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Dear Readers, This week, I found myself on the train once again, tumbling into downtown Chicago. Beautiful Saturday afternoon, plans in the city, what more could you want? Art. And people to share it with, of course. My trip downtown a few w ..... 
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Country Coffee Talk - August 12, 2013

By Jeanette Schmidt

Fri, Aug 9th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Don’t you just love the summer! There’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting on the porch in the morning with that first cup of coffee, ignoring what’s ahead for the day. How did that jingle go...“The best part of waking up...”? Did you kno ..... 
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Tech Bytes - Profiling

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Profiling, “the recording and analysis of a person’s psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities,” is often associated in a negative light when you’re the potential employee. When you’re th ..... 
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