There's a late spring blooming perennial flower that's been looking beautiful this year. It goes by a number of common names, such as mountain bluet, perennial bachelor's buttons, and corn flower. I know it mostly by its botanical name, Centaurea montana.
After several boom years while the rest of the economy struggled, farming is entering its third year on the bust side of the cycle. Major crop prices are low, while expenses like seed, fertilizer and land remain high. And that means farmers have to get creative to succeed.
Modern crop farms in the Corn Belt are sophisticated businesses. So put aside your notions of bucolic red barns surrounded by a few cows. And pull out your best business school vocabulary, because crops are commodities.
One legend has it this holiday descended from the ancient Roman fertility festival where boys and girls would draw names to see who would be paired for the coming year. The Catholic church attributed this day to a priest who secretly married young soldiers in defiance of the Roman emperor. His name was Saint Valentine.
I'm always amazed at the price of arugula and baby greens in the grocery store. They sell sometimes for ten dollars a pound! A better way to eat healthy greens is to grow them yourself, and we're getting close to the day when we can start planting two of my favorites: arugula and mache.
In winter it's hard for gardeners to get their fix of greenery. You can visit greenhouses such as at Yale's Marsh Botanic Garden, but it's nice to have your own house plants to create a warm, clean environment.
“I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." Yes, dreaming seems like the best we'll be able to do this Christmas.
A white Christmas in Connecticut normally has about a 50/50 chance of occurring, with less chance along the shore and more a likely chance in the Northwest hills. But this winter the chance is nil, and it won't even be cold!