Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2011
Regional Report

Books

Garden Inspiration
The Inspired Gardener: What Makes Us Tick? compiled by the editors of St. Lynne's Press (St. Lynne's Press) is neither an informational book nor one that will answer your questions. But it may answer some questions in your soul. Each page has an inspirational quote coupled with a beautiful photo. For example, two of my favorites are "In the spring at the end of the day you should smell like dirt" by Margaret Atwood and "If you throw Mother Nature out the window, she will come back in with a pitchfork" by Masanobu Fukouka. The quotations will inspire you and make you laugh. My copy was a loving gift from a dear friend.

Clever Gardening Technique

Use Shredded Straw for the Best Mulch
Straw mulch is almost a given for the vegetable garden. But pulling apart the bales and simply spreading it on the garden may actually cause water to be shed when it rains or the garden is irrigated. It may seem a simple solution, but shredding the straw will avoid this problem. A simple leaf shredder is the easiest way to do this and a worthwhile investment for the serious vegetable gardener. You can purchase it already shredded, but it is expensive. Shredding your own is not hard and will reward you with wonderful mulch for the entire season.

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