By Extension Master Gardener (EMG) volunteers, Joanie Shover, Michele Cole, Sherri Carter, and MU Extension Horticulture Instructor Cathy Bylinowski, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Blue Springs Historical Society Museum is where history lives in the garden! In 2019, the Blue Springs Historical Society Museum Garden became a University of Missouri Extension Partnership Garden. Museum staff and Extension Master Gardeners also work with the local MU Extension 4-H Classy Clovers, teaching the children the science of gardening. They apply what they learn to their Regional Fair. This year five qualified for State Fair Exhibition .
As the project grew, the museum and garden staff needed direction, so we developed a vision statement and developed goals.
Goal 1: To Provide education to youth and adults and encourage gardening in the historical section of Blue Springs.
Goal 2: To provide education to the community and those who visit the museum about flowers and plants in the gardens.
The vision was to create an educational “place of peace and beauty” that was easy to walk through and inviting for visitors of all ages. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the garden provides a respite for area walkers and visitors and gardening information through plant labels and signage. Historical Society members give tours three times a week during the growing season.
The garden staff and Extension Master Gardeners developed a program of gardening classes during April through August. These classes are open to Extension Master Gardeners and the public. Extension Master Gardeners teach these classes to encourage people to grow vegetables, flowers, native plants, and use reliable, science-based gardening methods. Class includes hands-on learning in the garden. Museum staff work with Extension Master Gardeners to write and illustrate storybooks for the children to read as they walk through the garden. These storybooks connect the history of early residents to gardening and how gardening helped to grow the community in the 1800s.
One story book focuses on a female doctor who used medicinal herbs to cure patients. A second tells how people traded farm products with merchants for staples like flour and sugar during winter months. The latest tells how residents grew pumpkins and shipped them through rail service which began in 1879 in Blue Springs. In addition to offering gardening classes at the museum, EMGs also hold plant sales to raise funds to support the museum, its grounds, and horticulture education programming.
Blue Springs Historical Society Educational Garden. Photo used with permission of Extension Master Gardener Joan Shover
Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Plant Sale at Blue Springs Historical Society Museum and Garden photo used with permission on Extension Master Gardener Joan Shover
Blue Springs Historical Museum Garden and Extension Master Gardener 2024 Schedule
For more information on upcoming classes and how to register, please visit this MU Extension webpage for Upcoming Gardening Education Opportunities - https://bit.ly/GardeningEd
Mark your calendars now!
March 23, 2024
Location: Blue Springs Historical Museum Garden, 101SW 15th Street, Blue Springs, MO
Topic: Tomatoes-Learn techniques for planting, pruning, watering, and disease management
Presenters: Master Gardeners speakers
Short description: Learn about tomatoes and how to manage plant growth and diseases
Max number of registrants: 35
Time of Program: 9 AM-11 AM
May 4, 2024
Location: Blue Springs Historical Museum Garden, 101SW 15th Street, Blue Springs, MO
Topic: Managing your Garden in Extreme Conditions; Cold, Heat, Drought
Presenters: Master Gardeners speakers and Garden staff
Learn the needs of your plants during extreme weather conditions including when and how to water, mulch, feeding, and covering plants
Max number of registrants: 35
Time of the program: 9 AM-11 AM
by Denise Sullivan, MS, CNWE
Nutrition and Health Education Field Specialist
MU Extension Health and Human Sciences
We carve them into jack-o-lanterns and make lots of pie, but the versatility of the pumpkin goes far beyond these common uses. From muffins to soups, adding pumpkin can give a boost of nutrition a variety of recipes.
This bright orange member of the squash family is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids, that, when converted to vitamin A in the body, performs many important functions in overall health. When beta-carotene is mentioned, we often think of eye health, and rightfully so, as Vitamin A is key to how the retina absorbs and process light.
Current research also indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases, as well as some degenerative aspects of aging. As a high fiber vegetable, pumpkin also helps to lend a feeling of fullness and satiety, and aids in maintaining digestive health.
It’s important to remember that the pumpkin you choose for a jack-o-lantern won’t be the best pumpkin for cooking. When selecting a pumpkin for cooking, look for a "pie pumpkin" or "sweet pumpkin." These are smaller than the typical jack-o-lantern pumpkins and the flesh is sweeter and less watery.
Look for a pumpkin with 1 to 2 inches of stem left. If the stem is cut down too low the pumpkin will decay quickly. Avoid pumpkins with blemishes and soft spots. It should feel heavy and shape is unimportant, so a lopsided pumpkin is not necessarily a bad pumpkin. Figure one pound of raw, untrimmed pumpkin for each cup finished pumpkin puree.
To prepare your pumpkin, start by removing the stem with a sharp knife and cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and scrape away all of the stringy mass. This is a messy job, so work on a newspaper covered surface for an easy clean-up. Separate the seeds for roasting for a tasty snack. Remove any pulp from the seeds with several cold water rinses and drain on paper towels. Toss seeds with a small amount of olive oil and season with your favorite spice…I like garlic powder and cumin. Roast on a foil covered pan at 250 degrees for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Pumpkins seeds make for a tasty, high fiber snack.
Oven roasting is a common and easy way to prepare pumpkin and one of the best ways to bring out the flavor. Place pumpkin, cut side down on a foil lined pan at 350 degrees for one hour or until fork tender. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, remove the peel using a small sharp knife and your fingers. Put the peeled pumpkin in a food processor and puree or use a food mill, ricer, strainer or potato masher to form a puree.
Pumpkin puree freezes well for later use. Measure cooled puree into one cup portions, place in ridged freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace or pack into zip closure bags. Label, date and freeze for up to one year.
If you are considering canning pumpkin, it is important to note that it can only be canned in cubed form and not pureed, due to product density. As a low acid food, pumpkin must be pressure canned. For complete canning instructions, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation website at: https://nchfp.uga.edu/tips/fall/pumpkins.html
The pumpkin is the inspiration for all kinds of seasonal spicy concoctions, often on the sweeter side of the spectrum. This savory recipe is a great way to give a nutritional boost to another fall favorite…chili. Trust me- try this for your next tailgate party and your guests will never even know it’s there!
Makes 8 (1 cup) servings
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
1 green bell pepper (cored, seeded and chopped)
2 jalapeño peppers (seeded and finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 pound ground turkey
1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (or 2 cups frozen)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
1 can kidney beans or black beans (or both!)
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
2. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add turkey and cook until browned.
4. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium low then add beans.
6. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more.
7. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.
Calories: 193, Total Fat: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 242mg, Total Carbohydrate: 17 g, Dietary Fiber: 6 g, Total Sugars: 5 g
Recipe adapted from the USDA Mixing Bowl.
by Cathy Bylinowski, University of Missouri Extension Horticulture Instructor, Jackson County
Sugar maples, sweet gums, viburnums, and other trees and shrubs gave us a beautiful show this fall with their bright oranges, pinks, and yellows. When those leaves fall to the ground, what happens next? If you do not enjoy raking or blowing leaves and disposing of them, University of Missouri Extension Field Specialists in Horticulture suggest turning at least some of those fall leaves into a valuable resources- compost and mulch!
The carbon content of fallen leaves is a great addition to the nitrogen content of old, annual landscape and garden plants and helps create good compost. Compost contains organic matter, an important component to fertile soil, which hold moisture and nutrients and improves drainage.
However, it is unlikely that the proportion of fallen leaves to compostable plant material will result in the recommended 30-to-1 carbon-to-nitrogen ratio for a good compost pile.
Since fall leaves have a carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of about 50-to-1 and freshly uprooted green plants come in around 20-to-1 on average, a good approach is to add twice as much plant material as leaves to the compost bin or pile, if possible. This will come close to the recommended ratio and allow for contributions from the kitchen compost pail. Vegetable food scraps such as apple, banana, and winter squash peels, avocado shells, and salad scraps can be added to the compost pile, too.
Because adding fallen leaves and garden plants in layers will allow for better decomposition, try to stockpile some leaves and add them in layers to the compost pile.
This will result in several small contributions of leaf material to the bin—a better option than dealing with a lump sum of leaves at the end of the season. Couple this with regular culling of unproductive or fading garden plants and you’ll be able to contribute the appropriate ratio of each to the compost pile on a regular basis and make end-of-the-season cleanup in the yard and garden easier.
If you have more leaves than the compost pile can take, that might mean that you have a lot of shade on your landscape. Heavily shaded areas where turf is difficult to establish may best be converted to a ‘forest floor’ landscape where leaves are allowed to aggregate among shade-tolerant native wild flowers and other perennial plants.
You can also create a slowly decomposing pile of mainly leaves to create what is called leaf mold or leaf mulch. It might take two years for this kind of pile to turn into a crumbly, high organic matter amendment for your garden.
Another use for surplus leaves is to spread them directly onto the vegetable garden to decompose over winter. Decomposing leaves add beneficial organic matter and nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium to garden soil. Add a layer of 6-8 inches of leaves and gently work them into the soil. Earthworms appreciate fallen leaves, too. Earthworms also help leaves decompose and add more organic matter to the soil.
Leaves do not significantly alter the pH of garden soil. Even oak leaves, which are acidic when fresh, break down to be neutral to slightly alkaline after going through the decomposition process.
One important item you can consider purchasing for your leaf composting project could be a compost thermometer. Compost thermometers are longer than a typical thermometer and usually have ranges of temperatures highlighted to let you know if the pile is actively composting or not. It is a good way to know if your leaves and other garden organic matter in your compost pile are biodegrading into a valuable and beneficial soil amendment.
A light sprinkling of leaves over your lawn can be mowed to infiltrate and decompose into the soil.
More information about composting and mulching is available in these MU Extension
publications. These publications can be downloaded for free:
“Making and Using Compost”
“How to Build a Compost Bin”
Have more gardening questions? Contact Extension Master Gardener Hotline at 816-833-TREE (8733) or Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Instructor, email@example.com
Fall leaves at River Bluff Reserve, Jackson County, Missouri. Photo by C. Bylinowski, MU Horticulture Instructor
Apples and autumn go together like peanut butter and jelly—or maybe apple butter? I have many fond memories – as a child and as an adult – that coincide with apple harvest. Growing up in south-central Kansas, we had a couple prolific Jonathan apple trees on our farm were usually ready to pick in September.
There were many years during my adolescence that my brothers and their friends would load up their pockets with apples while they were loading up livestock to go to the Kansas State Fair. Decades years later, as a mom, my own children looked forward to apple picking at local orchards in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.
Apples, like many fruits, are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C help to reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Vitamin C also helps in reducing bruising, aids in wound healing and helps in overall skin and gum health. Potassium is an important mineral in regulating blood pressure. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is beneficial in controlling cholesterol as well as digestive and bowel health.
Some of the more common fall apple varieties for our region are Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Winesap. When selecting Braeburn apples, look for large, firm red fruit. These apples have a well-balanced flavor and are best for fresh eating. While Fuji apples might not always be the most attractive red apple, they are very sweet and juicy, making them a great choice for fresh eating.
The ever-popular green Granny Smith apple is known for its firm, crisp texture and sweet-tart flavor and is good for fresh eating, salads, or processing. Winesap apples are considered by some people to be the red equivalent to Granny Smiths, as they are equally crisp and tart, making them good choices for fresh eating, salads, or processing.
A fun way to celebrate apple harvest this fall is to join in the Missouri Crunch Off, a collaborative event between MU Extension, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Senior Services, and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This event commemorates Farm to School month and promotes locally grown produce. While this effort started with schools, it has grown beyond the educational sector and even has a multi-state competition of sorts.
Gather your students, coworkers, community members and local food enthusiasts to crunch into Missouri Grown apples or other produce during the month of October. You can learn more about the Crunch-Off in this toolkit: mp-crunch-off-toolkit.pdf (mo.gov)
If you are looking for new ways to enjoy apples, you might want to try this muffin recipe. Full of whole grains, fruit, and nuts, they are a great ‘grab and go’ breakfast or even a treat for the teacher’s lounge or breakroom at work.
Apple Oatmeal Muffins
(9 servings, 2 muffins each)
2 ¼ c water
2 ½ c rolled oats
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ c skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
¼ teaspoon cloves
2 medium apples, finely chopped
¼ c chopped dried cranberries
¼ c chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
Nutrition information: Calories: 215, Total Fat: 8.5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 30mg, Carbohydrates: 29g, Fiber: 4.5g, Protein: 6g
Recipe adapted from Seasonal and Simple, analyzed by verywellfit.com
by Cathy Bylinowski, MU Extension- Jackson County Horticulture Instructor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring bulbs add color to our spring gardens and to the beginning of the new gardening season. They can be planted among groundcovers and perennials. As these plants grow in the spring, they will hide the fading bulb foliage.
Spring flowering bulbs need to be planted in the fall, in well-drained soil in areas that receive part shade to full sun. Planting the bulbs about 2-3 times the height of the bulb is a general rule for planting depth. The bulbs need exposure to cold winter temperatures in order to bloom next spring. You should have plenty of time to purchase and plant spring bulbs this month.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite bulbs and tips for success:
Daffodils Narcissus spp.- Ranging from yellow, to white, to orange, daffodils’ unusual and variable flower shape and wonderful scent made them a good addition to our gardens. Daffodils last a long time and can be used to naturalize in flower beds and lawns. They need full sun and well-drained soil. A fertilizer high in phosphorus such as bone meal, helps the bulb develop a healthy root system. Plant bulbs 6-8 inches deep. Trim the old flower stems off. Daffodil foliage needs to photosynthesize to store food for next year’s growth. Do not cut off or bundle up the foliage.
Tulips Tulipa spp- Some tulips bloom well for one year and gradually lose vigor in subsequent years. Some landscape managers use them like an annual flower. If you want beautiful perennial tulips, select a variety such as Darwin hybrids or a species tulip; they live and bloom for many years.
Crocus Crocus vernus- Crocus have small, brightly colored flowers that bloom in early spring. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil. Crocus can be planted in a sunny lawn.
Wild hyacinth- Camassia scilloides- Looking for a Missouri native flowering bulb? Wild hyacinth is a good choice. The pale blue spike of flowers blooms in April and May in glades, prairies, and savannas in many parts of Missouri. They need part sun to full sun to thrive. Many nurseries that supply native plants grow and sell this species.
Did you enjoy summer flowering bulbs and ornamentals in your yard this year? Don’t forget to store summer warm season bulbs before a freeze!
If you want to save money, try digging up cannas, caladiums, calla lilies, elephant ear caladiums, gladiolus, and dahlias after a light frost for next year. Let the roots or bulbs dry and then overwinter them in a cool, dark place, with good air circulation. A basement or room that does not get below freezing is a good place to store them. Trim off the foliage. Replant in late April or early May after the danger of frosts and freezes has passed. Plant in well-drained soil.
Cannas- Cannas are tall and vigorous, with attractive foliage and vivid flowers all summer long. There are tall varieties that work well in the background and shorter varieties that can be planted towards the front of a bed. Cannas flower colors range from deep red to pink, to yellow. In zones 7-10, cannas are left outside all year, but in the Kansas City region, it is safer to lift them up for overwintering in a dry medium such as vermiculite or peat.
Grow Caladiums for their beautiful foliage. They thrive in shade and part shade. They like moist, well-drained soil. They can be grown in containers or in flower beds.
Caladium leaves supply a wide variety of colors. Image by Jan Haerer from Pixabay
For more information on many kinds of ornamental plants, check out this chapter, for free when viewing online, from the Master Gardener Core Manual- https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/mg9
If you need more flowering bulb or general gardening information, contact Extension Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City Hotline, 816-833-TREE (8733) or email email@example.com.
Cathy Bylinowski, M.S. Horticulture
University of Missouri Extension- Jackson County, MO
written by Bethany Bachmann
Apples are in season from July-November in Missouri. Apples contain a significant amount of vitamin C which is an antioxidant that may play a key role in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Vitamin C also aids in the body’s healing process. Consuming foods that contain a significant amount of vitamin C can also help the body to absorb iron. Apples are also a good source of fiber and potassium.
A ripe and ready-to-pick apple should be firm and easily detach from the tree when harvesting. Choose apples that are free of blemishes and bruises when purchasing from the farmers market or grocery store.
Apples prefer cool, dark places for storage. Consider a cellar, cold basement, or temperature-controlled garage. Apples can be stored in the refrigerator. Spoilage will happen more quickly in areas above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Apples should be rinsed under cool, running water to remove surface bacteria and dirt. A scrub brush or cloth can be used as well. Apples are most commonly consumed raw, but can be baked, roasted, grilled, or sauteed. There are wide variety of recipes that call for apples. Here is one that may be new to you.
Fall Fruit Compote
2 medium apples
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
3 medium pears
¼ cups apple juice or cider
1 cup seedless grapes
¼ cup water
1 cup raisins
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Rinse pears, apples, and grapes. Do not peel fruit. Remove core from pears and apples. Cut fruit into 1-inch pieces.
2. In a medium pot, add pears, apples, grapes, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add apple juice and water to pot to barely cover the fruit. Bring fruit and juice to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In a colander, strain the fruit over a small bowl, reserving the liquid. Return liquid to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add a small amount of water or apple juice to the cornstarch and mix. Add cornstarch mixture to simmering liquid. Cook on low to thicken slightly. Remove from stove and let cool.
4. Pour thickened juice mixture over fruit and stir. Cool and serve or store in an air-tight container for up to one week.
Written by Bethany Bachmann 321 N. Main Street, Suite 1 | Perryville, MO 63775 O: 573-547-4504 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on growing apples in Missouri, check the following MU Extension Publications, available as free downloads:
https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g6022 Apple Cultivars and Their Uses
https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g6021 Home Fruit Production: Apples
https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g6026 Disease-Resistant Apple Cultivars
by Cathy Bylinowski, MU Extension Horticulture Instructor
The plants described below are edible. They have their good and not so good characteristics depending on their location and your gardening goals. The information below can help you decide whether or not to allow them in your garden or yard and use them as cooking ingredients.
Lambsquarters- Chenopodium album
Human have eaten Lambsquarters for thousands of years. While this common weedy species, Chenopodium album, probably originated in Europe, ancient seeds of related species have been found by archaeologists in the U.S. Tender leaves and seed clusters are best eaten boiled, steamed, or stir fried. The taste similar to spinach and contain vitamin A and C.
If left to grow it can get a woody stem that is difficult to remove. If left to go to seed, the plant can become a difficult to control weed.
Lambsquarters grow in full sun, in disturbed soil and garden soil. It can be found on woodland edges and shaded areas. Do not harvest from fertilized agricultural fields or fertilized soil in your garden or yard as nitrates can accumulate in the plants’ tissues to an unsafe level if eaten in large quantities. Pay attention to the where the plants are growing and pick leaves from plants growing in unfertilized or nutrient poor soils.
Concerns over oxalic acid content in lambsquarters can be overcome by cooking the greens before eating them. Rhubarb, spinach, and Swiss chard also contain oxalic acid.
Lambsquarters Iowa State Integrated Crop Management Bob Hartzler
Purslane- Portulaca oleracea
Purslane grows close to the ground and can form a thick mat. Its leaves are flat, thick, and succulent. The edible variety has small flowers. This plant is related to Rose Moss, an ornamental annual that many people grow in their flower gardens.
Purslane, known in Spanish as verdolaga, is used in Mexican and other cultures’ cuisines. It has a tart flavor and crunchy texture. It can be eaten raw or included in stir fry dishes. If you harvest purslane from your garden, yard, or wild places in your neighborhood, be sure to carefully wash the leaves and stems before using.
Purslane is a plant source of omega 3 fatty acids that scientists and doctors state are beneficial for heart health.
Vegetable seed companies sell cultivated varieties of purslane.
Wild Violets Viola sororia
Violets, with their blue and purple flowers, are a welcome spring sight in many yards unless the homeowner insists on a turfgrass-only yard. Many violets in the yard can indicate moist soil and shady areas. Too much shade makes it difficult to grow a vigorous turfgrass lawn.
Some gardeners allow violets to grow in their yards and take advantage of their tender spring leaves and flowers as an addition to salads. They contain vitamin A and C. If you are ambitious, you can candy the flowers and use them for cake decorations!
Wild violet leaves are the host food for caterpillars of several Midwest fritillary butterfly species. Leaving some violets in your yard supports butterfly and native bee biodiversity.
Creative Commons/Wikimedia Commons, by Cbaile19
You can decide whether these plants are weeds or wonderful after educating yourself about these and other wild edible plants. Like other annual plants that produce many seeds, lambsquarters and purslane can take over disturbed and bare soil unless they are picked and excess plants are removed.
Important points when collecting wild edible plants:
As I visit with gardening friends or farmers market shoppers, I often hear that people are anxiously awaiting the tomatoes. America’s most popular home garden plant happens to be my favorite (and most successful) crop as well. It doesn’t matter if it is fresh from the garden or prepared into a favorite sauce or salsa, the versatility of the tomato makes it easy to understand why it is America’s favorite.
Tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae family, more commonly known as the nightshade family. Other members of the Solanaceae family include peppers, potatoes, tomatillos, eggplant, and even tobacco. For centuries, the association with the nightshade family coupled with the strong scent given off by the plant, led to the myth that tomatoes were truly poisonous. Long before it was considered fit to eat, it was grown only as an ornamental garden plant, sometimes called "love apple."
Tomatoes are native to the Andes of Peru, where they first grew in the wild as a bright red, marble-sized, cherry-type tomato. Gradually, they would spread throughout South America and north into Central America but then the trail goes cold until Christopher Columbus’ travels to and from the ‘new world,’ which would eventually land the fruit in Spain in the mid-16th century. Over the next several decades, different cultivars spread through Spain, France and Italy and became a widely accepted food in the Mediterranean region. As the tomato varieties spread north and east through Europe, they were not as widely accepted among the English and German and were often thought to be poisonous.
As the colonies established in the United States, the tomato became less feared. One of the earliest notable growers of tomatoes was Thomas Jefferson, who was a remarkably progressive Virginia farmer as well as a statesman, who grew them in the late 1780’s. By the early 1800’s, tomatoes had become a common enhancement in the Creole gumbos and jambalayas of Southern cooking. By 1850, the tomato had made its way into most American urban markets and today is grown world-wide, where the temperate seasons allow. California, Florida, and Georgia lead tomato production in the US.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. They are also one of the richest sources of lycopene, a phytonutrient that shows great promise in cancer prevention. It’s worth noting that the amount of lycopene increases when tomatoes are cooked, as in a sauce. Whether cooked or fresh, there are numerous ways to enjoy tomatoes. This salad recipe is great as a quick meal and can be personalized with any of your favorite vegetables. It also gives a nod to the Mediterranean region who first accepted tomatoes.
1/3 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
½ cup diced cucumber
½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Nutrition information: Calories: 277, Total Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 150mg, Carbohydrates: 31g, Fiber: 6g, Protein: 7g
Recipe adapted from medinsteadofmeds.com, analyzed by verywellfit.com
Denise Sullivan is a Nutrition and Health Education Specialist for MU Extension in the Urban West Region, serving Jackson and Platte Counties. For research-based nutrition and food safety information and programs, visit https://extension.missouri.edu/counties/urban-west-region
MU Extension is a partnership of the University of Missouri campuses, Lincoln University, the people of Missouri through county extension councils, and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
by Cathy Bylinowski, M.S. Horticulture, University of Missouri Extension
“Because they are difficult and expensive to replace, your trees need attention during and after periods of drought,” says University of Missouri Extension State Forestry Specialist Hank Stelzer. “Most of a tree’s active roots are within the top few inches of soil and can extend well beyond the edge of the tree’s canopy,” Stelzer says. Not only are they competing for water during drought, but high air temperatures can actually bake the soil and severely damage or kill fragile, fine roots critical for water and nutrient uptake.
“Perhaps most life-threatening to a tree suffering drought is invasion by borers and disease organisms as the tree is recuperating and still in a weakened state,” he says. Oaks are more susceptible to oak wilt, hypoxylon canker, and hardwood borers. Pines are more likely to become infested by pine bark beetles during drought.
Some common symptoms of drought-stressed trees include wilted foliage, leaf scorch, leaf drop, and premature fall coloration. Closer inspection may reveal poorly formed buds. Proper watering is critical. “Slow, deep watering every five to seven days during drought is ideal for mature trees here in the Midwest,” Stelzer says. “When temperatures climb above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, water every four to six days.”
A good way to water is to put a sprinkler beneath the tree canopy. Place an empty, shallow can close by and run the sprinkler slowly until 2 inches of water has collected in the can. Be sure to water the entire root zone beneath the tree canopy. The best time to water is in the morning. “If turf is underneath the canopy of the tree, more water will be needed because the turf will absorb much of the water that is applied to the surface,” he says. The goal is to get the water through the turf roots and down to the tree roots. Removing the turf around the base of tree and replacing it with mulch can help eliminate competition for water between the turf and the tree.
“For young or newly planted trees, slow, deep watering every two to three days is a good gauge,” Stelzer says. “There are also a number of soaker products available to keep newly planted trees from drying out.” Soil moisture check. “When watering any tree, remember that soil type and method of water delivery have a big impact on how successful the general recommendations might be,” he says. Trees planted on a slope may need some type of soaker hose or drip emitter, as water can run off. Sandy soils need shorter watering intervals, and clay soils should have longer intervals. Clay soils are hard to wet, and water will not infiltrate but puddle if applied too quickly. “The puddling of water may make one think sufficient water has been applied, but often only the top inch may be wet.”
“The depth to which water has infiltrated the soil must be checked by hand,” Stelzer says. “It is always advisable to physically check soil moisture by hand to a 1-foot depth instead of using watering intervals or relying upon automatic timers.”
Proper tree care during drought includes watering, mulching and pest management. Applying organic mulch such as wood chips to a depth of 2 inches will help the soil retain moisture. But if the soil does not have any moisture, mulch will have little effect as there is no water to retain. Inorganic mulch like rocks or crushed granite might help the soil retain moisture but may not be as effective as organic mulch, and it can add to the heat stress as temperatures climb above 90 degrees.
“Routine pruning is not recommended during severe drought,” Stelzer says. Pruning can cause tree stress, which can make the trees even more prone to borer attack. Late-season fertilization is not recommended. Fast-release fertilizers like urea will utilize water first and make the effects of drought more severe. Slow-release fertilizers can encourage new growth when the drought breaks and make it susceptible to an early frost. Planting or transplanting trees is not recommended during drought conditions.
Missouri drought map-
by Denise Sullivan, Nutrition & Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri-Extension
Radishes are one of the cool season vegetables that I looked forward to as a child. I wasn’t always excited to eat them, but I did like to ‘help’ pick them in the garden-maybe it was the opportunity to get dirty without getting into trouble. I did enjoy eating the bright red globes from a relish tray, especially early season pickings, as they were not as ‘spicy’ as those that grew in the warmer temperatures.
Because radishes are a cool season plant, they are one of the first things to harvest, along with spring onions and greens like lettuce and spinach, providing everything you need for a delicious spring salad. Radishes mature quickly and can continue to be grown after first harvest, but be aware, warmer temperatures tend to intensify their peppery flavor. You may have already noticed that! To plan for a fall crop, mark your calendar to plant 4-6 weeks before first frost, typically in late October in the Kansas City area.
Radishes are a root vegetable in the Brassicaceae family, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens like kale. While we are most familiar with the red globe variety, radishes come in many other varieties and include a rainbow of colors including yellow, green, and purple. The entire plant, from root to leaves can be enjoyed cooked or raw.
For their small size and low calorie count, radishes are a good source of Vitamin C, as well as the minerals potassium and folate. Depending on their color, radishes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that can be beneficial in fighting several common chronic health conditions. Radishes also have unique anti-fungal properties that is shown to be beneficial against strains of Candida, a common yeast that can cause the oral condition known as thrush.
In addition to salads and veggie trays, you can add chopped radishes to sandwiches, tuna salad, tacos, or anything that you want to add a bit of crunch. They can also be pickled in either a quick or fermented process. A quick and tasty method is to combine 1 cup thinly sliced radishes with 2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers and add a simple marinade of ½ cup cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 3 tablespoons chopped dill weed. Mix well and marinate for 2-3 hours.
For a totally different take on radishes, you might try roasting them. The typical spicy flavor mellows and becomes almost sweet, and the texture is similar to a roasted potato. The simple recipe below was even a hit with my daughter, who is not a fan of radishes!
Garlic Herb Roasted Radishes
(makes 4 servings)
1 lb. fresh radishes, washed and trimmed of roots and greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley or chives
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Nutrition information: Calories: 51, Total Fat: 3.5, Saturated Fat: .5g, Sodium: 192mg, Carbohydrates: 4.4g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: .9g
Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com, analyzed by verywellfit.com