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Northern Gardening

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  • and following Saturday at 6am
News & Information

Recipes | Local Food on the North Shore

Northern Gardening covers a variety of gardening topics relevant to our northern climate. The program airs on the second Thursday of each month from 7-8 p.m. and is rebroadcast the following Saturday at 6 a.m. The program is a partnership between the Northwoods Food Project, the Cook County U of MN Extension Office, and WTIP.

The Northwood's Food Project is a non-profit organization who's purpose is to increase Cook County's long term food sustainability and self-reliance by eating and growing locally produced food.

Learn more about the partnership between WTIP, the Northwoods Food Project, and the Cook County U of MN Extension Office that makes Northern Gardening possible.

Jeanne Wright and daughter Olya, Diane Booth, and Melinda Spinler in the WTIP studio for Northern Gardening.

What's On:

Bedtime for Northern Gardening

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Northern Gardening is "put to bed" for the season in this show, although it will come out of "hibernation"' in January to talk about ordering seeds and great varieties for Cook County. In this show, guests talk about bees and chickens  and getting them ready for winter as well as things to think about for the coming growing season. We also talk about recipes for fall produce. To listen, click on the audio icon.

Here are a few recipes submitted by our guests and radio fans.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 6
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and chopped
* 4 red or golden apples, peeled, cored, and chopped, plus 1 apple, finely diced and tossed in lemon juice, for garnish (optional)
* 2 teaspoons coarse salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
* 2 1/2 cups water, plus more if needed
* 1 jalapeno chile, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
* Sour cream, for garnish (optional)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add squash, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
Add apples, salt, cumin, coriander, ginger, cayenne, black pepper, stock, and the water (just enough to cover). Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Puree in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth, and return to saucepan. Heat over low, thinning with more water if necessary. To serve, ladle into shallow bowls; garnish with diced apples, jalapeno slices, and sour cream if desired.
I like to take a toothpick and swirl a pattern with the sour cream ontop of the soup. A little flare is always welcome!

Here are a few recipes for kale lovers.

Baked Kale Chips

Kale chips can be crumbled over popcorn for a tasty, nutritious snack.


  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

Kale Crisps

This recipe includes cheese.  Both of these recipes are from


  • 2 bunches kale, washed and dried
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Remove the stems and ribs from the kale, and shred the kale very thinly. Spread the shredded kale onto the baking sheets, and sprinkle evenly with Cheddar cheese.
  3. Bake the kale for 10 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning, until the kale is crisp and the cheese is browned.





Butterfly Gardening and a greenhouse for Great Expectations School

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The Oct. 7 Northern Gardening show featured Karina Roth and Kaitlin Erpestad who talked about youth gardening and the new greenhouse at Great Expectations School, and Max Linehan, who talked about gardening for wildlife, which she has successfully done in her garden in Hovland.
Pictured at left  is one of the monarch butterflies which hatched in her garden this summer.
Hosts Joan Farnam and Ann Rosenquist also discussed great ways to cook winter squash with their guests.
To listen to the program, click on the audio link above.

Here are Max Linehan's notes for her presentation:

"Most gardeners look at plants as ornaments…try looking at what the plants do as part of
the environment. When we design our landscapes only for aesthetics, we put in pretty
plants and if we see an insect, we kill it. That’s an extremely artificial environment, not a
living, changing ecosystem.

"We have a serious extinction crisis on our hands. Ninety percent of all birds rear their
young on insects. That’s why we don’t see songbirds at our seed feeders during the
weeks of midsummer. They are feeding their nestlings exclusively on the protein
rich insects the babies need to develop quickly into strong fledgelings. If there are no
insects, there will be no birds. In fact, in the last fifty years we have lost half our songbird

"If nature is to survive, it will have to be in our yards and parks. In the lower forty-eight
states we have taken 41% of the land for agriculture and 54% is under cities, highways,
factories and such. That leaves us with 5% of the original wilderness habitat in scattered
pockets throughout the states. For our own good, we humans need to share.

"Consider a lawn…. It’s a pretty barren place compared to the forest or prairie it used to
be, supporting about three species of wildlife compared to a native oak which supports
over 500 species of butterflies and moths alone, plus many other insects and other
animals. Willows are right behind the oak by supporting over 450 species of butterflies
and moths. Other excellent native trees are cherry and plum, birch, poplars, maples and
box elders, pines, hickory, hawthorn, alder, spruce and ash.

"When we plant exotic species of trees, shrubs and flowers from other continents they do
not participate in the local food chain or web. Our wildlife does not recognize them as a
food source, and usually has not even evolved a digestive system to utilize them. These
exotic species may as well be plastic. There is always the risk that the alien plants can
escape our gardens and become part of the 3400 invasives we already have. Also, exotic
imported plants sometimes carry with them invasive insects or diseases that become a
problem spreading out of control.

"Any time we can plant native trees, shrubs and flowers to diversify our landscapes we are
bringing nature back. Planting native trees has the biggest long-range effect. The Soil and
Water Conservation Dept. helps by making economical bundles of tree and shrub root stock
available for sale every spring. Last spring I planted twenty-some hazelnuts on our
five acres and was delighted to see their bright red fall color. But, like pines and cedars,
they have to be protected from the deer until they are tall enough. Native plant nurseries
like Boreal Natives in Cloquet, and Prairie Moon Nursery in Winona can provide trees
and shrubs in smaller numbers. Both nurseries also supply a wide variety of wildflower
species as seeds, root stock or started plants.

"Butterfly and hummingbird gardens are a great way to bring nature into your yard. Cook
County extension agent Diane Booth has a wealth of information on choosing plants and
a site, and setting up such a garden. Prairie Moon Nursery’s catalog and website has lots
of information on flower species and their preferences. More species-specific information
is available at the Monarch Watch website.

"Providing for butterflies, moths, bees and other pollinators is a first step toward tolerating
other interesting insects in one’s yard.

"Butterflies need to land on flowers to sip nectar, so “platform-like” flowers such as
daisies, zinnias and coneflowers are best for them. You will find hummingbirds will
use your butterfly nectar flowers as well as the tubular flowers you plant for their use.

"Be sure to include in your butterfly garden food plants for the caterpillars as well as
nectar plants. Some plants, such as swamp milkweed will provide both nectar and
caterpillar food. Parsley, dill and other plants in the carrot family will be visited by
swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. Last spring they ate all my dill and parsley, but by
late summer the parsley grew back for me to use. One thing I learned about butterfly
gardening is to place plants closer together, maybe one per square foot. That way the
caterpillars have more protection from predator birds, and can easily travel from their
food plant to a different plant where they can attach their chrysalis. You will also notice
spiders preying upon the smallest caterpillars. I found myself moving more than one
daddy long legs to a different place in my garden, but that’s just my reluctance to fully
accept nature’s food web!"

For more information, here are links to more resources:
"Bringing Nature Home" by Douglas Tallamy, entomologist
Click here to see info on the book.
and catalogs from
Prairie Moon Nursery in Winona,  and
Boreal Natives in Cloquet
Here's a link to Chuck Waibel and Carol Ford's Web site about growing in their low-tech greenhouse.



Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Garden & Fall Gardening Tips

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 Pictured at left is the Three Sisters Garden (Corn, Beans & Squash) at the Grand Portage Monument.

Northern Gardening, hosted by Diane Booth and Joan Farnam, featured an interview with Margaret Plummer, interpreter and gardener for the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Garden on Sept. 16. The program also featured discussions on fall gardening with Ann Rosenquist, CSA grower and University of Minnesota Master Gardener.

Following are notes and bits of information prepared by Diane Booth for the show. To hear the broadcast, click on the link.

The next program will feature Max Linehan, who will talk about butterfly gardening, and we’ll have an update on the Grand Marais Community gardens. We’ll also continue with tips on final steps in getting your garden ready for winter. That show will air Thursday, Oct. 7 at 4 p.m. The last show of the season is Thursday, Oct. 21.

Do you have questions, suggestions? E-mail us at


Here are the notes from the program that ran Sept. 16.


What are heirloom seeds?

A plant or seed variety that has been preserved by local growers or gardeners in a specific area where the seed has been selected over numerous years and saved. It can also be defined as a  variety that was in existence before 1951 when vegetable hybridization become more prevalent.


Questions to Margaret Plummer:

 Can you please share with us what you do at the Grand Portage National Monument.

• Tell us about the varieties you grow

• Where you purchase your seeds from

• What varieties you save seed from

• Growing methods you use in the heritage garden.

• Three Sisters garden: corn, squash, beans (note: The Three Sisters Garden is an Iroquois term for life support)D

Do you grow herbs?  Tobacco?


About Corn:


Dent corn – Zea mays indenata ‘field corn’ for livestock or making processed food. Contains both hard and soft starch. (white or yellow). Dried and ground to use for cornstarch.

Flint corn – Zea mays indurata ‘Indian corn’ used for similar purposes as dent corn but has a harder outer shell and kernals with range of colors. Harvest when kernels are dry and husks are no longer green.

Sweet corn – Zea saccharata or Zea rugosa primarily eaten on the cob or frozen, canned for later use. Extra sweet.

Flour corn – Zea mays amylacea used in baked goods with soft, starch-filled kernel that is easy to grind. Flour corn is primarily white but can be blue. Dried and ground into meal.

Popcorn – Zea mays everta a type of flint corn with a soft starchy center surrounded by a hard exterior shell. All types of corn will pop to some extent but not as much as popcorn.


 Different types of squash


The genetic history of the pumpkin is so intertwined with the squash and the gourd that it's sometimes difficult to tell them apart. Generally speaking a pumpkin is something you carve, a squash is something you cook, and a gourd is something

you look at. Though it's really not that simple, it's also not that difficult. The answer is in the stem.


Pumpkins and squashes and gourds all belong to the same genetic family - Cucurbita. Within that family are several species or subgroups - Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima and Cucurbita moschata.


The Cucurbita pepo species is usually recognized as the true pumpkin. Varieties within this group have bright orange skin and hard, woody, distinctly furrowed stems.

But the group also includes gourds, vegetable marrow, Patty pan summer squash, scallop summer squash, gray and black zucchini and summer crookneck squash.


The Cucurbita maxima species also contains varieties that produce pumpkin-like fruit but the skin is usually more yellow than orange and the stems are soft and spongy or corky, without ridges and without an enlargement next to the fruit. They don't really make good handles for jack-o'-lanterns. Varieties such as Atlantic Giant, Big Max and Show King are often listed as pumpkins but are more properly called pumpkin-squash or squash- type pumpkins. Other members of the maxima group are Hubbard squashes, banana squashes, buttercup squashes and turban

squashes - in short, most autumn and winter squash.


Finally, there's the Cucurbita moschata species. Varieties in this group are usually long and oblong instead of round and have tan rather than orange skin. The stems are deeply ridged and enlarged next to the fruit. Ironically, a member of this group is used for much of the canned pumpkin sold in this country. Other non-pumpkin members include the squash-like cushaw and winter crookneck squash.


Squash blossoms -- use extra blossoms in fall when you want to slow down production of quash (summer or winter).


Fall Gardening


There’s a long list of things we all probably do in our fall gardens, but planting and growing garlic is a great project. 


Types of garlic

Hardneck vs. softneck – Hardneck varieties produce a flower stalk or scape that usually form bulbils. Hardneck varieties do not store as well as softneck. Softneck varieties do not produce a seed stalk. Longer shelf-life and easy to braid.


Softneck Varieties:

Artichoke types may bolt in cold winters, white to purplish – Inchellium Red, California Early, Susanville

Silverskin types are a true softneck type even under Minnesota conditions. Best in warm climates and mild climates. Silver White, Nookota Rose, Mild French,


Hardneck Varieties:

Racambole types usually have purple or purple streaks that are 3-4’ tall with uncurled scape –German Red, German Brown, Spanish Roja, Russian Red Purple stripe – 3- 5’ tall, uncurled scape, purple bulbils – Chesnok Red, Persian Star

Porcelain – large 4- 6’ tall plants, random coils of scape that straightens out.

Bulbils numerous, bulbs white – Music, Georgian Crystal, Polish Hardneck, Zem White, etc.

Asiatic types is a shorter 3’ tall plant thought originally to be a softneck type but current thought is it is a hardneck. Asian Tempest, Japanese, Sakura.


Growing garlic

Garlic needs well-drained soils with high organic matter

pH greater than 5.8

Loose bed for bulb growth

Cloves are used for propagation since true seeds are not produced by the garlic plant

Dig plants up when more than half of the leaves turn brown, tie in bundles 10 -1 5 and hang to

dry about 3 – 4 weeks

Store cloves at 32 – 40 degrees with 60 – 70% humidity

Plant in the fall usually within one – two weeks after the first killing frost (32 deg.)

(Usually the third or 4th week of September here)

Separate individual cloves from the bulb 1- 2 days before planting or longer so they may dry out.

Base of clove should be planted 2- 3” below soil surface.

Mulch well after the ground begins to freeze.


Garlic Sources:

Dakota Garlic, Edgerton, MN 56128, tel. 507-442-3587

Living Song, Howard Lake, MN tel, 320-543-3394

Swede Lake Farms and Global Garlic, Watertown, MN, tel 612-750-2553

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Winslow, Maine

.Z Natures Crops – certified organic garlic

Apple Valley, MN, tel. 952-688-0783


Planting Bulbs this fall

Daffodils - deer resistant, tendency to be more perennial here

• Look for weight – sometimes they are single or double-nosed

You want the largest sized bulbs you can get

• Desiccation and mold become issues on store shelves

• There are 13 different divisions of daffodils:

Trumpets – Dutch Master, King Alfred, Mount Hood

Long-cupped – Ambergate, Fragrant Rose, Mrs. R.O. Backhouse, Stainless


Double – Cheerfulness, Erlicheer( forcing)

Triandrus – ‘whimsical’, smaller usually – Thalia (Orchid narcissus), Petrel

Cylamineus – Jenny, Peeping Tom

Jonquilla – most fragrant, smaller – Pipit, Sweetness (will force)

Tazetta Paperwhites – forcing – Grand Soleil d’Or (yellow & orange great fragrance), Ziva

(not cold hardy)

Poeticus – Actea

Bulbocodium – Golden Bells ‘hoop petticoat form’

Split-corona – palmares (lt. salmon & white)

Miscellaneous – Tete-a-Tete (6” tall, fragrant, early, will force, naturalize)

Planting daffodils

Plant 6 – 8” deep or 3 times the height of the bulb

Plant by the end of September if possible to develop a good root system before winter

 Must have full sun, good drainage and not too much nitrogen

 Don’t cut their leaves after blooming until they die back

Tulips – critters love, plant in larger wire mesh like chicken wire, last one to a couple of seasons

Look for weight – they are sized according to cms in circumference

They can be planted up until the ground freezes



There are many different types:

Kaufmanniana tulips – Z 2 short 6 – 10”

Single early tulips – 10 – 18” stems – Apricot Beauty, General de Wet (orange/yellow)

Double early tulips – 8- 12” stems – Mr. Van der Hoeaf (yellow), Schoonoord (white)4.

Fosteriana tulips – ‘Emperor’ tulips –

Gregii tulips – eye catching foliage with stripes, shorter – Red Riding Hood

Darwin Hybrid tulips – one of best varieties for perennializing – Big Chief (salmon rose 24”),

Hollands Glorie (carmine red), Silverstream (creamy yellow with rose and red + pink and white

margined foliage.)

Triumph tulips – some of best for forcing – 10 – 22” Shirley (white blooms edged with purple)

Viridiflora tulips – green markings on petals, great for long lasting displays and cut flowers –

Fringed tulips – ‘tulips to touch’ 18 – 24”

Lily flowered tulips - Queen of Sheba (Mahogany red blooms dipped in gold), White


Double Late tulips – ‘peony-flowered tulips’- Angelique (pale pink & darker pink)

Parrot tulips – ‘whipped petals’ –

Single late tulips –most popular for consistent – Cashmir(bright red), Dreamland (White with

deep rose and light pink) Mrs. J.T. Scheepers (pure yellow) Queen of the Night ( ‘black tulip’)

Multi-flowered tulips - 4- 6 tulips per stem – they bloom from early through midseason

Orange bouquet,


Tulip Species 


Liliums: Asiatics, Orientals, Aurelian Trumpets, Orienpets (Orientals x trumpets)

Camassia, Crocus (Jeanne d’Arc), Eremurus ‘Fox tail Lily or Desert Candle’, Galanthus ‘Snowdrop’

Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) Muscari ‘Grape hyacinth’ Pushkinia ‘Striped Squill’


Bulb Catalogs:

 Brent and Becky Bulbs, Easy to Grow Bulbs -

McClure & Zimmerman ( John Scheepers, Inc. (


Things to do in your fall garden besides saving seeds, planting garlic or bulbs

• Plant a winter cover crop so you won’t have bare soil in the garden over the winter.

• Start some lettuce, spinach, kale, tatsoi or other hardier greens in your cold frame or hoops covered with

reemay / plastic to extend your growing season.

• Repot your houseplants or annuals that have been outdoors and remember to start bringing them in according to those that are most sensitive to the cold.

• Once frost has killed the foliage on perennials, remove all blackened and diseased foliage / stems.

• Cut back and remove the 2-year-old canes (fruiticanes) on your raspberries

• Protect young fruit trees or thin-skinned trees like maple by placing cylinders of fine hardware cloth around them. This prevents sunscald and deer or mice from nibbling on them.

• Protect any vulnerable ‘deer food’ with fencing for the winter like arborvitae, hostas, yews, azaleas – browse the deer loves in the winter.

• If you have raised beds, mulch perennials, asparagus, etc. with straw or leaves covered with balsam boughs just before the snow flies.

• Water, water, water everything into the fall so your overwintering tree, shrubs and perennials go into the winter with enough moisture.


Keep pace with the weather by lifting or harvesting tender bulbs and corms that are desired for next season. These would include but not be limited to glads, dahlias and tuberous begonias. Many can be enjoyed right up until a good frost blackens their tops. Be sure to dig the bulbs carefully, retrieve any offsets that may have developed, and leave the foliage intact.


Place the bulbs in an airy, sheltered spot to dry for a two to three week period. Except for begonias, foliage and stems can be cut off with a sharp knife near but not at the point where they emerge

from the bulb. Allow begonia stems to dry until they are brittle enough to break off from the bulbs.

The bulbs will overwinter well in a dark, cool place (45 to 50 degrees F.) when stored in vermiculite, peat moss, or similar material. It is also recommended to dust with a fungicide (Bordeaux mixture) and insecticide (Sevin dust) to curb disease and insect development in storage.


Two plants which will require special care after their summer outdoors are the poinsettias and Christmas cactus. Both have similar requirements in that they need a 14-hour period of continuous darkness each day from October 1 until mid-December to set flower buds. Two methods to accomplish this are to

either set the plants in a closet or place a cardboard box over them from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m. for the period listed above. At all other times, the plants should receive normal light exposure.



Seed Saving and Planting for Fall

NorGard_THURS_090210.mp3108.75 MB

Nick Wharton, who runs a CSA in Cook County and Jerry Goettl, the founder and owner of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, a rapidly growing heirloom seed company based in Missouri, talk about seed saving with Diane Booth, Melinda Spinler and Joan Farnam. Heirloom seeds are becoming more and more popular across the nation, as is saving seeds from heirloom plants. 



All about Root Cellars

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Guests on Northern Gardening discuss root cellars -- how they're built, what can be stored in them and more.
John Fishesr-Merritt from the Food Farm in Wrenshall and John Quist ist from the Oliver Kelly Historic Farm near Elk River talk about their root cellars. The one at the Oliver Kelly Farm is the oldest in the state, built in 1850. The Food Farm ships its carrots up to the Cook County Whole Foods Co-op in the winter.



Recent recipes: basil pesto, garden veggie pesto pasta and chipotle brownies

Here are three recipes recently submitted by Northern Gardening fans.
Do you have a favorite using vegetables from your garden? Send to and we'll post it here.
P.S. The Chipotle Brownie recipe doesn't really qualify unless you're growing anaheim chilis and smoking them yourself, but I thought people might be interested to try it. They've gotten rave reviews.

Fresh Basil Pesto

Submitted by Ann Rosenquist, Grand Marais

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano or Romano cheese (leave out cheese if freezing)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts, walnuts or roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
3 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

A food processor makes this a lot easier.

Combine the basil with the nuts and pulse a few times in a food processer. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Makes 1 cup.
Serve with pasta or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

Garden Veggie Pesto Pasta
Submitted by Becky Stoner, Grand Marais 


1 pound of your favorite pasta ( I use rotini so it holds more pesto)
olive oil
parmesan cheese
pine nuts
2 cups of your favorite garden vegetables, cut up small ( I like carrots, broccoli and cauliflower for color and texture)
1/2 to 1 c pesto to taste

Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the full time listed on the package.
Keep it in the pan and add the vegetables to the pasta and boiling water for that last 2 minutes and turn up the heat.
Drain pasta and vegetables. Do not rinse.
Return them to the pan and add pesto and some some olive oil to dilute the pesto a little. Stir to blend.
Add pine nuts and parmesan cheese in it or on top, to taste.
Vary the amounts based on what you like. Eat hot or cold.
For leftovers ( if there are any!) store well in fridge and reheat with a little water added.


Cami's Chipolte Brownies

Submitted by Laurie Horn, Ely


These are best made a day ahead to let flavors meld, then serve with a good vanilla ice cream.


2 c. sugar

1 1/4 c flour

3/4 c. cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3-4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)  (I use 2-3)

1/8 teaspoon chipolte powder (optional) (I've used more but be careful)

3/4 c. veg. oil

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 c. choc. chips (optional)


Mix dry ingredients together.

Mix wet ingredients together.


Add choc. chips if using.


Greased round pan or 8 X 8 square.  350 degrees preheated.




Grand Portage Community Garden & Recipes for the Food We Are Growing

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Richard Olson, a gardener in the Grand Portage Community Garden, above, and CSA gardener Ann Rosenquist join hosts Diane Booth and Joan Farnam to talk about the community garden in Grand Portage and recipes for our abundant garden produce this year.

Click on the audio file tab to hear the program, which was first aired Aug. 5.

Click here to see a video made about the Grand Portage Community Garden in mid-July.

The Recipes
OK, let's face it... zucchini can get pretty overwhelming by this time in August.
To help you out, here are a few recipes from listeners and fans with new ways to use up those (sometimes) too large, summer squashes;
There are also a few recipes for all those other wonderful things growing in your garden this summer.

Baked Zucchini Slices

Jana  Berka, Grand Marais

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).

In one small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl. Dip zucchini slices into the egg whites, then coat the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn over and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until browned and crispy.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake by Amy Sharpe

Joyce C. Yamamoto, Little Marais

3 large eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. butter

6 Tbsp. cocoa powder

2 cups zucchini, grated

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2/3 cup chocolate chips

2 tsp. flour

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

—Combine first 4 ingredients and blend well. Melt butter and add cocoa, cool.

Grate zucchini (I didn’t peel it). Add zucchini and cocoa to first mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. Add dry  ingredients to batter and stir ‘til blended. Coat chips with 2 tsp. flour and add to  batter with nuts.

Spoon batter into 2 generously greased and floured 9x5x3 loaf pans or one  bundt pan. Bake 60-70 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the  middle comes out clean. Cool in pans 10-15 minutes, remove from pans and  cool on wire rack. (If using small 1-lb. loaf pans, bake 45-55 min.

Grilled Zucchini

Richard Gruchalla, Duluth

Cut them length-wise into fours, rub them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any herbs that you like, and grill them until they have slightly soft middles and brown 'grill marks' Turn them once or twice to make sure they get done on all sides.

Ravioli With Sautéed Zucchini  Serves 4

Jan Attridge. Grand Marais 

1 pound cheese ravioli (fresh or frozen)

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 small zucchini, sliced into thin half-moons

kosher salt and pepper

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions. Drain them and return to the pot.

 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

 Add the zucchini mixture and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan to the ravioli and toss gently to combine. Serve with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

Apple Zucchini Cake

Ann Rosenquist, Grand Marais

4 lg. eggs

1 c. vegetable oil

2 c. sugar

2 c. peeled and grated zucchini, drained

3 c. unsifted flour

1 tsp soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla

1 c chopped nuts

2 1/3 c peeled and chopped apples

Grease and flour tube pan. Beat eggs, add oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla. Mix well. Sift  together flour, soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add to creamed mixture. add apples and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes.


Zucchini Bread 

Ann Rinkenberger, Scandia


3 eggs 

2 cups sugar 

2 cups grated zucchini (leave green on) 

1 cup oil 

2 teaspoon vanilla 

Beat eggs and add the rest. Add: 

3 cups flour 

3 tsp. cinnamon 

1 tsp. soda 

1 tsp. baking powder 

1/2 cup nuts (optional) 

Grease 2 loaf pans. Pour in batter. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour

Here’s a great smoothie for kids to make. They love it,, and it has spinach in it!

Mud Slime Smoothie -- a Kid's Favorite

Diane Booth, Cook County Extension,  and the Treasure Gardeners Youth Gardening group

2 c frozen spinach

2 c frozen strawberries. (this also works with fresh fruit, like blueberries.)

1 banana

2 TBSP honey

1/2 c .ice and 1/2 c. water

Pick fresh spinach, freeze on cookie sheets for recipe, or use frozen spinach.

Put 1/2 c. water in bottom of blender. Add the banana. Blend.

Add honey, frozen bruit and small bits of the spinach a little at a time with the ice until all ingrediants have been added.

Here some other great recipes submitted by fans:

Cilantro pesto butter

Staci Drouillard, Grand Marais

I just whir up the cilantro in a food processor with some green onions, garlic, S&P, fresh jalepenos to your liking and lime juice. When it's a paste I drizzle in some olive oil. Then I mix it up with a pound of soft butter and make small portions of it for the freezer. It's DELICIOUS on grilled fish, on vegetables, pasta, steak, you name it!!!

Tomatoes and Tarragon

Ann Possis, Lutsen

Fresh tomatoes and lots of fresh tarragon, dressed with the best mayo you can find, and a teeny bit of Lawry's seasoned salt.

Easy Sauerkraut

Mary Igoe, Grand Marais

Ingredients: Cabbage (the amount depends on how much you want to make)

Canning salt


Shred cabbage and pack tightly into quart jars up to 1/2 inch from the top. This is easiest with a wide mouth jar.

Add 1 teaspoon each of canning salt and sugar to each quart.

Pour in boiling water to cover the cabbage.  Gently insert a knife in the jar to remove any trapped air.

Put on canning lids and screw on LOOSELY.  Put the jars in a sink or pan, as they may bubble over. Let ferment for 24 hours.

 Remove the caps, spoon off any scum that may have formed and add boiling water as necessary to cover the cabbage.  Seal as TIGHTLY as you can with your hand.

 Let ferment for 3 days.  This does not smell like fresh roses, so you may want to put it in the basement or some less traveled part of the house.

After three days process for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Store a minimum of three weeks before eating.

Cabbage Salad with Peanuts

Mary Igoe, Grand Marais

In a large bowl, mash together:  1/4 cup natural, unsalted peanut butter  and 1/2 cup hot water

Add:  1/2 cup plus 1 TBSP rice or cider vinegar (rice is best)

        3 TBSP brown sugar

       1 1/2 tsp salt

       1 TBSP soy or tamari sauce

       1 tsp sesame oil

Add:  7 to 8 packed cups of shredded green cabbage.  Mix well

Sprinkle in and mix: crushed red pepper, to taste

Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, stirring it every once in a while.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup peanuts right before serving (I serve the peanuts in a separate bowl and everyone sprinkles on their own to avoid soggy peanuts in the leftovers.)

This is rather soupy, so serve with a slotted spoon.

Fresh Basil Pesto
Submitted by Ann Rosenquist

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano or Romano cheese (leave out cheese if freezing)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts, walnuts or roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
3 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

A food processor makes this a lot easier.

Combine the basil with the nuts and pulse a few times in a food processer. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Makes 1 cup.
Serve with pasta or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

Garden Veggie Pesto Pasta
Becky Stoner, Grand Marais 


1 pound of your favorite pasta ( I use rotini so it holds more pesto)
olive oil
parmesan cheese
pine nuts
2 cups of your favorite garden vegetables, cut up small ( I like carrots, broccoli and cauliflower for color and texture)
1/2 to 1 c pesto to taste

Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the full time listed on the package.
Keep it in the pan and add the vegetables to the pasta and boiling water for that last 2 minutes and turn up the heat.
Drain pasta and vegetables. Do not rinse.
Return them to the pan and add pesto and some some olive oil to dilute the pesto a little. Stir to blend.
Add pine nuts and parmesan cheese in it or on top, to taste.
Vary the amounts based on what you like. Eat hot or cold.
For leftovers ( if there are any!) store well in fridge and reheat with a little water added.



Del Rosenquist picks raspberries in his Grand Marais garden/photo Joan Farnam

Men in the Garden

july15.mp390.13 MB

Jan Horak and Del Rosenquist talked about men and gardening on the July 15 Northern Gardening Show. Listen here. 



All about those pesky garden weeds

WTIP’s Northern Gardening

Weeds in the Garden and Invasive Weeds in Cook County

This program aired from 4-5 p.m. Thursday, July 1.
The guests were Molly Thompson, Sugarloaf Interpretive Center executive director and Ann Rosenquist, CSA grower and U of M Master Gardener

The program was hosted by Diane Booth, Cook County Extension, and Joan Farnam, Northwoods Food Project

Photo: Canada Thistle

Molly Thompson, executive director of Sugarloaf, discussed invasive/noxious weeds on the program. Sugarloaf Cove will hold a workshop on identifying noxious weeds/invasive plants on Saturday, July 17 at 10 a.m.  Participants will learn how to identify non-native invasive plants, how they threaten our North Shore forests, and what you can do to control them on your property. All participants will receive a full color guide to invasive plants. Free.

Also, if you want some hands-on experience to help you identify invasives and learn how to control them, Sugarloaf is holding “Attacking Invasive Work Days” every Thursday at 10 a.m. in July and August. The public is invited. 

For more on Sugarloaf Cove, visit 

Here is a site that has photos and discussion of the primary noxious weeds in Minnesota.

And here’s an interesting boadleaf and grass weed seedling identification key from the U of M Extension office:


Here are excerpts from the program notes about weeds in your garden. 


What is a weed?

A plant that is in the wrong place. 

For example: Some orchids in Hawaii are considered weeds, so are nhasturtiums in California.

What about the dandelion? When it comes to nutritional value, Taraxacum officinale is no slouch. The plant is rich in vitamins C, A and D, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. And, it gets good marks as a source of fiber and vegetable protein. It was brought here to provide greens. 

Why have we come to look upon the dandelion with a jaundiced eye? Quite likely, it was the idea of a perfect lawn that prompted us to take up arms against this esteemed plant. Now,

the dandelion’s commercial value stems mostly from the arsenal of weapons we purchase to use against it.


Or, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” 


What is the difference between a common ordinary weed and a weed that is considered to be invasive?

The important biological difference between invasive plants and garden weeds is the ability of invasive plants to disperse, establish, and spread without human assistance or

disturbance. Because of this, they are much more problematic in natural environments than are typical weeds.

Here are some suggestions about what to do about weeds.

1 . Healthy, vigorous plants are the best defense against weeds. Make sure your plants are not under stress such as lack of water, drought, temperature or poor drainage.

2 . Plant species or varieties that are best suited for the environment you are planting them in.

3 . Make sure your soil is nutritious – low fertility may encourage more weeds.

4 . Don’t overuse fertilizers or herbicides.

5 . Mowing, tilling or weeding practices are very important to reduce weeds (2” deep). However, every time you till or dig you are bringing up more of those dormant seeds and may be allowing them to germinate.

6 . Actively use as much of your garden space as possible so there are fewer places for weed seeds.

7 . Actively monitor your landscape or garden so you can catch weed issues early on.

Important things to know about weeds to help control them:

• Use herbicides only as a last resort, and then  sparingly.

• Follow IPM (Integrated Pest Management): Balancing a weed-free garden with a healthy environment.

• Know what species your weeds are so you know if they are a spring annual, a fall annual, a biennial or a perennial weed. Your management techniques will vary based upon the knowledge you have about the plant and its life cycle.


Spring / Summer Annuals: Germinate in the spring and mature during the summer like crabgrass, foxtail grass, knotweed. They only live one year. Allowing 2-4 inches of mulch to remain on the soil in the spring will prevent these spring annuals from germinating without sunlight.

Planting early spring ground covers like wild ginger, violets, or lamiastrum can compete with the weed

seeds and reduce the vigor of the weeds. 

**Some ground covers can become invasive, so you need to know which ones to avoid, like goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria). Call the Extension office at 387-3015 for more information.


Fall/Winter Annuals: Germinate in the fall, usually overwinter and then bloom and form seeds in the spring. Only live one year.

1 . Examples are chickweed (Stellaria media) field penny

cress (Thlaspi arvense), Shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-

pastoris). Eradication of these in the fall when younger

and weaker is better than waiting until the following spring.

A cover crop like winter rye (Secale cereal) can help

reduce the fall or winter annuals germinating by providing


2 . Early cultivation in the spring can also help to eradicate

these fall / winter annuals. Plant early growing vegetables

in these spaces like spinach or broccoli (cool-season crops).

That will shade out and maybe prevent germination of

these fall / winter annuals.


Biennial Weeds: Take two years for their life cycle and they

die. Usually green foliage the first year and flowers and seeds

the second year. These are often grouped with perennial weeds

because usually the control measures you take against them are the same as perennial weeds. Bull thistle, spotted knapweed, mullein, garlic mustard are all examples.


Perennial Weeds: Usually have thick, fleshy roots that can store

lots of food so they can come back again and again and again…it

takes time and effort to get rid of these. Often will reproduce

both by seed and by stolons, rhizomes and small pieces of roots

left behind. Some may have an allelopathic effect on plants

surrounding them. Examples are Canada thistle, orange hawkweed

and quackgrass.

Cut down the weeds in the area you want to plant. Cover with an old carpet or something thick and heavy, weigh it down with rocks. Periodically over the year, remove the carpet, remove any of the weeds that have come up, and then replace with the carpet. Over a year of maybe two – all of the energy reserves in the root

have been depleted.


Lasagna gardening is another way folks start a new garden in an area where grass/weeds are already growing. 

To build one,  pile organic matter like leaves over a proposed garden area, cover with heavy black plastic or landscape fabric and weigh it down. Leave for at least one to two years. Lift up the plastic and you will find a nice garden bed area.

To create a lasagna garden in an existing garden, put down newspaper and then about 4 inches of mulch. 


Other ways to control weeds:

•  Use rhubarb leaves as mulch over the areas you want to cover.

•  Remove weeds, grass the area over and keep it mowed repeatedly. The grass may choke out the weeds. Then you can go back and remove the sod to plant the area.

•  Root attack – Take a broad fork and dig up all the roots you can, sift the soil to remove as many pieces of the roots as possible. Then be very vigilant to remove any other pieces that show up.

•  Leaf attack – Keep removing all the leaves and over time it will hopefully drain the resources of the plant. This does not work well if it is attached via rhizomes or stolons to other plants nearby and you are not removing those leaves.

Individual root attack – one root at a time – dandelion, sow thistle, etc.  You can make weeding easier and remove more of the roots if you weed right after a rain when the soil has been loosened up (don’t compact the already wet soil).

Flame throwing or burning is most effective on annual weeds but not perennial or biennial weeds.

• Dig it up and start over. If 30% or more of your perennial garden is infested with weeds you may want to pot up your perennials so you can attack the weeds and eradicate as many as possible. Dig out as many as possible, remove as many by hand as you can, maybe even sift the soil for root fragments and then replant and mulch.

Perhaps the most important tip is --- keep on top of the weeds in your garden. Getting them out when they're just sprouting is a lot easier and more effective. And, if at all possible, get them out before they bloom.

For questions or comments, call WTIP at 387-1070 or e-mail For questions about weeds and controls, call Diane Booth at the Cook County Extension office at 387-3015.
And thanks for listening!






Learn about berries and Fruits

 Growing fruits and berries was discussed on Northern Gardening March 18. It will be rebroadcast at 6 a.m. Saturday, March 20.
Here are two recipes for preserving apples  submitted by Kristine Bottorff, a member of the Northwooods Food Project who was on the program this week. She is pictured making cider with her husband (right) and Ben and Korey Steckelberg last fall.
Here are Kristine's recipes:

From "The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest" by Carol Costenbader:

Ginger Jam

2 lemons
8 medium-sized tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced, about 7 cups
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 cups sugar
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1. Peel the lemons, reserving the zest.  Cut the peeled lemons in half and squeeze the juice. Reserve the juice.
2. In an 8-quart saucepan, cook the apples, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ground ginger until the apples are soft.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
3. Boil the mixture rapidly for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until a candy thermometer reaches 220 degrees F.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the crystallized ginger.  Skim off any foam and let stand for 10 minutes.
5. Pour it into clean jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.  Cap and seal.
6. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.


Enough apples to nearly fill your biggest stock pot
Lemon juice
sweetener, your choice

1. Scrub apples with a brush.  Cut out bad spots and cut into pieces into the stock pot. The smaller the pieces, the shorter the cooking time.  Removing stems and knocking at least some of the seeds out makes the later processing easier.
2. Add enough water to keep the bottom from scorching while it cooks (typically 1/2 C - 1 C).  Cook, stirring often, until apples are evenly soft.
3. Remove from heat. It may be easier to let the apples cool some before the next step. Get remaining ingredients and canning equipment ready.
4. Process apples through a food mill to remove peelings, seeds and core material.  This is a good "kid helper" job.  Return to the stock pot on medium heat.
5. Add lemon juice, cinnamon and sweetener to taste.  I usually use 2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 C lemon juice. Sweetener really depends on the kind and ripeness of the apples.  Stir often while it heats, carefully; boiling applesauce can cause burns. A flat-bladed wooden paddle is a good tool for this. It doesn't need to cook, but it does need to be hot enough not to expand more after it's in the jar.
6. Ladle into clean, hot quart or pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cap and seal. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes (both sizes).