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La PORTE — Terra Verde Garden Club’s Green Thumb awards for the 2019 season have been selected. The purpose of this award is to recognize gardeners who show appreciation for nature, beauty and creativity and to encourage the beautification of La Porte and nearby areas.

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Can you smell it in the air? It is time for the La Porte County Fair. This is by far one of my favorite times of the year. From the smells of the elephant ears to the taste of those amazing Walleye fish sandwiches, I am overjoyed to spend my week there.

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Butterflies are amazing creatures. I mean anything that will migrate annually at somewhere around 2,000 miles is pretty remarkable to me. Monarchs tend to fly from Mexico to the Great Lakes, and back to Mexico every year. Granted there are a couple of generations of Monarchs that make that p…

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If your yard is anything like mine, I could almost guarantee that you have been finding a bunch of earthworms this year in your garden.

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Despite the rainy weather that seems to never want to go away, it is still officially strawberry season in our area. My youngest daughter Mia and I ventured out to Rosie’s Berries last night that is located just north of Otis, at 1066N CR-1150W, in Michigan City. There you will find huge fie…

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Back when I did farmers markets all over the region, I would always have a sign out on one of my tables with the simple quote of “Know your farmer, know your food.”

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We are almost to summer, and with that we need to start getting our bug repellents ready to go – especially since we have had all this rain which only amplifies the already large mosquito population.

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It’s hard to get out in the garden and get anything done with all this water that seems to be pooling up everywhere. But then I realized that it is still early, and it won’t hurt for me to wait another week for things to dry up a bit outside.

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One of my favorite scents of spring is the scent of the lilacs blooming. Nothing seems to emit the feeling of spring quite like when the lilacs are in full bloom. These days you see them planted nearly in every yard. But in the past many older homes would have a section of lilacs planted whe…

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It is almost potato season. I love potatoes, not so much the work of planting them but the fun of eating them come harvest time.

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It was nearly a dozen years ago that I was asked to come down to The La Porte County Herald-Argus to speak about an upcoming Earth Day/Green Living feature that they had planned and were interested in writing about my farm H&H Flowers/Sunkissed Organics.

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Yesterday when I was rushing out of the door with my hands full, trying to get everyone to where they needed to before the morning, I noticed a tiny bit of yellow poking up from my flowerbed. I realized that it must be the tips of my daffodils beginning to emerge. When we moved in, we alread…

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With the weather looking up in the next week or two and everyone itching to get outside after a long winter, it is a most excellent time to take a stroll around your yard looking for the egg cases from Praying Mantis.

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Every time I muck out a stall in my barn, I direct my wheelbarrow to one of my garden plots to dump it. From there, all the straw and manure will sit for a few months and age on those plots while it slowly breaks down.

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Last weekend I hauled 40 bales of hay into the barn. Matt went and picked up straw and I am about to go and load the entire back of my SUV with feed for all the animals.

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I usually schedule the last week of February and the entire month of March to do what I consider “Fruit tree maintenance.”

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As I look out the window while writing this the snow is continuing to fall. While it may be cold and blustery outside it still is never too early to plan which new plants that you would like to add to you landscape this year.

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Occasionally I get to a point where the cold has lasted too long and then must quietly remind myself that it is only the beginning of January.

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It’s hard to believe that we only have today left of 2018. One day to try to finish up tasks that we wanted to have accomplished by now so that we can set our sights on 2019 and start the new year with an abundance of excitement, hopes and possibilities.

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With it being winter, and Christmas time as well, I always expect there to be piles and piles of snow by now. However, just enough of a dusting would be OK at this point just to make it feel a little more Christmas like to me.

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For years the tradition has always been that if you happen to walk under the mistletoe that you in turn will be kissed, but how did this tradition truly come to be?

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I have never been fond of poison ivy. I try to constantly find ways to minimize it when I find it in my yard. I have poured boiling water on it, saturating it with a mix using Epsom salt, and multiple other ways to try to kill it.

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Now with the weather turning colder and the fact that we all tend to be spending more time indoors, the urge to spend some of that time cleaning may at some point hit you.

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Often when I am outside gardening or tending to my animals, I come across little wonders that make me realize just what a wonderful place we have here.

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Of course, I cannot make it through a complete year without driving to another state to pick up some type of livestock.

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I tend to fall in love with pretty much all my plants — even the borderline invasive ones. They all seem to have their own quirks that makes parting with them a bit too difficult.

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To say that I love butterflies is an understatement. I absolutely adore them. Whether they are flitting above me overhead or stopping to enjoy some delectable nectar from my flowers, few things are more amazing than a butterfly in nature.

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There are so many colors when you look at the many changing leaves that are falling around us. I tend to find one color I love and then another and then another — only to realize that I pretty much love all of the colors of fall.

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And just like that fall is here. It’s getting darker in the evenings, there is a little bit of a chill in the air and all we want to do is get inside at the end of the day to warm up and relax.

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After an entire summer of hoping for rain, I finally am getting the rainfall I would have benefited from over the past month — all in one week.

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Since I began working at the Solid Waste District last year, I have been more and more interested in what people throw away— even more so when I hear that a large percentage of what makes it to the landfill is made up of paper and food waste.

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Is it sad that I’m already planning my garden for next year? I have honestly been thumbing through seed catalogs from last year trying to decide what I missed out on this year. There are just so many amazing varieties out there to plant — it leaves me wanting to fill up the entire yard and p…

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To say that I love butterflies is an understatement. I absolutely adore them. Whether they are flitting above me overhead or stopping to enjoy some delectable nectar from my flowers, few things are more amazing than a butterfly in nature.