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HOM E ST E A D GARDENS

Insp覺rat覺ons F A L L / H O L I D AY 2 0 1 0

FOUR-SEASON SOLUTIONS FOR HOME AND GARDEN

BURIED TREASURES mmer Living

PLANTING BULBS NOW PROVIDES A DAZZLING DISPLAY IN THE SPRING

CREATING A YULE LOG PRESERVING SUMMER HERBS


Donate a new, unwrapped toy at Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, now through December 19.


When Don Riddle founded Homestead Gardens in 1973, he had a clear vision of what was to come. Thirty-seven years later, after much hard work, we have become one of the nation’s largest independent garden centers. As Homestead Gardens grew, we began to ask ourselves, how do we tie all of these elements of Homestead Gardens together? How do we share these ideas with our customers? From these questions the concept of Inspirations magazine was born. Published three times every year, Inspirations magazine won an APEX award in 2008 for Best New Publication and only gets better issue after issue.

Publisher Don E. Riddle, Jr. Editor Tim Hamilton Art Director Ann-Marie Sedor Contributors Rita Calvert Charles Kemberling Valerie Rose Gene Sumi Photographer Melanie McCabe Homestead Gardens 743 W. Central Avenue Davidsonville, Maryland 21035 410-798-5000 800-300-5631 522 Ritchie Highway Severna Park, Maryland 21146 410-384-7966 www.homesteadgardens.com For advertising information, contact Bethany Fraser bfraser@pohlyco.com, 617-457-3968 This issue of Inspirations is published by Homestead Gardens. Copyright© 2010 Homestead Gardens. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph, or illustration without express written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Correspondence: On matters concerning the magazine, write to Homestead Gardens, P.O. Box 189, Davidsonville, MD 21035; www.homesteadgardens.com; 410-798-5000; fax: 710798-8289. Opinions expressed within are not to be considered official expressions of Homestead Gardens or Inspirations. The publisher and Homestead Gardens assume no responsibility for errors and omissions appearing within. The publisher and Homestead Gardens reserve the right to accept or reject all editorial and advertising matter. Neither the publisher nor Homestead Gardens assumes any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, or artwork.

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Food for Thought Although they don’t come along too often, I genuinely appreciate the “ah-ha” moments in life. These are the moments when a brief experience changes the course of what you do or how you feel. I had just such a moment over the summer at the Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago this past August. This conference draws the most forward-thinking, influential garden centers and garden professionals in the country for three days of education, including some of the top experts in many fields relating to the green industry. One of the keynote speakers was Josh Viertel, president of Slow Food USA, a national organization that strives to establish a visceral connection between people and the food they eat. The contention is that, as a society, we have strayed from our agricultural roots and give little thought to the quality and safety of the food that nourishes us. Food just appears in stores, without our knowing how it got there. In short, we are placing blind trust in the suppliers of our food. Frankly, Josh’s unbridled enthusiasm was contagious and I did a lot of thinking on the plane ride home. In a previous issue of Inspirations, I had talked about growing up in a family with a culture of truck-farming, so I’ve always had a connection, or at least an interest, in the source of my family’s food. But it looks like we, as a country, need to plug back into this concept. And it is happening. In the past three years, edible gardening and landscaping has become the hottest trend in the world of gardening. We are finding most of our customers are realizing homegrown food tastes infinitely better than the tired, aging produce that you find in most grocery stores. And once they have their first homegrown tomato or sweet pepper, that’s it. There’s no going back. And now that our customers are gaining confidence, we are seeing a sharp up-tick in the “Second Season,” or cool weather vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, that can be harvested past Christmas. If this is a nationwide trend—and according to Slow Food USA it is—then we are proud to be a part of it. So what will you be seeing in the next year or two? An increase in the number and variety of the edible plants we bring to you. We are growing more cool weather vegetables to extend your growing season. We have even been growing our own citrus trees, rather than trucking them in from Florida. All of this means you are going to be more connected to the food you eat. That’s the way it used to be, and that’s the way it should be now.

Don E. Riddle, Jr. President/CEO Homestead Gardens, Inc.

Inspirations magazine is printed on recycled paper.

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Contents

INSPIRAT IO NS FA L L / H O L I D AY 2 0 1 0

4 Features

4 7 10 12 16 2

FALL FOR BULBS Spring-flowering bulbs need a long winter’s nap to prepare for their arrival in the warmer weather

PRESERVING THE BOUNTY The last of the season’s herb harvest is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the summer’s flavors

JUICY GEMS Growing citrus trees has never been easier — or more delicious

7 Departments 3 OVER THE FENCE Expert Gene Sumi offers garden solutions

13 GROUND BREAKERS Great holiday gifts for under $25

14 LOCAL FOCUS Some of the best-tasting foods around come from right in our own area

HANDCRAFTED HOLIDAY An easy-to-make contempory twist on a Christmas tradition brings a dose of nature indoors

THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (MOVIES) A dozen family-friendly films to celebrate the season

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CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: ISTOCKPHOTO; VALERIE ROSE; SHUTTERSTOCK; BELOW: ISTOCKPHOTO; COVER: ISTOCKPHOTO

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over the fence

Repair & Restore Expert tips from Education Coordinator Gene Sumi I think most gardening experts would describe fall as a time of great opportunity. It is the time you can do things that will be very effective in repairing Gene Sumi and restoring your lawn, trees, shrubs and perennial plants from the wear and tear they have endured during the summer growing season. The record-breaking heat we experienced this summer in Maryland has certainly stressed our plants more than normally expected. Fall fertilizing is one of those opportunities that will show its benefits in providing the nutrients to help all plants to build stronger roots now and healthier branches, leaves and blooms next spring and summer. Aerating your lawn soil with a core aerator is another important task

for fall, especially if you have compacted clay soil. The summer heat literally “baked” the clay into a much harder soil that further restrained root growth and the ability of water, air and fertilizer to penetrate deep enough to reach deep roots. Core aeration opens the soil with small holes, which relieves the compaction to allow water, air and nutrients to reach down. We also have the opportunity to add

Here are some questions Gene often hears at this time of year.

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Q: I replaced several shrubs and a few perennials that didn’t make it through the heat wave this summer. Now I hear that we are supposed to have colder weather than usual this winter. I don’t want to lose my new plantings to the cold, so how can I protect them? A: An extremely cold winter can do

serious damage to roots of newly-planted trees, shrubs and perennials, and even to those plants that keep their leaves over the winter. Be sure there is a layer of organic mulch at least two to three inches deep on the surface of the soil covering the root area of the plants. The mulch will prevent excessive water loss from the soil and protect the surface roots from freezing. To prevent freeze burn on broadleaf plant foliage, spray the leaves and small branches with an anti-transpirant, such as

to the beauty of our gardens by planting new plants at this time of year. In the fall, the soil remains warm enough to promote good root growth, even when plants appear to be dormant above ground. This is why trees, shrubs and perennial plants (including spring-blooming bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils) should be planted during the fall. Fall is, indeed, the best time of the year to be planting.

We’d Love to Hear from You!

Wilt-pruf®. This spray contains polymers that coat the surface of the leaves and cut down excessive transpiration (water loss) from the leaves from the dry, cold winter air. One spraying in late November should last the entire season. Q: I was looking to add a couple of trees in my back yard in the spring, but a neighbor told me that fall is actually a better time to plant. If this is the case, how late in the season can I plant? A: The advantage to planting trees, shrubs

and perennials in the fall is that the soil temperature drop much slower than the air temperature. Plant roots continue to grow as long as the soil temperature remains above 45°F. You should benefit from the warmer soil if you can get your new trees planted by mid-November. ‹

Have a question for Gene? Contact him at 443-607-1937; gsumi@homesteadgardens.com HOMESTEAD GARDENS

743 W. Central Ave. Davidsonville, MD 21035 410-798-5000 800-300-5631 522 Ritchie Highway Severna Park, MD 21146 410-384-7966

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fall for

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bulbs

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BULBS LOVE A LONG WINTER’S NAP TO PREPARE FOR THEIR SPRING ARRIVAL {BY TIM HAMILTON}

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ulbs are essential components of the mixed garden, providing early color and life until the garden really comes alive later in the season. Spring-blooming bulbs bloom at different times during the spring. Even among the same group of plants, such as tulips, different varieties bloom at different times, in early, mid, or late-spring. By using the earliest flowering bulbs in combination with mid- and late-season bloomers, up to two months of color can be added to the garden. From a design perspective, they have often been used to frame a garden or are planted in their own space as a focal point. One of the most under-utilized methods of planting bulbs is called “underplanting.” In practice, underplanting assures that a garden will have consistent color from early spring until late fall. Essentially, fall bulbs are planted under perennial plants after they die back for the season. In the spring, bulbs push through the soil and the roots of their upstairs neighbors to display their gorgeous blooms. By the time the flowers begin to fade, leaving only the foliage behind, the perennials begin to take over, leaving very little, if any, empty spaces where the flowering bulbs had been. And, if the types of bulbs and perennials are chosen carefully, this seamless transition will repeat itself for years to come. But annuals-lovers can take advantage of the underplanting method as well—it just takes a bit more care. The rule of thumb for planting bulbs is to plant them at a depth equal to three times their height. So, for larger bulbs such as tulips and daffodils, planting to a depth of at least six inches will leave you adequate room overhead to plant annuals. Done correctly, there will be enough room between the two where the roots of the annuals growing above will not interfere with bulbs growing below them. This is a perfect example of how the exact depth of a planted bulb is not critical to its later growth and development. In fact, many bulbs can be better perennialized—that is, grown naturally in the garden with minimal care—by planting them an inch or two deeper than the instructions. This extra depth provides extra protection against the elements. f

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STUNNING COMBINATIONS FOR LONG-LASTING BLOOMS Try this combination for maximum bloom time all season long: Crocus ‘Jeanne D’Arc’ Grape Hyacinth (below) Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ Tulip ‘Avignon’

simulate winter dormancy. When it comes time to plant in early spring, they can be treated like any other bulb. They will, however, need to be dug up and forced again if planted in containers that are not insulated. Triumphs have a short, brilliant life, but are well worth the effort.

WINNING AGAINST WILDLIFE If you battle with local wildlife, there are a couple of bulbs worth adding to your arsenal. In this region of Maryland, the deer population has exploded over ALL BULBS NEED 12 OR MORE the past few years. WEEKS OF TEMPERATURES Gardens and are a BELOW 50 DEGREES TO BLOOM. landscapes virtual buffet for these suburban denizens. Narcissus, which is reprethat they cannot be planted until spring, meaning that they need to be forced. All sented by dozens of species of daffodils, is despised by deer and all other bulbs need 12 or more weeks of temmammals, most notably, voles. The peratures below 50 degrees to bloom toxicity of the chemicals contained in and the Triumph is no exception. the bulb and flower assure that animals A quiet corner in the refrigerator, away from ripening fruit, is the perfect way to give it wide berth.

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For a continuous blooming tulip display throughout the spring: Tulip ‘Purple Prince’ Tulip ‘Daydream’ Tulip ‘Golden Apeldorn’ Tulip ‘Kingsblood’ Tulip ‘La Courtine’

Another critter repellent is the Fritillaria, which is a member of the lily family. Called “The Mole Chaser,” the bulb has an odor reminiscent of mothballs. Moles, voles, and other burrowing mammals go well out of their way to avoid it. With its delicate pendant-type blooms, Fritillaria is one of the most exotic-looking of all the flowering bulbs and makes a stunning addition to any landscape. There is a subtle art to working bulbs into your landscape. For example, when choosing combinations of bulbs, it is important to stagger the bloom times, as well as have multiple bulbs flowering at the same time. If different bulbs are to flower simultaneously, they should have similar heights, taking care that they flower above the previous blooming bulbs. Your combination can take you through a color palette or you can focus on one color theme. The possibilities are endless. ‹ Tim Hamilton is marketing director at Homestead Gardens.

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Many bulbs are hybridized, or crossbred, which results in new and different plant or flower sizes, and can produce brilliant colors and patterns. These innovations often come at a price, however. Hybrid varieties usually have a limited blooming life of about two or three years after they are fi rst planted and need to be replaced more often. Hybridized tulips are well-suited for planting in the garden and fit into one of four groups: Darwin Hybrids, Fosteriana, Greigii and Kaufmanniana tulips. Each consists of hundreds of different cultivars tulips and all work well in combination with one another. Darwin Hybrid and Fosteriana tulips are among the taller-growing varieties— 12 to 18 inches tall for Darwin Hybrids, and up to 24 inches for the Fosters. The Griegii and Kaufmanniana tulips are significantly smaller at 12 inches and under. Not only are they beautiful, but because of their compact sizes, they are great in containers and as foreground plantings in beds. Species tulips are another group that, while not hybridized, are popular among purists. With their diminutive stature, they are the closest relatives to the original flowering bulbs developed hundreds of years ago in Europe. They grow up to six inches tall and reproduce rapidly in the garden. Their wide range of colors and forms are a delight when used in places where very small plants and flowers are desired. Almost all flowering bulbs are showstoppers, but there are some standouts, such as Triumph tulip bulbs. Although these flowers look spectacular in a garden setting, they are best suited for containers and planters. The catch is


preserving the

BOUNTY

Concoct your own culinary blends from the last of the summer harvest

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{by Rita Calvert}

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HARVESTING The last harvest of annual herbs, such as basil, dill, or cilantro, can be made just before the risk of any cold-weather damage, usually in late October or early November, and the entire plant may be harvested. Perennial herbs, such as oregano, thyme, and sage, should have

already been harvested by mid-September to allow any new growth spurred by pruning to harden before a frost.

CLEANING Herbs should be free of any moisture before preserving. Shake off any loose dirt and wipe them with a damp paper towel. To wash herbs, place in a large bowl of cool water, then gently shake off the excess and place in a single layer on a rack or towel for a few hours.

DRYING LEAVES The traditional method for drying sturdy herbs such as rosemary, sage, parsley and summer savory, is to separate stems into small bundles, secure with string, and hang upside down in a dry, cool, well-ventilated area out of direct sun. Air drying will take from three days to two weeks. Herbs also may be dried flat in a cardboard box or basket. Place leaves or whole stems of smallerleaved herbs like thyme in a single layer and turn or stir daily. A food dehydrator works quickly and efficiently, retaining the most flavor and color. Place clean leaves in a single layer on

THE COTTAGE LOOK To add some spark to the dried herbs from your kitchen garden, add dazzlers of dried flowers. When drying flowers, it’s best to use silica sand for better color retention. Lavender gets the beauty prize for tying just the blossoms into a bouquet and hanging upside down in a cool dry place. The bulbous blossoms of hydrangea are an irresistible addition. Mix textures for beauty and interest, such as sage paired with goldenrod or yarrow nestled amongst dried Gerbera daisies. Join the gathered stems with a a rubber band and cover it with a long piece of raffia or ribbon. USES FOR HERB BUNCHES: • Hang over a door as a welcome • Add to a hanging pot rack in the kitchen • Hang from hooks or spools on a decorative wall hanger • Use smaller bouquets as a lovely embellishment on a straw hat • Attach to gift boxes or bags instead of bows

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dehydrator trays, and heat between 95 and 115 degrees for one to four hours. When properly dried, herbs will crackle when touched. Carefully strip the leaves from the stem and store in dark airtight containers. Leaves will be more flavorful if they are stored whole and crumbled as they are used.

DRYING SEEDS Many herbs produce seeds as flavorful as their leaves. For instance, coriander is a nutty spice with quite a different flavor from its leafy counterpart, cilantro, while fennel seed is often used in sausages and baked goods. And what would the pickle be without dill seed? To preserve seeds, place the stems with mature seed heads upside down in a brown paper bag until fully dried. Toast the whole seeds and grind with a mortar and pestle or food grinder.

FREEZING Unfortunately, some herbs lose much of their flavor when dried, and basil is a prime example. However, it does freeze beautifully. Simply chop fresh basil leaves, mix with a small amount of olive oil and freeze in ice cube trays. Pop out the frozen cubes and store them in freezer bags to be used later for pesto or added to sauces. Try with parsley or tarragon for a twist on your pesto.

INFUSED OILS AND VINEGARS As the grand fi nale to the herb harvest, infused vinegars and oils can be created as gifts with that designer touch. Whether simple jars or stylish bottles are used, just be sure to seal with a plastic cap or cork, as metal may rust. For the novice, straight-forward herb vinegars are best—highlighting a single herb variety will make the flavor shine. The practiced designer may combine a few harmonious herbs and an aromatic element such as garlic, peppercorns, citrus peel, or dried chiles. Cider vinegar works fi ne as a base, but white wine vinegar will result in clearer colors.

LEFT: SHUTTERSTOCK

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s winter approaches and your gardens begin to slowly go to sleep, it may be the fresh herbs that you miss the most. The good news is that it really isn’t difficult to save your summer’s efforts. If you’re feeling adventurous you can develop your own blends to complement a number of dishes.


Bay laurel (top), rosemary, thyme and oregano are easy to dry for use during the winter.

Asian sugar and salt seasoned rice vinegar is an interesting alternative. To prepare, fill a sterilized glass bottle about one-third full of clean herb leaves and flowers, add vinegar up to the neck and cover with a lid. Infuse for two to three weeks and test the flavor. If it’s not strong enough, infuse a week longer; otherwise, strain out herbs and place in clean jars. Decorative decanters make a lovely presentation with the addition of a few fresh sprigs of herbs. Vinegars can be kept up to a year in a cool, dark place. Infused oils have a similar process but more herbs are needed to impart flavor, often requiring two infusions. Fill a container about half full with clean herb leaves and flowers. Cover with a mild vegetable or extra virgin olive oil. Taste after a week, and if more flavor is desired, strain to remove the herbs and repeat the process with new herbs. Infuse for a second week, strain, and place in sterilized bottles or jars. Oils can be kept for eight weeks, or two weeks if fresh sprigs are added. Please note that it’s best to avoid combining fresh garlic and oil, as the oil requires constant refrigeration. ‹

RIGHT: ISTOCKPHOTO; FAR RIGHT: SHUTTERSTOCK

Rita Calvert is a food writer, stylist, photographer and local food advocate whose work always embodies the naturally wholesome, positive and satisfying.

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JUICY GEMS

From sweet to sour, tropical citrus trees provide a bounty of versatile fruit {BY CHARLES KEMBERLING}

SOME OF THE BEST PLANTS to grow in containers are,

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quite surprisingly, citrus trees. With many features that appeal to the senses, they add a fun, tropical element to your home inside and out. Deep green leaves provide a rich background to sweetly fragrant blossoms that mature into edible fruits. And although the plants grown in containers are smaller than a full-sized tree, the fruit they produce are the same size as what you’re used to seeing at your grocer. f

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Homestead Gardens has recently started growing several varieties of citrus trees, from the familiar to the more exotic. Lemons, limes, oranges and kumquats are easy to grow even in our temperate region. The key to keeping these tropicals healthy year-round is to fi nd a sunny spot indoors so they can continue to grow from the fi rst fall frost all the way through the last freeze in spring when they can be placed outside.

GROWING YOUR OWN GROVE Here are some pointers for starting your own miniature citrus grove: • Water as you would any containergrown plant—by letting the plant get somewhat dry between watering, and then watering well until it runs through the pot. • Use an acid fertilizer, such as Espoma Citrus-tone®, in the spring or summer prior to the flush of new growth and again in late August. • Dwarf citrus can grow up to eight feet, but may be pruned to keep the plant compact and bushy. Repot in early spring when you see signs of new growth, but only if necessary, and not every year. If you do not want to pot up to a larger size, simply remove the plant, trim some top growth and a little root growth, then add soil and replant in a similarly sized container. • Inspect for common spider mites, mealy bugs and scale. If you see anything suspicious, use insecticidal soap, Neem oil or horticultural oil. The best cure is prevention so watch your plant often to detect any problems early. • While citrus trees like cooler temperatures in winter, they will not tolerate anything much below freezing. Lots of light will promote blooming, so during late fall, winter and early spring, keep them in a nice sunny area like a sunroom providing five to six hours of direct sunlight a day. Do not be alarmed if you see dropped leaves if there is a sudden change in temperature, light levels or humidity. This is a normal reaction and the foliage will grow back as soon as the environment stabilizes. • In late spring, when overnight temperatures consistently reach 50° F and above, it is time to return your citrus outside. Choose a site that gets morning sun with afternoon shade.

As the plant acclimates to the sun, it can be gradually moved to a full sun position. Then again in fall, when night temperatures begin cooling to below 50° F, bring your citrus indoors to a cool and bright location and enjoy the fragrance. ‹ Charles Kemberling is the manager and buyer for the tropicals and houseplants department at Homestead Gardens.

CITRUS VARIETIES TO ADD CULINARY PIZAZZ Two varieties in particular, the Meyer lemon and the Bearss lime, are normally small plants, maturing to a height of about six feet tall, making them a perfect size for containers. Lemons and limes also are capable of producing blossoms and fruit several times a year, rather than just once during a specific season. Meyer Lemon This lemon’s popularity in the kitchen increased in recent years when a number of prominent chefs praised its flavor. The slightly sweeter flavor of the juice over typical commercial lemons stems from the possibility that the variety is the result of an ancient crossing of a lemon and a mandarin orange. This heritage gives the thin peel of the Meyer lemon a hint of orange color (at left) when the fruit is at full ripeness as well as its characteristic hint of sweetness. Bearss Lime Popular for many purposes from flavoring drinks to numerous savory dishes and desserts, the Bearss lime is second in commercial use only to the Mexican (Key) lime. Although a green-skinned fruit, the Bearss may take on a lightgreen to yellow blush when fully ripe. Its sweet, yet strong, lime flavor with almost no seeds makes it a natural for the gardener and chef, and is also referred to as Bartender’s lime. OTHER CITRUS VARIETIES „ Mexican (Key) Lime – Contains a special bouquet and tart flavor for flavoring fish and meats, making limeade and the famous Key lime pie. „ Kieffer Lime – The unique bumpy-skinned fruits play second fiddle to the fragrant leaves, which are highly prized for their one-of-a-kind contribution to authentic Thai cuisine. „ Dwarf Washington Navel Orange – Delicious, easily peeled, seedless sweet fruit with a good orange flavor. „ Moro Blood Orange – Deep purple-red flesh with a reddish rind give these oranges a hint of berry flavor with lots of vitamin C and fiber. „ Nagami Kumquat – Sweet, thin-skinned rind and a zesty, somewhat tart, center give these little gems a unique flavor. Gently roll between your fi ngers to release essential oils and eat as you would a grape, peel and all! „ Eustis Limequat – A hybrid of Key lime and round kumquat with a sweet rind and tart flesh meant for eating whole like a kumquat or for flavoring food and drinks.

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handcrafted

HOLIDAY A yule log has been part of winter holiday tradition for hundreds of years, celebrating the winter solstice, Christmas, and even Epiphany. Over time it has changed from a large log saved for the fi re on the longest night of the year, to a dessert that is shaped like a fallen tree or log and usually doused with powdered sugar or chocolate. Delicious, certainly, but the art of making a yule log from wood is quickly becoming a long-lost tradition. Blogger Valerie Rose (goddesshobbies. blogspot.com) designed this wonderful twist on a yule log that, with care, will last well into the new year. All it takes is a few simple materials and you’ll be well on your way to wowing family and friends with a stunning centerpiece from nature.

Materials •

wood chisel

pen

1½-inch Forstner drill bit

electric drill

tea light candles

Level

Mark & Drill

Decorate

Chisel the bark off one side of the log with the wood chisel. Please exercise caution if you choose to substitute another tool such as a putty knife or a box cutter. Lay the log down on the chiseled side and ensure that the bottom is totally flat and does not rock back and forth.

Measure to the center and mark with the pen. Arrange the candles on it and then mark the spots on the log. To place an odd number of candles, set the bit at the center and drill to a depth of a quarter to half an inch. For an even number of candles, place two of the candles on either side of the center line and work outward.

Clean up the drilled holes with the chisel and a bit of sandpaper if needed. Place the candles in each hole and decorate to your liking using hot glue, holly and boughs from your garden. Please remember to exercise caution when burning candles and to never leave them unattended. ‹

Valerie Rose, creator of the blog Collecting The Moments… one by one, spends her days cooking, gardening, and homeschooling her three (soon to be four) children on her urban homestead in rainy western Washington. With camera in hand, she is constantly collecting the moments of life, and enjoying every minute of it.

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PHOTOS: VALERIE ROSE

dried wood log, about 15 inches long


groundbreakers DISCOVERIES, TRENDS, AND INSPIRATIONS

Fresh Ideas Great gift finds for under $25

GLASSES: ICU EYEWEAR; CALENDAR: MELANIE MCCABE; WORKING HANDS: O’KEEFFE’S COMPANY; FRESH WAVE: OMI INDUSTRIES/FRESH WAVE

Fancy Peepers Wearing glasses has never been this much fun! Fashionable readers from ICU Eyewear are offered in lots of funky collections that add a touch of sophistication and glamour. Innovative features and fresh new materials like sustainable bamboo, reclaimed plastic and recycled metal are integrated into their signature styles. Reading glasses are one of the few accessories you can own in every color, for every outfit, and for every occasion. Homestead Gardens carries several styles, from glamorous sophistication to flirty fun, all designed to keep up with the latest in fashion-forward designs. Assorted styles, $19.99.

Odor Be Gone Unscented Fresh Wave is the cure for the common, chemical air freshener. Created to eliminate odors naturally, Fresh Wave uses the power of nature for safe, non-toxic odor elimination without the use of perfumes or fragrances. Simple, ingredients like lime, pine needles, anise seed, clove, cedarwood and water combine to neutralize stinky air instead of covering up odors. Available as gel crystals, candles or room spray, they’re great for anywhere in the home, car, office, cabin, boat and locker room. Assorted varieties, to $19.95.

Inspiring Images The 2011 Annapolis calendar features gorgeous images in and around Annapolis by renowned local photographer George Shenk, Jr. Exclusive to Homestead Gardens, the calendar is displayed in a convenient, space-saving flip case. Draw inspiration from the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay every time you sit down at your desk. $9.99.

Skin Saver Many people suffer dry, cracked and even bleeding skin, particularly in the cold winter air. O’Keeffe’s Working Hands contains a high concentration of glycerin that draws in and retains moisture which is necessary for skin to heal, along with allantoin, an odorless, non-toxic protectant derived from the comfrey plant. Working Hands removes dead skin cells to allow for better penetration and absorption of its moisturizing ingredients. 7 oz. jar, $7.99. ‹

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localfocus

W

e at Homestead Gardens know that local is best. Whether you’re talking plants (most of what we sell is grown on our farm in Davidsonville) or food, buying locally supports our own

economy, reduces unnecessary shipping over thousands of miles, and ensures the freshest product possible goes home with you. We’ve made a conscious effort to offer an array of delicious food choices, for everyday snacks or meals, or to give as gifts.

{BY ANN-MARIE SEDOR}

Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company (CBRC) What started as a small roasting operation in 2002 in Crofton, Md., has quickly grown into a vibrant and successful brand name in the world of gourmet coffees, which is the exclusive line featured at Homestead Gardens’ The Weathervane Café. Currently available in take-home cans are: Eco-Reef (regular and decaf), offering a balanced blend of mild Central and South American coffees for a medium-bodied cup; and River’s Edge (regular only), a darkroasted blend of organic beans from Central America, Indonesia and East Africa. The house specialty coffee of The Weathervane Café is Main Street (regular and decaf), which brings together the best components of six different world origins in an espresso blend.

Research shows that about 45 percent of money spent at a local business stays in the community compared with only 14 percent of dollars spent at a national store.

Each can contains the highest-grade, specialty coffees that come from fairtrade beans—many of which are organic—which are then roasted with eco-friendly equipment that is fully wind-powered.

The labels on the recyclable steel canisters are printed with soybased ink.

Nestled in the Eastern Shore countryside near Easton, Md., is the 114-acre Grade A dairy farm owned by the Foster family. Using raw milk from the farm’s 80 dairy cows, Chapel’s Country Creamery produces sharp cheddar cheeses, nutty cave-aged cheese and, most recently, a zesty bleu cheese. These artisanal cheeses are featured in several of the area’s finest restaurants, at farmer’s markets and are now available by the block at Homestead Gardens.

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CBRC gives back 2% of its gross sales to support grassroots movements that protect the Chesapeake Bay.

CHESAPEAKE BAY ROASTING COMPANY

Chapel’s Country Creamery


Tessemae’s All-Natural Dressing

DRESSING: TESSEMAE’S ALL-NATURAL; OTTERBEIN’S COOKIES, GRANOLA, BERGER COOKIES: MELANIE MCCABE; APPLE: ISTOCKPHOTO

Just a year and a half ago, three brothers from Annapolis, Md., decided to begin bottling their mom’s delicious, all-natural homemade salad dressing to share the goodness with the world. After all, it was the one thing that got them to eat their greens as they were growing up. The idea worked: fast-forward a few short months and they were in business! Tessemae’s all-natural lemon-garlic dressing is so popular here at Homestead Gardens, it’s been known to sell out during a single weekend.

Otterbein’s Cookies

Berger Cookies

The Otterbein Bakery was established in Baltimore in 1881 and quickly became known for their delicate, crispy sugar cookies. The Otterbein family still operates the bakery and has added several other flavors to the line, including lemon, chocolate chip and ginger. Available in family-sized or individual portion bags at Homestead Gardens, Otterbein’s Cookies will never stay long in your cookie jar.

Nothing can compare to the original taste of a Berger cookie, which is one of the most recognized baked goods in the state and now available at Homestead Gardens. The first taste of rich, fudgey chocolate atop a soft, freshly-baked cookie is one you’ll not soon forget. With a long history that dates back to the beginning of the 19th century, the Berger Cookie bakery has become an institution in Baltimore.

Have a foodie in your life? Gather up these goodies to fill a basket for a one-of-a-kind gift that shows off Maryland’s finest flavors.

MAXSAM Granola Health food is taken to a whole new level of goodness in the form of MAXSAM Granola. The locally-created concoction, available in individual servings or by the bag at The Weathervane Café, is made fresh with rolled oats, nuts, dried fruits and honey, making it the perfect yogurt or ice cream topping.

McCutcheon’s This fourth-generation business in Frederick, Md., is well-known for their apple orchards but has successfully branched out to the world of cider, jams, jellies, sauces, honey, salad dressings, and much more. Using the highestquality ingredients and family recipes, McCutcheon’s continues to add more foods every year. All the products are sweetened with only real cane sugar and natural fruit juices and no high fructose corn syrup. Many of their favorites can be found at Homestead Gardens, and we think you’ll agree that the homemade taste can’t be beat. ‹

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Inspirations

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12 CHRISTMAS days of

{BY ANN-MARIE SEDOR}

It’s true that many films centered around the Christmas season are decades old, but there are enough modern classics to balance out the mix. Among the dozens of Yuletide-themed movies out there, these stories, in no particular order, will appeal to everyone across generations with their poignant and humorous takes on the holiday. So gather the family ‘round the fireplace, serve up mugs of hot chocolate and snuggle under blankets to help you get lost in the spirit of the season.

(movies)

12. HOME ALONE (1990) A strong emotional core lies at the heart of this slapstick fi lm about a young boy who gets accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas break, forcing him to defend his home against two bumbling burglars.

11. CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945) Barbara Stanwyck stars in this comedy as a magazine columnist who writes about her idyllic life in the country, though in reality lives a decidedly urban life in Manhattan. When her secret is nearly discovered by her own publisher, shenanigans ensue.

10. THE BISHOP’S WIFE (1947) Starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, this comedy sprinkled with drama demonstrates the humanity of people from all levels of society.

9. ELF (2003) This unexpectedly successful comedy about a very tall man raised by elves who has come to New York City in search of his real father has a laugh-out-loud storyline to appeal to teenagers.

8. PRANCER (1989) A movie about restoring faith in life and in love, kids will enjoy it for the notion of rescuing a wounded reindeer and nursing it back to health.

7. SCROOGE (1970)

TBS SUPERSTATION

This musical, based on Charles Dickens’ yuletide classic, stars Albert Finney as the man who learns some invaluable life lessons.

6. NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989) Rife with gags and one-liners that only Chevy Chase could pull off, this modern classic details one man’s love-hate relationship with Christmas.

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Inspirations

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A CHRISTMAS STORY

5. SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN (1970) In the days before modern animation, stop-motion was state-ofthe-art technology, and this kids’ classic is considered one of the best—plus it’s filled with fun songs and a heartwarming message.

4. SCROOGED (1988) At the surface, this appears to be just another comedy starring Bill Murray, but long after the TV has been turned off, the characters and plot resonate on a deeper level.

3. MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947) The original version of this holiday classic, starring Edmund Gywnn and Natalie Wood, is a beautiful tale of benevolence and a celebration of the Christmas spirit.

2. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings” is one of the most famous and endearing lines in movie history, and rightfully so, for this fi lm starring Jimmy Stewart is frequently considered the most inspiring story ever filmed.

1. A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983) This near-perfect nostalgic look at where Americana and Christmastime meet focuses on the story of a young boy’s epic quest to get his hands on a Red Ryder BB Gun, providing the backdrop for a timeless tale filled with family hijinks, frozen tongues and a certain risqué leg lamp. ‹


2011 WINTER WORKSHOPS at Homestead Gardens The cold winter months are the perfect time to sharpen your gardening skills or to learn some new ones! Come to Homestead Gardens for lively sessions of fun and learning, held every weekend from late January through the end of February. Make your own herb wreath or old-world hypertufa container. Learn about composting, pruning, planting techniques or lawn care. Start a water garden, attract wildlife or arrange flowers. No matter your level of expertise or area of interest, Homestead Gardens Winter Workshops will keep you growing. A complete schedule of events will be posted in early December at www.homesteadgardens.com.


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Visit our newest location next door to Homestead Gardens in Severna Park. Now Open! zacharysjewelers.com 522 Ritchie Hwy. • Severna Park, MD • (410) 544-4005

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Homestead Gardens Inspirations Magazine (Fall-Winter 2010)  

Inspirations Magazine from Homestead Gardens: Four-Season Solutions for Home and Garden

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