Nature’s Beauties: Homeowners can bring butterflies back to gardens

Butterfly on buddleia bush.

Butterfly on buddleia bush.

Here’s an excerpt from my Alabama Living article “Nature’s Beauties” :

Driving down an off-the-beaten path in north Alabama, a driver swerved and stopped immediately in front of me. After hitting my brakes, I realized it was my fault. I should have read her bumper sticker, which stated: I BRAKE FOR BUTTERFLIES.

Ranging in colors from yellow, black, blue, and shades in between, you see them on country roads, in suburban gardens and sunny nature centers. Often, I see them near the small towns of Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals. Driving on the back roads, butterflies (Lepidoptera) flutter above Queen Anne’s lace, black-eyed Susan and purple coneflowers that grow along the roadside. Regardless of how often they appear, one never tires of their beauty. These marvels of nature fly by day and rest with their wings erect. Continue reading

Dement Tree Service: Satisfaction Guaranteed

Tree Services Magazine

My profile of Dement Tree Service, as it appeared in Tree Services Magazine:

Dement Tree Service makes customer approval a top priority.

One man’s dream became a reality in 2011 when Joe Dement purchased an established tree company. He restored and improved the company’s services, added to the practices already in place and rebranded the new business as Dement Tree Service. The now thriving company, based in Medina, Tennessee, provides removal, trimming and pruning, cabling and bracing, stump grinding, chipping, hazardous tree assessment, storm damage cleanup and 24-hour emergency tree service.

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Lessons From the Garden

Lettuce grows in a greenhouse at Genesis Growers in St. Anne, IL. Genesis Growers runs a CSA (community-supported agriculture) program distributing its fresh produce to more than 200 local families. (JCI Photo / Todd Bennett)

Lettuce grows in a greenhouse at Genesis Growers in St. Anne, IL. Genesis Growers runs a CSA (community-supported agriculture) program distributing its fresh produce to more than 200 local families. (JCI Photo / Todd Bennett)

An excerpt from my Tennessee Home & Farm article “Lessons From the Garden:” 

The dew had almost dried on the warm spring morning. After long winter hours of studying the Old Farmer’s Almanac and finding the right phase of the moon, my dad chose this Saturday in April to plant the family garden.

Dad added fresh gasoline and checked the oil in the 1950s Troy-Bilt tiller. A few sputters and clinks later, the motor churned, caught and pulverized the soil. Soon, the sweet smell of fresh-turned earth permeated the country air.

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The Cherry on Top: A growing industry around the country

Photo courtesy of Northwest Cherry Growers

Photo courtesy of Northwest Cherry Growers

Take a look at this article I did for Growing Magazine on the cherry industry:

On the average, there are 7,000 cherries on each cherry tree; 250 cherries make one pie; each tree makes 28 pies. If the average U.S. consumer eats 1 pound annually, this adds up to approximately 260 million pounds annually. Americans demand cherries—and growers are filling those expectations.

Often referred to as America’s Super Fruit, cherries are rising in popularity due to the recent focus on health-promoting properties of antioxidants. Instead of relying on fruits from foreign markets, health and nutrition experts advise consumers to look for American-grown fruit. An alternative to exotic berries grown and marketed in a foreign rainforest, the cherry packs a lot of nutrition. Plus, it’s available year-round as dried, canned, frozen and in juice.

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