Archive | March, 2011

1000 Gardens – Make space for berries.

31 Mar

In Missouri The 1,000 Gardens Project gets people to register their vegetable gardens. It’s hoping to sprout 10,000 new gardens in 2011.

Locally it’s relying on the community to get things started. The idea behind the push is sustainability. “I think if you looked at the number that are actually exploring this issue, you’d be very surprised. I think this is a very attainable goal,” said Shelley Vaugine, a volunteer. Organizers say local gardens would make Springfield less dependent on store bought food, and I’m sure it would. People in the Ozarks are known for their resourcefulness and their ability to get things to grow in spite of all the rocks. Back at the turn of the century tomato canneries were commonplace in these hills. Everything seems to be going full circle here as the community as a whole supports not only themselves, but the growers in our area through the multiple farmers markets.

We plant everything from pole beans to tomatoes. In our garden we have set aside an area for blackberries and raspberries. We like to make jelly and sauces and those berries really pay for themselves over the season. If you haven’t tried growing berries here’s a source we use that’s Missouri based and provides the right planets for our area. Stark Bros. out of Louisiana, MO sends us Thornless Boysenberries which are great juicy deep purple berries – just wade in and pick ’em! Berries grow to a whopping 1½ inches long and as big around as one full inch! You’ll want them for dessert every day during the season, but save a few for the greatest jam you ever tasted. Usually ready late July. We also have Natchez Thornless Blackberries as big as your thumb that are disease-resistant and one that the University of Arkansas has helped produce. The berries we have are much like the monsters you sometimes find at your local farmers market…you know the ones that look like a purple baseball. All kidding aside, it’s a pleasure to have the canes included in our garden space, no thorns and the benefit of the berries, how can you lose?

I think we can all agree sustainability should include a few choice berries. They should be in the mix. Our friends at Stark Bros. have graciously given Hootentown readers their own discounted coupon if you want to plant some berries in your garden.

COUPON Code: HOOTENTOWN
Valid: April 1, 2011 – April 30, 2011
$5 Off all orders over $50 (prior to S/H).
Online (www.starkbros.com) use only
1 use per customer

P.S. Don’t forget the fertilizer!

Blackberry & Bramble Fertilizer

Finally…a fertilizer that is formulated especially for blackberries. Easy to use 12-10-10 formula is developed to give your blackberries and other brambles the perfect nutrients needed for strong growth and high yields of large, healthy berries.

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Bee options for all

29 Mar

Making honey – total involvement

Beekeeping is all the rage these days, and my friend Pam is one of the many who’s become “Hooked on bees in suburbia.”  That’s my story of her first year of beekeeping, including the highs, the lows, and the enormous worries that go along with it.  I’m calling this the “total involvement” option because that’s what it seems to demand.  I say, better Pam than me!

Making honey, with help
But for people who don’t have the time or cajones to deal with bees themselves, there are people who’ll come and tend their hive for them, for a modest fee or for just the honey.  But why would you have bees if you don’t get to keep the honey?  To pollinate your garden, and for the fun of having a hive without all the responsibility.

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Ozarks Persimmon Wine

24 Mar

Take a walk through most any Ozarks forest and you will find a persimmon tree. Once you find them what do you do? Make persimmon wine of course. Persimmon trees grow from 25 to 50 feet high and are distinctly male or female in gender. Their fruit is typically globular and small, from 1 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Domestic persimmons can reach 4 inches or more. They have 4 woody calyx lobes at the base, are quite astringent until ripening around October, and then are very sweet and juicy. They ripen to an orange to orange-purple (the domestics turn almost red) and persist on the trees until absolutely ripe, which may not occur until early winter or after the first freeze. After ripening, the fruit will drop or can be shaken from the tree.

Persimmons make a fine, slightly fruity wine, but it will be ruined if any unripened fruit are utilized. The large, red domesticated Oriental persimmons make the best wine with a delicate, amber color, but the wild natives also make a good-tasting, although somewhat brown colored wine.

PERSIMMON WINE

     

  • 3 lbs ripe persimmons
  • 2 1/2 lbs finely granulated sugar
  • 1 tblsp acid blend
  • 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 7 pts water
  • 1 crushed Campden tablet
  • 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 packet Montrachet, Pasteur Red or Champagne yeast

Wash the persimmons, cut into quarters and mash the seeds out with your hands. Mash the pulp well, put into primary, and add half the sugar, the acid blend, yeast nutrient and crushed Campden tablet. Add water to total one gallon. Stir well to dissolve sugar, cover, and set aside. After 12 hours add pectic enzyme and recover. After another 12 hours, add yeast. Ferment 5-7 days, stirring daily. Strain through nylon sieve. Do not be concerned if a lot of fine pulp gets through; it will precipitate out. Add remaining sugar, stir very well, then transfer to secondary while leaving about three inches headroom. Fit air lock and set aside. Rack every 30 days until wine clears and no additional lees are laid down (4-6 months). Stabilize only if you feel the need to sweeten the wine before bottling. This wine should age in the bottle a year.

Persimmon trees are available through Stark Bro’s in Louisiana, MO. if you want to get serious. Mention this article and Stark Bros. will give you a 10% discount for a limited time of course!

Related story:

Dehydrating Persimmons

Persimmon fruit trees are great additions to your backyard garden, and the fruit makes a delicious, healthy snack for the whole family. I love growing fruit trees in my yard, and the persimmon tree is both attractive and easy to maintain in my climate.  In fact, the American Persimmon is native to North America, so it naturally fits right in! [read more]

Basic Backpacking/Gear Class

24 Mar

This class will cover all the aspects of gear and outdoor clothing, to include the selection of boots, tents, backpacks, stoves, jackets and all other outdoor clothing. We show you how to fit your boots and backpack, how to select the correct sleeping bag and even how to pack your backpack correctly. This class is a must have for all outdoor enthusiasts.

Ozarks Adventures

May 1, 2011 12:00 pm

1111 E. Republic, Springfield, MO

More Info

It’s Bluegrass Tuesday with Bill Monroe!

23 Mar

This year marks Bill’s 100th Birthday, Festivals are planned throughout the year in celebration…For more info on visit the link below.

Bill Monroe was born on Sept. 13, 1911, in Rosine, Ky. Credited as “The Father of Bluegrass,” the music he created evolved from the folk and country music he heard growing up in a musical family as the youngest of eight children. As a child, he also backed up his uncle Pendleton Vandiver (“Uncle Pen”) at local dances.

Orphaned by age 16, Monroe eventually moved to Chicago and formed a group with brothers Birch and Charlie, with Bill on mandolin. While in Chicago, he worked in an oil refinery and as a square dancer on Chicago’s WLS National Barn Dance. Birch soon dropped out, but Bill and Charlie continued on as the Monroe Brothers, finding their most enthusiastic audiences at Charlotte, N.C.’s radio station WBT. They soon recorded several sides for RCA’s Bluebird label, including “John Henry,” “Nine Pound Hammer” and “What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul.”

In 1938, the highly successful duo split up, and Bill formed his first band, the Kentuckians. A year later Monroe changed the name to the Blue Grass Boys and soon set his sights on Nashville. Monroe was only 28 years old when he joined the Opry cast on Oct. 28, 1939. Introduced by George D. Hay, the Opry’s founder, Monroe performed a the Jimmie Rodgers hit “Muleskinner Blues” and got three encores that first night at the War Memorial Auditorium. He quickly became an Opry favorite.

In the 1940s, Monroe began adding lyrics to his melodies and wrote such classic hits as “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “Uncle Pen.” He hired banjo picker Earl Scruggs, singer-guitarist Lester Flatt and fiddler Chubby Wise on fiddle to create what is widely recognized as the most important bluegrass band ever. In 1948, Flatt & Scruggs left the band to form the Foggy Mountain Boys. (Wise also left the band that year.)

By the 1950s, Flatt & Scruggs emerged as a formidable presence, while Monroe continued to play the Opry. However, by the 1960s, folk music had become popular, and promoter Ralph Rinzler helped return Monroe to the spotlight. In 1965, Monroe headlined the first multi-day bluegrass festival, and he inaugurated his own annual festival in Bean Blossom, Ind.

Monroe was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970, and he earned the National Endowment for the Arts’ esteemed Heritage Award. His Southern Flavor LP won the first Grammy award ever given for bluegrass music in 1989, and he earned the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement award in 1993. In 1995, he was awarded a National Medal of Honor by President Clinton at a ceremony conducted at the White House. Monroe died on Sept. 9, 1996. A year later, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him as an early influence of rock ‘n’ roll.

A number of prominent bluegrass musicians also spent time as one of Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, including Stringbean, Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Martin, Sonny Osborne and Del McCoury.

Monroe described his beloved bluegrass as music with “a hard drive to it. It’s Scotch bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin’. It’s Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It’s blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound. It’s plain music that tells a good story. It’s played from my heart to your heart, and it will touch you. Bluegrass is music that matters.”

Bluegrass Tuesday with Kenny Baker

22 Mar


Baker was born in Jenkins, Kentucky and learned the fiddle by accompanying his father, also a fiddler. Early on, he was influenced by the swing fiddler Marion Sumner, not to mention Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. After working for Bethlehem Steel in the coal mines of Kentucky, he served in the U.S. Navy before pursuing a musical career fulltime. He soon joined Don Gibson’s band as a replacement for Marion Sumner. Baker who played western swing, had little interest in bluegrass music until he heard “Wheel Hoss” and “Roanoke”. During a package show with Don Gibson, Baker met Monroe and was offered a job. He cut his very first recordings with Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys on December 15, 1957.

Kenny Baker served more years in Monroe’s band than any other musician and was selected by Monroe to record the fiddle tunes passed down from Uncle Pen Vandiver. After leaving the Bluegrass Boys in 1984,Baker played with a group of friends, Bob Black, Alan Murphy, and Aleta Murphy. Bob Black and Alan Murphy recorded and album with Baker in’73, Dry & Dusty. After the one summer with Black and the Murphy’s Baker teamed with Josh Graves who had played dobro for Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs as a Foggy Mountain Boy. Baker teamed with Graves until Graves’ death in 2006.

Baker is considered to be one of the most influential fiddlers in bluegrass music. His “long-bow” style added a smoothness and clarity to the fiddle based music of his boss, Grand Ole Opry member Bill Monroe. His long tenure with Bill Monroe included banjo player Bill Keith’s development of the “melodic” method of banjo playing that included note for note representations of fiddle tunes on the banjo.

He was named to the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1999. He recorded many albums for various record labels, including County Records, Jasmine, Rounder Records and most recently OMS Records. His most recent recordings include “Cotton Baggin’ 2000” and “Spider Bit the Baby” on OMS Records. It was often mentioned that Kenny Baker’s records were more popular at Bill Monroe concerts than the band’s own releases. There were, and remain, hordes of Kenny Baker students of the bluegrass fiddle.

Missouri State Coaching Prospects

21 Mar

You gotta like this….
I would sure talk to these guys….great pedigree, fantastic player and a coaching background that is top notch…

Missouri State Coaching Prospects.

From DoodleySquat