Kiwifruit, Actinidia spp.

What’s brown and fuzzy all over and green inside? Well, the kiwifruit, of course. This Chinese fruit was popularized when it was imported into New Zealand, renamed kiwifruit instead of Chinese gooseberry, and developed as an export crop. Today this fruit crop is grown in many places worldwide, but there is more than just the kind found at the grocery store. To learn more about kiwifruit, read this article…

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Annatto or Achiote, Bixa orellana

If you’ve ever eaten American cheese, it’s likely you’ve had annatto, a natural orange-red colorant that comes from the waxy covering of the seeds of Bixa orellana.  This small tree or shrub native to tropical America has beautiful pink flowers and interesting spiny fruits. Learn more about the plant and its uses in this article…

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In My Backyard: Bright throughout Winter

Well, as I look out into my far western Wisconsin backyard here in early December, I’ve been seeing a lot of brown.  Different shades of brown, but overall, brown.  I’ve been okay with brown and relatively warm temperatures for this time of year, but as I write this the temperatures are dropping and snow is predicted. […]

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Boom! Down Goes the Tree

Last spring was full of heartache as we had to take down some really important big trees in our backyard.  We lost a 25+ year old honeylocust that was scarily hanging over a powerline as well as a large ash. (Part of the honeylocust is shown in the picture… see that included bark, crack, and […]

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Best-Fit Hand Pruners

A set of hand held pruners should  be  in  every  gardener’s  tool  kit  but  selecting the right pair can be a challenge with an overwhelming selection available at most garden  centers  and  online. Hand  held  pruners  are designed for a variety of tasks in the garden. Some are large enough to cut small branches, while […]

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