Crosnes—The Tubers That Look Like Beetle Larvae!

Master Gardener Glen brought me some crosnes, which he grows and harvests. What are crosnes and why would anyone eat them? The crosne, pronounced “crone” or “crow-sn” is a member of the mint family, Stachys affinis, and produces these neat little segmented tubers resembling beetle larvae. Crosnes are native to China and Japan but take…

The First Thanksgiving: A feast of native and local foods

Turkey, dressing (or stuffing, depending on where you put it or what you call it), potatoes, fresh bread rolls and pumpkin pie are the traditional fare for the celebration these days, but they are a far cry from what the original feast shared by the pilgrims and American Indians would have featured.


Nothing says Thanksgiving like pumpkins, but have you ever grown pumpkins-on-a-stick?  “Pumpkin” is a bit of misnomer because these are actually eggplant.  The flavor of this eggplant is quite bitter and is used in Asian dishes, but this doesn’t preclude using it for arrangements. The color of pumpkins-on-a-stick is outstanding and they make a great…

Goofy Gorgeous Gourds

Along with pumpkins, corn shocks and mums, gourds are symbols of autumn.  Their quirky sizes, shapes, bumps, and lumps are fun and their color makes them terrific additions for fall décor. Gourds belong in the Cucurbitaceae family, which means they are related to cucumbers, zucchini, acorn squash, melons and pumpkins.  Gourd seeds can be directly…

Fall foliage colors are in foods and flowers, too!

As the chlorophyll fades, the other pigments in the leaves that can’t readily be seen while the chlorophyll is in place, become apparent. Most people don’t realize that the pigment colors that you see in the leaves are the same that you see in flowers and in the food that we eat.

Gardeners Beware: Watering Tools

Recently I purchased a gardening wand for watering my garden and container plants.  In tiny lettering along the length of the wand are these words “Note: The brass in this product contains lead. Warning: This product contains one or more chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other…

National Food Bank Day, September 1, 2017

Happy National Food Bank Day!  Many local food banks appreciate donations of dollars and non-perishable food items, but did you know you can donate extras from your vegetable garden too? The H.O.P.E. Project, Helping Omaha’s People Eat, is a service project run by Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners of Douglas-Sarpy Counties, and provides fresh produce to…

Storing the Harvest

As the end of the warm weather garden season rolls to a close and fall and winter grow closer, many gardeners harvest the last of the summer produce before planting the fall crops or putting the garden to bed.

But how do you store all of the extra produce at the end of the season? Especially those things you don’t freeze or can to preserve?

Defense against summer diseases and pests

The heat of summer, it seems, is not only the time that gardens produce the most, it is also the time when the things that want to eat or destroy your gardens are at their busiest.

So while the heat and humidity may have you wanting to be a couch potato rather than tending your potatoes, you should be out checking on your plants, scouting for diseases and insects, and treating them appropriately.