Sunday, November 29, 2009

Amazing "Natural Wreaths"

"Natural Wreath Class - 2009"

Take 12 extremely creative women, armed with handfuls of branches, cuttings, pine cones, ribbons and seedpods,.......add in the imaginative and talented teaching skills of Michelle Nelsen, and what do you get? Natural wreaths to make Mother Nature proud. We couldn't have asked for nicer weather today for the first of Michelle's 2009 Holiday Classes. The sun was shining, and thankfully the wind that tore through here yesterday had abated. With pruners in hand, the women ventured out to the back display garden, and then on down to the river to cut pieces of branches, milkweed pods, lavender and crab apple twigs and anything colorful that caught their eye. Back into the "green room" they carried their goodies, a nice fire in the old wood stove warming everything. With Michelle's guidance they created their masterpieces to grace their homes. One of our favorite gardeners, Alice, stopped by in the middle of the class, and had the great idea also of placing these wreaths on the fence with the holidays are over. They will be a perfect "bed making"supplier to the birds in the area. You might even find a robins nest in one of them come spring.

That's Michelle hiding in the middle of her wreath.................

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Rosemary 'Arp'

This post is courtesy of Michelle Nelsen, our Creative Designer @ The Flower Tree:

"I started keeping cut herbs in jars on the counter because I thought they were pretty. Just 3 or so, and it's easy to use them. They're already clean when I need them and they stay fresh in the water. (make sure and change it every few days)

What I discovered is that rosemary roots very quickly. Usually in 2-3 weeks. The first time I just used the herb and tossed the stems. The next time I let the roots get a little bigger and potted it them up in 1 gallon pots. (which by the way, The Flower Tree gives you free because they like to recycle). I'll let it winter in that pot up on the deck so I remember to water it and in the spring put it out in the yard. The variety I have is rosemarinus officinalis cv. 'Arp', which is a lovely culinary hardy evergreen variety that grow upright and blooms usually twice a year with pretty little bluish purple flowers. We get them from one of our favorite growers, Mountain Valley . Check out their website for good recipes too. We carry a large selection of their herbs during the spring/summer months.

My plant in the backyard after only 2 seasons. I will add many more this next year to fill in where I need a little bit of color in the winter.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wine pairing dinner @ The Henderson's

Wine Pairing Dinner with Chef Shawn & Sommelier Jaime
November 22, 2009
Eggplant Bruschetta
Stuffed Artichokes braised in a white wine sauce
Risotto ai Fungi Asparagus al Andalusia
Foccacia Sicilian Stockfish Stew ( Mewaldt’s organic tomatoes, green olives and capers)
Villa Antinori Toscana 2005 Italy
Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio 2006 Italy
Clean Slate Riesling 2008 Germany
San Telmo Esencia Torrontes 2009 Argentina
Jana “Old Vine” Napa Valley Riesling 2007 Napa/USA
Tormaresca Neprica 2008 Italy
Centine Banfi “Sangiovese*Cabernet Sauv*Merlot blend” 2006 Italy
2Up Shiraz 2007 Australia
Sandeman Tawny Port Portugal
On a beautiful star filled Sunday evening, 16 of us gathered around the table at my house for the first of many. I hope, wine pairing dinners. Since we opened Red Zinnia a little over a year ago, we have made it our goal to search out new wines to bring into the shop. You might have met Jaime Sammons at one of our weekly tastings. As the wine buyer for Red Zinnia, she has worked hard to teach us to broaden our horizons and stretch our pallets as she has brought in new and exciting wineries for us to try.

On this evening , we not only had some great new wines that Jaime had selected, but the extra special treat of an amazing culinary experience created for us by Shawn Meyers. Some might know him as the EOD Chief at NAS Fallon, but I will always refer to him as “Chef Shawn”, a title he richly deserves. Accompanied by his wife Kori, they brought the skills that they had developed while stationed in Italy for 3 years direct to our table for the evening. It was an absolutely beautiful night. I will let the pictures below tell the rest of the story. As for the wines, look for all but one to be on our shelves over the next few weeks. I am sure that you will enjoy them as much as we did, and maybe……..I can get a recipe or two from Shawn to go with them.

The guests start to arrive , Korena & Linny

Shawn & Kori getting started in the kitchen..................
Jaime & Kevin helping with the stuffed artichokes.......Jaime goes over her last minute notes on the wines to be served.......
Jaime, Sarah & Michelle

Korena & Lucia
Jaime explains the nuances of the pairing....... was a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The raking continues........

Today I got to spend the better part of the warm sunshine hours outside in my own garden. I am not sure why, every year, I rake up the cottonwood leaves in late October. By the time mid-November rolls around, the entire ground is covered again, and the process starts all over. The leaves of the flowering pear are still holding on tight though.

I got into a lengthy discussion with one of our fellow gardeners the other day, and she actually told me about a neighbor that shoots his blower up into the trees to get them all down early. Not that is a little bit too much for me. I will wait, and watch them gently fall to the ground, for a month or so, and then get out there and get it done. The weather was so incredibly beautiful today. The perfect fall day. I was also busy making more cookies for this weekend. Hope you can join us as we welcome in the holiday season at both stores with treats and goodies.

Today is an exciting day at the Henderson/Thompson households. I say households!!! because the kids signed the papers today, it is official, they are homeowners. Congratulations kids, we are so proud of you, and can't wait to visit you at the new house in person!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Extending the Season

Western Nevada College / Specialty Crop Institute is back in Fallon with another highly recommended seminar this coming Friday, Nov 13th, and Saturday, Nov 14th. If you have been wondering how you can extend your growing season here in our valley, this is a must attend event. Fridays classes will be devoted to the use of "Hoop Houses", like you may have seen out at Lattin & Mewaldt's Organic farms. Saturday will be a presentation about CSA, Community Supported Agriculture. Click on the link below for all the details.

Monday, November 9, 2009

And the Winner Is!!!

Thank you to all who participated in the Giant Pumpkin contest. And a special thank you to Scott Goodpasture for growing us such a beauty every year.

This years pumpkin weighed in at a whooping 448 lbs!!!!

The winners are:

Adult - Marilyn Nygren 449lbs
Child - Sierra Thompson (age 10)
440 lbs.

Congratulation guys, you can pick up your gift cards at The Flower Tree.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Pirate's Life for Me

The first, and I'm sure to be - annual, Pirate Party at Red Zinnia was a fabulous evening filled with merriment and fun. A few pics to enjoy.

Jaime, serving up the toasts


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