Thursday was the first day of winter — and the shortest day of the year. Eric Bergeson, The Country Scribe, salutes our new season with Robert Frost’s “Stopping By The Woods On Snowy Evening.”
Here is the first chicken-of-the woods mushroom (above) that I have found all year. Big thrill. Once sauteed, or grilled, chickens are meaty and delicious. I am hoping those little ones off to the side grow into big ones.
Chickens need to be harvested while still damp and cool to the touch. Once they dry out, they are past their prime. However, even if you find one that is shot, mark the spot — they grow in the same spot year after year, provided there is moisture.
Around here, the chickens grow on or near oak. A lot of people kick them off the tree while mowing — don’t! They are highly desired by gourmet restaurants, as well as Asian groceries. Cook them up to see why.
Bergeson Gardens, located southeast of Fertile, Minn., at Bergeson Nursery, is in full bloom and will be through early September. There will be an open house at the nursery Saturday, which will feature free coffee and donuts, food and ice cream for sale, music (11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) and garden tours (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.). All plants will be 20 percent off Saturday and Sunday only.
Eric discusses his book “A Treasury of Old Souls,” a collection of stories about the older people he knew growing up in a rural setting, and how they shaped his view of life, death and what really matters.
The Country Scribe, Eric Bergeson, knows a bit about caring for flowers, trees and shrubs in the Northland, being the third-generation owner of Bergeson Nursery in Fertile, Minn., a business started by his grandfather in 1937.
Here, Eric offers some tips about caring for plants that you may have at your family cemetery plot, which is particularly pertinent on this Memorial Day weekend.
Finally, a gardening book for our area!
“Successful Gardening on the Northern Prairie” is on its way from the printer, and features 326 pages of information specifically for us.
- Learn how our soils are different from most of the rest of the country’s and what you can do about it.
- Learn about the only two fertilizers (very cheap) you will ever need.
- Learn how to choose the right tree for your location and help it live a lifetime.
- Learn how to prepare the prairie soil for trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials and vegetables.
Save money this spring, and make your garden flourish!
“Successful Gardening on the Northern Prairie” is available online exclusively at www.ericbergeson.com.
Reserve your copy today, and it will be mailed as soon as the books arrive!
Photographer Eric Bergeson recently made an 800-mile trip from Tucson, Ariz., west into California, with the intent of seeing the “superbloom” of the desert. A superbloom is a colloquial term used to define an explosion of wildflowers that exceeds typical spring blooms. Winter storms brought double the average rainfall to the area, including the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southeastern California. The park, usually bare of flowers, has come alive with vibrant greenery, poppies, primroses and lilies because wildflower seeds that have been lying on the desert floor for years have germinated. Eric says the phenomenon is a bit overhyped, possibly due to the proximity of a major media center (Los Angeles) and about 28 million people. “It is worth doing once in a lifetime. But Minnesota residents should note that our road ditches in July have color that is more intense — we’re just so used to color by that time that we don’t notice.”
Chopin’s “Waltz In C-Sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2” was etched into Eric Bergeson’s subconscious by his father, who learned it when Eric was 3 years old. Eric recalls his dD put masking tape on the keys to learn the last run.
Sabino Canyon, located north of Tucson, Ariz., in the Santa Catalina Mountains, is a favorite walking, hiking and riding recreation area for residents and visitors to southern Arizona. Just minutes away from the desert, the canyon features large waterfalls along Sabino Creek with minor bridges constructed over them. Wildlife also is abundant in the canyon, including deer, javelina, skunks, tortoises, rattlesnakes and mountain lions. Stonework on the 3.70-mile trail through the canyon was done by Civilian Conservation Corps workers during the 1930s. Eric Bergeson recently hiked the canyon, and here is what he saw.