Quiz: Which Fruits Must Be Picked Fully Ripe And Which Ripen After?

Have you ever wondered why the green bananas we buy at the grocery store ripen sweetly after a few days, yet the half-white strawberries in their plastic tubs rot while we wait for them to taste like home-grown? That’s because there are two divisions of fruit: types that continue to ripen after picking, and types…
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U Of Minn. Unfair In Not Letting Home Gardeners Grow New Apples

I’ve got a bone to pick with the University of Minnesota. As a rule, gardening is non-confrontational, unless you’re debating the proper way to pronounce peony. But the University of Minnesota has gone too far, and I think it’s time for a discussion. I’m talking about their recently introduced apple variety named SweeTango, developed by…
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Lisianthus: A Little-Known Flowerbed Gem

Have you tried lisianthus? This unique annual has been grown in flowerbeds for ages, but remains a well-kept secret. It’s probably not widely known and grown because not many garden centers sell them as starter plants. But if you grow it successfully, I can assure you that neighbors will want to know it’s identity. Lisianthus…
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Victorian Call Box Still Answering Bells 122 Years Later

Sometimes it’s comforting when things don’t change; solid things, built to last, patiently doing their duty while fleeting trends come and disappear. The call box in our Fargo home is like that. Queen Victoria was on the throne when the brand new house’s call box, primly known as an “annunciator,” was installed in 1895 with…
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Catalpa Trees In North Dakota And Minnesota?

To me, the very word “catalpa” sounds Southern. Like catalpa trees in neat rows lining the long driveway up to the cotton Plantation. Catalpa, magnolia and camellia have a Southern ring to their names. So what are catalpa trees doing in North Dakota and Minnesota? There are two types of catalpa, appropriately named Northern Catalpa…
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