Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
The world is full of different kinds of crafters — what kind are you? Take our quiz to find out and be entered to win a prize pack of craft tools, valued at over $400!
The AdvantEdge™ Punch System features slide-and-lock technology that makes punching perfectly aligned borders easier than ever.
It’s the perfect soup for a chilly autumn day, especially when it’s made with ingredients straight from the garden.
To grow this warm-season plant, start your pumpkins from seeds sown directly in warm, fertile soil after the last frost date in your area. Wait until the soil temperatures have reached 60 degrees F.
You’ll get best results if you enrich the soil with a healthy dose of compost, well-rotted manure, worm castings and other organic matter before planting.
I photographed the pumpkins in this article at a local farm’s pumpkin patch, as I wasn’t growing any of my own this year. By the time you read this article, the pumpkins will have already been sold at local farmers’ markets and farm stands.
Give pumpkins plenty of water, but avoid wetting the foliage. This helps reduce fungal diseases on the foliage. Personally, I like to water at the plant roots in the early mornings, so there is less evaporation and the plant foliage has time to dry before evening.
Winter squash – like this ‘Lakota’ winter squash from my garden this summer – is a close relative of the pumpkin and enjoys the same growing conditions. Both plants need plenty of room to grow, reaching more than six feet long. In fact, this ‘Lakota’ squash grows 10 to 20 feet long. I grow my squashes and pumpkins near the edge of my garden bed, so there is plenty of room for the plants to spread.
This year, I’ve had to fight blackfly on my leaves and flowers, which I’ve tackled by releasing ladybugs in the evening, after wetting down the plants. Cool temperatures and moisture help the ladybugs stick around longer, so this is one of those rare times you’ll want a damp garden in the evening.
If you have a serious aphid or blackfly problem, you might want to release more packages of ladybugs to fight these pests. In the first stages of the pest problem, try spraying off blackflies and aphids with a sharp spray of water in the morning, and repeat as needed.
Pumpkin Soup with Sage and Italian Sausage
This soup is packed with pumpkin’s nutritional goodness, and is now one of my family’s favorite soups. Pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. In fact, a half cup of cooked pumpkin provides a day’s supply of vitamin A.
Since this soup is topped with cooked Italian sausage, I’m glad the recipe features the herb sage. For centuries, cooks have known that sage is good for the digestion, which is why the herb is often used around Thanksgiving.
The original soup recipe was from Emeril Lagasse, but I’ve adapted the ingredients. Instead of parsley, I added a pinch of cayenne, for instance.
But most importantly, I substituted canned pumpkins for the three-pound fresh pumpkin, which was supposed to be peeled, seeded and cut into half-inch pieces. That’s because I’m writing this recipe before pumpkins are ripe in the garden. So, if you’re looking for canned pumpkins “off-season,” like I was, try your store’s baking section. That’s where I found mine.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 chopped yellow onions
1 leek, washed and sliced into half rounds
1 29-ounce can of pumpkins. Or 3 pound of fresh pumpkin flesh peeled, seeded and cut into half-inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
3 bay leaves
8 cups chicken broth
1 sprig sage
½ teaspoon of dried thyme
Pinch of cayenne to taste
About a pound of fresh, bulk Italian sausage, and crumbled freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1) Melt butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and leeks. Cook and stir until soft and lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
2) Add pumpkin, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Mix well. If using fresh pumpkin, cook until it softens slightly.
3) Add chicken broth , sage and thyme. Stir to mix.
4) Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes until the pumpkin is tender and broth is thickening slightly. Remove herbs.
5) If you’ve added fresh pumpkin, use an immersion blender to puree the soup. If you used canned pumpkin, there’s no need to blend the soup.
6) Brown the sausage in a medium sauté pan. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towel.
7) Serve soup with browned sausage and Parmesian-Reggiano cheese on top.