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Archive | Bloomin’ Summer

5 ways to prepare your outdoor living space for fall


(BPT) – While everyone eagerly waits for spring each year and wishes summer could last a month or two longer, when it comes down to it, fall just might be America’s favorite season. It’s warm but not hot, the air has that clean crispness that’s hard to describe and perhaps the biggest draw, pumpkin-flavored everything. And let’s not forget about all those bright, beautiful leaf colors that come with the change in weather. So why start shutting down your outdoor living space with the first sign of fall?

Packing it in early is something dynamic design duo, Colin and Justin, would never consider. The home improvement stars of “Cabin Pressure” and “Game of Homes” make the most of their beautiful Western Red Cedar deck all year around.

“Oh my gosh  every single day, we’re on the deck – whether it’s summer, spring, fall, winter or whatever,” says Justin. “A deck isn’t just for three months of the year; a deck is what you want it to be. And if you love the great outdoors as much as we do, you can make it work.”

Here, then, are Colin and Justin’s top five design solutions to help extend your outdoor living well into the autumn months:

Start with the right deck 

bloom-outdoor-living-2Just because you procrastinated, doesn’t mean you need to wait until next spring to build or start designing a show-stopping deck. Whatever your plans, though, one thing almost everyone agrees upon is that there’s nothing quite like the rich, textural warmth of a Western Red Cedar deck to create a beautiful all-season outdoor living space. Low maintenance, surprisingly affordable and easy to work with, Real Cedar can’t be beat.

“We recommend getting your big ticket items first, around which you can seasonally adjust and tailor your look with different smaller and more affordable purchases,” says Colin. “And with decks, it’s worth investing in a really good product to start with like Western Red Cedar, which will last and last and last. Honestly, it just gets better with age, improving as the years pass, and it really is a showstopper.”

Screen it in 

Unless you’ve got a screened-in porch, you may still have to shield your outdoor living space from the occasional nippy breeze. For Colin and Justin, this is easily rectified with movable wicker screens that they store inside during the summer months.

“They’ve got a lovely weighty bottom to them,” says Justin. “The wind passes right through them and that’s a good tip for anyone using freestanding screens on the outside. If they’re too solid, the wind can catch them. But if they’re fretwork or open panels or cutout work, they’re good.”

Heat things up

Paradoxically, as the days grow shorter, you’ll wish they would last longer. There’s no more perfect way to cap off a perfect fall day than by sitting around a fire with friends and family.

“In the autumn, we have two propane operated fire bowls that sit smack dab in the center of our Western Red Cedar deck,” says Colin. Their gas-powered fire is safely contained in a stone bowl and leaves no ashes or embers. “And those fire bowls help us stretch out our summer a little bit. We also have two big patio heaters, which we can direct inward at either end of our terrace and they really makes a big difference.”

Bundle up with textiles

Sometimes all it takes to warm up your outdoor living space is some simple, yet chic, soft furnishings and yes, maybe even a change in wardrobe. (But don’t worry – you don’t have to say good-bye to your beloved flips flops, just “until we meet again next spring.”)

“We take out lots of really lovely textural throw pillows and rich woolen blankets – think Pendleton and Hudson’s Bay striped blankets – and we cozy up,” says Justin, adding, “And don’t forget your winter woollies. When the weather is changing, sometimes it’s less about what you add and more about what you put on in terms of clothing.”

Install a BBQ cover 

If you’re like Colin & Justin, you enjoy the thrill of the grill year round. This is where an easy-to-build, Real Cedar BBQ Cover really earns its keep. Made from nature’s most resilient building material, this sturdy and beautiful structure is going to last you a very long time. Just think of all the cookout possibilities!

“We BBQ all the time,” says Colin, “So we got a cover. That way we don’t have to worry about weather.”

For free downloadable project plans, visit RealCedar.com or for more fast facts on building with Real Cedar, download their free DIY app – available on the Apple App Store for iOS and at Google Play for Android.

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Prep your home and lawn checklist for fall 


(NewsUSA) – As autumn colors set in this season, make sure  your all-important home and garden upkeep checklist is ready.

Although the lawn is often overlooked during the fall, it’s actually the perfect time to make sure everything is organized before the harsher winter elements take hold. Paul James, host of HGTV’s “Gardening by the Yard,” advises homeowners to start early—approximately six weeks before the first good freeze.

Here is a list of some of the tasks and items you should add to your fall checklist this year:

*Maintain the landscape. Tidy up the lawn, flowerbeds, bushes, gardens, etc. Remove unsightly foliage, dead stems, piles of leaves and other debris. Fluff your mulch with a rake so water can seep into the subsoil.

*Plant fall vegetables. Cool-season vegetable gardens can flourish with the right plants—lettuce, greens, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, potatoes and loads more.

Imagine all the hearty stews and delicious soups you could make from scratch.

*Keep muscles relaxed, and stay hydrated. Don’t underestimate the fall sun. Summer may be over, but hours of gardening in the sun can still leave you exhausted, strained and parched.

Remember to drink plenty of fluids, take breaks and stretch your muscles. If you suffer from backaches and muscle strains, keep some relief like Absorbine Jr. (www.absorbinejr.com) on hand. The natural menthol in Absorbine Jr. helps relieve muscle and back pain to make it a must-have for yard work. Its herbal ingredients also help provide relief from sunburn and gnat and other insect bites.

*Make room for indoor plants. Your potted or container plants won’t survive the winter outside, so it’s time to make room indoors for tropical plants, herbs and succulents. Potted perennials can be transplanted into a garden after trimming the roots and some top growth.

*Clean garage, shed or outbuildings. Once you organize your storage space, you can neatly put away all of your summer tools or patio furniture. Plus, your newly emptied planters will have a home next to all the other stuff families accumulate.

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Three simple ways to aid pollinators

You can help pollinator friends on National Honey Bee Day, National Honey Month and all year long.

You can help pollinator friends on National Honey Bee Day, National Honey Month and all year long.

(NAPS)—Here’s the buzz on an important aspect of helping our environment. Pollinator health can sometimes seem as complex as a beehive with the multiple challenges bees face. Pests, pathogens, diseases, climate change, improper use of pesticides and habitat loss are just a few. However, protecting pollinator health is something with which everyone can help.

For example, Feed a Bee is an initiative of the Bayer Bee Care Program that aims to tackle one of the most pressing issues facing pollinators today—lack of adequate forage. Just as humans can’t survive on chocolate alone, bees need nectar from a wide variety of plants. By working with individuals and organizations across the nation, Feed a Bee has planted more than 150 million flowers.

Consider these three easy ways to be extra sweet to honey bees and other pollinators:

  1. Tweet a Bee, Feed a Bee. Don’t have a green thumb? Never fear. Every use of the bee emoji and #FeedABee on Twitter and Instagram generates virtual seeds that Bayer will convert to real wildflower seeds and plant with The Wildlife Society at a Feed a Bee planting.
  2. Prepare for the spring. Surprisingly, fall is the perfect time to plant flowers to ensure pollinators have plenty to eat during the spring, and it’s never too early to begin planning your planting. Native plants and yellow, blue or purple flowers are pollinators’ favorites. Timing your planting perfectly is crucial to ensure they germinate and bloom at the proper time. You can read expert tips at beehealth.bayer.us/gardeners.
  3. Celebrate like a queen bee. Each year, National Honey Bee Day and National Honey Month roll around to remind everyone of the important role honey bees play. In 2016, National Honey Bee Day lands on Saturday, August 20, while National Honey Month lasts all September long.

To celebrate busy bees, visit beehealth.bayer.us to explore learning resources, recipes and more information about how you can help pollinators. If you’re ever near the Raleigh-Durham area, you can even plan a visit to the Bayer Bee Care Center by registering for a tour online.

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Fall care for a healthier, better looking lawn 

Melinda Myers fertilizes a lawn to help it recover from the stresses of summer. Photo by Mark Avery.

Melinda Myers fertilizes a lawn to help it recover from the stresses of summer. Photo by Mark Avery.

By Melinda Myers

As summer fades into fall, it is time to help lawns recover from summer stress and prepare for the winter ahead.

Continue to mow your lawn as long as it continues to grow. Grow cool season grasses like bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches tall. Warm season grasses like bermudagrass, carpetgrass, centipedegrass and zoysia should be grown at 1 to 2 inches tall while St. Augustine should a bit higher, 2 to 3 inches, for best results. Taller grass is better able to compete with weeds. And there is no need to cut it shorter for the health of your lawn.

Mow often, removing no more than one-third the total height. Leave these short clippings on the lawn. They will quickly break down, adding organic matter, moisture and nutrients to the soil.

And as you mow you can take care of all those fall leaves at the same time. Shred the fall leaves and allow them to remain on the lawn. As long as you can see the leaf blades through the shredded leaves your lawn will be fine. And just like the clippings, they add nutrients and organic matter to the soil.

Fertilize your lawn with a low-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer like Milorganite (milorganite.com). University research has shown that fall fertilization is the most beneficial practice for home lawns. Less disease problems and slower weed growth means your lawns—not the weeds and pests—benefit from the nutrients. Fall fertilization also helps lawns recover from the stresses of summer because it encourages deep roots and denser growth that can better compete with weeds and tolerate disease and insects.

Those in colder regions growing cool weather bluegrass, fescue and perennial ryegrass should fertilize around Labor Day and sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving, but before the ground freezes.

Homeowners in warmer climates growing warm season grasses like centipede, Bermuda and zoysia should fertilize around Labor Day. Apply a low-nitrogen slow-release fertilizer then and in early October if overseeding the lawn. Make sure the last fall application is at least one month prior to the average first killing frost. Fertilizing later can result in winter damage.

Weeds often gain a foothold in the lawn during the stressful summer months. A healthy lawn is the best defense. Even with proper care, weeds can bully their way into the lawn. Try digging, root and all, to remove small populations of weeds. Weeding can be a great tension reducer and physical workout.

If this isn’t possible, consider spot treating weeds or problem areas with a broadleaf weed-killer. Those looking for more organic options may want to try one of the more eco-friendly products with the active ingredient Fehedta or Hedta. Whether using traditional or environmentally-friendly products read and follow label directions carefully.  All these products are plant killers and can cause damage to other plants if not applied properly.

Fall, when the lawn is actively growing, is the best time to core aerate or dethatch northern lawns suffering from thatch build up or compacted soil. Thatch is a layer of partially decomposed dead grass plants that prevents water and nutrients from reaching the grass roots. Use a dethatching machine to remove thatch layers greater than one half an inch. Or core aerate the lawn to create openings in the thatch layer and help reduce soil compaction to encourage root growth and allow water and nutrients to infiltrate the soil.

Overseeding your lawn in the fall helps increase thickness and improves the overall health and appearance of the lawn. For best results, overseed directly after aerating.

Begin implementing some of these strategies and soon you’ll be on your way to a healthier, better looking lawn for the coming growing season.

Gardening expert Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and spokesperson for Milorganite. Myers’ website is http://www.melindamyers.com/www.melindamyers.com.

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Businesses backing away from bee-killing pesticides


By Mary Kuhlman, Michigan News Connection

New tests found significant decreases in the use of bee-killing pesticides on “bee-friendly” plants. That’s good news for bees.

Friends of the Earth and the Pesticide Research Institute took samples of plants in 13 U.S. cities, including Ann Arbor and Detroit, and compared them to samples taken in 2013 and 2014. They were looking for neonicotinoid insecticides in plants sold to gardeners and home owners.

In the previous tests, half of the plants tested positive for the toxins. This time, only 23 percent did. Tiffany Finck-Haynes, food futures campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said retailers are starting to sell “bee-friendly” plants.

“Almost 70 retailers across the U.S. have made commitments to stop selling plants—and in some cases, products—that contain bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides,” Finck-Haynes said. “And so that’s what’s really shifting the entire garden industry.”

The Bee Informed Partnership at the University of Maryland said beekeepers across the U.S. lost 44 percent of their honeybee colonies between April 2015 and April 2016. Researchers blame the varroa mite, pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use.
Bee losses have to stop, Finck-Haynes said. But some retailers are still selling plants pre-treated with pesticides. She said she hopes consumers will put pressure on those companies.

“Over 50 percent of Americans are more likely to shop at a Lowe’s or a Home Depot because they’ve made that commitment to stop selling these bee-killing pesticides,” Finck-Haynes said. “So, this really demonstrates to Walmart, Ace and True Value that they could potentially lose their customers if they don’t make these formal commitments.”

More than 100 businesses, cities, universities, states and countries have restricted use of pesticides that are lethal to bees. According to a survey by Greenhouse Grower magazine, nearly three-quarters of growers who supply mass merchants and home-improvement chains said they will not use neonicotinoids this year.

A list of retailer’s and grower’s policies on pesticide use is available http://www.foe.org/beeaction/retailers.

Find a list of companies selling pollinator-friendly seeds and plants at this link: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/programs/bee-protective-pollinators-and-pesticides/what-can-you-do/pollinator-friendly-seed-directory.

Get a copy of the new study here: http://webiva-downton.s3.amazonaws.com/877/a1/5/8972/GardenersBewareFollowupReport_4.pdf

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Is your lawn and garden bird-friendly?



Birds are more than just beautiful visitors to your lawn and garden, they are an important component of a healthy local ecosystem.

Making your property a safe haven for birds will beautify your garden and is the right thing to do. Here are a few simple steps to take to keep birds safe.

Offer Food and Shelter

Many birds will simply be using your yard as a rest stop on a long migration. Keep this in mind and fill your yard with native species of trees, shrubs and flowers to provide shelter and food.

You can supplement this nourishment with strategically located bird feeders that will prevent birds from striking your home’s windows. Ideally, bird feeders should be located within three feet of a window or more than 30 feet from a window.

Prevent Bird Strikes

Ninety-eight million birds are killed annually in the U.S. when colliding with windows, according to Western EcoSystems Technology estimates. Stem the loss of life by exploiting the keen vision of birds.

“When windows are visible to birds, they will enjoy a safer migration,” says Spencer Schock, founder of WindowAlert, a company that offers decals and UV Liquid that is visible to birds but not people.

Products from WindowAlert are proven to effectively alter the flight path of birds and prevent window strikes. An easy weekend project to complete this season is applying decals to your home’s windows and using UV Liquid to fill the gaps in order to form a visual barrier for birds. The ultraviolet reflecting coating will look like etched glass to humans, but be quite visible to birds. The coating can fade over time, so remember to periodically replace decals. More best practices can be found at windowalert.com.

Limit Other Hazards

Pet cats can prove hazardous to birds. Keep cats inside or monitor their time outdoors in order to prevent attacks.

Promote a natural food source for birds by avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers that kill off the insects that birds need to thrive.

By taking a few important measures at home, you can create a haven for migratory birds right in your own backyard.

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Tips for tackling storm-related roof damage


(Family Features)

Having your home severely damaged by a storm can turn your world upside down. The damage could simply be cosmetic, or so extensive as to render your home uninhabitable. In either case, you need to act fast, but smart, to ensure that your home will be properly repaired.

Often, foremost among your concerns will be your roof, as it is protects the rest of your home and possessions. Start your post-storm repair process with these tips from the experts at CertainTeed Roofing.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Keep safety first. Leave emergency repairs to the professionals. A crisis that affects your home is an emotional event, but your safety is paramount. Do not attempt any emergency repairs unless you are qualified to do so.

Prepare for your insurance adjuster. Take time to do your own documentation. Take plenty of photos and notes on the damage to your home. This information will become a helpful checklist to compare against the insurance company’s findings. When it comes to the roof, check outside for things such as blown off shingles, damaged gutters and large branches that may have fallen onto your home. Also, if you can safely access your attic, examine the underside of your roof for damage or leaks.

Find the right contractor. You will want to interview at least three contractors for your roof repair. This allows you to compare prices, work styles and other factors before making your selection. Here are some key questions to ask:

Are you a credentialed installer? Most shingle manufactures have strict guidelines for installation. These assure that you get the best performance and meet the requirements for the product and/or workmanship warranty. For example, CertainTeed Roofing issues education-based credentials such as the ShingleMaster or SELECT ShingleMaster.

Do you have storm experience? Some contractors are experienced in storm restoration and trained in storm damage evaluation and repair. These are the contractors you want when dealing with an insurance claim.

Where is your business located? You will want a local contractor with an established business location who can provide at least four to five references. This way, if you need to follow up for any reason, they will be easy to reach.

Do you carry liability and worker’s comp insurance? Your contractor should be fully insured with liability and workers compensation insurance. This will protect you should any workers get hurt during the repair process.

Are you licensed with the state or municipality? The answer to this question may be no, as not all states or municipalities have licensing requirements for roofing contractors. If licensing is required, there are websites, such as the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, where you can look up a company’s status.

Check for special repair designations required by your insurance. In some instances, insurance companies require that certain materials be used in the repair of your home. In areas prone to hail storms, for example, you may be required to install shingles that are classified as impact resistant, which stand up better to hailstorms.

Find more tips to help guide your roof repair, and find qualified installers in your area, at CertainTeed.com.

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Five ways to protect your garden from the deer

Deer damage can be devastating to vegetable and flower gardens, making fencing, repellents and other tactics essential.

Deer damage can be devastating to vegetable and flower gardens, making fencing, repellents and other tactics essential.

By Melinda Myers

Don’t let your vegetable and fall flower gardens succumb to hungry deer. Even if you’re lucky enough to be deer-free now, be vigilant and prepared to prevent damage as these beautiful creatures move into your landscape to dine. Here are five tactics to help you in the battle against these hungry animals.

Fencing is the best, though not always practical, way to control deer. Install a 4- to 5-foot-high fence around small garden areas. This is usually enough to keep out deer that seem to avoid small confined spaces. The larger the area, the more likely deer will enter. Some gardeners report success surrounding their garden or landscape with strands of fishing line set at 12 inches and 36 inches above the ground.

Low voltage electric fencing or posts baited with a deer repellent are also options. Just be sure to check with your local municipality before installing this type of fencing.

Scare tactics are less effective on deer in urban environments. They are used to human scents and sounds. Many gardeners report success with motion sensor sprinklers. As the deer passes in front of the motion sensor it starts the sprinkler and sends them running. Just be sure to turn off the sprinkler when you go out to garden.

Repellents that make plants taste or smell bad to deer can also help. You will find products containing things like garlic, hot pepper oil, and predator urine. Apply them before the animals start feeding for the best results. And reapply as directed on the label. Look for products like Deer Ban (summitchemical.com) that are easy to apply, odorless and last a long time.

Include deer resistant plants whenever possible. Even though no plant is one hundred percent deer-proof, there are those the deer are less likely to eat. Include plants rated as rarely or seldom damaged by deer. And be sure to provide additional protection if you include plants known to be frequently or severely damaged.

Constantly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the methods used. Deer often change their feeding location and preferred food. And if the populations are high and the deer are hungry, they will eat just about anything. Be willing to change things up if one method is not working. Using multiple tactics will help increase your level of success.

So don’t let hungry deer stop you from gardening. Be vigilant and persistent and send them elsewhere to dine.

Gardening expert Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Summit Responsible Solutions for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ website is www.melindamyers.com.

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A Guide to saving water and your lawn

With the right watering techniques, you can save water, money and time while maintaining a healthy lawn.

With the right watering techniques, you can save water, money and time while maintaining a healthy lawn.

(StatePoint) No longer must you choose between your lawn and saving water. Experts say there are ways to save both water and money that won’t hurt your turf.

“We often see sprinklers watering sidewalks and drives, running during rain, or sending water down the drain from leaky heads,” says Josh Friell, Ph. D, senior agronomist of The Toro Company’s Center for Advanced Turf Technology. “The good news is there are simple, cost-effective actions homeowners can take to save up to 30 percent in outdoor water usage alone.”

Friell recommends these lawn-care watering tips:

First Things First

Most timed sprinklers water in the early morning, without homeowner attention. At the beginning of the season, run each zone briefly during daylight hours to see how the system is operating. Look for broken lines or damaged sprinkler heads, and inspect spray patterns to ensure water isn’t wasted.

When to Water

Experts suggest watering deeply and infrequently. This helps wet the entire root zone and encourages deeper root growth, which helps the lawn better tolerate mild to moderate drought. It is best to water in the early morning around 4 to 5 a.m., as this gives lawns time to absorb the moisture and prevents evaporation due to daytime heat.

How Much to Water

During summer, your grass should receive between 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water weekly, including natural precipitation. Water requirements vary by turf variety, local weather conditions, and site conditions such as shade. Your local university extension office can be a good source of information to assist in understanding local conditions.

The total water applied can be determined by placing a rain gauge or empty tuna cans around your yard prior to an irrigation cycle. Another option is to install a wireless soil moisture sensor, like the Toro Precision Soil Sensor, which fits almost any controller and installs in minutes. This helps eliminate guesswork by continuously monitoring soil moisture levels to prevent the system from overwatering.

Limit Water Intake

Friell says a general rule to keep in mind is that turfgrass does better when managed on the dry side rather than wet. When soil is constantly wet, grass roots are deprived of oxygen and may become more susceptible to disease.

When in Drought

Avoid lawn mowing during heat and drought. Lawns under such stress have limited ability to recover from mowing and can be damaged even more. Instead, mow after a rainfall or irrigation day. Finally, maintaining higher mowing heights will help turf tolerate the heat and drought of summer. Doing so also requires less frequent mowing, which means more time to enjoy your lawn!

Water Rebates

Many cities and water agencies across the U.S. offer water conservation and rebate programs to homeowners to encourage adoption of more efficient irrigation solutions. Find a list of the latest rebates at watersmart.toro.com/rebates/.

You can learn more about proper watering at watersmart.toro.com.

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By Judy Reed

Many of us here in Michigan grew up loving (or hating) beets. And usually, we only had them one of two ways—either boiled or pickled. Michigan-grown beets are available late July to late October, so now is a good time to try out some new ways to cook and eat them. You can grill or roast beets, eat them in salads, include them in smoothies, or even desserts such as brownies or cupcakes. Now that’s a versatile vegetable!


Beets are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. They are also a good source of Vitamin C, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate, Potassium and Manganese. One cup of beets is 58 calories, and provides 4g of fiber, 2g of protein, 9g of sugar, and 13g of carbohydrates. The glycemic load is a 5, if you use that scale.

Storage and food safety 

The Michigan State University Extension website recommends the following for handling and storing fresh beets:

  • Avoid using large beets as they can be tough and woody.
  • Wash hands before and after handling fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Wash beets thoroughly under cool running water. Do not use soap.
  • Keep beets away from raw meats and meat juice to prevent cross contamination.
  • Before storing, trim the stem to 2 inches above the beet. Do not trim the tail.
  • Store beets in a plastic bag in the refrigerator at or below 41 °F for 7 to 10 days.
  • Beets may be frozen for up to ten months.
  • For best quality and nutritive value, preserve only what your family can consume in 12 months.

See the recipe below from about.com on how to grill beets, and another recipe that should be close to the hearts of those in Cedar Springs—Red Flannel Hash, from Eatingwell.com.

How to Grill Beets

Estimate 1 small to medium beet per person and get grilling.

Heat the grill to medium-hot (you should be able to hold your hand about an inch over the cooking grate for about 2 seconds).

Meanwhile, peel and slice the beets.

Brush the beets with olive oil or vegetable oil. Sprinkle them lightly with salt.

Place the beets on the grill. If using a gas grill, close the cover. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, turn, and continue cooking until the beets are tender and grill-marked, another 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve the beets hot, warm, or at room temperature. Drizzle them with additional olive oil for serving, if you like. This is also a great time to use any nut oils (toasted walnut oil or hazelnut oil in particular), since they so perfectly complement the earthy-yet-sweet flavor of grilled beets.

BLOOM-Beets-Red-Flannel-HashRed Flannel Hash (from eatingwell.com)

Makes: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


2 cups diced peeled beets (1/2 inch; about 2 medium)

2 cups diced russet potatoes (1/2 inch)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 cup diced fennel bulb plus 1/4 cup chopped fronds for garnish

1 cup diced shallots

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add beets, cover and steam for 4 minutes. Add potatoes, cover and steam until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes more.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add diced fennel and shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the steamed vegetables; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are starting to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in salt and pepper and fennel fronds, if using.


Per serving: 189 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 8 g total sugars; 4 g protein; 5 g fiber; 364 mg sodium; 762 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (26% daily value), Vitamin C (23% dv), Potassium (22% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 3 vegetable, 1 1/2 fat

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