November Articles

The November eNewsletter is coming soon...


October Articles

How About them Apples: Espalier for the Beginner

Decorating Pumpkins Without a Knife

The Fabulous Four

Egomania in the Universe




Featured Books for November:


Midwestern Birds: Backyard Guide
by Bill Thompson III


Of all the classic American pastimes, perhaps none is as widely accessible as watching birds. Our unusually vast, diverse environmental landscape supports fascinating species and variations exclusive to each region of the country. While birders often spend their efforts in search of the rarest creatures, some of the most beautiful and intriguing birds are the ones that frequent our backyards (or nearby) daily. For that reason, where other larger volumes focus on bird types that the casual observer is never likely to encounter, Midwestern Birds concisely celebrates those species living under our very noses.

Written by Bill Thompson III, the editor and co-publisher of Bird Watcher's Digest, this portable 5"x8" book contains the same variety of entertaining and informative entries that make Bird Watcher's Digest the nation's most popular birding magazine. Inside, you'll find profiles of the 55 most common birds in the Midwest, complete with large color photos, gender-specific physical descriptions, nesting and feeding information, bird call particulars, and interesting stories about each species. Thompson also introduces the reader to the basics of bird watching: essential gear, bird-friendly food and plantings, housing tips, and observational techniques.

This guide covers Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Look for our other backyard bird guides covering the Mid-Atlantic, South, Northeast, and West regions of the United States.



Herb Gardening for the Midwest
by Debra Knapke


Herbs add fragrance, beauty and practicality to your garden -- and it's easy to grow a wide variety of them just about anywhere here in the Midwest. This book, written by Laura Peters and coauthored by veteran Ohio garden writer Debra Knapke, offers handy tips and advice on:

  • Growing, maintaining and harvesting 360 of the best herbs for local gardens
  • Propagation and winter care
  • Solutions to common garden problems.

This practical book will help you participate in the age-old tradition of using herbs to flavor foods, add seductive scents to potpourris and perfumes, and impart healthful, healing qualities to lotions and lip balms:

  • Exotic herbs such as kaffir lime, lemongrass, jasmine, fenugreek and stevia can be grown easily here
  • Edible flowers such as nasturtiums and calendula can add flavor and interest to salads, teas, honeys and butters
  • Fragrant herbs such as basil, rosemary and sage can be used in infusions, herbal baths and soaps.