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The Cultivator
Asparagus Triple Extreme
The CobraHead Newsletter
May 2014
Hello, Friends of CobraHead,

On Saturday, I flagged down a tree trimming crew in my neighborhood and asked them to dump the woodchips in my yard. That made my day. I now have a pile of chips that should last me for at least a year. Unlike Noel in Wisconsin, I don't have access to abundant leaves and buying mulch is expensive. With Austin's hot, dry summers, my fruit trees and garden paths will benefit from heavy mulching. Despite a heavy soaking last week that also brought cooler weather, Austin is still in an extended drought.

Removing the grass from around the base of young trees is one of my favorite uses of the CobraHead. I 'draw' a circle with the blade of the area that I want grass free, and then work my way inward using the  
tool to pull out the grass roots. Then I cover the area with a little compost and a thick layer of mulch, being careful not to lay the mulch right next to the trunk. With the new load of chips, I've gotten motivated to take care of the weeds encroaching on the redbud, Mexican plum, and pineapple guava, among others.

Noel's been growing asparagus in the same patch since 1989. In this issue he describes how he cares for the asparagus to keep it producing after 25 years. Judy also shares not just one, but two recipes: asparagus parsnip saut� and garlic roasted potatoes with parsnips and sweet potatoes.

What's your favorite free garden resource? Drop me a line at

Happy Gardening,


Spring Harvest Breakfast

Asparagus overload?  Here's a delicious way to use several spring vegetables as well as some of last fall's harvest. 
Baby Burritos with Asparagus and Parsnips

Some help  for using up that asparagus. 

Asparagus Bed

Asparagus is easy to grow and with just a little care, can produce for years and years.  This bed was planted in 1989 and still yields prolifically.

If you like our newsletter and our products or if you have some suggestions, we'd love to hear from you.

If you have gardening friends or if you know potential gardeners who might be interested in CobraHead and what we have to say about gardening and eating, please to them. 
It is the mission of CobraHead to help people grow their own food and to provide exceptional products and services to all gardeners.  We try hard to "walk the walk" when it comes to issues of sustainability and in deciding what is best for ourselves and the environment as we grow our little company.  We've chosen to make our tools locally, here in Wisconsin, and we think that bigger is not necessarily better.  Gardening might just be earth's great hope, and in any case it's a great hobby.

Thank you,
Noel, Judy, Geoff and Anneliese
The CobraHead Team
In This Issue
Garlic Roasted Potatoes with Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes
Asparagus Parsnip Sauté
25 Year Old Asparagus Bed
Morel Mushroom

May is usually a good weather month in Wisconsin and though the nice weather was slow in coming, it's finally here. This is when the green explodes outside. The trees, the uncultivated farm fields, and all the open lands are lush. Things are growing fast and mowing the lawn is a twice a week chore.   The ground is warming up quickly; daytime temperatures are in the 70's. I'm happy to be in the garden.


But May started out very cold. The finicky pear trees put out almost no blossoms, so we won't have that harvest this August. And I've got a lot more weeds to deal with than normal this year, as I did not do my usual covering of the garden beds with leaves due to a winter that came too early.   But things are mostly good. We're eating asparagus and all kinds of salad greens from the garden. The peas I planted a month ago look great. Onions and leeks are planted and starting to stand tall. I've got most of my more tender crops off to a good start outside in a holding bed that I've had covered with a hoop tunnel.   I've got a couple weeks of heavy planting ahead of me, but that's what I like to do.


I wasn't expecting to find any morel mushrooms, this year. It seemed like the temperatures and precipitation were just wrong. But I took a walk into the woods on Memorial Day and found one of the best single day harvests I've yet had. I picked well over a pound in short order. These things often sell for over forty dollars a pound. That's not worth it in my opinion, I like the cultured shiitakes we grow on logs a lot better, but morels are still fun and still free.


Most of our readers signed up for the CobraHead newsletter at a garden show. Our inducement to get sign-ups is a $50 gift certificate for CobraHead products from our website store. Recent gift certificate winners include Ben Kizer, who signed up at the Green Metropolis Fair in Chicago, Maureen Fox, who signed up at the Wisconsin Master Gardner Conference in Appleton; Jackie Powell, who found us at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville; Rachel Reyna, a visitor to our booth at the Philadelphia Flower Show; and Jackie Rains, who signed up at the Madison Garden Expo. Thanks to all who signed up and congratulations to our winners.


We'd like to remind all our readers that we love to grow our own food and to help others do the same.  We post articles about food growing and cooking with home grown food on our website blog, and we almost always have a discussion or several going on about food and growing on our Facebook page.  You can help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to a friend and if you have any gardening questions, drop us a note.  If we can't help you we'll find someone who can.


Thanks for reading our newsletter.

Noel and the CobraHead Team


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