Bone Broth
4-5 pounds beef soup bones
2 carrots
1 leek
1 onion
6 cloves garlic
2 celery stalks
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
8 cups water
Preheat oven to 450. Cut vegetables into large chu
nks. Place beef bones, carrots, leek, onion and garlic in roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. Toss contents of the pan and continue to roast 20 minutes more.

Place bones, vegetables, peppercorns, cider vinegar, bay leaves and 8 cups water in slow cooker. Cook for 10 hours. Strain broth using a colander and discard bones and vegetables.

Refrigerate broth overnight. Remove solidified fat from the top of the chilled broth. 

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Moonstruck for Moonstone Peony
Why do peonies often conjure up thoughts of flopping blooms and diseased foliage? Not so with Moonstone peony.  Moonstone has large 8-inch flowers that hold up well on sturdy stems. Double lactifolia (multiple rows of petals) blooms start pink and mature to a blush ivory. Moonstone is fragrant and possesses a rare soft and pearly glow. It blooms midseason and grows 32-36 inches tall. Like all peonies, they prefer full sun. They are deer and disease resistant. This peony is noted to be a favorite for vases, bouquets & weddings.

To have some fresh cut flowers for a late season wedding or party, simply cut the stems at the "soft marshmallow" bud stage. Remove the leaves and place them in Ziploc bags. Lay the bags flat in the refrigerator.
The flowers should last three to six weeks. The flowers will be wilted and the cut ends will have dried. Re-cutting the ends to expose fresh tissue and placing in tepid water should make them come alive again.

For more information on growing peonies.
Trees and Property Values
Whether you're a homeowner, landscape architect or a developer, a quick and efficient sale of your property can be of utmost importance. Trees can contribute to reducing the length of time that properties spend on the market, increased exponentially by the presence of mature trees. Studies have shown that landscape plants, particularly trees, enhance property values.

A U.S. Forest Service study in Amherst, Massachusetts, showed that real estate appraisers estimated that trees contributed as much as 27 percent increase in dollars for two-thirds wooded compared to open land with no plants (Payne 1973). A survey by Arbor National Mortgage, Inc., revealed 84 percent of the real-estate agents feel a house on a lot with trees would be as much as 20 percent more salable than a house on a lot without trees. In addition, 62 percent of the respondents said the existence of healthy shade trees strongly influences a potential buyer's impression of a block or neighborhood; 60 percent thought healthy shade trees have a big effect on a potential buyer's first impression of a property, and 56 percent felt healthy shade trees are a strong factor in a home's salability.

 A more recent study in Portland, Oregon to quantify the effect of trees on Portland's housing market found that street trees added an average of $7,130 to the sale price of the house they front, and a total of $12,828 to the sale price of houses within 100 feet. In addition to trees increasing property values , street trees also reduced the time on the market by 1.7 days on average. (Donovan and Butry, 2010).
  • Plant deciduous trees on the west and south side of a house to provide cooling shade in the summer and warming daylight in the winter when they lose their leaves.
  • Plant evergreens on the north side of your home to block cold winter winds.
  • Choose the right plant in the right place. Trees that grow too big for their space are an incorrect choice as well as trees that are too small.

  • Plant below power lines. Falling trees and branches can cause power outages. Perhaps even worse, the utility's contractors will cut your tree into all sorts of odd shapes.
  •  Plant too close to your home's foundation. Roots can damage the foundation, or block sewer lines.

Not only do trees contribute monetarily to the value of property, they also contribute to a higher quality of life and benefit society.

Homes with landscapes rated "fair" or "poor" could expect a sales price 8-10 percent below equivalent homes with good landscape appeal (Henry 1994).

For more information on trees and property values.

Thanks for reading.  
Happy Planting!    


Faith Appelquist

President & Founder


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