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The Cultivator
Seeds, Soup, and Cucumbers
The CobraHead Newsletter
August 2013
Hello, Friends of CobraHead,

Greetings from Austin, Texas. I'll admit it, I neglected my garden during part of the summer this year. But over the past few weeks, I've brought it back from the brink of disaster. I'm now picking abundant hot peppers, basil, and papalo. Okra and summer squash will be producing soon, and I have almost two full beds of volunteer sweet potatoes that I'll harvest later in the fall.

Normally the okra would already be producing by now, but I planted it late. However, it loves the heat and it looks like we'll still have triple digits well into next week, so I'm hoping for a plentiful September. Fall planting will start this weekend, but given the hot weather, I'll hold off on sowing lettuces and spinach for a few more weeks.

In this issue we have two awesome recipes from Judy: cucumbers marinated in white wine vinegar and pureed zucchini ginger soup. Plus, Noel's already started planting his fall garden and shares one of his favorite resources for seed and vegetable information.

What are your fall gardening plans? Drop me a line at

Happy gardening,


Marinated Cucumbers
Marinated Cucumbers
Judy extols the virtues of white wine vinegar.  And this dish is quick, tasty and refreshing.  See the recipe here.
Vilmorin book
The Vegetable Garden

Noel grows an abundant fall garden, that provides harvests well into December in Wisconsin.  
This year he's also using up some of his old seeds.  

Zucchini Ginger Soup
Pureed Ginger Zucchini Soup

For many people, it's that zucchini time of year.  This soup is good.  But what else would you expect from Judy's kitchen.  See the recipe

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
Marinated Cucumbers
Fall Gardening
Ginger Zucchini Soup


Goldenrod Soldier Beetles
Goldenrod Soldier Beetles

The sidebar picture is of Goldenrod Soldier Beetles - Chauliognathus pensylvanicus. These beetles are promiscuous and plentiful throughout late summer. They are Wisconsin's most common beetle. Fortunately, they are more beneficial than bad, so I don't have to do battle with them. They mostly hang out in the weeds, but I'll find them in just about all the flowering plants. They love yellow flowers and goldenrod and tansy is where they cluster. I could collect bucketfuls if I had a mind to. They are an important pollinator and they also eat some of the bad guys, so we call them our friends.

July was a lost month as far as my garden goes due to our most excellent New York Times CobraHead tool review which forced Judy and I to spend the entire month packing tools. Things have lightened up and I've been getting a lot done so far in August. The first several weeks were spent just weeding. It's amazing how fast they grow if you don't do a little weeding just about every day. Now I've finally gotten back to some planting and I've made a good start on getting in some fall crops.

We've met many of the seed companies in the garden industry, from big corporations to "mom and pop" companies like ours. I find the smaller companies doing the more interesting, and in my opinion, the more valuable work in seed selection and propagation. Large scale agriculture has been on a mission, conscious or not, to destroy the genetic diversity of fruits and vegetables. The variety of seeds and plants available to commercial growers, and home growers, too, has been constantly shrinking from what it used to be a hundred years ago.

I don't think it's in our best interest to let some of these old strains of fruits and vegetables pass out of existence just because the fruit does not lend itself to mechanical picking, or the yields cannot be counted on to be so many bushels per acre. This is where many of the smaller seed companies are doing the right thing, saving old varieties that are interesting and delicious.

I'm pretty sure that very soon small scale and home agriculture will enjoy a renaissance much larger than our current home gardening upswing. We will have to become a world of gardeners to offset the mistakes brought on by the mindless pursuit of dollars over logic that has been the path of industrial agriculture. And the little seed companies that have saved the genetic seed pool for us will prove their value.

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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