Happy Valentine’s Day
By David Crane
The thoughts of sweethearts hopefully warms the heart in the coldness of winter. Here at the store, we try to get our customers to think about the man in their life. He may not admit it, but he likes getting gifts too, and we have great guy gifts. Stop in!
We have finished up inventory in the store and all eyes are crossed from the amount of counting that goes into it. It allows us to do some deep cleaning at the same time, get a handle on what is left from Christmas, and get ready for spring items to start coming in. As of this writing, we are starting to see some of the lighter weight sweatshirts and jackets. Shorts won’t be far behind.
That is the fun of retail. I’ll be headed to Denver at the end of January for Outdoor Retailer (OR). OR is an outdoor sports trade show of all of the vendors we currently carry and a lot that we don’t. I’m always on the lookout for new items, so I’ll report back next month about what may be coming to the store. I’ve already written our Carhartt orders for this fall, and, as always, I hope I guess the weather, people’s fashion whims, and the needs of our customers correctly.
There will be a Valentine’s special at Marlene’s featuring a Chicken Alfredo lunch. Beat the crowds in the big city and relax in the country at Marlene’s for a nice Valentine’s lunch. We will have a gift with purchase at the Store for a little add-on with Carhartt.
Hope to see you around the stove!
Propagating Your Own Native Plants
by Nadia Navarrete-Tindall – Native Plants Specialist
Native plant sales are great! You can meet your friends and make new ones, get good advice, find new plants you didn’t know about. Go! Have fun! But, know what? You can also start many of your own natives right at home!
Native plants can be propagated by seed or vegetatively from cuttings or division. Some plants have seeds that can readily germinate without any treatment like some species of asters, goldenrods and coreopsis. Others need to be treated to break seed dormancy by scarifying or stratifying the seeds. Two ways are scarification and stratification.
Seed scarification is when seeds with hard seed coats need to be cut to break dormancy and germinate. Hard seed coats can be broken with a file or hot water. Seeds are placed in hot water at about 180oF (82oC) and then soaked overnight. Seeds should then be planted immediately in pots or directly in the ground. Be sure you label the seed after planting!
In nature, hard seed coats are broken in the digestive tract of animals or gradually by fungi or bacteria. Examples of species that need seed scarification are Kentucky coffee tree, wild indigo (Baptisia spp), wahoo (Euonymous atropurpureus) and bladdernut (Staphylea trifoliata).
Stratification consists of exposing seeds to a cool-moist period to break the seed dormancy caused by chemical inhibitors in the seed. The period of exposure could be from 4 to 16 weeks depending on the species. A rule of thumb for many native plants is 6 weeks of cold exposure for germination. Some species that would respond well to this treatment are Sweet williams (Phlox divaricata), milkweeds (Asclepias spp. )and gl
ade onion (Allium canadense). Some special seeds require cool-dry or warm-moist periods to germinate.
Seeds of spring-blooming wildflowers like bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and wild ginger (Asarum canadense) have to be sown immediately after harvesting and be protected from getting dry.
Vegetative propagation is handy for dioecious species that have female and male flowers produced in different individuals, like American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens).
The Prairie Fork Conservation Area has a series of native plant gardens that are used for education and research. More than 140 native species including vines, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers, ferns and sedges naturally growing in prairies, glades, wetlands and woodlands can be seen here. These are just a few of many more that are also found growing in prairies and woodlands at the PFCA. Students, teachers and other visitors learn about plants that can be established in urban or rural gardens.
Among some of the benefits that these plants provide are food and cover for pollinators and other wildlife. Many edibles for humans can be very nutritious and, if grown as specialty crops as ornamentals or seed production can provide an additional source of income for farmers in urban or rural areas.
So, go to native plant sales and build up your inventory. But don’t be afraid to reproduce your treasures at home. It’s pretty easy and, well, makes it personal. For more information do not hesitate to send me an email or check my Facebook page: Native Plants and More.
Chocolate Peanut Balls
by Joyce Trabue
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp shortening
- 2 tbsp melted margarine
- 1 6 oz pkg chocolate chips
Combine margarine, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. Mix until ingredients stick together. Shape into balls.
Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler. Dip balls one at a time into chocolate mixture. Place on wax paper and let them sit until cool.
Around the Neighborhood
On February 25th at 6 p.m. is the annual Fat Tuesday Dinner at the Williamsburg Community Center. Bring a dessert and come on out and join us.
On February 26th the Ash Wednesday service will begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Auxvasse Nine Mile Church in Williamsburg.
The Williamsburg Villager is provided by Crane’s Museum and Shoppes. Please submit any announcements to David Crane at Crane’s Country Store located next door to the museum by the 15th of each month to ensure publication.
Annual subscriptions are available for a $12.00 donation to the museum.
Crane’s Museum & Shoppes 10665 Old US Hwy 40 Williamsburg, MO 63388 877-254-3356 www.cranesmuseum.org
Crane’s Museum is a Regional History Museum located in Williamsburg, MO. We invite visitors of all ages to enjoy a step back in time. Enjoy breakfast or lunch in Marlene’s Restaurant, shop for gifts at Town House Treasures, or get ready for any season at Crane’s Country Store’s Clearance and Closeout Shop.