Photo and article by Donna Iverson
With July on our doorsteps, you may think planting time is over. But there are some flowers and vegetables that can still be added to the garden.
It’s not too late to plant beans and radishes, herbs like dill and basil, and flowers, like calendula and nasturtiums.
Summer seems like a perfect time to try interplanting, i.e., planting in bare spots in and around plants that are already growing. Radishes are the ideal veggie to give this a try.
Radish seeds sprout in a couple of days, and are ready for harvest in two to three weeks. They don’t take up much space although they don’t like overcrowding, so follow the seed packet directions and place them four inches apart.
In this heat, you will need to water daily until they are established and then once or twice a week to encourage growth. Unless of course, we get some rain.
If you are interested in micro-greens, the radish sprout can be eaten like a baby leaf when it is about one inch high. It has a crunchy spicy flavor. But don’t wait too long, the radish leaves will get hairy very quickly.
In the fall, and after flowing, the seed pods are also edible. Pick while they are still green. They can be eaten raw or pickled.
There are many varieties of radishes but basically they can be divided into two groups, the standard small round or oblong radish and the Asian radishes which are larger and often cooked like other root vegetables, such as the turnip. Today, radish skins come in many colors including white, red, pink, yellow, purple and black. My favorite farmers market vendor calls them rainbow radishes. Radishes are root vegetables, members of the Brassica family, along with arugula, broccoli and cabbage.
There is also a specialty radish called a watermelon radish. It is an heirloom variety of daikon radish that originated in China. They look like miniature watermelons, green on the outside and vibrant pink on the inside. Like other radish varieties, they can be eaten raw, pickled or cooked.
The bottom line is, growing radishes is no longer just for kids.
A demo on drawing Deadpool?
Children’s July Events
Storytimes for babies & toddlers (up to age 3) will be on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. through August 3rd. Family Storytime (up to age 5) will be on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. through August 4th. There will be no Storytimes on July 20th & 21st. On Game Day we’ll have lots of fun family games to play in the Children’s Department and on the patio on July 20th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. We’ll also show an afternoon movie (title coming soon) on July 28th at 3:30 p.m. Saturday Storytime will be on July 30th at 11:00 a.m.
Our very popular Discovery Tuesday programs will take place in the Community Room on Tuesday mornings. On July 5th, Marvel Comics Illustrator Jerry DeCaire will be here at 9:45 a.m. (please note this earlier starting time) to give a live drawing presentation where art and fantasy are created. Magician Jeff Wawrzaszek will bring us will bring us an Oceans of Possibilities Magic Show on July 12th at 10:00 a.m. Our Children’s Summer Reading Finale Party will host Susan Harrison for an interactive family concert on July 26th at 10:00 a.m. Wrap up the summer with music, snacks, and we’ll give away lots of prizes!
Teen July Events
Marvel Comics Illustrator Jerry DeCaire will be offering two more programs on July 5th, as well. At 10:45 a.m. he’ll give a Comic Art Fantasy drawing presentation for tweens and teens, and at 11:45 a.m. he’ll teach a Comic Art Workshop for tweens and teens—bring your own drawing materials to this one! A Pirates vs. Mermaids program with crafts, props, and more will be in the Community Room on Thursday, July 14th at 2:00 p.m. The Teen Summer Reading Finale Party will take place on Thursday, July 28th at 2:00 p.m. Wrap up Summer Reading with snacks, lost at sea survival games, and prize drawings!
Our free Fit for Life Exercise Class will continue from 12:00-1:00 p.m. on July 6, 11, 13, 25, and 27. We’ll have Restless Viking here to present Battles of the Great Lakes for Live @ the Library. This will be in the Community Room on Tuesday, July 12th at 7:00 p.m. We’ll also have a Movie Monday on July 11th at 2:00 p.m. to show Jaws. Rated PG; 124 min. Snacks provided! Please note that this movie was rated PG in 1975 and parents may wish to look up information about the content of the movie before bringing kids under 13. Parental attendance (if bringing children) is strongly encouraged. Adults who attend one of these events can count it as one book read on their reading log.
The Wednesday Readers book group will meet on Monday, July 11th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe. The Daytime Book Group breaks for the summer. New members are welcome to our book groups!
Let’s Go to the Fair: Burlap & Floral Wreath Class is on Thursday, July 14th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. This is a craft for ages 10 & up that could be entered into the fair if you wish. There is a $10 charge for this class to cover materials and registration is required by calling 231-928-0256.
The Fremont Area District Library’s Summer Reading Program is in full swing, and all ages are still welcome to come in and sign up to earn prizes for your reading. Children can earn a free ice cream from Elsie’s, a movie pass to Fremont Cinemas, Spanky’s pizza, a shark glider toy, a free book, Whitecaps and Griffins passes, and entry into a grand prize drawing for a trip to Great Lakes Crossings! Teens can earn free pizza from Spanky’s, ice cream from Elsie’s, a movie pass to Fremont Cinemas, a free book, and for every book they read, they can enter for chances to win many prizes from local restaurants and stores. Plus finishers will be entered into the grand prize drawing for a $100 Meijer gift card! Adults can earn free ice cream from Koffee Kuppe, a movie pass to Fremont Cinemas, a free book from the Friends Gift Shop, and for every book they read, they can enter for chances to win many prizes from local restaurants and stores. Grand prize drawings are a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card and a $100 Meijer gift card!
The Summer Reading Program is important in helping to prevent the “summer slide,” which is the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains they made in school the previous year. So grab some books, have fun reading, and come to our “Oceans of Possibilities” (FREE) events this summer!
This year’s Summer Reading Program is generously sponsored by: Blades Hair Design CBD Store of Michigan, Dave’s Auto Clinic, Elsie’s Ice Cream, Fremont Cinemas, Geers Family Chiropractic, Happy Hearts Naturals, Koffee Kuppe, Meijer, Moon Dance Café, Newaygo County Council for the Arts, Northern Rustic Designs, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Red Pine Crafts, Rite Aid, SHB Gifts & Décor, Spanky's, The Original Print Shop, Tractor Supply Co., Walmart, Discovery Toys (Pat Durham), Friends of the Fremont Area District Library, and the Fremont Area Community Foundation. For more information about library programs, visit
http://www.fremontlibrary.net, or call 231-924-3480.
Photo and article by Donna Iverson
Being a part of a community gardening community, we are always looking for volunteers ..volunteers to weed, water and share gardening wisdom.
But there’s another kind of garden volunteer that is equally welcomed. It’s a volunteer beneficial plant that shows up unexpectedly.
This year, two new volunteer plants showed up in my raised bed ..a sunflower and some milkweed plants.
Both are high on the list as pollinator plants attracting bees and butterflies. In fact, the endangered Monarch butterfly needs the milkweed plant to survive . Both appeared next to a sage plant to form a kind of triple pollinator grouping.
While some people plant herb gardens, or cottage gardens, or cut-flower gardens, I am focusing on growing a pollinator garden, with special attention to attracting native bees. A little research revealed that bees are attracted to yellow, purple, blue and white flowers and ironically, they are my favorites also. So herbs and flowers with these colors are being seeded. Vegetables like lettuce and arugula are being allowed to bolt, producing small yellow and white flowers that are already attracting bees. Even the parsley is doing its bit.
In the last few years, our entire community garden has focused on planting for pollinators. Dozens of milkweed now grow along the garden edges. That is probably how a milkweed seed found its way into my garden bed. More and more native plants are arriving and can be found among the herbs and vegetables. I recently spotted Joe Pye weed, yucca, coreopsis, and spiderwort to name a few.
One native plant that has arrived and is not entirely welcome is mint. It has invaded just about every raised bed in the community garden and is capable of choking out just about everything it touches. Pulling it out is difficult as it has long roots and even a piece of root that is not removed, can produce another plant. So if you love mint, plant it in a container and bury it in the garden so it’s roots can’t spread.
Finally, I can’t leave the subject of volunteer plants without mentioning lambs quarters. For years, it has unfailingly appeared as a volunteer in my garden each spring. It is edible and nutritional as well as tasty. It is one of the first spring greens to bless my plate. And while milkweed and sunflowers are showy and capture most people’s eye, the diminutive lambs quarters is also a welcome volunteer.
Summer Reading Brings “Oceans of Possibilities” at Fremont Library
The Fremont Area District Library kicked off its Summer Reading Program on Friday, June 3rd. This year’s ocean-themed program for all ages is called “Oceans of Possibilities.” Within the first day after the kickoff party, 295 people of all ages were signed up. We think this might be the most people every signed up the first day, so THANK YOU to our community and sponsors!
In the Children’s Department, children had fun playing with bubbles, applying ocean tattoos, and making some fun ocean crafts. Kids were excited to pick out their books and start earning prizes for reading! Prizes for children this year include a coupon for free Elsie’s ice cream, a free movie pass to Fremont Cinemas, a personal pizza at Spanky’s, a shark glider toy, a free book, and passes to White Caps and Griffins games—not to mention being entered into the grand prize drawing for a trip to Great Lakes Crossings when they finish the program!
Teens had a kickoff party in the Community Room with a showing of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. Prizes for teens this year include a coupon for free Elsie’s ice cream, a free movie pass to Fremont Cinemas, a personal pizza at Spanky’s, a free book, and entry into the grand prize drawing for a $100 Meijer gift card. Each book teens read also gives them entry in their choice of many other awesome prize drawings (see www.fremontlibrary.net/teens for more info).
Prizes for the adult program include a free ice cream from Koffee Kuppe, a free movie pass to Fremont Cinemas, a free book, and entry into the grand prize drawings for a $100 Meijer gift card and a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card. Like the teen program, each book adults read also gives them entry into their choice of prize drawings from many wonderful sponsors! See https://www.fremontlibrary.net/adults/adult-summer-reading for more info.
The Summer Reading Program encourages families to read together so that kids maintain or improve their reading skills throughout the summer and enter school ready to succeed in the fall. Visit the Fremont Area District Library to get signed up and start earning prizes. The library will offer many exciting events to attend this summer, so visit www.fremontlibrary.net or the Fremont Area District Library Facebook page to see what’s available!
Next week’s events include:
This year’s Summer Reading Program is generously sponsored by: Blades Hair Design
CBD Store of Michigan, Dave’s Auto Clinic, Elsie’s Ice Cream, Fremont Cinemas, Geers Family Chiropractic, Happy Hearts Naturals, Koffee Kuppe, Meijer, Moon Dance Café, Newaygo County Council for the Arts, Northern Rustic Designs, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Red Pine Crafts, Rite Aid, SHB Gifts & Décor, Spanky's, The Original Print Shop, Tractor Supply Co., Walmart, Discovery Toys (Pat Durham), Friends of the Fremont Area District Library, and the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Photo and article by Donna Iverson
Sedges are often overlooked and underappreciated. Unbeknownst to many, grasslike sedges (Carex) are the largest genus of native flowering plants in North America and found in nearly every habitat ..from wetlands, to arid sandy soils, to forests to sun baked road beds. There is a native sedge adapted to any habitat, including your lawn.
In fact, sedges are an excellent choice for gradually replacing your lawn with a sustainable plant that needs no mowing or watering. Sedges can withstand light foot traffic and are deer resistant. Seasonal bulbs like tulips and daffodils can be planted between clumps. The trick is finding the sedge plant that is best suited to your specific soil type and light availability, be it sunny or shady.
Check with your local nursery for advice on which of dozens of varieties would be suitable. Or go online when making your selection at https://hoffmannursery.com/assets/files/files/HoffmanNursery_CarexChart.pdf
Sedges popular with Midwestern gardeners include Oak Sedge, Wood Sedge, Gray’s Sedge and Sprenger’s Sedge.
Identifying sedges is easy. They look like grass clumps but have solid triangular stems. Even in the north, they are mostly evergreen. A favorite saying of botanists in regard to identification is “sedges have edges.” Although originally associated with wetlands, today they are found all over the world except Antarctica.
Sedges also provide habitat and food for pollinators like caterpillars and butterflies as well as wild turkeys, and song birds like sparrows. Depending on the variety, they grow 12 to 24 inches high and are members of the cattail family. Sedge leaves vary from short and fine to bold and wide.
And if you are ever inclined to visit the Shakespeare Garden next to the Hackley Public Library in Muskegon, check out the bard’s favorite plants, including sedges. He refers to them in Much To Do About Nothing, Act 2, Scene 1.
Lake Michigan Shipwreck Presentation at Fremont Library
Live @ the Library, a series of events including author visits and writing workshops is welcoming Ross Richardson to the Fremont Area District Library to present Seeking the LORD: The Search for the Jarvis LORD Shipwreck.
Join shipwreck hunter and author Ross Richardson in exploring the depths of Northern Lake Michigan while looking for lost ships and missing aircraft. Dive down to Lake Michigan’s newest shipwreck discovery and meander through the histories and mysteries of the Manitou Passage, the most dangerous place in Lake Michigan. This free program will begin in the library’s Community Room on Tuesday, June 14th at 7:00 p.m. Adults who are signed up for the Summer Reading Program may count this as one book read on their reading logs.