Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fresh Herbs

Fresh Herbs
The desire for healthier, better tasting food, culinary sophistication and globalization have all conspired to bless us with a burgeoning selection of herbs in the supermarket — a cause for celebration. Happily, a similarly large selection of seeds and seedlings are also available at nurseries and garden centers for those who want the utmost in flavor and nutrition.
Fresh is always better than the alternative, and this is especially true when it comes to culinary herbs. Herbs growing in a windowsill pot or back-door garden provide you with much more flavor and healthful nutrients than dried or pre-packaged herbs.

Growing Your Own
In an age when convenience in the kitchen is so highly valued, why should anyone take the time and trouble to grow their own herbs? Because growing your own is actually the ultimate in convenience — not to mention flavor — when it comes to cooking.

The perception that growing your own culinary herbs requires excessive amounts of time, energy and arcane knowledge is simply not true. Starting a small windowsill herb garden, for example, is as easy as buying seedlings at a garden center, putting them in a flower pot or planter and watering occasionally. Buying seeds and starting them yourself is only slightly more taxing and, of course, you'll have to wait longer to see results. And don't forget that buying seeds or seedlings is much cheaper and less wasteful than buying a bundle of cut herbs when all you need is a sprig or two.

A larger herb garden outside your kitchen door will obviously require a greater commitment of time, labor and attention but regardless of how simple or elaborate your planting, the true reward is the convenience of always having fresh herbs available to enhance your cooking. And freshly cut home-grown herbs add vigorous aroma and zesty flavor to dishes that dried or store-bought herbs cannot match. How much better does a sprig of fresh basil taste compared to dried? A lot. So much so that you may never buy dried basil again.

In addition to flavor, fresh herbs pack much more nutritional power. Drying herbs not only reduces the volatile oils responsible for flavor and aroma, but also diminishes the antioxidants and other nutrients that many herbs have a reputation for. Freeze-drying, a fairly recent innovation, retains slightly more nutrients and flavor than traditional methods but still cannot compete with fresh.

Finally, there is much to be said for the pleasure and pride of cooking with ingredients that you have grown yourself. You know exactly where it comes from and it satisfies the ancient urges for self-sufficiency and contact with the earth that, though mostly dormant in this age of convenience, still stirs.

Earth Day at Whole Foods

Earth Day at Whole Foods Market
Sunday, April 22nd
11 AM - 1 PM
Cost: FREE
Celebrate Earth Day at Whole Foods Market:
Educational Activities for Kid's
Community booths: Friends of Larimer County Parks and Open Lands & Renewable Choice Energy
Enter a raffle to win a new Scattante R-330 bike courtesy of Performance Bikes
FREE Reusable Earth Day Shopping Bag with a $25 minimum purchase

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Join CSA for fresh organic veggies this summer

The CSU Specialty Crops Program is looking for members for its 2007 Community Supported Agriculture Program. Members receive fresh, organic produce grown at the CSU Horticulture Research Center by student interns gaining sustainable agriculture field experience.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Colorado State Landscape Design and Contracting students take 3rd place in national competition

A group of Colorado State University landscape design and contracting students took third place out of 55 schools from across the nation competing in PLANET's Student Career Days last week.
Student Career Days is an annual three-day competition and networking event for students enrolled in interior and exterior horticulture programs at colleges and universities from across the country. Each year a different university is selected to host the event giving students the opportunity to see different parts of the country. This year's event was held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.
Students compete against their peers in 24 events designed to challenge participants based on current industry standards. Each competition is formulated, set-up and judged by green industry sponsors.
The Colorado State 2007 PLANET team includes Catherine Braunlin, Christopher Copenhefer, Tara Costanzo, Jessica Hill, Jamie Jeffers, Amanda Laughlin, Katie Lloyd, Mitch McClary, Heidi Moss, Meghan Oren, Matthew Ridley, Travis Sommervold, Clark Taylor, Matt Tingley, Daniel Watson, Chad Whitney, Jared Wise, and Michael Wysocki.
Nearly 100 companies from across the country participate in the fair by scouting students as prospective employees and networking with different colleges' faculty and staff. Leaders in the green industry also present workshops on the latest information in the areas of irrigation, arboriculture, estimating and leadership skills.
Learn more about the competition by visiting
Visit the Colorado State Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture at

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Fort Collins Conservation Conference


The "People and Land in a New Century: A Blueprint for Conservation that Works" conference will address the changing face of natural resources management.
In the face of rapid change, institutions, agencies, universities, and practitioners are working on a new kind of conservation. On the ground, conservationists are re-examining the role of institutions and experimenting with new forms of governance.
It is time to coalesce this vast amount of tinkering and experimentation into a coherent blueprint for conservation that works. In other words, it is time to examine, now that top-down conservation (federalism) is in decline and disarray, whether these new types of conservation that are more regional and bottom-up in nature, are compatible with democracy.
This conference will be held on Tuesday, April 3 in the Cherokee Ballroom, Lory Student Center (LSC), and on Wednesday, April 4 in the Greyrock Room (LSC).
The conference will run from 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The event is free, open to the public, and requires no preregistration.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Iron-sulfur proteins proven essential to plant survival

Iron-sulfur proteins proven essential to plant survival, according to CSU research

Iron-sulfur clusters (Fe-S) have proven to be necessary for plant growth, according to Colorado State University research. Plants involved in the research project grew normally until researchers silenced the CpNifS gene, resulting in plants with yellowish and stunted growth. The research will be published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

NifS-like proteins have what is known as "cysteine desulfurase activity," which releases sulfur from the amino acid cysteine for the formation of iron-sulfur clusters, said Doug Van Hoewyk, a doctoral researcher in the Pilon-Smith Laboratory, part of the Department of Biology at Colorado State University. These NifS-like proteins are found in all forms of life.

RNAi silencing of the essential chloroplastic CpNifS gene was regulated by dilute ethanol in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, a member of the mustard family. After three weeks of treating the plant with the non-toxic ethanol mixture, the plants' chlorophyll content was reduced five-fold. Van Hoewyk found if the ethanol treatments were stopped after three weeks, the plant would recover and were able to set a seed. When the ethanol treatments were continued after the three-week period, the plan would ultimately suffer irreversible damage and die before setting seed.

"These results strongly suggest that CpNifS is not only an essential protein to Arabidopsis, but to all plants containing chloroplasts" Van Hoewyk said.
Van Hoewyk plans to continue his research into the effect CpNifS has on plant mitochondria and chloroplast functions.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Landscape design 'clients' sought for senior design students

The nationally recognized Landscape Design and Contracting program is once again seeking individuals to partner with our Senior Design students. Our capstone class- Intensive Senior Design, pairs students with "clients" which are seeking landscape designs for their residences.

The following opportunity exists:
Students will concentrate on larger/more complex projects, typically larger than 10,000 square feet and up to multiple acreage properties. Extremely challenging smaller projects may also be included in this category. These projects will require design challenges which may include slope/drainage issues, irrigation, water features, etc. Each set of plans will be created specifically for the client's needs and requirements. Additionally, detailed construction plans will be created.

Multiple meetings are required between the client and the student to ensure a desired outcome. These plans can be used for clients to install their own landscapes or can be submitted to professional landscape contractors for installation. All projects are professor reviewed and critiqued in class.

Expected donations - $600

Students may seek travel reimbursement for projects beyond the Fort Collins area. Additionally students will seek reimbursement for prints, etc.
All donations are used for program development, including sending Landscape Design and Contracting students to a national career fair and competition.

If you are interested please contact me ASAP with a detailed description of your project including size, new construction or renovation, desired elements, address, contact information, etc. Students will contact you in a few weeks.

Contact: Zachary Johnson Email: Phone Number: (970) 491-2835