Ketchup ‘n’ Fries grafted plant coming

ketchup-n-fries-grafted-plantThe Salt at NPR :

Love growing potatoes and tomatoes? This spring, gardeners in the U.S. (and Europe) will be able to get both tuber and fruit from a single grafted plant.

It even has a catchy name: Ketchup ‘n’ Fries.

“It’s like a science project,” says Alice Doyle of SuperNaturals Grafted Vegetables, the company that’s licensing the variety for U.S. markets from the U.K. company that developed it. “It’s something that is really bizarre, but it’s going to be fun [for gardeners] to measure and see how it grows.”

This isn’t a genetically modified organism but a plant of two different nightshades: the top of a cherry tomato grafted onto a white potato.

“Tomatoes and potatoes are in the same family, and that makes it feasible,” says John Bagnasco, also of SuperNaturals.

Read the rest of the story…

Genetically modified apple variety doesn’t brown, awaits USDA approval


If you (or your children) turn up your nose at brown apple slices, would you prefer fresh-looking genetically modified apples?

Neal Carter, president of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, in British Columbia, Canada, certainly hopes so. His company has created the new, non-browning, “Arctic” genetically modified apple variety, and he’s hoping for big orders from despairing parents and food service companies alike. Food service companies, he says, would no longer have to treat their sliced apples with antioxidant chemicals like calcium ascorbate to keep them looking fresh.

The cost savings “can be huge,” he says. “Right now, to make fresh-cut apple slices and put them in the bag, 35 or 40 percent of the cost is the antioxident treatment. So you could make a fresh-cut apple slice 30 percent cheaper.”

Read the rest of the story here…

Gardening seminar coming to Shelby Township

The Outdoor Living Extravaganza, presented by Proven Winners, is coming to Cherry Creek Golf Club in Shelby Township on Saturday, March 21, 8:30am – 4pm.

This educational gardening seminar will inspire you with new plants, design ideas and more along with an opportunity to purchase plants and other gardening goods. All participants will receive a complimentary gift bag and plant along with a host of ideas to put to use right away in your garden.

Speakers will include P. Allen Smith, Award Winning Garden Designer, Author and TV Host; Kerry Mendez, Garden Expert and Author; and John Gaydos, Director of Product Development and Promotion for Proven Winners.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

State house considers right to farm bill

MI Food News:

Representative Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw Twp) has introduced House Bill 4012 to allow people who live in residential neighborhoods in Michigan cities the right to have a backyard farm from which they could sell farm products.

Amending the “Michigan zoning enabling act” would restore the right that many urban folks thought they enjoyed under Michigan’s Right to Farm Act. Recent regulatory changes have removed the legal protection for people who thought they had an inherent right to raise food for themselves and their families and sell any excess for extra money.

Read the bill here…

Ann Arbor to host National Rock Garden Meeting in May

nargsThe Great Lakes Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society is excited to host the group’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Ann Arbor, from May 7-10, 2015.

This is a superb opportunity to see and hear great speakers, and see great gardens. There will also be choice plants, tufa, troughs, and books available to purchase. It is a rare chance to meet and talk with seasoned rock gardeners from all over the U.S. and Canada—without flying to a distant city.

Plus, there is a post-conference tour from May 10-12. This field trip is to the “Straits Region” of Michigan with stops on the way there and back. The focus will be on natural rock gardens and rock garden plants in the wild. This includes shaded and sunny rock outcrops, rocky, gravely, and sandy beaches, plus a stop to see large stands of trilliums.

For more information, click here.