Hoar frost creates a winter wonderland

Meota News

The hoar frost this weekend has been super, super. I love it so! The temperature has been great and those out fishing must have appreciated it, too. It is great snowmobiling weather and there is enough snow, so those folks are happy, too.

I attended the Battleford Boutique last week and purchased 23 booklets that the Legion had printed with information about each of the veterans that were honoured this fall with banners along 100th Street in North Battleford and 22nd Street in Battleford. It is the first time my father, Gordon Shepherd, was part of their program. There were nearly 50 veterans honoured this past year, so most people would know a few locals written about in the booklet, which is available at the boutique for $5.

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The World Junior Hockey Championship was definitely a special event, and loyal watchers loved every minute of the tournament. Canada came in second place, losing the last game the the United States. It was the only one they lost throughout the whole event, and is not to be ashamed of. They did so well in every other game. Congratulations go out to players, coaches and others. To handle the event with COVID-19 restrictions took a lot of planning and sacrificing by every one of those involved.

Last year the Mexican workers came to work on the big farms in southern Alberta, by isolating for two weeks on arrival. This year they cannot leave their country to come north to work. Crops that need heavy manpower must be left out and substituted for crops that can be handled by the farmers themselves. This will affect crops like pumpkins, onions and others. The cattle operations will survive because the corrals are set up with cameras to watch the herd and producers go out only if there are problems in the night.

In a Bulb There is a Flower

Submitted by Trudy Janssens

We likely have all heard the song with the words, “In the bulb there is a flower.” For me the words took on life when a friend gave me an amaryllis. That was 10 years ago and it still blooms every January.

Recently a new friend gave me another amaryllis. This one had two flower stems. Within two weeks the flowers were so huge their weight could hardly be supported by their stems. It was interesting to read the card that came with this bulb. It described how to care for the flower as it comes into bloom, but then it says to discard the bulb once the flower wilts. I suspect this advice is given to encourage you to buy another plant next fall.

The friend who gave me the first bulb told me you could encourage many years of blooms from these bulbs. Here’s how it’s done.

Once you get your bulb take care of it and enjoy the beautiful flower that it will give you. Make sure you keep the soil moist, but be careful not to overwater it. It will be the happiest in a south-facing window.

Once it has finished blooming, cut back the stem that held the flower, but do not cut the leaves. Continue watering until spring. It won’t hurt to give it a little fertilizer. I save my potato peels and soak them in water. After sitting for a couple hours, throw out the peels and use the water for your plants. They love it.

In the spring, take the bulb into a warm sunny spot in your garden and plant it directly into the soil. Make sure the soil has lots of organic matter and that there is good drainage. It also helps if it’s a bit sheltered from the wind. The leaves tend to get a bit wind blown throughout the summer but the bulb is gathering lots of strength to produce another flower.

In the fall plant the amaryllis in a good-sized pot. The bulb likes to have the top quarter out of the soil. Cut the leaves off and place in a totally dark spot in your basement. Give it water but it’s best to just ignore it during this three- to four-month rest period. Sometimes it will begin to show signs of growth as early as November, but the longer it is dormant the better. Once the first leaves start to show, you should take it into a sunny warm spot in you house.

By the new year you will be rewarded with a beautiful crown of four flowers per stalk.

If your bulbs are happy with the soil, moisture and conditions, they will produce new bulbs that can be split off from the mother bulb. They won’t necessarily bloom the first year but by having them mature in the garden over the summer they will be blooming by the second year. I’m now up to nine plants and five will be producing flowers this winter.

As a retired photographer I have had a lot of fun photographing my amaryllis.

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