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Archive date:  May 22, 2009

Memorial Day Thoughts

A tribute of ultimate Service to Country

As the holiday weekend approaches, I thought it appropriate to pause and reflect on those who have given the ultimate service and paid the supreme price; their lives for our freedom. I read through many eloquent speeches given by past presidents on Memorial Day, all are great tributes. I have selected one which best conveys what Memorial Day means to me. This is not meant to be a political statement, and it is not. This is simply what one of our elected servants spoke on a Memorial Day past. It is still fitting…and timely.

Message on the Observance of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to take stock of the present, reflect on the past, and renew our commitment to the future of America.

Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.

I don't have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world.

This Memorial Day of 1983, we honor those brave Americans who died in the service of their country. I think an ancient scholar put it well when he wrote: ``Let us now praise famous men ... All these were honored in their generation, and were the glory of their times. Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.'' As a tribute to their sacrifice, let us renew our resolve to remain strong enough to deter aggression, wise enough to preserve and protect our freedom, and thoughtful enough to promote lasting peace throughout the world.

Ronald Reagan, May 26, 1983

As a tribute to “Service” our very own, Adam Chapman has put together a piece about Serviceberry. While Serviceberry has no direct connection to military service, it is still a wonderful timely topic at this time of year, with the trees full of fruit.


Serviceberry-A Delightful (and Delicious) Spring Surprise

You find yourself in the woods on an early April day, enjoying the first warm days of the year among nature, or you’re driving along an old country road taking the long way home on an early spring afternoon. You see a copse of multi-stem trees blooming profusely with beautiful clusters of white flowers. “What could this be”, you ask yourself? Well, chances are you have discovered a wonderful native tree: the serviceberry.

The serviceberry is a native spring flowering large shrub or small tree. There are several species, but the one most commonly encountered in the wilds of Tennessee is the shadblow serviceberry. It is known by several common names including shadbush and juneberry. The term serviceberry alludes to church services that would take place as the roads thawed in early spring and the early settlers were once again able to go to church. They were called shadbush by the early New Englanders because at the time they bloomed, the shad fish were usually running upstream to spawn. They have been called juneberry because the fruits usually ripen sometime during the month of June.

Because of its beautiful white blooms, stunning orange-red fall color, and delicious blueberry-like fruit, the ornamental uses for the serviceberry are almost endless. It can be used as a small specimen tree or as an accent along a naturalized border. One could even imagine its use as an unusual source for produce. One mature tree could produce several gallons of serviceberries just perfect for baking or eating out of hand. If you plan on harvesting, you must be vigilant because the birds love serviceberries and have been known to wipe out a whole crop in a matter of hours.

Serviceberries can be grown almost anywhere, favoring well-drained, evenly moist soil, but some species have been known to grow along creek banks and in boggy areas. As with all plantings, soil preparation is the key. It is always a good idea to add organic matter such as mushroom compost or, to keep it simple, just use our EarthMix® Premium Topsoil Blend which has mushroom compost, soil conditioner, and topsoil already blended together.

Serviceberries are not particular about soil pH, although a slightly acidic soil will produce a better, tastier crop of berries.
If you’re looking for a beautiful native tree whether for blooms, fall color, or fruiting capabilities, look no further than the serviceberry. And, the next time you’re hiking through the woods or taking a drive through the country side (or visiting the nursery) in late May or early June, take the time to seek out these delectable berries. You’ll be glad you did!

Adam Chapman – Horticulturist

As an added feature, Adam has agreed to include his very own Serviceberry Muffin recipe. After eating several of his muffins this past week, I can tell you they are delicious, enjoy!

Serviceberry Muffins

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour 1/3 cup milk
¾ cup white sugar 1 cup fresh serviceberries
½ teaspoon salt ½ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil ¼ cup butter, cubed
1 egg 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin papers

Combine 1 ½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, salt, and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with the flour mixture. Fold in Serviceberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To make crumb topping: Mix together ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, ¼ cup butter(softened), and cinnamon. Mix with fork.

Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Hope you have a great weekend,

David Bates

p.s. Make sure to make note of our Memorial Weekend hours. We will have normal hours Saturday and Sunday. Monday, Memorial Day, May 25, we will open at 8:00 am and close at NOON. Beginning Tuesday, we will begin closing at 5:30 instead of 6:30.
Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry Specials through May29, 2009!