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DECEMBER


As we prepare to go on a holiday break next week we have reflected with our team about the past year - where we have come from and ways we have grown.  We are so grateful for our team’s hard and expert work, from heavy lifting to careful pruning. We have planted thousands of native plants, begun our own nursery, discovered new ways to share our love of the outdoors with so many wonderful clients, and have helped pollinators by creating habitat in stone, soil and water. So many people have supported us in our endeavors - we couldn't name all the people that have helped our business this year! We have shared and received so much enthusiasm, gifts of labor and love, stories and knowledge from our local community and we want to say a sincerest thank you.  You, our dear friends, employees, families, clients, and community are in our minds during this season and with grateful hearts we wish you all a warm and wonderful holiday and new year.      

~ Marly & Karl
GINGERBREAD COOKIES WITH A JUNIPER BERRY GLAZE
by: Elise

I often feel sympathy for misrepresented native plants.  Smooth Sumac grows profusely along roadsides so we often overlook them, but their fall color is spectacular!  What about the Common Milkweed... huge colonies densely fill pools of sunshine along woodland edges or amongst a wandering meadow.  Have you smelled them or tasted a few of their blooms' sweet nectar?
 
The Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana, seems to be another one of these overlooked native plants. It was during a light snowfall last December that I recognized I haven't been giving the Red Cedar very much credit.  Its indigo berry-laden branches provided shelter and nourishment for families of birds (and a few of them looked quite beautiful as the centerpiece of my family's Christmas dinner table).
 
Juniper berries have been used for centuries by native americans as a cure for many aches and pains.  In the culinary world, they're often paired with gamey meats like venison, duck, and rabbit.  But it surprised me to learn they can also add unique flavors to sweet dishes, too.  For this holiday season, I'm sharing a recipe for gingerbread cookies with a juniper berry glaze... enjoy!
COOKIES
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp groung allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (light) molasses

GLAZE
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup juniper berries, lightly crushed
- 1 pound powdered sugar

PREPARATION
For cookies:
Whisk first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in molasses. Beat in dry ingredients. Gather dough; divide into 4 pieces. Shape into disks. Wrap; chill at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Roll out 1 dough disk to 1/8-inch thickness. Using 3 1/2-inch cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer to sheet. Gather scraps; chill. Bake cookies until almost firm in center, 12 minutes. Cool on sheets 2 minutes, then cool on racks. 

For glaze and decoration:
Bring first 2 ingredients to simmer. Cover; chill 5 hours. Strain. Place powdered sugar in bowl. Whisk in half and half by spoonfuls until glaze is spreadable. Frost cookies; decorate. Let stand until glaze sets.
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