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Homemade Pretzels

I haven't made homemade pretzels since we were in Alabama and I had forgotten how easy they are if not a little time consuming. I made these last week for Oscar night. They keep a long time in an airtight container. 1   (.25 ounce) package   active dry yeast 1 tablespoons   brown sugar 1  teaspoons   salt 1 ½   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 3   cups   all-purpose flour 1   cup   bread flour 2   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 2   tablespoons   baking soda 1-2   tablespoons   butter, melted 2   tablespoons  kosher salt Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place the yeast, brown sugar and salt in the 1.5 cups of warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in the flour. Knead for about 7-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for an hour (I place mine in the oven with the light on). Combine the two cups of warm water with the baking soda in a square shallow pan. After the dough has risen, cut it into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each section into a

Little Prince Of Oregon Nursery visit

Plants ready to be shipped out
On Sunday, I had a chance to visit the Little Prince of Oregon greenhouses for a behind-the-scenes look at their operations as well as a delicious lunch and a chance to buy plants. Mark Leichty, Director of Business Development organizes an annual event for garden writers, bloggers, photographers, etc. I wanted to go last year but could not but I finally made it this year. 

The Little Prince of Oregon headquarters are located in Aurora, Oregon in the beautiful Wilamette Valley. After getting off the hectic freeway (it drives me nuts even on an un-busy Sunday morning), the drive is pleasant. There are numerous farms in the area and the greenhouses are surrounded by a horse farm.

For the past twenty years, Little Prince has supplied plants to Oregon and Washington nurseries. Gardeners are well familiar with their labels which feature the crown-wearing frog logo. There are 70 greenhouses which are full of plants.

Some plants are labeled and ready to go...
But many are not.

From Abutilon to Yucca, Little Prince grows a wide variety of plants but they are particularly known for their large selection of agave, ferns, heuchera, sedum and sempervivum. My haul? My very first Grevellea (Grevellea rosmarinifolia), Uruguayan Firecracker Plant (Dicliptera suberecta), Epimedium 'Amber Queen', Cotoneaster 'Mooncreeper', Cotoneaster 'Lowfast', Arching Japanese Holly Fern (Cyrtomium fortunei var. Clivicola), Tradescantia 'Blushing Bride' and 4 varieties of Chinese Ground Orchid (Bletilla) including a yellow-colored one. I think I actually got more than this but I can't remember them all.

A mix of succulents
Some very tiny Japanese maples

A fun day, great shopping opportunity and I also got to meet some blogger friends in person for the first time. Thank you Mark and Little Prince of Oregon!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. I remember you taking a photo of these fern and Carex pots at the same time I was. Weren't they fun? It was really nice to get to meet you Phillip. I know what you mean about that freeway. I hate it. But the back roads are so nice. I'm glad we didn't have today's shivering weather last Sunday!

    1. It was great to meet you Grace! Today was miserably cold and windy. I was working in the greenhouse all day and it was even cold in there.

  2. Sounds like you came away with quite a haul.

  3. It reads like you hit the jack pot there Phillip. Can't wait to see what and where you plant everything.

  4. That fern/carex combo is really cool. Sorry I couldn't make the open as it would have been nice to finally meet you in person. It's just as well, though as my pot ghetto is already full. Glad you had a good time!

  5. What a beautiful setting for growing plants. That must have been a fun day. Enjoy your Grevillea! I hope it does well for you.

  6. Oh my, that is exactly my idea of a fun day! And to come away with plants too, heaven!


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