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Rye: The Benefits of Cover Crops

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Cover crops are an important part of the agricultural industry. They have been used for hundreds of years as a natural way to maintain and protect soil. Cover crops, also referred to as, “green manure,” are hardy plants that are planted to cover and protect bare soil, usually after the fall harvest or before crops are grown in the spring.  Bare soil is vulnerable to elements such as wind and rain, weeds, pests, and loss of nutrients.

 

Dakota quality grain

Benefits of Cover Crops

Cover crops offer a variety of benefits when it comes to the maintenance and protection of soil. These crops help protect against erosion, weeds, diseases, and pests and help increase organic matter, soil quality, and soil fertility.

Soil Erosion

Cover crops can help prevent erosion from rain, snow, snowmelt, and wind. These crops provide shelter for the soil greatly reducing the impact of water. The roots of these plants help to stabilize soil and ultimately help control water runoff which can be can detrimental to both your soil and the surrounding environment.

Weeds

Cover crops that grow quickly will compete with weeds for light, space, and nutrients making it very difficult for weeds to survive. Some cover crops release certain compounds from their roots and leaves that act as a natural herbicide killing seeds and small plants, and best of all, weeds.

Organic Matter

Cover crops increase organic matter which helps improve soil stability, structure, and fertility as well as aiding in the soils ability to hold nutrients and moisture. Organic matter also helps reduce diseases by stimulating microorganisms.

Cover Crop Options

There are a number of different options when it comes cover crops depending on your environment and needs.

Legumes

One of greatest benefits of using legumes as cover crops is the fact that they can fix nitrogen from the air and add it into the soil. Popular legumes include red clover, berseem clover, peas, alfalfa, and hairy vetch. Berseem clover is a good choice for warmer seasons because it is drought tolerant, it grows quickly, and it’s dense allowing for good weed suppression. If you are looking for a cover crop that can withstand a harsh winter, hairy vetch is extremely cold hardy.

Grasses

The root systems of grasses are great for stabilizing soil and improving the overall structure. While they can’t fix nitrogen from the air, they are able to collect it from the soil. Popular grasses include winter rye, ryegrass, sudan grass, winter wheat, and oats. Sudan grass does well in warm weather, loosens soil, and is thought to help control pests as they produce toxic compounds. Winter rye is great for colder climates as it grows quickly and can withstand hard freezes enabling it to be planted well into the fall.

Cover crops are a great, natural option for maintaining and protecting soil during times when the soil would usually be bare. They are beneficial for a number of reasons including; increased soil stability and fertility, increased organic matter, and protection against erosion, weeds, and pests.

Orange Manhattan

Christmas Burwell Manhattan

These are great…actually one of the house fav’s.

Here is what you will need

  • cocktail shaker
  • ice
  • dash of sweet vermouth
  • 1.5 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1.5 oz Cointreau
  • dash orange bitters
  • dash maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 maraschino cherry, to garnish – well, make it 2

Mitch Morgan

Mitch-Morgan

The Mitch Morgan

-One shot of bourbon;

-One-half slice of cooked bacon;

-Combine ingredients, enjoy.

Yep.  That’s it.  The smoky bacon pairs wonderfully with the wood in the bourbon and makes a delicious garnish, and its fat cuts the bite of the alcohol with ease.  Put them together and you’ve found the perfect way to stay warm this winter.

The drink originates from Telluride, Colorado, specifically a BBQ and Bourbon joint called “Oak…The New Fat Alley.”  Telluride makes sense for this cocktails’ birthplace: know for cold, snow and mountains, the one-time silver mining camp has emerged as a destination ski resort town.  The Mitch Morgan speaks to the town’s hardscrabble roots (it’s easy to see a drink like this counting as breakfast for a miner) and it’s foodie/ski resort present.

One thing, however, is certain: The Mitch Morgan will warm your belly and put a smile on your face at the same time.  Time to stock up on ingredients before the snow cuts you off from the store.

Mint Julep

Mint julep

Ingredients
4 cups bourbon
2 bunches fresh spearmint
1 cup distilled water
1 cup granulated sugar
Powdered sugar

Directions
To prepare mint extract, remove about 40 small mint leaves. Wash and place in a small bowl. Cover with 3 ounces bourbon. Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then gather the leaves in paper toweling. Thoroughly wring the mint over the bowl of whisky. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times.

To prepare simple syrup, mix 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of distilled water in a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.

To prepare mint julep mixture, pour 3 1/2 cups of bourbon into a large glass bowl or glass pitcher. Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the bourbon.

Now begin adding the mint extract 1 tablespoon at a time to the julep mixture. Each batch of mint extract is different, so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added. You are looking for a soft mint aroma and taste-generally about 3 tablespoons. When you think it’s right, pour the whole mixture back into the empty liter bottle and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to “marry” the flavors.

To serve the julep, fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) 1/2 full with shaved ice. Insert a spring of mint and then pack in more ice to about 1-inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to 1-inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep.

When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice.

Serve immediately.

Manhattan Italiano

Manhattan Italiano

2 ounces bourbon reserve
1/2 once Tuaca
1/2 ounce triple sec
6 dashes of Orange bitters
1/2 ounce of white sweet vermouth

 

Dark and Bloody Bourbon Mary

Bloody Mary

Dark and Bloody Bourbon Mary

1 teaspoon salt / pepper / paprika mix
2 ounces Kentucky Bourbon
2 large lemon wedges
1 tablespoon Bourbon Barrel Aged Worcestershire Sauce
1 can (6 ounces) campbell’s tomato juice

Blackberry Soda

Blackberry-Soda

Blackberry Soda

1.5 oz Ole Smokey Blackberry Moonshine
top off with soda water on ice

Rye Rocks

Rye Rocks

Locate your favorite whiskey glass
add ice
pour Rye

Enjoy

Bourbon Iced Tea

Rye Iced Tea
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus mint sprigs for garnish
  • 6 good-quality black tea bags

Good-quality bourbon

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Bourbon Burger

Rye Burger

Burger Patties and Cheese:
30 ounces ground chuck (20 percent fat)
2 1/2 tablespoons bourbon (recommended: Bulleit brand)
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
30 grinds fresh black pepper
6 ounces Dubliner cheese (Kerrygold brand), thinly sliced and divided into 6 (1-ounce) servings

Sauteed Onions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (European style)
1 large Vidalia onion, halved (through the core) and thinly sliced (1/4-inch)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
8 grinds fresh black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup bourbon (recommended: Bulleit brand)

Buns:
Brioche hamburger-sized buns, halved
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (European style), at room temperature

Rye Sour

Bourbon Sour

2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 slice orange
1 maraschino cherry

Bourbon on the Rocks

drink

The Plan

Find a good bourbon
Select your favorite glass from your bar
Drop in a couple of cubes
Pour over ice
Savor

 

 

Classic Manhattan

drink

3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 dash  bitters
1 maraschino cherry
1 twist orange peel

Combine the vermouth, bourbon whiskey, and bitters with 2 – 3 ice cubes in a mixing glass. Stir or shake gently so you won’t cloud the drink. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass and strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry.

Perfect Manhattan

drink

2 oz blended whiskey
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 dash bitters

Shake with ice to chill, pour into a low ball cocktail glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

 

Cara’s Feature

cara

750 JB White
1 can Concentrated OJ (Do not add water)
1 can Concentrated Limeade or Lemonade (Do not add water)
1 jar Maraschino Cherries. (I use DK Michigan Cherry since I don’t care for the Cherries)
2 Ltr Lemon-Lime Soda

Blend all ingredients together-place in freezer minimum 24 hrs.

**Once you remove from freezer, stir mixture from the bottom. Slight separation may have occurred during the freezing**