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August 8, 2003     Cape Gazette
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August 8, 2003

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88 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Aug. 8 -Aug. 14, 2003 GARDEN & FARM Cape Region landscapers donate time to honor fallen heroes In recognition of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so Americans can live in peace and freedom, and in remembrance of the heroes of the American Revo- lution through Afghanistan and Iraq, Gordon Hawthorne and Steve Baker of Sposato Land- scape Co., Inc. in Milton traveled to Washington, D.C. this week. They teamed up with lawn and landscape experts from across the country in a day of voluntary ser- vice beautifying and restoring the cemetery grounds at Arlington National Cemetery and the His- toric Congressional Cemetery. Designed as part of The Profes- sional Lawn Care Association of America's PLCAA's 14th annual Legislative Day on the Hill, July 14-15, the seventh annual Renew- al and Remembrance - An Envi- ronmental Enhancement Project at Arlington National Cemetery and Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. was keynoted by Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Anthony J. Principi. The ceremony was held at a renovated garden site prepared by PLCAA members in 1999 in time for a pre-Memorial Day planting of a new rose variety called Veter- ans' Honor TM by Jackson & Perkins. "When one considers what these brave women and men did for our country, donating time, money, and products to ensure that their final resting place is beautiful and well-kept is the very least we can do," said Sposato Landscape owner Tony Sposato. "The patriots and heroes who are buried in these two historic sites come from communities like ours and we are proud that we could join Secretary Principi for the seventh annual Renewal and Remembrance Cemetery beautifi- cation project." Submitted photo Gordon Hawthorne, left, and Steve Baker, both from Sposato Landscape Co., Inc., Milton, headed to Washington, D.C. recently to team up with landscape experts from across the coun- try to beautify and restore the cemetery grounds at Arlington National Cemetery and the His- toric Congressional Cemetery. Bing cherry pays tribute to the Chinese immigrant In the early 1800s the uneducat- ed American public saw new Chi- nese immigrants as a threat to American ideals, religion and la- bor force and even called Asian immigrants the "yellow peril". But even then there were Amer- icans like Seth Lewelling who supported the:truly American ide- al that everyone, including the Asians and even slaves, deserved freedom and equality. Seth ran a nursery in Mil- waukie, Ore. and came upon a chance seedling cherry with pur- ple-red flesh. He named the cherry the "Black Republican" and it was the most popular cherry for the next 65 years. A "Black Republican" was the nickname for Republican abo- litionists. About 10 years after his success with the Black Republican'dieii'y, Seth's nursery's foreman, Ah Sit Bing, found a remarkable cherry in the test rows. This beautiful dark cherry was large, it was as delicious, and best of all, it held up well during ship- ping. At the time Chinese were held in such contempt that it was al- most impossible for them to get a fair trial and people in dire straights were soon said to "not have a Chinaman's chance." In honor of his Chinese foreman and to strike yet another blow to racism these sensational new cherries were named "Bing Cher- ries". In 1876 Seth Lewelling sold Bing cherries at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. "" The large heart-shaped cherries GARDEN JOURNAL Paul Barbano sold for the then exorbitant price of an incredible three cents apiece and were an instant success. You can grow your own Bing cherry tree (Prunus avium) on almost any soil, as long as the land is well drained, with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8. You can test your soil water drainage yourself. Dig a hole 3 feet deep, sit back and wait for rain. The hole should be com- pletely drained withinthree days or the site is probably too wet for Bing cherries. Because Bing cherries aren't self-fertile you will need another cherry variety nearby to pollinate your tree. Plant Bing with the sweet cher- r Windsor for best pollination. The sweet cherry varieties Lapins, Sweet Ann and Stella all make good pollinators for Bing. You can plant either standard or dwarf trees. A standard Bing cherry is an upright grower that will reach upwards of 40 feet tall if left unpruned. They can be planted 16 to 20 feet apart. Dwarf Bing cherry trees will only grow about 15 or 20 feet tall so can be planted a little closer, just 10 to 1:4 feet apart. Most Bing cherries are hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Each planting hole should be about 18 inches deep and 18 inch- es wide. Be sure that the soil is well tamped around the tree and that the graft union is about 3 inches above ground. Water each tree with about two gallons of water. Loosely wrap the trunk 12 inch- es high with hardware cloth to discourage rabbits from chewing the tree trunk. Water again every two weeks during dry weather. It's best to leave a circle of cultivated ground or allow grass to grow under the tree. Mulching often isn't recom- mended because as a mulch de- composes it releases nitrogen that can lead to less cold hardiness in Bing cherries. Mulches can also house rodents that might feed on the tree roots and bark. Even though Bing cherries are usually eaten fresh, they are easy to freeze. Just put pitted cherries on a cookie sheet and freeze, then roll the individual cherries into freezer bags. If you freeze Bing cherries with the pits still inside, they may ab- sorb a slight almond flavor from the pits. Bing cherries are rich in vitamin A, and contain large amounts of vitamin B, calcium, potassium, and manganese. The Black Republican cherry is now almost extinct but after 125 years Ah Sit Bing's cherry pays tribute to racial equality and is now one of the most popular sweet cherries grown. Maybe we do have a Chinaman's chance af- ter all. Paul Barbano writes about gar- dening and farming from his home in Rehoboth Beach. Address com- ments or questions to him c/o the Cape Gazette. A Chinese nursery foreman, Ah Sit Bing, discovered a new cherry in the 1800s in his em- ployer Seth Lewelling's Oregon cherry orchard. Lewelling named this cherry, which has be- come the most popular cherry in the country, after Bing. +