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Ever assumed you know a lot about something, and then “Bam!” you are clobbered between the eyes by a reality check? It can be downright embarrassing — especially when delivered by a 97-year-old Aunt!

Recently, Aunt Wanda and I were enjoying the warm sunshine, a couple of cold beers and her beautiful backyard flower gardens. I asked what she feeds her flowers to keep them so vibrant and gorgeous right to the first hard frost — weeks longer than any other flower gardens in town. Her answer? Beer . . . really cheap beer. Huh??

I worried either she had been doubling up on her daily “prescription” of beer, or perhaps she was finally being overtaken by her advanced age. Proud that I know “stuff” about beer, I kindly asked if she was sure, and “Bam!” She gave me a lesson in “How Does Her Garden Grow!”

According to my favorite aunt, we are not the only ones who crave beer. Early every spring, she mixes her Garden Elixir, and treats her gardens to a little beer bath every three weeks until the first freeze.

In a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer (hers is duct taped securely onto an antique wagon), she mixes 1 cup EACH of beer, baby shampoo and liquid lawn food, with 1/2 cup molasses and 2 tablespoons fish emulsion. She then fills the balance of the jar with ammonia. Hooked to her garden hose, she sprays everything thoroughly and is rewarded by a yard full of healthy, beautifully vibrant, grateful flower gardens.

Wanda stressed that she only uses cheap beer, nothing she ever gets from her favorite Beer of the Month Club. THAT beer is strictly for making HER healthy, beautiful, vibrant and oh-so-grateful for the gift certificate I give her each year!

Want to be somebody’s favorite? Celebrate their special days with gift certificates from Clubs of America’s Great American Beer Club!

ASK MR. BEERHEAD:  LYNDA BISHOP OF PELL LAKE, WI, EXPLAINS WHY WANDA’S ELIXIR WORK SO WELL 

Each ingredient contributes something unique: Beer is an enzyme activator that helps to release nutrients that are locked in the soil, and it promotes the activity of soil organisms. Shampoo (and soaps) soften the soil, making it easier for the roots to absorb water. It also removes dirt, dust and pollution from foliage, thus improving photosynthesis. Liquid lawn food and fish emulsion need no explanation, but you might not know that molasses stimulates the formation of chlorophyll in plants due to its sugar content. And ammonia is a readily available source of nitrogen that helps plants develop abundant leafy plant growth.

Featured Beer from Peak Organic Brewery:  Organic Fall Summit Amber Ale & Organic Nut Brown Ale

AMBER ALE — Peak’s Organic Fall Summit Amber Ale — This is an amber-colored, top-fermented ale with perfect balance between the elements of outstanding organic hops and warm toasted malts. This Amber can be paired with all hearty Autumn dishes, fall vegetable roasts, butternut squash, fresh harvest apples and gouda cheese.

NUT BROWN ALE — Peak’s Organic Nut Brown Ale — Like a dark, English-style brown ale, this selection starts out ultra-smooth. Add a variety of organic hops and you’ve got a crisp nutty brew big on differentiated flavors that play well with hearty beef, roasted pork, red sauced pastas, creamy soups, aged cheeses – and gouda!

Featured Beer from Harpoon Brewery: Black IPA & Celtic Red Ale

INDIA PALE ALE —Harpoon’s Black IPA — Made bitter and strong to survive the long boat trip, it was originally brewed for British soldiers in India. Harpoon’s version is very dark, like a stout or porter, but minus the too-roasted-attributes of dark malts. Enjoy this refreshing, top-fermented brew with seafood and all things spicy or grilled.

RED ALE — Harpoon’s Celtic Red Ale — Subtle in flavor, Red Ales are ideal for Fall or Spring. A deep amber/ruby color, it features medium body and a balanced malt bill with a touch of roasted barley. Schedule a friendly session with beef brisket, burgers, grilled pork!

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Tracie Burket
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