Category Archives: Horticulture

Updates on Madden’s horticulture and tips for your garden.

Madden’s Golf Course Maintenance Sustainability Program

Our program was started out of a desire to promote bent grass vs. annual bluegrass on our golf courses. Bentgrass is a grass that requries less inputs from fertilizer, water and pesticides and is hardier in times of weather related stresses. It also provides a firmer more consistant playing surface than annual bluegrass.

The bent grasses originated in the sandy seaside of Scotland where golf began. The grasses grew and thrived in this sterile sandy environment where crops would not thrive. This fact is a big part of the changing paradigm of growing a crop versus creating a surface to play on.

Our program does not go to the extent of starvation programs that are common in Scotland where both climate and golfer’s expectations and perception allow for brown golf courses. We strive to reach a happy medium where we can still provide a green golf course, but one that is lean and promotes bentgrass over annual bluegrass.

We accomplish this primarily through the use of iron sulfate to provide green color. This in combination with judicial use of fertilizer and pesticides coupled with growth regulators helps us accomplish our goal of growing the grass very slowly. As we grow the grass more slowly we have less issues with thatch and organic matter development which translates into less inputs from pesticides and cultural practices such as mowing, core aerification, pesticide and water usage. A very important aspect of this program requires us to reduce compaction through the monthly use of “solid tining” and “venting” which can be accomplished with minimal disruption to the playing surface.

So far we have seen a dramatic increase in bentgrass populations on our East and West course greens where we went from 30-70% annual bluegrass to almost 90% bent grass. The Classic being newer was seeded to bentgrass and had much less annual bluegrass to deal with but we were starting to see encroachment. We have been able to stem the tide and are keeping it at around 5-10% of the population.

Allowing natural fescues to grow on our golf courses reduces inputs like mowing and fertilizing

Our fertilizer and pesticide budget has been reduced by about 25%, but more importantly we are growing a healthier turf with far less inputs that  provides a superior surface to play on.

This year we have also initiated a program on our Pine Beach East golf course to bring back some of the fescues on mounds and out of play rough areas that is more in keeping with the original golf course built back in the 1920’s. Although a bit controversial to the crowd that like to see everything manicured on a golf course the majority of players have loved the “look” of the wispy fescues and have commented that they provide a nice contrast and definition to the golf course. It has allowed us to take about 6 acres out of our regular maintenance of mowing, fertilizing and watering.

Scott, Director of Golf at Madden’s


Tags: , ,

Sustainability at Madden’s: A Way of Life

At Madden’s sustainability is a daily way of life. Ask any employee from our golf course maintenance to laundry staff and from front desk to food and beverage staff; they each could tell you at least a few things about our green initiative. Built from a “seed” of an idea by President Brian Thuringer in 2008, our green program covers all aspects of resort life.

The initiative is led by a Green Team made up of staff volunteers who want to help make the world a little greener. The team is made up of members of Madden’s management team and seasonal employees. There are representatives from all departments on the resort.

Having representatives from all departments on the resort is essential to the success of the program as each department plays a role in its success. Here are some specific things departments are doing:

Food & Beverage Department:

Our horticulture team works on our newest herb garden at The Classic Grill

Herb Gardens: On-site vegetable and herb gardens reduce shipping costs and our carbon footprint while providing our guests with fresh produce and herbs.

Wine selection: Since the incorporation of the green program we have begun to serve more wines from vinters who practice sustainable or organic viticulture. Sustainable viticulture: wine produced with the goal of producing the finest and healthiest grapes while conserving resources, maintaining the environment, and cultivating positive relationships with employees and surrounding communities. Organic viticulture: Wine produced based on local organic regulations with the standard premise of avoiding all chemical fertilizers and chemical pest controls.

Placemats replace table linens and flowers are fresh cut from Madden's gardens.

Dinnerware: All outdoor bars and dining areas utilize reusable glasses and dinnerware.

Placemats: Placemats replace table linens to reduce laundry energy and water consumption.

Fresh Cut Flowers: Flowers used in dining areas are fresh cut from Madden’s gardens. This reduces our carbon footprint by minimizing transportation costs.

Property Management

Vending Energy Misers: Recently installed vending misers help save energy daily by automatically monitoring the lighting and temperature in vending machines. If no one is around the vending machine, the lights will shut off. It also montiors room temperature and runs the cooling system when neccessary.

Faucet Aerators: Faucet aerators have been installed in all of our guest rooms to help save water.

Light Bulbs: Energy efficient lightbulbs have been installed throughout the property to reduce energy usage.

“Exit” Lights: Emergency Exit lights have been converted to LED light bulbs.

Efficiency Assessments: We have examined areas where heating and air-conditioning efficiencies may be improved with additional insulation.

Air Conditioning Units: We have phased out older air conditioning units to upgrades that will improve our energy efficiency.

Grounds & Golf Department:

Allowing natural fescues to grow on our golf courses reduces inputs like mowing and fertilizing

Transitioning to Bent Grass: Bent grass on our golf course allow for less maintenance expenses with a slower growth rate.

Natural Fescues: Allowing fescues to grow on mounds and out of play rough areas has decreased input costs like mowing and fertilizing while adding to the pristine natural view of our golf courses.

Reduced fertilizer and pesticides: By increasing our bent grass populations and adding fescues we have reduced our use of fertilizers and pesticide use by 25% with lower inputs in maintenance such as mowing and venting.

Look for a post later this week to learn more about our sustainability effort on our golf courses.

Laundry Department

Ozone Laundry System: Our property’s overall carbon footprint was significantly reduced with this new Ozone system. We greatly reduced our natural gas consumption and improved sewage water quality by 30-50%.

Staff Training

Staff members can "bust" a co-worker for not being green

“Cut the Juice:” Staff are trained on our green program in their orientation and are expected to follow our guidelines at work and for our live-on seasonal staff, at home as well. We encourage staff to “Cut the juice when not in use.”

Green Award: We take nominations for a monthly Green Award recipient. Madden’s staff are recognized for going above and beyond when it comes to being sustainable.

“Busted:” We’ve implemented programs for a staff to add a little fun to staying green. When an employee catches another employee not being green (like not shutting off lights or computer monitors) they can post a “Busted for not being green” sign on that staff member’s desk or light switch.

All Around Green

Karen's little red recycling wagon is towed by a red FarmAll tractor

Daily recycling: Karen Enberg is well-known around the resort as the recylcing lady. Her full-time job is daily pick up and transference of recyclables including cardboard, paper/office waste, plastics, steel, aluminium, and glass.

Purchasing Green Products: All new room amenities are made of recyclable plastic. All new appliances and equipment carry the “Energy Star” seal when available. All restrooms have been converted to using Green Seal Certified soap and paper towels made from 100% recycled material, made by using a chlorine-free process which reduces water usage by 80%

Guest Rooms: Guest rooms contain informational signage for sheet and towel changing program. Each room also has a recycling bag with a card encouraging guests to recycle plastic, glass, aluminum, and newspapers. Finally there is signage to encourage guests to shut off lights and air conditioning when not in use.

Signage in Guest Rooms Encourage Guests to Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Donate

All guest room amenities are made with recylcable plastic bottles. Leftover amenities are dontated to local charities.

Green Range Renewable Energy: All used fryer oil is locally recycled to make biodiesel fuel.

Guest room amenities: Leftover guest room amenities like soap and shampoo donated to local charities.

Furniture: Mattresses and other furniture items are donated to local Habitat for Humanity and the Bridging Organization serving families in transition.

Batteries: All AA batteries from guest door locks are reused to completion in resort paging system.

**Check back throughout the week for more posts about the sustainability effort at Madden’s. Thanks for reading, Elizabeth**


Tags: , , ,

Summer Heat is Great for Your Perennials

Greetings friends of Madden’s!

I know I am not alone when I say our extreme weather conditions have made this a  challenging summer in the garden. But while the wind, heat and continuous rain may slow down your annuals, its great weather for perennials.

Perennial hostas line the stairs to the beach from Wilson Bay

Maintaining Healthy Perennials

Perennial plants such as Hosta, Daylily, and Iris should be dug up and divided every three years to keep them healthy and at a desirable size. To do this, dig up the  entire plant with a spade shovel. This is an easy job if the plant has been maintained; however, a friend’s help may be needed if the plant has become overgrown. Once the plant is out of the ground, use a hand saw to ‘saw’ the root ball into two or more clumps, depending on the original size (some plants may provide ten clumps or more). Next, plant a nice clump back in the original spot, water, and fertilize. I prefer a slow release, granular fertilizer, such as Osmocote 20-20-20, which can be found at any garden center. It is simple to apply and because it is a slow release, you only need to fertilize once a year. And, finally, find homes for the new plants! If you are unable to use them in your own yard, try selling them at a yard sale or give them away to friends and family – they will love you for it!

Enjoy, Julie, Madden’s Horticulturalist


Tags: , ,

Farmer’s Market at Madden’s Driving Range

Farmer's Market at Madden's Driving Range on June 24, 2011

Looking for something fresh and different? Stop in to the Farmer’s Market at Madden’s Driving Range each Friday now through mid-October. Depending on when you stop in, you’ll find different wares: fresh produce, farm fresh eggs, plants, organic skin care products, and canned and baked goods were available last week.

What they sell:

Fresh Pies at the Farmer's Market

Fresh produce: hydroponic and earth-grown lettuce, cucumbers, and much more as we get into harvesting season (the same fresh and local produce that Charles Tangen delivers to Madden’s for use in our restaurants)
Young plants for growing your own veggies and herbs
Fresh baked goods: bars, cookies, breads, rolls, and pies (I tried a delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie. So good!)
Canned goods: pickles, jellies, tomato juice
Skin Food: All natural health and beauty products made by local business woman, Beth Super.
Farm Fresh Eggs

What you need to know:

What: Farmer’s Market
When: Friday’s from 2:30 to 6:30 Mid May through Mid October
Where: Madden’s Driving Range


Tags: , ,

Herb Garden at The Classic

Going Green

At Madden’s we’ve been “going green” for a quite a while now. One of our important intitiatives in our “green” plan is on-site herb gardens. The fresh herbs are used in all of our restaurants.

Our newest edition to our herb gardens is a new garden at The Classic Grill and golf course. This allows our chef at The Classic Grill to step right outside to pick the fresh herbs he needs for the day. How simple!

Madden’s Herb Gardens: The Basics

-New this year to our herb gardens is spearmint–It’s planted near every site that serves alcohol and is perfect for making fresh Mojitos
-All herbs at Madden’s are grown from seed in our greenhouse starting in March
-Basil & Rosemary are the most used fresh herbs at Madden’s
-Our horticulturist, Julie, notes most herbs are simple to grow on your own with Rosemary being the easiest

Placing stepping stones in the new herb garden at The Classic Grill

**Do you have an herb garden at home? What is your favorite herb? You’re welcome to comment below or email me at**

Until next time, Elizabeth


Tags: , , ,

Nasturtium Spring Rolls

Earlier posts in the blog have shared about many different edible flowers including orchids and nasturtium–both of which are used in Madden’s kitchens. Today, I thought I’d share a fun recipe for nasturtium flowers. According to our horticulturist, Julie, they are quite easy to grow. Maybe something you’d like to try out at home?

Here are the ingredients to get you started on Vietnamese Nasturtium Springrolls. Then check out The Gardener’s Pantry for the full recipe.

12 rice paper disks, 8.5” (banh trang)
12 perfect nasturtium flowers inspected for insects
Dark Green loose leaf lettuce torn into 5”-6” by 3” strips
Sweet red pepper cut into narrow strips
Cucumber cut into narrow strips
4 oz. fine rice vermicelli (maifun) soaked in hot water for 10 minutes.
Drain noodles, snip with scissors into 4” to 6” lengths, place
in dish with 2 teaspoons fish sauce and 1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup Oregon bay shrimp or 24 medium cooked shrimp sliced in
half lengthwise.
2 carrots shredded or julienned
Fresh basil and mint chopped and combined
½ cup chopped roasted peanuts

Dipping Sauce to serve with spring rolls
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
1 large clove garlic minced or pressed
1 Thai chili or jalapeno pepper minced
1 tablespoon peanut butter

Happy cooking, Elizabeth


Tags: , ,

Nasturtium: Another Edible Flower

Orchids are not the only edible flowers we use here at Madden’s. Nasturtium is another flower used by many in the kitchen and is very simple to grow. In fact, we have the colorful flowers planted around the resort in various gardens. Look for our chef’s out clipping and feel free to clip a few for yourself!

Enjoy, Julie, Madden’s Horticulturist

(Remember edible flower safety tips. If you’re not sure if its safe to eat, ASK!)


Tags: , ,