Homegrown veggies especially for baby

The nation’s leading home gardening company has introduced vegetable varieties specially intended for parents who want to avoid processed baby foods in favor of homegrown fresh from the garden.

“We started researching these varieties several years ago when our staff started receiving inquiries from mothers-to-be asking if we had certain vegetables that were better suited for use as baby food,” said George Ball, chairman of W. Atlee Burpee & Co. “We will be offering high-yielding varieties of relatively bland tasting but uniquely soft-fruited vegetables such as peas, squash, carrots and broccoli, with no trade-off in nutritional value.

Burpee also has developed several varieties of kale and other vegetables that are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, after receiving queries from home gardeners asking for recommendations on what to grow for people with age-related macular degeneration. Varieties available for the season can be found online at

Golf tourney to aid Big Brothers, Sisters

The 21st annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara County Charity Golf Tournament will be held May 20 at Brookfield Country Club in Clarence. Kevin Sylvester, radio host for the Buffalo Sabres broadcast team, will serve as honorary chairman.

Registration starts at 10 a.m.; the format is four-person scramble with a shotgun start at 11. The evening features both silent and live auctions, followed by an awards banquet. Cost is $225 and includes a gift bag, coffee, lunch, golf cart, greens fee, beverages on the course, reception, awards banquet, door prize and banquet favor. For more information or to register, call 285-6680 or visit

What’s next? Dusting for ‘breathprints’?

Our breath may be unique, just like our fingerprints. Compounds in exhaled air produce a molecular signature or “breathprint,” one that could be used to monitor disease or track how we respond to medication.

Renato Zenobi at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his colleagues, using mass spectrometry, identified minuscule amounts of metabolites in the breath that remained “constant and clear” for people studied several times a day over nine days. Early results from another study by the team show breathprints can be used to diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

— News staff and wire services