Category Archives: Other Neat blogs
Down the Gardening Rabbit Hole
Over the weekend, I read a post on one of the gardening blogs I follow (The Veggie Patch Re-Imagined) about another blog all about growing uncommon root vegetables. I was familiar with some of the roots/tubers mentioned (oca, mashua, mauka, etc) from attempting to grow them at a previous job. (I left them when the plants were still babies.) So I emailed myself to check out that blog this morning when I didn’t have to use my phone to browse.
From there, it was a quick trip down the garden blog rabbit hole. I found about a dozen new blogs and websites to follow, and because I have no sympathy for your needs to not spend time browsing the internet, I’m going to share them with you. So as a word of warning, if you don’t have at least an hour to spend browsing garden sites, please stop reading now and go do something else.
Gardening Show Ideas
A Master Gardener shared this link with me, and I thought it was too good to pass up! From Black Walnut Dispatch, “Top Ten New Gardening Show Ideas.”
What Not to Plant. Each week, a snarky pair of hosts selects a different homeowner who has no design sense whatsoever. After forcing her to watch black and white videos of her hideous front garden, the hosts visit her home and tell her why all of her plant selections are god-awful. Even if the homeowner protests (“But my grandmother planted those camellias!”) the merciless hosts whack each plant down one by one with a machete and toss them into a wheelbarrow. But it’s all really funny because the hosts are super stylish and witty.
Excellent Master Gardener Programs
The National Extension Master Gardener blog, hosted by eXtension, has been posting short articles about the 2011 Search for Excellence Award Winners over the past couple of weeks, so I thought I would pass those links along to you. They have 3 of the 6 categories posted so far, so I’ll share the rest when they are available.
Community Service Award Winners:
1st Place: Seed2Need- The Corrales Food Pantry Project- Sandoval County, NM. The Sandoval County, NM Master Gardeners grew over 42,000 pounds of produce to donate to the hungry in their community.
2nd Place: Helen Keller Birthplace: Ivy Green – Shoals County, Alabama. The Shoals County, AL Master Gardeners renovated and tend the gardens at Helen Keller’s birthplace. The gardens are full of old-fashioned varieties and sensory plants.
3rd Place: Share the Health Educational Garden- Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The Cuyahoga County, OH Master Gardeners grow vegetables and donate them to an organization that cares for mentally ill adults.
Innovative Project Award Winners:
1st Place: The Emerald Ash Borer/Ash Tree Inventory – Boone County, Illinois. The Boone County, IL Master Gardeners inventoried the location and health of all the ash trees on public property in their county to help identify Emerald Ash Borer problems and to enable the municipalities to plan for replacement of those trees.
2nd Place: Grass Roots Project – Chesterfield County, Virginia. The Chesterfield County, VA Master Gardeners did site visits and assessments of 4,600 lawns over 14 years, which enabled Extension educators to make site specific recommendations to the homeowners.
3rd Place (Tie): Emerald Ash Borer Awareness – Greene County, Ohio AND Grow It! Eat It! Summer Camps – Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The Greene County, OH Master Gardeners also did an ash tree inventory and some educational programs. The Anne Arundel County, MD Master Gardeners taught basic gardening to youth at summer camps.
Youth Project Award Winners:
1st Place: Agri-Fest – Polk County, Florida. The Polk County, FL Master Gardeners put on this program for 6,000 4th graders every spring to teach them about seeds and plants, and what farmers grow in their area.
2nd Place: Juvenile Detention Center Community Garden- Champaign County, Illinois. The Champaign County, IL Master Gardeners work with youth in the Urbana Juvenile Detention Center to teach them gardening, nutrition, and life lessons through the garden.
3rd Place: Not yet posted. I’ll update this post when it’s available.
It’s pretty inspiring to see what other Master Gardener programs around the country are doing, don’t you think? Of course, we have lots of great programs going on here in Sedgwick County (some of which have won this award in the past, I believe). Still, it’s a lot of fun to see what other people do and get ideas for what we could do too!
Friday PhotoEssay & Link Around
Okay, so I don’t actually have much to share as far as a regular photoessay this week. The garden is just bare dirt at this point! Over the next few months, Friday’s will probably become more of a collection of links and videos rather than being so picture heavy.
Okay, so this rainbow of cayenne peppers is from a couple weeks ago when we were cleaning the garden out. Pretty cool that we got such a range of colors though! Read the rest of this entry
Sharing the Garden with Wildlife
One of our Master Gardeners, who blogs over at Gaia Garden, has a really good post up reprising a talk she gave at our State Master Gardener Conference about Happily Sharing Your Garden with Wildlife. She shares her list of “morals” for gardening with wildlife. While you might argue that it’s a little different in an edible garden (or farm!) vs. an ornamental garden, these are still great principles to keep in mind.
Moral #1: Don’t be too quick to judge an unknown [such as an insect or an egg mass] as a problem. Take time to observe and learn.
When I found an egg mass like the one to the right one February morning, I was tempted to scrape it off the tree branch right away. I was convinced that any mass of eggs like this would be plant-eaters and therefore probably destructive in my yard or garden. Instead of doing that, though, I went back inside and searched on the web, trying to identify the eggs. I was able to do just that, and I learned that these are eggs from the wheel bug, an excellent insect predator. If I had destroyed the mass (and the others I found throughout the winter) I would have had many fewer predators in the yard…and many more pest insects.