Get ready for a short jaunt west this summer for tours of the famous Bluestone Perennials and the Cleveland Botanical Garden! We will have a winery tour & tasting on Friday, and dinner under the stars accompanied by music! Additional nursery shopping opportunities and a docent led tour of Lantern Court will round out our trip.
Creator of the gardens at Brandywine Cottage, David Culp is an expert on garden layering and perennials. No where is his expertise more apparent than the majestic display of plants at his Brandywine Cottage, a garden listed in the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Gardens and regularly highlighted by Martha Stewart Living and HGTV.
The evolution of the existing planters in Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard began in 2009 when these four raised beds were retrofitted and converted into rain gardens. Downspouts were diverted, the beds filled with healthy soil and drainage material and populated with drought tolerant native plants. All are conscientiously maintained by a team of Penn State Master Gardeners who would like to invite the downtown crowd to learn more about them...
Learn to preserve food safely using up-to-date research-based information. Offered individually or as a set, each three hour class will be composed of formal instruction, an actual preserving demonstration, samples, and recipes. Your instructor will be Penn State Master Food Preserver Susan Marquesen.
Thank you for all your support! If you were unable to join us for this "Brilliant" experience, please check our Facebook page and future newsletters for upcoming excursions. Want to know what our 2013 Flower Show travelers will be doing, read on...Calling all winter-weary gardeners who have an itch for color and travel. Mark your calendar now for Wednesday and Thursday, March 6 and 7, 2013 when we will travel east to Philadelphia for the International Flower Show held right in the heart of the city, and the following day, a docent led tour of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square.
In a culture where a cheeseburger is cheaper than an apple, sometimes it is not easy deciphering what to eat, how much to eat, or even where to eat. Our nation is confused and overwhelmed with food. Unfortunately, the food industry’s misleading marketing has led to misinformed consumers, resulting in an astronomical prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. These diseases have crept into our children, escalated health-care costs, and done a number on our aging bodies.
Now that the growing season is over, it is time to prepare the vegetable garden for winter. A little work now can help reduce next year’s insect and disease problems while improving the soil. Removing spent plants is a good first step. Getting rid of those plants helps eliminate overwintering sites for insects and disease-causing organisms. If you do not have a compost pile, fall is a good time to start one so that you can compost those spent plants – at least the healthy ones.
Growing numbers of consumers spend valuable time and financial resources shopping for fresh, seasonal and nutritious food for themselves and their families. This segment of consumers take the extra time to go to farm stands, farmers markets and even ask mainstream grocers to carry local goods.( USDA, Economic Research Report No. (ERR-97) 87 pp, May 2010)
Interest in urban agriculture is growing and part of that interest includes keeping honey bees in cities throughout the United States. Building on this popularity, in 2007, a handful of Pittsburghers started with a simple but ambitious dream: to create a community apiary where city dwellers could keep honey bees, much like urban gardeners tend plots in community gardens. By the Spring of 2011, a once trash-strewn vacant lot in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh had been transformed into a beautiful haven where 25 honey bee colonies are tended by trained, committed beekeepers in the midst of a vibrant pollinator garden.
October is here, bringing with it cooler weather, an extra hour on the clock and a wonderfully abundant harvest of fall vegetables such as pumpkins and squash. Pumpkins are an especially hardy crop, dark orange in color and loaded with both alpha and beta carotene. These micro-nutrients are the phytochemicals, or “plant chemicals”, needed to form vitamin A. An essential component in our daily diet, vitamin A promotes the formation of a strong immune system, healthy skin and clear vision.
Although rain and more seasonable temperatures have returned to western Pennsylvania, lawns damaged by the very hot, dry weather in early summer may still need a little help to recover. Hot, dry weather is the bane of cool season grasses typically grown in northern lawns, including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescues and turf-type tall fescue.
I had a very hard time deciding the topic for this article. There are so many things to preserve in July and August. Most herbs are at their peak; drying racks will be full. Peaches, melons, nectarines, and plums are in season. Your garden will be overflowing with summer squash, beans, cukes, and root crops. (Don’t forget that zucchini can be made into wonderful pickles, as can green beans.) I settled on tomatoes. What do you do with all of those tomatoes?!
High profile fatal accidents involving improperly hitched trailers and equipment have increased police inspections and enforcement. A unique partnership among Penn State Extension of Allegheny County, the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Team of the Pennsylvania State Police and Cranberry Township has come together to help make sure your company, vehicles and drivers are in compliance with new DOT regulations and that trailers and equipment are being towed properly.
At the turn of the last century, when over 40% of America’s workforce was farming, the farming community sustained itself through the passing of knowledge and experience from one generation to the next. Up-and-coming farmers looked to their relatives and neighbors for guidance and mentorship, and in turn, experienced farmers were well equipped with skilled and cost-effect labor to help run the farm.
Do you have more vegetables or fruit than you can eat? Are you interested in the learning how to preserve food safely? Extension is now offering a series of food preservation classes, using up-to-date research-based information. Each class will be composed of formal instruction, an actual preserving demonstration, samples, and recipes.
The Garden Marketplace scheduled for Saturday, April 14th from 8am to 3pm will be free and open to the public as well as those registered for the Western PA Garden and Landscape Symposium. Plan to browse and shop at the Garden Marketplace for specialty plants and unique garden items. Access will is easy, as this year’s marketplace is located entirely indoors in the ice skating rink at Shady Side Academy Senior School, 423 Fox Chapel Road-Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
On Saturday, December 17th, Allegheny County Extension staff and Master Gardeners joined a enthusiastic crew of 15 community members in planting 2,200 daffodil bulbs along the 800 block of Rebecca Street in Wilkinsburg.
What do two Carnegie Mellon MBA graduates, a lawyer, a corporate pilot, a Penn State University communications professor, a Duquesne University professor of occupational therapy, a state wildlife biologist, an architect and the Penn State extension director have in common? Answer….. A shared vision to promote beekeeping as a vital part of sustainable agriculture in Pittsburgh and to establish this country’s first community apiary.
On Thursday, December 8th, 90 plus attendees gathered in the lecture hall of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium for the first ever Regional Food Policy Council Symposium. This unique event was hosted by the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council (PFPC) which is comprised of diverse stakeholders, all employed in various sectors of the local food “arena”. The goal of the symposium was “Working Together to Strengthen Our Food Systems” with presenters sharing their past experiences and exploring aspects of forming, refining and implementing outreach activities that have been effective in addressing issues in their local food system.
The Demonstration Gardens at the intersection of Corrigan Drive and McConkey Road in South Park recently received the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s prestigious 2011 Community Greening Award. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society recognizes greening and beautification efforts in communities throughout Pennsylvania. Nominated sites are evaluated on plant variety, design, use of space, and horticultural practices. The judges remarked, “This garden gets top honors for its educational component. Penn State Extension has done an extraordinary job educating the public by labeling each and every plant. A mailbox planted in the garden holds more detailed information on each variety.”