This past Saturday,the Penn State Master Gardeners hosted more than 1,200 Allegheny County residents at the North and South Park Demonstration Gardens. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., visitors tasted, voted, collected information and enjoyed perfect fall-like weather. The votes have been tallied and the 2014 favorites recorded.
Artemisia (family Asteraceae) is a large genus including over 300 different species. It was chosen to be the "2014 Herb of the Year" by The International Herb Association.
This past Tuesday, May 6th, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, along with county council, recognized and congratulated the Cooperative Extension of The Pennsylvania State University on its upcoming 100th anniversary. The May 8th anniversary date marks the signing of the Smith-Lever Act which established the Cooperative Extension, the nationwide transformational education system operating through Land-Grant universities in partnership with federal, state, and local governments.
Steve Repasky, president of Burgh Bees is also the owner and operator of Meadow Sweet Apiaries in Dormont. Steve is a certified Master Beekeeper and manages numerous honey bee colonies in and around Pittsburgh.
Etna Borough is no stranger to the destructive power of stormwater runoff, and the situation has only worsened with continued development higher in the watershed that replaces open land with impervious surfaces – roads, parking lots, and buildings. While making improvements to engineered stormwater management elements, borough official have also readily embraced green infrastructure as part of the solution. On Saturday, September 7, Etna Borough hosted a rain garden workshop aimed at helping landscape professionals learn to properly design, install and maintain rain gardens.
Through the generous support of The Heinz Endowments, 4-H Pittsburgh has teamed with two long standing grass roots organizations (The Kingsley Association and Nabhi Christian Ministries) to deliver an innovative youth development program geared towards African-American males. The project will primarily involve two neighborhoods, Larimer and Lincoln-Lemington.
Penn State Extension – Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council served up a good old fashioned community corn roast to Pittsburgh’s East Liberty Farmers Market on August 19, 2013. Chef Bill Fuller, Executive Chef of BIG Burrito Restaurant Group presided over the grill, roasting local corn to perfection using his popular ‘Kaya Corn’ recipe, served with chipotle aioli and lime wedges to farm market customers and farmers.
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.
It seems that we are experiencing more unusually warm periods during mid- and late-winter, so trees may be more susceptible than in the past to moderately low winter temperatures. Lessons from years in which there was a sudden drop in temperature indicate that trees most injured were those that lacked adequate vigor, those that were too vigorous, and those that had been pruned before the cold event.
Indiana County 4-H Members Honored At Achievement Celebration! Garrett Richardson was Outstanding Senior Member and Katelin Olson was the Outstanding Junior Member.
Three Indiana County 4-H horse club members were recently honored at the 53rd Annual PA State 4-H Horse Show in Harrisburg.
Despite the popularity and life-like appearance of modern artificial trees, nothing says “Christmas” like the fragrance a cut, live Christmas tree brings to your home. Beyond the initial set up and making sure it always has water, a well-selected cut tree is not much more trouble than an artificial one. And you do not have to worry about storing it for the rest of the year!
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.
Economic and Community Educators Jeff Himes and John Turack utilized wooden replica buildings to teach Indiana County youth and citizens about the effects of their land use choices at the 150th Indiana County Fair.
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.
The Master Gardeners of Allegheny County were recognized with two first place awards in the Search for Excellence Program, at the 2012 Pennsylvania Master Gardener Conference, held in State College, last month. Judged by coordinators from counties throughout the Commonwealth, these awards identify exceptional volunteer projects that make a significant contribution to the community.