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2011

Cash Rent With Bonus
December 27, 2011
Calls from landowners with questions about land rental rates come to the Extension office quite frequently. As you might expect the pace picks up when crop prices are high and there are rumors about someone in the neighborhood offering to pay abnormally high land rent. In most cases the landowner is happy with their current farmer tenant but since “the rent has been $x for a number of years” they think, “maybe they should be getting more”.
Berried Treasures in the Winter Garden
December 21, 2011
Winter need not be confined to a dull palette of brown, gray, and dirty white. With some planning, evergreen foliage, bark, stems, seeds, berries, grasses, and even flowers can bring color and life to the fourth season in the garden. So put on your boots and slog through the snow, ice, and cold to find the berried treasures that await in the winter garden.
Exercise Your Way Through The Holidays
December 16, 2011
Holiday time is a difficult time when it comes to maintaining our weight and preventing that dreaded weight gain. Between the holiday gatherings and home-baked goodies, we really have to work hard to squeeze that exercise and physical activity into our busy days.
Growing Houseplants
December 8, 2011
As gardeners, we often receive plants or give plants for the holidays. Poinsettias, cyclamen, and Christmas cactus are among the most popular plants given, however, other houseplants are easy to find this time of year. Here are some tips to growing your holiday plants and keeping them alive well after the packages and decorations have been put away.
Christmas Tree Care
December 6, 2011
Once you’ve purchased your fresh tree for the holiday season, you need to maintain its freshness. Here are some tips to keep your cut Christmas tree fresh and safe throughout the holidays:
Holiday Eating
December 6, 2011
Holiday time is here again. And so are the joys and challenges of healthy holiday eating. When I attend a holiday gathering, I often find myself standing right beside the food table to be close to the goodies. I end up eating more than I need and thus am uncomfortable later in the evening.
Holiday Décor with Boxwood & More
November 29, 2011
One of the most enjoyable winter holiday traditions is decorating with fresh greenery. Evergreens, such as cedar, ivy, pine, holly, and boxwood, add a natural look and fresh fragrance to our homes. Traditionally, because evergreens retain their green foliage throughout the cold winter months, they represented life everlasting and the coming renewal of spring.
Holiday Tree Selection
November 28, 2011
It’s time to choose the perfect fresh Christmas tree for the holidays. Penn State experts recommend checking the tree carefully before purchasing and taking good care of it after you get it home.
Dry basements
November 22, 2011
Suppose you are thinking about buying a house with a basement, how can you tell if it might have water problems?
Pantry Pests
November 22, 2011
On occasion, you may find tiny bugs flying or crawling on a windowsill, or small moths fluttering about the house, even in the middle of winter. Where could these insects be coming from?
Cumberland County 4-H Sends Member to National 4-H Congress
November 15, 2011
Cumberland County 4-H member, Ben Jackson, will be representing Pennsylvania 4-H at this year’s National 4-H Congress in November in Atlanta, Georgia.
Flood, Snow, Fog....
November 14, 2011
The old mariner was right, “water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” This article is not about headlines or poetry, it is about consequences, a possible consequence of too much water.
Gardening
November 9, 2011
Even though it is cold outside and we are still thinking about what we should have gotten done in the yard this fall, let me remind you that in a few months you will be ordering seeds and wishing you had built that cold frame or greenhouse that has been on your to-do list for the past few years.
4-H Achievement Banquet
November 7, 2011
The red carpet was rolled out for our annual 4-H Achievement Banquet that was held on Saturday, October 22 at the New Kingstown Fire Hall.
Trial & Idea Garden End-of-Season Report
November 7, 2011
This definitely was a summer testing the survival skills of the fittest at the Penn State Master Gardener Trial & Idea Garden, located at the corner of Army Heritage Drive and Claremont Road on the grounds of Claremont Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
Bloom to Host Cumberland County Agriculture Summit
November 2, 2011
CARLISLE— Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) invites all constituents involved with or interested in the 199th Legislative District’s agricultural community to his first annual Cumberland County Agriculture Summit, which will be held on Nov. 18, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Penn Township Fire Hall, located at 1750 Pine Road, Newville.
Keeping Bacteria Loads on the Farm to a Minimum
October 26, 2011
There has been quite a bit written in the news regarding bacterial contamination in our foods. When we read these articles, we are reminded of the fact that we in agriculture play a key part in keeping our food safe.
Fall Garden Q&A
October 21, 2011
Are brown marmorated stink bugs massing outside your home, ready to come inside for the winter?
Controlling Erosion Damage on Streambanks
October 18, 2011
The storms and floods we have experienced this past summer have damaged many properties across Pennsylvania. As a private land owner, your storm damage management should involve a quick assessment to determine the extent of the damage and what management efforts are needed to restore your land.
Fall Forage Planning
October 13, 2011
There is an outstanding farm organization that anyone who grows or feeds forages should belong to and that is the PA Forage and Grassland Council.
Changing Thoughts on Turf Grass
October 13, 2011
Want to reduce mowing? Try planting one of our native grasses in a small area of your yard and see how you like it!
Garden at Carlisle facility gets a facelift
October 4, 2011
For Master Gardeners in Cumberland County, especially those in the current class at Penn State Ag Extension, the idea of dull, boring gardens with nothing to look at in the winter was untenable.
Time to get ready to plant garlic & shallots
September 27, 2011
The summer growing season is rapidly winding down, so it’s time to begin planning for the 2012 garlic & shallot crop. The best time to plant garlic and shallots is mid-October throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic region.
Fall Foliage Season
September 22, 2011
Autumn is a favorite time of year for many who enjoy the blaze of bright foliage against the backdrop of crisp blue skies. The eastern United States is one of the best places in the world for autumn color. But do you know why this region is prime fall foliage territory?
Cumberland County 4-H Members Attend Pennsylvania 4-H State Achievement Days
September 6, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- More than 675 teenagers from across Pennsylvania participated in competitive events and community service at the annual 4-H State Achievement Days held recently at Penn State's University Park campus.
Fall Gardens
September 6, 2011
Fall is right around the corner, and many plants will come to life through fall color. Fall is the second best time to plant, so why not design a fall garden? Many garden centers will receive fresh stock in the fall months of the year, so you’ll have a great selection to choose from. Consider mixing plants that have fall interest with the plants that you enjoy in the spring and summer. Here are some native plants you may want to try.
Some Ideas for Fall Planning and No Tilling Next Spring
August 30, 2011
If you have been no tilling for some time here are some considerations that may improve your no till system. Starting right in the fall as harvest comes into view might mean better jump on next seasons crop.
The Way I See it: A Student’s Take on the Broadband Issue
August 26, 2011
As a college student I spend a significant number of my waking hours online. You might be thinking that all my peers and I are capable doing online is browsing Facebook and other social networking sites. But you’d be wrong. Yes, social networking is a part of my life, but Internet use plays a significant role in my work environment and my life as a Penn State student as well.
Keeping Farms and Farmers Safe
August 23, 2011
LOCAL 4-H CLUBS COMPETE AT AG PROGRESS DAYS QUIZ BOWL
Fall Vegetable Gardening
August 15, 2011
Come the dog days of August, the vegetable garden may resemble a bedraggled mutt. The lettuce bolted weeks ago, the peas are finished, the potatoes are dying down, and the weeds may be flourishing like fleas on a dog. Your gardening spirit may be equally flagging; what’s a gardener to do?
Rosemarie Peiffer 4-H Scholarship Awarded to Cumberland County 4-H Member
August 9, 2011
Carlisle, PA – The Cumberland County Extension Board of Directors awarded the 2011 Rosemarie Peiffer 4-H Scholarship to Hannah Jackson at their August 2, 2011 meeting.
Penn State Extension Launches Mobile App to Connect Consumers to Farms
August 9, 2011
Penn State Extension - Lehigh County has released the Farm Fresh mobile app that makes it easy for Pennsylvanians to find the abundant local food sources that surround them.
What’s Fair About Taxes?
August 3, 2011
Of all the issues in local government, taxation is the most controversial – and often the least well understood.
Summer Good, Summer Bad
July 29, 2011
Summer may bring bountiful harvests of beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, and other produce, but it also brings its share of problems for the home vegetable gardener. The problems are not new, but a very wet spring followed by hot and droughty summer weather has presented some new challenges in the home garden this growing season.
Killer Comeback
July 28, 2011
Cicada killer wasps, also called giant cicada killers or sand hornets, are back.
Dealing with Raccoons
July 26, 2011
Have you noticed partially eaten ears of sweet corn with the husks pulled back in your garden this year? Have you heard the sound of banging garbage can lids in the middle of the night?
Wineberries
July 15, 2011
People sometimes bring berries or plants that they have found growing out in the wild into the Extension office. What is it, and is it edible, are the questions I am asked.
After all that Rain, How can it be Dry?
July 11, 2011
Remember earlier this spring when you weren’t dressed until your umbrella was in hand? Now you almost need earplugs to quiet the noise of crunching grass. How long does it take to move from flood to drought anyway?
Protecting Your Farm from Theft
July 7, 2011
Recently a farmer in Dauphin County commented that he had an unfortunate experience where a chain saw, a toolbox and some other equipment “disappeared” from his shop area. Regrettably theft from farmsteads is a real threat.
Nature’s Quiet Fireworks
June 30, 2011
Fourth of July fireworks are spectacular…and loud…but nature produces a quiet summer spectacle of its own in the light show of fireflies. Poet James Whitcomb Riley described fireflies as “golden seeds…sown about the night,” and Robert Frost wrote “here come real stars to fill the upper skies, and here on earth come emulating flies.”
Marcellus Shale Natural Gas: What the ‘Gold Rush’ Means for Us
June 27, 2011
The Marcellus Shale natural gas boom that is affecting so much of Pennsylvania isn’t coming to our area. You won’t see well-drilling rigs or tanker trucks full of water on our highways, or pick-up trucks with Texas and Oklahoma license plates in our parking lots. Why not? There’s no Marcellus in south-central and southeast Pennsylvania. And who is Marcellus, anyway? Marcellus is the name of a geologic formation – shale that underlies a good portion of northern and western PA and that is full of natural gas.
Some Like it Hot, but Saving Energy is Cool This Summer
June 14, 2011
A couple of months ago, I visited a local fruit grower’s operation with some colleagues to conduct an energy efficiency assessment. The grower pointed out numerous changes he made to cold storage facilities, greenhouses and buildings to make them more energy efficient. Many local farmers are very aware of energy costs because they cut into their bottom line. As residential consumers, some of us are less aware of how our energy is being used.
Roses: The Queen of Flowers
June 13, 2011
Roses have a reputation as fussy divas in the garden, but that all depends on what kind of rose you’re talking about.
Phenology: the Art of Reading Nature & Climate
May 17, 2011
Have you ever heard a gardener say to plant peas when the forsythia and daffodils begin to bloom, or to plant beets, potatoes, and carrots when dandelions begin to bloom?
Youth Summer Garden Camp
May 10, 2011
Would you like to find out about seeds you eat, try lasagna gardening, pound a flower, create garden art, look for insects, eat pizza, and grow sunflowers and vegetables in your own garden?
Crop Rotation
May 3, 2011
“We’ve been raising sweet corn on our lot for three years now. We started out with good harvests, but this year the cornstalks are spindly and not producing well. Plus, we’re seeing more insect damage. What do you think is happening?” The questioners, now in their fourth year of growing the same crop on the same plot, were learning the hard way about the importance of crop rotation.
Insect Pests to Watch Out For In Field Crops in 2011
April 25, 2011
There are always plenty of different kinds of insect pests that will attack field crops in any growing season. Some are seen every year, some seem to come in cycles and every so often a new pest finds its way into our area that we have not been familiar with before.
The Easter Lily
April 25, 2011
The pure white flared trumpets of Easter lily flowers are a time-honored symbol of the hope, purity and innocence embodied in the Easter tradition.
Water Testing & Interpretation
April 13, 2011
What purpose does water testing serve? Drinking water standards have been established for public water supplies. These standards were set to protect human health and avoid nuisance problems such as iron staining. Periodic testing by the public supplier insures that the water supply is safe for human use at all times. The only way to insure that a private water supply meets the drinking water standards is to test it. One way of justifying the cost of testing is to compare it with the price of a visit to the doctor. If testing can prevent a doctor’s visit, it will be cost effective not to mention the benefit derived from not getting sick.When water testing is decided upon, what tests should be done? This question can be difficult to answer. There are three basic ways of looking at the question.
The Alphabet Soup of Nutrient Management
April 6, 2011
Recently there has been a lot of talk about EPA, the Chesapeake Bay, the TMDL, WIP’s, NMP, etc. How does one really know what is going on? All these terms and acronyms can be confusing. Listing some common acronyms and defining some common terms are the purpose of this article.
New Energy Assistance Resources Available for Agricultural Producers
March 30, 2011
Two new energy assistance resources are now available for agricultural producers in Pennsylvania.
Penn State Extension Office offers plans for dairy housing
February 3, 2011
Penn State Extension Office offers plans for dairy housing
Plant Fest
February 3, 2011
Save the Date!