I am waiting for spring to arrive in Happy Valley. April has been a very cool month and from the cow’s perspective probably very refreshing. We finally transitioned from the bag corn silage to the bunk. Both the bunk and total mixed ration (TMR) were sent out for analyses. We had an in-service training scheduled for our Extension Dairy Team and Travis Edwards (assistant manager) and I were conducting a workshop on how to visually appraise forages and interpret analyses reports. So the timing was perfect to send samples out to check the corn silage and TMR, both for the herd and for the educational opportunity.
Pennsylvania is one of several states allowing the sale of raw milk for human consumption. Raw milk is simply milk that has not yet been pasteurized.
There has been a great deal of media attention this year on the mass emergence of Brood II of the 17-year cicadas, an insect phenomenon of eastern North America.
Be patient, strawberry lovers. Local berries - always one of the first signs of summer - are just showing up at some farmers' market stands. They are a little late this year. But the wait promises to be worth it.
Boxwood (Buxus species and cultivars) has a long history of use in American gardens, dating back to Colonial times. Think of Williamsburg, and boxwood comes to mind. For hedging and topiary, it is a plant without parallel.
CHAMBERSBURG -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed five cases of confirmed Campylobacter infection in people who consumed milk from The Family Cow, 3854 Olde Scotland Road, Chambersburg. The state departments of Agriculture and Health on Wednesday advised consumers to discard raw milk produced by the farm because of potential bacterial contamination.
Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that is causing increased concern in Pennsylvania.
Boxwood blight was recently detected in a landscape in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Boxwood blight was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2011 in Lancaster County.
Cumberland County 4-H is preparing for its 4-H Activity Days, scheduled for July 12 and August 2. The Activity Days will be held in Carlisle and Newville area, concentrating on project exploration. Activity Day I will offer youth the opportunity to complete a project in all of the following tracts: iris paper folding, strawberry jam making, and electricity projects. Activity Day II will offer activities in painting, fun with Frisbees, and woodworking. Participants must be between 8-12 years old and register prior to June 28 for Activity Day I and July 19 for Activity Day II.
Cumberland County 4-H is gearing up for its annual 4-H Ag Science Day Camp, scheduled for June 25 and 26. The camp is held at local working farms and offers children hands-on activities to discover cows, crops, and more. The camp starts at Strock’s Farm in Mechanicsburg where campers harvest and thresh wheat, make ice cream, test soil, and discover seeds. The second day begins at Monroe Elementary School in Boiling Springs, where campers make loaves of bread, explore honeybees, and turn berries into jam. Campers also visit Brymesser’s Dairy Farm to learn about cows and milk products, make butter, and watch a modern milking operation.
National Pollinator Week is June 17 to 23, 2013. To mark the occasion, join Penn State Master Gardeners in Cumberland County for a Butterfly Container Workshop on Saturday, June 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Cumberland County Extension office, 310 Allen Road, Carlisle.
Do you have questions about your garden or landscape? Are you trying to select the right plant for the right place or get rid of those weeds growing in the wrong place? Do you have a mystery plant you can’t identify? The Penn State Master Gardeners in Cumberland County can help you find answers to your home gardening questions at four Plant Clinic locations during the 2013 growing season.
The days are getting longer, temperatures warmer and everything is starting to bloom. Insects and many other creatures are also appearing more frequently as the temperature rises. Often these creatures don’t bother us, but sometimes they can become pests. Use IPM to keep pest problems from getting out of control. Below are some general tips for preventing pests and a few helpful hints to manage some common pests this time of year.
Tired of eating or making the same old thing for dinner? Try something different!
On Saturday, May 18, 2013, the public is invited to attend a tour of the Arboretum at Penn State Mont Alto. Penn State Mont Alto Forestry Instructors, Dr. Beth Brantley, Craig Houghton and Dr. Peter Linehan will be conducting tours of the campus and the arboretum. They will also be presenting information on the history of the arboretum and forestry education in Pennsylvania.
Even though we are well into the lawn mowing season it is worthwhile to review the hazards associated lawn mowers and their safe operation. Each year thousands of injuries are caused by power lawn mowers. Many of these accidents involve children under the age of five years old, and usually result in grotesque injury and/or the loss of fingers, toes, limbs, or eyes.
For consumers (and some very enthusiastic vendors), this time of year elicits shrikes of excitement and sheer joy as people line up to see which vendor has the early asparagus, rhubarb, or coveted dry beans preserved from fall harvest.
Late winter and the promise of spring brings with it the beginning of new growth. That includes bugs and rodents on the farm. Depending on how well you ventilated during the winter, conditions could be right for a bug bloom of epic proportions that may not be seen until you pull manure or litter out of your housing. The method of integrated pest management or IPM can help reduce the impact of the first few weeks of spring and certainly prior to manure movement from the farm.
This certainly isn’t news to many of you but all too often I see farmers starting to cut grass hay around Memorial Day.
Penn State Master Gardeners in Cumberland County are hosting a workshop for youth on Saturday, May 4, 2013, between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon at the Penn State Extension office, 310 Allen Road, Carlisle. At this workshop, youth can make and take home a colorful container of flowers and herbs for Mom on Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, May 12. The Master Gardeners will also help youngsters leaf-print a card to add a special message to Mom and make a decoration to brighten the container.