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.
Save the date of Saturday, May 18, 2013, for great plants at the Penn State Extension Cumberland County Master Gardeners’ ninth annual Plant Fest. The plant sale runs from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., rain or shine, on the grounds of Claremont Nursing & Rehab Center, 1000 Claremont Road, Carlisle, PA. Look for the big tents at the corner of Claremont Road and Army Heritage Drive.
If you would like to make your yard and gardens more environmentally friendly, be sure to join MAEscapes and the Penn State Master Gardeners for the Native Plant Fest & Sale, Saturday May 18th, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the York County Annex, 112 Pleasant Acres Rd, York, PA 17402.
The Pennsylvania Women’s Agricultural Network (PA-WAgN) is launching a women farmer mentoring program to connect established farmers with new and beginning farmers, aspiring farmers, and seasoned farmers. The mentor program will encourage women farmers to support each other through shared learning and exchange of experiences in workshops and online forums focused on five topic areas: fruit and vegetable cultivation, dairy and cheese production, urban agriculture and nutrition, on-farm education and value-added products, and livestock production.
Most farmers would probably say no to that question, let alone become excited or optimistic about such a prospect. In fact, the thought of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration paying a visit leaves a lot of farmers with a dreadful sensation in their gut.
On Saturday, April 20th, at 1:00 pm, the Cumberland Woodland Owners’ Association is sponsoring a “Native Plants” program at Spring Haven Nurseries in Newburg. Spring Haven Nurseries specializes in native woodland plants and shade perennials grown either in propagation beds or in the gardens located there.
Spring is a key time for disease control. This is especially true for many leaf, needle, and flower diseases, regardless of the type of plant involved.
Penn State Extension is offering its interactive, informative, and low-cost series of classes on diabetes, beginning in late April. “Dining with Diabetes: A Program for Adults with Diabetes and their Families,” is designed to teach those with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes how to manage their condition. The set of 6 classes are offered in a social and interactive setting. A new attraction of the classes is that the series is offered without charge for Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries. For others, the total cost for the first 6 classes is $40 for an individual or $55 for a family of two. The fee includes all educational materials, lab tests and foods served, with scholarships available, based on financial need.
This year’s machinery custom rates are now available online. Of the 82 rates reported with year-to-year comparisons, 65 increased, 12 decreased, and 5 are virtually unchanged from last year. Overall, custom rates were up 4.45 percent compared to the previous year. Because of the potential variation in size and overall productivity of equipment, a range of reported rates for each job has been included. The range represents the middle 80 percent of all reported rates for each job, thus the lowest 10 percent and the highest 10 percent of all reported values were not published.
It is that time of year again when homeowners and farmers are getting ready to plant their gardens or numerous acres of crop land. Even though planting is still a couple of weeks away, it is important to keep in mind that what you do to the soil now could affect your entire growing season. This is why it is important to maintain your soil’s fertility, which is its health or quality.
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. Lilies grow each year from scaly bulbs deep in the earth, a resurrection if you will, to form majestic plants with sturdy dense green foliage and radiant white flowers touched with sweet fragrance.
Make plans now to come out to one of Penn State Extension’s ten cover crop field walks. Penn State’s Crop Management Team has established cover crop trials on dairy farms across Pennsylvania since 2009. At these walks, we will review results from the first two years, and you will have the opportunity to observe the performance of various cover crop mixtures, and interact with peers and specialists. Mixtures of several different cover crops will be highlighted.
Whoever said ‘silence is golden’ was not working on a committee or serving on a board. Silence isn’t golden when a community group is at work. In fact it can be toxic.
New partnership enables farmer to cut processing costs in half.
Penn State Extension ‘s Certified Food and Wellness Volunteer Training Program is in its second year. It’s a great opportunity to learn and grow, while giving back to the community. We are looking for people with some knowledge and interest in foods, nutrition and food safety who want to become more involved with community wellness. This is an exciting opportunity to join the growing program, which began in early 2012! Graduates have been active presenting to library groups, the PA Farm Show, schools and Kitchen Garden Day.
One of the pleasures of early spring, for a gardener weary of winter, is watching herbaceous perennials emerge from the bare ground, with lengthening stems and unfurling leaves often changing color as they develop into the full-grown plants that will add color, form, and texture to the garden during the growing season.