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At the Seed Farm, an agricultural business incubator in Emmaus, Pa., Penn State Extension educator Scott Guiser, right, teaches aspiring farmers about the value of cover crops in controlling weeds. Photo: The Seed Farm.
January 10, 2014

On-farm internships and land-link programs are two important models for increasing the number of farmers in the sustainable-agriculture movement, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Marshall Hart leads a tour of the hoophouse production at Braddock Farms.
January 10, 2014

Starting a seed is the same no matter where that seed will be planted. For urban growers, there can be several considerations to take into account during the development of a production area.

January 9, 2014

Are you feeling run down? Are you short-tempered with the children, with your co-workers, or with your own family? As rewarding as working with children can be, it can also be a demanding and stressful profession. Knowing when you are overwhelmed, exhausted, and need help and support is a first step towards dealing with and recovering from stress.

Denise Continenza and Marilyn Corbin
January 9, 2014

Congratulations to PROSPER Team Leader, Denise Continenza, who recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Even in cold weather, the leaves of Viburnum x pragense provide winter interest and contrast to the bare branches of Virginia sweetspire Little Henry in the left foreground.
January 8, 2014

The eastern half of the Unites States is just emerging from some of the nastiest cold weather we have had in decades and the green industry might see some plant death or at least severe dieback in certain shrubs.

Potter County 4-H Leader Donnell Ayers (right) teaches John Hines, government liaison from Shell Inc., about zoonotic diseases at the 4-H booth at the 2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show. Hines presented a check to Pennsylvania 4-H to support 4-H science programs in 11 counties.
January 7, 2014

Penn State Extension's 4-H youth development program has received a $100,000 donation from Shell Oil Company to support the growth of 4-H science programming in 11 Pennsylvania counties in 2014. John Hines, government relations representative for Shell, presented the check to 4-H'ers during a ceremony held Jan. 6 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

A. Die-back on peaches pruned in December. B. Southwest injury on apple trunk. C. Peach twig damage from January 1994 cold snap.
January 7, 2014

Just about a year ago Rich Marini posted a good article on the Effect of Pruning on Cold Hardiness of Fruit Trees (link below). In the article he talks about the effect of early winter pruning on cold hardiness. I have firsthand experience at Rock Springs on the effects of December pruning on peaches. In my tree fruit class one of the laboratory exercises is to have the students learn to prune peaches. Unfortunately, due to the time the course is offered it is necessary to prune the trees in December. Photo A shows the damage I usually observe the next spring from our pruning lessons in December.

January 7, 2014

With the holidays finally over we can reflect back on everything involved when preparing for the festivities. While most aspects of the season were enjoyable, we still had to deal with traffic, crowds, and the stress. In addition, most of us put up a Christmas tree as well... which can either be fun or a burden depending on one's outlook.

Strawberry plant with mild winter injury.
January 7, 2014

Strawberry is an herbaceous perennial plant and it is fairly susceptible to low winter temperatures. An understanding of the cold acclimation process is important to delay mulch application until the plants have acclimated but before plants are exposed to injurious temperatures.

January 7, 2014

The "Berry Good Question" column is being re-launched as a joint Cornell/Penn State effort.

January 7, 2014

Q: Each year I question whether I'm putting straw mulch on my strawberries too early. Some years, I've waited too long (usually due to hunting season) - then we get snow and I can't get it on at all, so I'd like to mulch as early as I can. I've seen an assortment of recommendations – what should I go by? Thanks.

January 6, 2014

Horticulture is defined as the art and science of growing plants. Avid gardeners may yearn to grow the tastiest tomato, the largest pumpkin, or an unblemished rose. Growing plants well requires meeting their cultural needs, and the scientific language of horticulture can be confusing.

January 6, 2014

January 27-February 2, 2014 is National Drug Facts Week. The campaign was started in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to raise awareness about drug abuse among teens and shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse.

Top, Kudzu climbs over other plants, smothering them by eliminating all light.  Photo courtesy of Randy Westbrooks, Bugwood.org.  Bottom, kudzu bugs look for a protected overwintering site.  Photo courtesy of Daniel R. Suiter.
January 6, 2014

Kudzu is a relatively new weed to our area, and along with it, there are also potential problems caused by the insect pest associated with this plant.

January 6, 2014

How do you know if ice on a pond or lake is safe to walk on? I like to ice fish in the winter, but I always feel uneasy the first time on the ice because I don’t know how thick the ice is.

January 3, 2014

It is a well-worn trend to start any new year with resolutions: things we want to do, should do, and even some bad habits we want to break...

January 2, 2014

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions because they are a great way to help us determine what we want out of life. They encourage us to think and act differently to make positive changes.

December 31, 2013

The grocery stores of today are a far cry from the stores your mother or grandmother may have shopped in during the 1950’s, 1960’s and even 1970’s.

December 31, 2013

Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting will help take care of you! Although these three terms are often used interchangeably, there are differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting processes. What does this mean for a green cleaning program at your child care facility?