America Recycles Day is Wednesday November 15th, 2017

Full Disclosure:  I am a board member of Athens Hocking Recycling Center.

That said I recycled and considered it an essential part of my life and world view long before I joined the board.  Seeing how the process works behind the scenes reinforced the concept and value of recycling for me and you are invited to see this process as well.

Some background:

I have toured the facility and it is pretty cool process wise.  Conveyor belts and workers are sorting material to where it is baled.  Below is a cool video from the AHRC site to get a feel for it.

Would you like to tour the MRF?  (Materials Recovery Facility)  Tours will be given on America Recycles Day!

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Through Wednesday November 15, 2017
 
Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers, Inc. (AHRC) will celebrate America Recycles Day on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 by hosting tours of its materials recovery facility (MRF) at 5991 Industrial Drive, Athens, Ohio 45701.  Tours will be available every hour, on the hour, from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm.  The public is invited to attend.
 
The tours will allow the the public to see first-hand what happens to the materials that residents and businesses recycle through the drop off-locations and curbside pick-up.
 
AHRC is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides recycling services in both Hocking and Athens Counties.  For more information, visit athenshockingrecycle.org, call 740-594-5312, on Facebook at facebook.com/athenshockingrecycle/

Fall Harvested Vegetables

I have long been a big proponent of using the full gardening season to grow and produce fruits, vegetables and herbs in your garden.  I am not even talking about using season extension methods like row cover or high tunnels, but instead simply taking advantage of our fairly long growing season.

I posted a fall growing timeline on Talking Hocking back on July 8th.  You read that right,  summer is when you plan your planting.  You look at the frost and freeze dates and count backward.  I listed the best varieties to plant in the post.  I planted in early August the next round of zucchini and green beans.

The best thing about fall is that many of the problems you face in spring and summer go away.  The temperatures moderate,  the rain comes back and the bad bugs go away.  There are a ton of pollinators just looking for something with a flower.  You have ideal growing conditions and in many cases will get a larger harvest than the summer one.

Here is what a squash blossom looks like when it is not full of cucumber beetles

The green bean patch looks ragged but that was after a fourth picking of beans.  Still have at least one or two left before they are done for the season, but that still means beans until Halloween.

I thick planted carrot seed from a color mix.  As they mature I will pick out the largest carrots which will give room for the smaller carrots to grow larger.  They are cold tolerant and so the carrot patch will last until Thanksgiving.   They look and taste great too.

The weather prediction for fall frost and freeze noted a later arrival than most years.  That is helping for sure.  Not every year is like this one, but seed is cheap.  I planted 3 zucchini plants, 3 squash plants and a 9″ row of beans.  Cost was less than $2, totally worth it to take the chance and most of the plants still look great.

The ten day forecast for Logan has a small chance of a frost next week Monday night.  I am hoping the micro climate of my office, the street and the parking lot keeps it above 40 degrees.  If so I bet I will be eating these little beauties next week.

Next year make sure to take advantage of fall weather and make a plan to extend your harvest.  Fall is a great time for growing and you will be surprised by the amount you can sneak in before the frost and freeze dates.

2017 Farm Science Review

In a couple short weeks it will be time for Farm Science Review, one of my favorite things in Extension.

Each year I get a little more involved with this event and this year I am all in.   My first year I attended for a day as I had never been there and really enjoyed it so last year I was able to grab a piece of ground at the Gwynne Conservation Area up the road for a deer plot presentation as well as talk about parasites in small ruminants on the main grounds.

This year my schedule will be:

  • Tuesday – At the Gwynne all day,  talking Deer Plots mid-day
  • Wednesday – At the main grounds, talking Equine Internal Parasite Management at 10am.
  • Thursday I get to speak back at the Gywnne on a really cool project idea I had that myself and a bunch of educator buddies of mine developed that is particularly useful for Hocking County residents – A new demonstration area that will show different forages to try for Year-Round Grazing.

There was a 1.1 acre of ground that had been neglected that was planted in warm season perennial bunch grasses, like prairie grasses

Some bunch grasses present but also a ton of weeds

The spot was managed with herbicides with the best quarter acre saved of perennial grasses to show them off and the rest of the plot was planted with other forage types.  We will have quarter acre plots of the following:

  1. Warm Season Annuals
  2. Overwintered Stockpiled Forage
  3. Cool Season Perennials
  4. Warm Season Perennials

Baby oats that will grow into a forage that can be fed into the winter

 

Stop by this new grazing demonstration area if you get a chance.  Shuttles will take you back and forth from each event location.

 

Vegetable Gardening at Peer House

On of my more favorite job activities is to help get a vegetable garden up and running.  It can be backyard, urban farm or community gardening but I really enjoy the process as well as it is one of my areas of specialization –> Local Food Production.  I always say the best local food is the food you grow yourself.

I was referred by a colleague to Laura Nadeau, Site Lead, at Hocking County Peer House in Logan, a part of Integrated Service.  Laura besides being site lead is the resident chef, den mother, gardener and overall saint who keeps Peer House moving and she asked  if I would come over to help them get a vegetable garden plan going.  They grow vegetables that can be used in the food service , right up my alley.

First thing is that they have some great spots to grow flowers and vegetables.  Two nice half sun beds in the front and a perfect full sun, south exposure spot in the back yard off the deck.  So we made a plan.

Laura sourced some flowers and seeds(and started some transplants herself) and with some volunteer and resident help we got the beds planted.

This bed got flowers, the other front bed got roma tomatoes, the back beds are mixed veggies

 

You should see it now!  Harvest is on for tomatoes, zucchini, green beans and cucumbers with peppers and pumpkins on the way.

 

They even won an award for it.

A garden spot does not need to be large to be productive.  Contact me if  you have a space you wish to garden in and I will help you get started on the path to creating your own local food.

Fall Planted Vegetables

Have you checked the Fall Vegetable Planting Timeline to make sure you are maximizing garden productivity?  The NOAA/NWS projected fall of 2017 will have a delayed freeze risk of 1-2 weeks.  That gives the potential for a longer harvest into the fall.   You still have time to plant a bunch of seed.

I started some lettuce under the lights of my Seed Start Grow Station last week.

Four Season Marvel variety. Red leaf, cold hardy, very tasty

I will put these into The Urban Farm in a few weeks.  I will start more seeds in about 2 weeks or so.  Lettuce is frost tolerant and fairly cold hardy.  With row cover we will harvest until Thanksgiving easy.

 

In the Children’s Educational Garden here at the fairgrounds, harvest is in full swing with the cherry tomato vertical garden providing a colorful medley.  My favorites are the white and purple cherries.

 

I seeded bush green beans that have about a 50 day maturity from seed.

 

The zucchini is also up and I hope to start harvesting by end of september.

 

Fall is one of the best times to grow.  Maximize your production by getting some seed in the ground now so you have vegetables to enjoy later on.