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.

All day gardening event at Bishop Educational Garden – Sept 9th, 2017

On Saturday September 9, 2017, the Hocking County Master Gardeners (MGV), in conjunction with the Hocking County Soil and Water Conservation District, are offering a day of fun, education and training entitled Secrets in Our Garden. “Our Garden” is Bishop’s Educational Garden located at 13200 Little Cola Road, Rockbridge, Ohio.

Attendees can select from ten different workshops including: Tree Identification, Invasive Plants, Pollinators, Container Gardening, Edible Landscapes, and more. The keynote speaker will be Julie Zickefoose, writer, artist and naturalist who will be presenting, Creating a Haven for your Wildlife and Yourself. Kris Cline, of the newly opened, Butterfly Ridge Conservation Center, and Rick Webb from Webb’s Perennials will be on hand to speak.

Registration includes five CEUs(for MGV), lunch and snacks; the cost is $30 for MGVs and $35 for non-members. The registration deadline is August 15. For more information, you may send an email to f16jazz56@gmail.com, call the OSU Extension Office in Hocking County at 740-385-3222, or visit the Hocking County Master Gardeners Events Page on Facebook.

 

Click Here to Print Brochure  –> Secrets in Our Garden (4)-1hdtrf3

The Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour at The Urban Farm on August 8th.

There will be a free open to the public tour of The Urban Farm at Southeast Ohio Regional Kitchen on Tuesday August 8th at 6:30 pm as part of The Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour as well as a celebration of Ohio Local Foods week.

 

Come visit The Urban Farm to see our process.  Bring your friends and your questions and hear about our current plans for produce production and plans for expansion in 2018.

 

Fall Vegetable Planting Timeline

Fall is a great time to harvest vegetables.  The weather is cooler,  the bugs not as bad, you still have some sunlight and the rain is a little more regular than summer.  To have a fall vegetable harvest you need to do a little planning to time your harvest to the frost date.  Our frost free date in Hocking is around the middle of October.  As of July 9th, we have around a little under 100 days of growing left.  Honestly that means you can still grow almost anything.

Start right now:

  • Asian cabbage, heading cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower – under the lights would be best.  I will start mine shortly in my Seed Start Grow Station.  Starting them indoors avoids high summer heat on fragile cabbage family transplants.  They will go out around Labor Day.  They do not mind cool weather and are improved by a touch of frost.

Lettuce and Asian cabbages are great plants to start with when you are learning to start seeds. They germinate rapidly and reliably and take to transplanting very well.

  • Feel free to start some lettuce indoors now as well.   A dozen heads of lettuce to start, and then repeat that every two weeks for the next month or two.  You might lose some if August is blazing or you might have homegrown lettuce to go with your BLT.
  •  Plant another row of green beans as well as start another few zucchini/yellow squash plants.  You have plenty of time to mature them,  trust me.
  • Direct seed some green onions and carrots now.  These will be tricky because they both take weeks to germinate as well as do not like to break through a hard dry soil crust.  They both tolerate cold later on and you get a harvest into October or November. 

  • If you did not do potatoes early on and you have some space go ahead and plant seed potatoes.  They will be buried under soil and mulch and you will have some in fall. 
  • Hold off a little bit for sugar snap peas, maybe another two weeks,  then start them as well.
  • You can direct seed another round of cucumbers now.  Then you have some to go with your lettuce and tomatoes for a nice fall salad.
  • Hold off about 3-4 weeks before you start radishes and beets.  They both grow pretty fast and taste way better when they mature in the fall.
  • Direct seed another round of Basil right now.  Then you have some later in the season that you are not having to cut all the time to keep in under control

Just a few ideas to get you started.  Mix in some row cover on some of the veggies and you can have a harvest that easily lasts to Thanksgiving.