2017 Hocking Hills Farmer’s Market

I was absolutely sick to my stomach when I woke up, started reading the paper and saw that the Hocking Hills Dining Lodge had burned down.   The lodge provided jobs for many people as well as a place for local artists to showcase their art.  It was also the location of the Hocking Hills Farmer’s Market last year.  It was their first year in that location and the word was getting out.  Now they have to start over.

The good news is that they have a great new location for 2017 at the Hocking Hills Winery.

The market is still looking for produce vendors!!!   Think about that if you are looking to make some money as the market is an excellent small business incubator to showcase product with minor overhead costs.

Market Rules and Regulations —>  HOCKING HILLS FARMERS MARKET INFO-usj0tq

Vendor Application —>  2017 HOCKING HILLS FARMERS MARKET APPLICATION-25q2w80

I wish them luck and will help market the market.  Opening day is May 27th.

Hocking County 2017 Ag Days

Ag Days will be held at the Hocking County Fairgrounds on the weekend of April 8th and 9th.   Extension will have several events, programs and presentations during the festival.

First up is the Pie Baking Contest

Do you have what it takes to take down the CHAMP????

2016 Champ Anna


Do you have what it takes?

The Hocking County 4-H Youth Board will hold a Pie Bake-Off on Saturday, April 8 as part of Ag Days. Pies should be brought to the Youth Center, located on the Hocking County Fairgrounds before 9:15 AM on April 8. Judging begins at 9:30 AM with 1st, 2nd and 3rd places being awarded. All pies must be in a disposable container. The winning pies will be auctioned at 10 AM.  All types of pies will be accepted. Please call OSU Extension at 740-385-3222 for more information. All pies/proceeds benefit the Hocking Co. Youth Board.


Two other events on Saturday at Ag Days are:

  • Hocking County Farm Bureau  Workers Comp credits are available by attending a two hour presentation in the Soil and Water Room from 10 – Noon
    • First Hour 10 – 11 “Updates on The Veterinary Feed Directive”
    • Second Hour 11-12 Ag Safety.
    • Anyone can attend either or both hours,  for full credit for Farm Bureau, both hours need attended.
  • Pollinators for Vegetables – For kids of all ages
    • 1 – 2pm,  at the Children’s Education Garden.   We will be planting some seeds for both veggies and pollinators and have some pollinator seed packets to hand out as well.


Hoping that we do not have a blizzard for Ag Days like last year!!  Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Save The Date!! “Tick Prevention” at Hocking Valley Community Hospital 4/3/17 at 6pm

With spring upcoming and people starting to head back outdoors it is time to think about protection from ticks.  Ticks are a major vector of many diseases affecting humans, companion animals and livestock and the prevalence of these diseases has been rapidly increasing over the last decade.  On Monday, April 3rd at 6pm at Hocking Valley Community Hospital I will discuss tick diseases, identification and prevention methods.  The class is free and open to the public.

How to identify which tick is important,  different ticks carry different diseases and all ticks carry more than one disease.


Source: Tickencounter.org


We will discuss lifecycles.

Source: CDC


And go over how to protect yourself, your family, your pets and your livestock.   Ticks are tough to repel, many of the most common products are ineffective.

We will discuss what works and what does not work.


Space is limited to about 20-25 and classes at HVCH generally fill up.  The class is free so bring your friends and your questions.

Contact information:

Class instructor is Tim McDermott, DVM from OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Office. Call (740) 380-8336 or email ljohnston@hvch.org to RSVP.


Save the Date!! Seed Starting Class at Bishop Educational Garden, Wednesday March 1st.

OSU Extension and Hocking Soil and Water Conservation District will be partnering to present a FREE workshop at Bishop Educational Gardens, the home of Lilyfest, on Wednesday March 1st from 6:30 to 8pm.


Basic techniques for starting your own flowers, herbs and vegetables will be demonstrated as well as a discussion on how to construct your own home growing environment.


Registration is recommended to ensure we have enough seating.  Bring your questions and your friends.  Bishop Educational Garden is located at 13200 Little Cola Rd. Rockbridge, OH 43149  (click for google map)

For more information or to register contact Rebecca Miller, HSWCD,  at 740-385-3016 or Tim McDermott OSUE at 740-385-3222 or email to McDermott.15@osu.edu





Dehydrating Herbs

I want to say a big “Thanks!!” to Hocking Valley Community Hospital for hosting the “Holiday Projects from the Container Garden” class.   HVCH is an amazing partner and an asset to our county.   This is a web version of the Power Point proceedings so folks have a reference as needed.

Dehydrating is one of the oldest preservation methods known.  It allows storage without energy of a food product.  Similar to canning.  Once the product has been prepared properly, it is shelf stable.   It fits within the food knowledge plan I am teaching here in Hocking County:

Start seeds–> Grow plants–> Harvest–> Storage–> Eat

I consider herbs the gateway to dehydrating.  If you can do herbs, you can move on to veggies, fruit and meat.

Things to consider:

  • Some herbs dry better than others
  • Different herbs dry at different speeds
  • Harvest herbs at the peak of flavor to get the best product
  • Dry herbs as whole leaves and store as whole leaves to preserve flavor
  • Different tools can dry herbs: dehydrator, oven, microwave, solar

The National Center for Home Food Preservation has a nice factsheet on this topic.

First thing is to make sure your herbs are at peak flavor and you trim off any bad leaves.



I use a dehydrator for drying.  Many methods can be used –>  Four methods of drying herbs from MSU Extension

Thyme - leaves kept on stems works best

Thyme – leaves kept on stems works best


Sage - Individual leaves dry best with this large leaf herb

Sage – Individual leaves dry best with this large leaf herb


Best herbs for drying: parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, chives

Trickiest herb to dry that everyone wants to dry: basil

  • Basil dries at low heat only or turns black, needs 95 degrees
  • Great alternate way to store basil is blend with olive oil alone or as pesto and freeze

Herb you can dry or freeze: mint

  • To me it is not bright when dried.  Store blended in lemon juice or iced tea for a flavor punch

Herb best frozen only: cilantro

  • I blend my cilantro with lime juice and freeze, then add to dishes when cooking


I like to make blends and use them for cooking or give them as gifts.  Some great blends are:

  • Italian – parsley, basil and oregano
  • Roasting – thyme, parsley, chives, sage and rosemary


Once fully dried, store in a jar, as whole leaves.  It will taste much better than store bought.  Lightly crush leaves when added to cooking.


Use these amounts as guidelines for substituting one form of an herb for another: (Source: PSU Extension)

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh herb
  • 1 teaspoon dried herb
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered herb


Once again a shout out to Hocking Valley Community Hospital.  We will continue to partner on health and wellness programs.  As a side note they are one of my favorite Hocking County restaurants.  Stop in the cafeteria for some lunch and tell them I said “hi.”

I stop in every so often to hit the salad bar and get my health and wellness on:  (For only $1.25 for a “small” !!!)

Get your salad fix at the HVCH cafeteria.

Get your salad fix at the HVCH cafeteria.

Save the Date! – Winter Holiday Projects from the Container Garden.

There will be another fun evening at the Hocking Valley Community Hospital on Monday, December 5th, at 6pm.   Come to see the Hospital’s decorations including a holiday theme in the courtyard container garden.   If you are anything like me, you can never get enough Christmas lights.  I went over today to the courtyard and everything is still doing awesome.


Even the tomatoes and peppers look like mid-summer.

I harvested a tremendous amount of fresh herbs.


Into the dehydrator they go.


I will be making some fun herb blends from the container garden produce and will bring that to show you how to do this from your own herbs at the holiday event, so save the date!

Here is the official release from HVCH with contact info,  hope to see you there!



OSU Extension Class – Making

Holiday Gifts & Decor with Dried Herbs

Join Timothy McDermott, OSU Extension Educator on Monday, Dec. 5th at 6 pm, to learn how you can use container produce to create holiday gifts as well as for use right in your own kitchen! In addition to learning how to make natural and aromatic displays and gifts, McDermott will also provide a short presentation highlighting trees and plants specific to the upcoming holidays. Location: HVCH Front Main Lobby. Cost: FREE, but participants must register by calling 740-380-8336 or emailing ljohnston@hvch.org