Get this year’s Lake Erie algal bloom forecast

For better or worse, it’s time for the summer slime report. The 2020 harmful algal bloom forecast for western Lake Erie, prepared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and hosted by Stone Laboratory and Ohio Sea Grant, will be presented online from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, July 9.

In addition to the official forecast, the event will cover spring nutrient loading and projections and recent research efforts and successes. Seven scientist experts will speak.

Registration is free and open to the public. Learn more and register.

Algal boom conference going online this year

Registration is open for this year’s Understanding Algal Blooms: State of the Science Conference, set for Wednesday, Sept. 2, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and slated to be held online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Viewing the conference is free and open to the public, but you have to register in advance. Find details and a link to register.

The speakers will include scientists from USDA; the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; and CFAES.

Algal blooms are the typically pea-green, sometimes massive slime outbreaks that in recent years have plagued Lake Erie and other water bodies.

The conference’s organizer is Ohio State’s Ohio Sea Grant program, which works to protect the environment of Lake Erie and the Great Lakes.

(Photo: Tom Archer, Michigan Sea Grant.)

Webinar features Women Owning Woodlands

The Environmental Professionals Networks (EPN) hosts a free public webinar called “Women Owning Woodlands: Networks for Inclusive Land Stewardship” from 10–11:15 a.m. Tuesday, June 16. Find details and a link to register here.

EPN, a service of CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources, is a professional group for people studying and working in environmental fields.

Membership in EPN is free, but you don’t have to be a member to join the webinar. (Photo: Getty Images.)

CFAES’ Lal wins World Food Prize

The honors keep growing for Rattan Lal. The CFAES Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science—recipient of the Japan Prize last year and the World Agriculture Prize and the Glinka World Soil Prize in 2018—was today awarded the World Food Prize.

The award, its website says, recognizes “the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.”

Gebisa Ejeta, chair of the award’s selection committee and a 2009 recipient of the award, said, “The impact of (Lal’s) research and advocacy on sustainability of agriculture and the environment cannot be overstressed.”

Read more.

Maumee watershed farmers: Apply to be a Farmer Advocate for Conservation

By Stephanie Singer, Outreach Education Specialist, The Nature Conservancy, Western Lake Erie Basin Agriculture Project Office, Defiance

Would you like to share your experience with cover crops and soil health with other farmers? If so, please consider applying to be part of an exciting farmer-led outreach project. Complete the online Farmer Advocate for Conservation application here.

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Show your kids how to bake bread

Baking is sustaining. In a June 2 story on CNN, a New York farmer said amateur bakers “are saving his business.” Home bakers’ numbers are rising, the story said, in the time of COVID-19. Watch the story.

If you want to learn about baking bread, if you want to show your kids how to do it and help them do it while staying at home—call it a sustainable household practice—there’s an Ohio 4-H project book for that. Download it.

Ohio 4-H is CFAES’ statewide youth development program. (Photo: Getty Images.)

Got a garden? Lean on your land grant

Lots of Ohioans started gardening this spring, some for the very first time, possibly including you. In a time of pandemic and staying at home, gardening gets you out into fresh air and sunshine, keeps you socially distanced, and yields healthy food for your family.

Call it, yes, a victory garden—one that stretches your food budget, limits your time in the grocery store, and helps ease the strain on food supply chains.

So how, now that your garden is growing, can you keep it strong all summer long?

Tim McDermott, an agriculture and natural resources educator with CFAES’ OSU Extension outreach arm who runs the Growing Franklin food-growing blog, shares his top six tips, especially for beginners.

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Ways to make Ohio more sustainable

A free public webinar called Sustainability and Ohio’s Landscape: Creating Value for People and the Environment takes place this Tuesday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and you still have time to register for it.

The focus will be on sustainability in three areas: in Ohio’s cities, on its farms, and in its forests. The speakers will be from CFAES, nonprofits, agencies, and businesses.

It’s the 2020 Spring Outlook program by CFAES’ Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.

Learn more and register to watch. (Photo: downtown Cleveland, Getty Images.)

Spend a (virtual) day in the woods

Ohio’s 2020 Day in the Woods series—which has gone virtual for now because of the coronavirus shutdown—kicks off on Friday, May 8, with the aptly titled “Keeping Yourself and Your Woodlands Healthy.”

Four, one-hour online sessions will cover spring migrant birds, the benefits of woodlands to your health, and management practices related to things such as tree seedlings, trails, and invasive species.

Viewing the sessions is free. Find full details and the link to watch.

CFAES’ OSU Extension outreach arm is one of the many sponsors of the series.

3 ways to keep learning about gardening

Check out CFAES’ Agriculture and Natural Resources Madness series on Tuesday, April 28, for three sessions related to gardening and landscaping:

  • “Gardening for Pollinators” at 9 a.m.;
  • “Landscape Insects: Bagworms vs. The Tent Builders” at noon; and
  • “BGYLive! Ornamental Horticulture Updates” at 3 p.m.

All of the webinars are free and open to the public.

Find details and the links for watching.