Grow your own lettuce

Interested in growing your own greens? Early spring is a good time to start. Lettuce can tolerate cool soil and weather, writes Master Gardener Volunteer Faye Mahaffey in a piece published by OSU Extension’s Brown County office, “so you can plant seeds in a well-prepared seedbed as much as 4 weeks before your last frost date.”

Further, if you have limited space or mobility, you can easily grow lettuce in pots, compact salad boxes, and raised salad tables, too.

Read the full story.

Ohio’s last frost date ranges from the first week of May to the first week of June, depending on where you live. See when yours is.

Learn more about CFAES’s Master Gardener Volunteer program. (Photo: Getty Images.)

‘We grow food for the neighborhood’

“Urban agriculture and local food production are a growing phenomenon for several reasons, including to address food insecurity, as a means for an economic enterprise, for community building, and as job training for young people and others.”

That’s Mike Hogan, educator in the Franklin County office of OSU Extension, CFAES’ statewide outreach arm, quoted in a recent article by Tracy Turner, a writer with CFAES, on our CFAES Stories website. (Hogan recently received the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 2019 Service Award.)

Called “Urban Agriculture in Ohio,” the article looks at how OSU Extension is helping farmers in Cleveland and Columbus.

“Our mission is simple,” one of the growers said in the article. “We grow food for the neighborhood.”

Check it out. (Photo: Getty Images.)

CFAES soil scientist Rattan Lal wins Japan Prize

Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources, was today (Jan. 16) announced as a winner of the 2019 Japan Prize, considered one of the most prestigious honors in science and technology.

Japan Prize Foundation press release said the award is for Lal’s work in proposing and practicing sustainable soil management methods that contribute to “both the stability of food security and environment conservation for climate change mitigation.”

More details to come.

Sign up for series for new and small farmers

CFAES’s New and Small Farm College starts in three counties in January: in Montgomery County (southwest Ohio) on Jan. 8 (register by Jan. 2); in Vinton County (southeast Ohio) on Jan. 15 (register by Jan. 8); and in Adams County (southern Ohio) on Jan. 16 (register by Jan. 8). The series runs once a week for eight weeks.

The program, its website says, “introduces new and seasoned farmers to a wide variety of topics,” with the aim being to “get the most out of your few acres.”

Find out more. (Photo: Getty Images.)

Registration open for OEFFA conference

Registration is open for the 40th annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), set for Feb. 14-16 in Dayton. Scientists from CFAES are typically among the many speakers at the event, which is described as Ohio’s largest sustainable food and farm conference. More than 1,200 people are expected to attend.

Find out more and register.

What you might have missed on Black Friday: Feds release dire climate report

“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities. The impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States and are projected to intensify in the future.” So begins the overview of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which the White House released late last week — on Nov. 23, the big Black Friday day of shopping. Read the full report (excellent, searchable website).

The report’s chapter about the Midwest notes, for example, that “Projected changes in precipitation, coupled with rising extreme temperatures before mid-century, will reduce Midwest agricultural productivity to levels of the 1980s without major technological advances.”

If you’re a member of the media and would like to interview someone about the effects of climate change in Ohio, including on agriculture, contact Aaron Wilson, who’s a climate specialist with CFAES’s OSU Extension outreach arm and a senior research associate with Ohio State’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. He’s at wilson.1010@osu.edu, 614-292-7930. (Photo: Polar bear crosses a melt pond in the high Arctic Ocean, Getty Images.)