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.)

Tuesday: ‘Healthy planet, healthy patients’

The Environmental Professionals Network (EPN) presents its next public breakfast program, “Healthy Planet, Healthy Patients: Hospitals Reduce Their Environmental Footprint” from 7:15-9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Building on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. Registration is $10, free for students, and includes breakfast. Find out more and register.

EPN, a statewide professional group, is a service of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources.

‘What’s exciting is that it’s a natural product’

“We’re taking advantage of something plants have been doing for millions of years” — evolving chemicals to defend themselves from pests — “to hopefully get a leg up on mosquitoes.”

So says CFAES scientist Pete Piermarini, pictured, explaining a recent study. In it, he and scientist Liva Rakotondraibe of Ohio State’s College of Pharmacy discovered a possible new mosquito-fighting chemical in a plant from Madagascar.

Read the full story. (Photo: Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)

They’re seeing if toxins from Lake Erie algae get into food you might eat

Do toxins from Lake Erie algal blooms get into Lake Erie fish you might eat? What about vegetables that growers watered with water they pulled from the lake? Scientists with CFAES, funded by Ohio Sea Grant and the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative, are helping find answers.

See stunning aerial photos of Lake Erie algal blooms

NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory has posted some stunning aerial photos, taken Sept. 20, of a harmful algal bloom in western Lake Erie. You can see more, too, from Sept. 14 (the fifth one down, among many, may smack your gob) and Aug. 14.

Lake Erie algal bloom research at risk

A June 14 Great Lakes Today story by Elizabeth Miller said the proposed 2018 federal budget would “cut all federal funding for Sea Grant programs, including Ohio’s.” At risk, among other things, would be crucial health-related research on harmful algal blooms.

Miller, for example, interviewed two Ohio Sea Grant-funded researchers, Stuart Ludsin and CFAES’s Jiyoung Lee, who are trying to determine if toxins produced by harmful algal blooms can get into food — specifically, into fresh vegetables irrigated with bloom-tainted waters and fish such as walleye that swam in such waters.