The 10,000 Garden Challenge is headed to Springfield, Mo. The Missouri Department of Agriculture will visit the “A Tribute to the Red, White & Blue: A Patriotic Flower Show” event, Friday, May 27 to register gardens, share gardening advice and encourage Missourians to participate in the Challenge.
The 10,000 Garden Challenge is an initiative to register 10,000 Missouri gardens to promote agriculture, gardening, health and nutrition. Department staff will be at the Library Center in Springfield, Mo. from noon to 8:30 p.m. to add to the more than 3,100 gardens already registered at AgriMissouri.com.
On March 14, Governor Nixon, the First Lady, and Director Jon Hagler of the Missouri Department of Agriculture challenged Missourians to register 10,000 gardens in the state of Missouri and put them on a map to promote gardening, health and nutrition throughout the state.
The Galena Farmers And Crafters Market kicked off it’s 2011 season earlier this month and by all accounts it was a success. More vendors are needed to supply spring produce including lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage and onions. Fee’s are $10 and according to Debbie Bridges you can sell all summer long! It is a perfect way for the community to come together and provide fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods and local crafts for our community and visitors alike. And once a month on Saturday’s we can all enjoy some family entertainment! For more information on how to join call Debbie Bridges at 417-559- 1089 or Connie Johnson at 417- 357-6061
The Crane Creek Market also looking for vendors
Crane Creek Market opens at 8:00 a.m. till noon every Saturday. Located on highway 413 at the old grocery store parking lot. There is still vendor space available. Vendors that have not already signed up are welcome to come that morning, and remember that everything must be locally produced, homemade or handmade. There will not be any fees for vendors. The are also looking for local musicians so grab your fiddles, guitars and banjos for an hometown jam session. Come join us Saturday to sell or shop and support your local community. Contact Patty at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and with any questions.
In Missouri The 1,000 Gardens Project gets people to register their vegetable gardens. It’s hoping to sprout 10,000 new gardens in 2011.
Locally it’s relying on the community to get things started. The idea behind the push is sustainability. “I think if you looked at the number that are actually exploring this issue, you’d be very surprised. I think this is a very attainable goal,” said Shelley Vaugine, a volunteer. Organizers say local gardens would make Springfield less dependent on store bought food, and I’m sure it would. People in the Ozarks are known for their resourcefulness and their ability to get things to grow in spite of all the rocks. Back at the turn of the century tomato canneries were commonplace in these hills. Everything seems to be going full circle here as the community as a whole supports not only themselves, but the growers in our area through the multiple farmers markets.
We plant everything from pole beans to tomatoes. In our garden we have set aside an area for blackberries and raspberries. We like to make jelly and sauces and those berries really pay for themselves over the season. If you haven’t tried growing berries here’s a source we use that’s Missouri based and provides the right planets for our area. Stark Bros. out of Louisiana, MO sends us Thornless Boysenberries which are great juicy deep purple berries – just wade in and pick ’em! Berries grow to a whopping 1½ inches long and as big around as one full inch! You’ll want them for dessert every day during the season, but save a few for the greatest jam you ever tasted. Usually ready late July. We also have Natchez Thornless Blackberries as big as your thumb that are disease-resistant and one that the University of Arkansas has helped produce. The berries we have are much like the monsters you sometimes find at your local farmers market…you know the ones that look like a purple baseball. All kidding aside, it’s a pleasure to have the canes included in our garden space, no thorns and the benefit of the berries, how can you lose?
I think we can all agree sustainability should include a few choice berries. They should be in the mix. Our friends at Stark Bros. have graciously given Hootentown readers their own discounted coupon if you want to plant some berries in your garden.
COUPON Code: HOOTENTOWN
Valid: April 1, 2011 – April 30, 2011
$5 Off all orders over $50 (prior to S/H).
Online (www.starkbros.com) use only
1 use per customer
P.S. Don’t forget the fertilizer!
Finally…a fertilizer that is formulated especially for blackberries. Easy to use 12-10-10 formula is developed to give your blackberries and other brambles the perfect nutrients needed for strong growth and high yields of large, healthy berries.
Making honey – total involvement
Beekeeping is all the rage these days, and my friend Pam is one of the many who’s become “Hooked on bees in suburbia.” That’s my story of her first year of beekeeping, including the highs, the lows, and the enormous worries that go along with it. I’m calling this the “total involvement” option because that’s what it seems to demand. I say, better Pam than me!
Making honey, with help
But for people who don’t have the time or cajones to deal with bees themselves, there are people who’ll come and tend their hive for them, for a modest fee or for just the honey. But why would you have bees if you don’t get to keep the honey? To pollinate your garden, and for the fun of having a hive without all the responsibility.
University of Missouri Extension Master Gardeners will partner with Springfield-Greene County Park Board locations, Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park, 3825 W. Farm Road 146, and Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic, to offer several new classes that will enhance gardening knowledge and skills.
The Farm Park series is titled “Growing Knowledge at the Farm.”All classes are held from 6 – 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Pre-registration is required at 417-837-5949.
Series topics include:
* March 17: Discover the Benefits of Grafting ($15)
* April 28: Growing Tomatoes ($5)
* May 19: Meet The Three Sisters ($5)
* June 16: Manage Insects and Diseases in Your Garden ($5)
* July 21: Plan Now for a Fall Harvest ($5)
Botanical Center’s classes are titled “Into Gardening Series.” All classes are held from 9 – 11 a.m. on Saturdays. Pre-registration is required at 417-891-1515 and each session has a fee of $10.
Series topics include:
* May 7: Spring Into Gardening
* October 8: Fall Into Gardening
* January 21, 2012: Getting Beyond the Garden
Registration for both locations and series can also be made online at www.swmogardens.com/fogcalendar.
Ozarks Gardening Feb 16, 2011
By: Jim Long
It may not feel like it with all the deep freeze cold and snow we’ve had, but it’s garden planning time. Mid-February to mid-March is the best time to plant peas, onions and potatoes if you want the best growth and the fewest insect problems. Ozarks tradition dictates peas be planted by Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t accomplish it this year. My garden was still under several inches of snow that day. Next week will be soon enough.
Beetle provided by: Horn Farm Community Gardens York, PA
Potatoes, as I’ve mentioned in this column every winter for almost two decades, will tolerate a lot of cold in the spring. The earlier they are planted, the better you will avoid potato beetles. Onions too, benefit from early planting.
February is also the ultimate month for pruning grapevines and muscadines. Why so early? Because as soon as the daytime temperatures start easing upward, the sap rises in grapevines. If you wait too long to prune, the vines will “bleed” sap, sometimes gallons a day, for a week or more. Early pruning while the weather is still cold will prevent that.
This is also the month to prune back sage and lavender plants. Both herbs should be if cut back by two thirds in early spring before new growth begins to prevent die-out of the center of the plants. Hard pruning also encourages more vigorous growth and blooming. (More)
- About The Author: I have been a columnist for The Herb Companion magazine for the past 19 years and have regular columns in The Heirloom Gardener and The Ozarks Mountaineer magazines. My syndicated Ozarks Gardening column runs in newspapers across the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks and I am the author of 25 books on herbs, gardening and cooking. I travel and lecture for groups and national conferences throughout the year and travel abroad in search of new culinary plants to grow, photograph and write about. Visit my website