Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Bulbs-Fall Planting program: Find out about choosing, planting and caring for spring flowering bulbs. Learn how to force bulbs to flower during the dreary winter days. More about this interesting topic at "Trick Bulbs Now for Winter Treats." $10 - You'll think it's a bargain when beautiful blooms brighten your windowsill on a gray January day.
"Composting" is a valuable resource and money saver. Learn which of the variety of methods you can use at your house. $10 Sign up now and start composting this month.
|Perennials at MG Nancy Miller's house (Laurie Collins)|
All course and events are held at the Agriculture Heritage Center, 181 Franklin Farm Road, Chambersburg, unless noted.
Our programs are growing in popularity and now require pre-registration. Call 717-263-9226 for more information and to register. We now accept credit cards to make phone registration easier.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
14th Annual Tomato DayThis event, held by the Master Gardeners of Penn State, Franklin County, will host lots of visitors on Saturday, August 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Agriculture Heritage Center, 181 Franklin Farm Road, Chambersburg. As in years past, this event will be on the lawn by the stream but this year it is scheduled on a Saturday. No excuse to miss it!
|Preparing for the taste test (Laurie Collins)|
The most popular destination on Tomato Day is the big tent covering tables laden with 20 or more varieties of tomatoes, cut-up and coded with a letter. Visitors do a blind taste test, recording their rating for taste and appearance. Paste tomatoes, beefsteak, slicing, cherry, and heirloom types are included in the samples.
|Salsa Verde (made with green tomatoes (Public Opinion)|
Everyone is invited to enter the Salsa Contest. Competitors bring their salsa and recipes along with a bag of chips. Although typical salsa recipes are made with ripe red tomatoes, past winners have included a mango salsa and salsa verde (green tomato) variations. Last year’s winner, Charles White, will be among the judges for best salsa but visitors can also taste and vote for the “People’s Choice” award.
Largest Tomato Contest
If there’s a “big ‘un” in your garden that will be ripe around August 23, consider entering this contest. Past winners have clocked in at about 2 pounds. The 4-H Garden Club will be entering and has some mighty big Mortgage Lifter variety tomatoes and one will definitely challenge all comers.
|'Mortgage Lifter' in the 4-H Garden|
|Flower arrangement display|
Master Gardeners will display a large variety of floral arrangements using seasonal flowers and greens from both the demonstration and home gardens. These will be on display in the lobby of the Agricultural Heritage Building. Stop by and get some new ideas of how to display your beautiful blooms.
Fall Into GardeningA new Master Gardener event this year will be on Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the barn across from the Agriculture Heritage Center, 181 Franklin Farm Road, Chambersburg.
This family-friendly event will have a self-guided tour of the eight demonstration garden areas, a scavenger hunt for younger visitors, a demonstration of planting bulbs for forcing, and a fall plant sale plus interesting exhibits in the Clubhouse near the barn.
|Pink hyacinth (tomylees)|
|'Morning by Morning'|
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
|They may not be beautiful but they are edible and nutritious.|
What is Gleaning?
|Harvesting (gleaning) beans (Annalee Newitz)|
|School group gleaning (Courtesy Laughing Dog Farm)|
Does Gleaning Make A Difference?
How Does This Work?
To volunteer, go to the Gleaning Project Website Volunteer page.
Since harvesting needs to be done within 1 or 2 days of notification, gathering volunteers has been made significantly easier with e-mail blasts, Facebook notifications and even Twitter.
The Gleaners. Jean-François Millet. 1857
Another Thought on Gleaning
For more information check these links
Thursday, July 31, 2014
|At Hodgdon Pond (C.Kagan)|
|Scooping water and sediment to capture larvae (NPS)|
|Dragonfly Team: Ranger Michael, me, Julie and James|
We captured 60 larvae and identified at least three different families. We also scooped up a leech, a salt water clam (? fresh water pond?), caddis fly egg cases, a snail, back-swimmers and either a moss animal or an egg mass of some kind.
|Aeshnidae, Libellulidae, and Gomphidae larvae (NPS)|
(I don't remember which is which!)
|Plastic sample bags (NPS)|
|The toxic form of mercury, methylmercury, increases in concentration in the food chain. (NPS)|
Excerpt from study
Why use dragonfly larvae?Dragonfly larvae live in the water for 1-4 years or more before becoming adult dragonflies. Aquatic systems like lakes, ponds, and wetlands are often where methylmercury (the more toxic form that gets into living things) accumulates.
Dragonfly larvae also eat small fish, tadpoles, and bugs that in turn contain methylmercury. As the dragonfly larvae eat more, the amount of methylmercury in their bodies increase in a process called bioaccumulation. When other animals, such as larger fish, eat the dragonfly larvae these animals also accumulate methlymercury, but at higher concentrations due to biomagnification up the food chain. Dragonfly larvae are abundant and they are found across the country. They are in the middle of the food chain, so they are potentially useful for determining the health of an ecosystem.
Visit the UMaine FBook page Six-Legged Scouts in National Parks/About to find out more about this project.
Information also available at
National Park Service: Citizen Scientists Study Mercury in Dragonfly Larvae
Integrated Resource Management Application/NPS: More information about data and National Parks participating
Monday, July 21, 2014
*Deadline to enter August 18. Call 717-263-9226 and register.
Check out the "Save the Date" list and note that there will be a Fall plant sale at our "Fall into Gardening" event on September 6. More later about this new event.
Avoid the disappointment of fully enrolled workshops by calling now.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
|Polyphemus Moth - Antheraea polyphemus|
Why celebrate moths?
- Moths are among the most diverse and successful organisms on earth.
- Scientists estimate there are 150,000 to more than 500,000 moth species.
- Their colors and patterns are either dazzling or so cryptic that they define camouflage. Shapes and sizes span the gamut from as small as a pinhead to as large as an adult’s hand.
- Most moths are nocturnal, and need to be sought at night to be seen – others fly like butterflies during the day.
|Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) Picture Credit Jen Wetzel|
What is THAT? Cercropia Moth Caterpillar
Waiting for GOoD mOTh
Hickory Horned Devil Caterpillar
Clear Wing Hummingbird Moth
White Lined Sphinx Moth
Tobacco and Tomato Hornworm Caterpillar
|Cercropia Moth Caterpillar (Carol Kagan)|
|Cercropia Moth - largest in N. America|
Better yet, go outside after dusk and look for some.
|Clearwing Hummingbird Moth|
More information on moths
National Moth Week 2013
Extension Master Gardener: Almost Wordless Wednesday- National Moth Week 7/19-7/27
Thanks to Ray E. for several of the previous posts.