Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Food Day Oct. 24th, Preparation Day!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Getting ready for Food Day? Take the Food Literacy quiz to get ready!

Food Literacy •  noun •  füd ˈli-t(ə-)rə-sē
Understanding the story of one’s food, from farm to table and back to the soil; the knowledge and ability to make informed choices that support one’s health, community, and the environment.

8,000 Events Being Held Across the Country

Food Day was created to inspire people to change their diets for the better. This year over 8,000 events are being held across the country to support issues like health, nutrition, and sustainability:

  • National Geographic will host a Food Day Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 25.
  • In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick is inviting consumers, farmers and ranchers, fishermen, social justice advocates, and other stakeholders to the State House on Food Day to learn more about a new Massachusetts Food Systems Plan. “Our communities are healthier when families have access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy, whole foods,” said Governor Patrick.
  • New York City is getting ready for its third annual Big Apple Crunch.  They’re hoping to break last year’s record of 1 million people taking part.  All the kids in NYC schools will get an apple on Food Day!

These are only a few of the thousands of events going on tomorrow. Hopefully, as an Extension Master Gardener, you’ll play an important part by helping someone learn to grow, harvest, prepare or preserve vegetables this week!

Arcimboldovertemnus by Giuseppe Arcimboldo,

Arcimboldovertemnus by Giuseppe Arcimboldo,
c. 1590-1591 (from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository)

 

Submitted by Connie Schultz, Master Gardener/Composter (’95 Cornell Extension) now volunteering in Johnston County, NC

 

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Food Day October 24th!

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

This Friday, October 24, we’re celebrating Food Day. Started by the Center for Science in the Public Interest in 2011, Food Day aims to inspire people to change their diets for the better and address issues like health, nutrition, and sustainability. As Extension Master Gardeners, if you volunteer in a community garden, a school garden or at a farmer’s market, you’re helping to promote access to healthy food and learning how to grow it yourself! Master Gardeners are an awesome force for good in helping people become more physically active, learn more about vegetables and how to preserve or prepare them, for helping to grow and donate food for the hungry and, in so many ways, providing access to wholesome food for everyone. Master Gardeners are helping to celebrate Food Day every day everywhere around the country!

Food Day October 24th, 2014 (logo courtesy CSPI)

Food Day October 24th, 2014 (logo courtesy CSPI)

Submitted by Connie Schultz, Master Gardener/Composter (’95 Cornell Extension) now volunteering in Johnston County, NC

 

Almost Wordless Wednesday: September is National Mushroom Month!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

We’re celebrating mushrooms this month. If you’ve ever thought about growing mushrooms yourself here’s a link to a blog from Extension Forest Farming about growing your own!

Toadstool (a bolete in the genus Leccinum) 2014 (photo courtesy Jeff Boyea of the Asheville Mushroom Club).

Toadstool (a bolete in the genus Leccinum) 2014 (photo courtesy Jeff Boyea of the Asheville Mushroom Club).

Here’s a little toad sitting on a toadstool. That definitely requires a photograph! Thanks Asheville (NC) Mushroom Club for sharing with us!

Toadstool (a bolete in the genus Leccinum) 2014 (photo courtesy Jeff Boyea of the Asheville Mushroom Club).

Toadstool (a bolete in the genus Leccinum) 2014 (photo courtesy Jeff Boyea of the Asheville Mushroom Club).

Submitted by Connie Schultz, Master Gardener/Composter (’95 Cornell Extension) now volunteering in Johnston County, NC

September is National Mushroom Month!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

September is National Mushroom Month and we’re starting it with a TED talk by mycologist Paul Stamets who lists 6 ways the mycelium fungus can help save the universe: cleaning polluted soil, making insecticides, treating smallpox and even flu viruses.

Almost Wordless Wednesday: 2014 National Honey Bee Day

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Theme: Sustainable Gardening Begins with Honey Bees

Last Saturday was National Honey Bee Day. I know we already had Pollinator Week and Moth Week but this day is solely for honey bees – and aren’t we glad because honey bees are the ONLY insects that make honey. So next time you stir honey into your tea – thank a little bee.

Bee laden with pollen (photo courtesy Honey Bee Haven)

Bee laden with pollen (photo courtesy Honey Bee Haven)

Bees are hard workers that have to visit 4.5 million flowers to collect enough nectar to make 16 oz. of honey. They travel 112,000 miles to do this. It truly is amazing! But bees need help. There aren’t as many flowers as there used to be.

 

Plant flowers for bees (photo from Pinterest, photo credit not known)

Plant flowers for bees (photo from Pinterest, photo credit not known)

Bees are such amazing creatures. What can you do to help draw attention to their plight? Get involved! Here’s a short list. Visit these organizations that support honey bees and other pollinators.

National Honey Bee Day:

 

 

 

 

 

Long live the Queen Bee! (photo courtesy Center for Honey Bee Research)

Long live the Queen Bee! (photo courtesy Center for Honey Bee Research)

 

For more information, you can also visit the EPA site to read the most recent update on the Colony Collapse Disorder. If I’ve over looked any group, please contact me below and let me know.  Connie Schultz, Master Gardener/Composter (Cornell Extension ’95) now volunteering in Johnston County, NC)

 UPDATE 8/25/2014

Dear Readers, I need to make a correction to my post as I’ve just learned that I may have spoken (or quoted) incorrectly when I said that honey bees are the ONLY insect to make honey. I had an interesting conversation with Amie Newsome, one of my county agents, who was telling me that bumble bees also make a “honey” – not quite the same in all resects as the honey bees.) In the bumble bee life cycle the workers die in the fall and only the queen survives by hibernating through the winter – so they don’t need to store honey to eat over the cold months. She will start a new underground colony again in the spring. The bumble bees collect nectar to feed their new hatchling bumble bees – but only a few ounces or enough for a few days. Bumble bee colonies are also smaller than bee hives with only 50 to 400 bumble bees per colony while honey bees may have as many as 40,000 so they have correspondingly larger stores of honey. For more information on the differences between honey bees and bumble bees, here’s a fun site for kids called BioKids from the University of Michigan and another site which focuses on bumble bees called Bumble Bee Conservation Trust.

 

 

Celebrating the Beauty and Diversity of Moths Around the World

Monday, July 21st, 2014

 

What is National Moth Week?

From Maine to Florida, California to Pennsylvania and in more than 25 countries around the world, citizen scientists will mark the third annual National Moth Week, July 19-27, with moth-watching events and educational programs focused on these amazing creatures so vital to the Earth’s environment and ecosystems.

 

Started in New Jersey in 2012, National Moth Week celebrates the beauty, life cycles, and habitats of moths, encouraging “moth-ers” of all ages and abilities to learn about, observe, and document moths in their backyards, parks, and neighborhoods.

 

Moth Sheet used for attracting and identifying moths. (Photo courtesy National Moth Week)

Having a moth-watching event is as easy as turning on a porch light at night and watching what happens, or going outside in daylight to find caterpillars and diurnal moths. (Photo courtesy National Moth Week)

 Global Citizen Science

 

National Moth Week (NMW) encourages children and adults to become “citizen scientists” and contribute photos and data to online databases. Last year, thousands of photos and pieces of data were submitted by participants. With events already registered in 49 states, the District of Columbia and 35 countries  National Moth Week is again aiming to top last year’s registration. Individuals, groups and organizations are invited to register events on the NMW website free of charge and have them posted on the NMW’s U.S. or international map. (All registrants receive a certificate of participation.) Public event locations this year include the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia; North Cascades National Park, Washington State; Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, Liberty, TX; Museum at Prairie Ridge, Raleigh, NC; Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, St. Petersburg, FL; Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson; and Jefferson County Park, Fairfield, IA. All events are listed on the NMW website.  

 

A sheet and a bright light are all you need! (Photo courtesy National Moth Week)

Participants can use ordinary light bulbs, UV lights, or mercury vapor lights to draw moths, or brush sweet moth bait on tree barks for a bigger response. (Photo courtesy National Moth Week)

 2014 the Year of the Silk Moth

 

NMW 2014 is designated “the year of the silk moth,” to encourage moth-ers to look for and learn about these fascinating moths in the Saturniidae family. National Moth Week’s symbol, the Automeris io, is a colorful silk moth found in the U.S. and Canada. Silk moths are found throughout the world, but their populations recently have shown declines. Some of the largest and most visually striking moths in the world are silk moths. There are about 2,300 species of silk moths worldwide. For more information and photos of North American silk moths, visit the Saturniidae page of Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA), a partner of NMW. Through partnerships with major online biological data depositories such as BAMONA, Project Noah, Encyclopedia of Life, Discover Life, and iNaturalist, National Moth Week encourages participants to record moth distribution and to provide information on other aspects of their life cycles and habitats. Show us what you found? Post it on our Facebook page. Happy mothing!

Thank you to the National Moth Week and Liti Haramaty for sharing this information with us!   

Connie Schultz, Master Gardener/Composter (’95 Cornell Extension) now volunteering in Johnston County, NC

 

 

National Moth Week 2014

Saturday, July 19th, 2014
National Moth Week 2014 logo

National Moth Week 2014

 

National Moth Week 2014 is “the year of the silk moth,” to encourage moth-ers to look for and learn about the fascinating members of the Saturniidae family. National Moth Week’s symbol, the Automeris io, is a colorful silk moth found in the U.S. and Canada.

Through partnerships with major online biological data depositories, National Moth Week participants can help map moth distribution and provide needed information on other life history aspects around the globe. Our partners include Project NoahEncyclopedia of Life, Discover Life, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Many partner websites are repositories for data and photos about moths and other organisms. For more information about National Moth Week, visit nationalmothweek.org.

Start your moth week off with these informative videos.

 

 

 

submitted by Connie Schultz, Master Gardener/Composter (’95 Cornell Extension) now volunteering in Johnston County, NC

 

Almost Wordless Wednesday – National Moth Week 7/19-27

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

National Moth Week is coming up this week and 2014 is the Year of the Silk Moth. You can go to the National Moth Week site to sign up to participate in some citizen science or to publicize a mothing event. 

Why 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.

 

 Celebrate Moth Week!

Mothing Sheet (photo courtesy National Moth Week)

What can take the place of a child’s excitement at being out after dark with a flashlight? (photo courtesy National Moth Week)

This is”mothing” – an activity designed to help find and identify moths.

Submitted by Connie Schultz, Master Gardener/Composter (’95 Cornell Extension) now volunteering in Johnston County, NC

 

 

 

2013 Search for Excellence Award Winners

Friday, June 27th, 2014
IMG Search for Excellence

International Master Gardener Search for Excellence Awards

On September 7, 2013 twenty one Search for Excellence Awards were presented at the International Master Gardener Conference 2013 (IMGC 2013), Cruise to Alaska Flowers, Fjords & Friends. Search for Excellence (SFE) is the recognition of outstanding projects by Master Gardener volunteers throughout the United States and Canada. 2013 logo for IMGC

SFE Awards are presented every two years at the IMGC conference where Master Gardener volunteers, Extension staff and faculty gather to learn from each other, share projects and to network with their peers from around the world. Twenty one Master Gardener programs were recognized for their outstanding achievement from a field of seventy two applications, submissions from twenty six USA states and two Canadian provinces.

First, second and third place awards were presented in seven categories:

• Community Service
• Demonstration Gardens
• Innovative Projects
• Special Needs Audiences
• Research
• Workshop or Presentation
• Youth Programs

All SFE applications must show that significant learning took place. The SFE projects need to be ongoing projects for at least two years; one of the winners this year has been going on for twenty six years. The IMGC Committee judges the applications. Winning projects were chosen on the basis of their originality and creativity; practicality of the program; simplicity of replication by other Master Gardeners and their significant impact on their communities.

First place winners received a plaque and a small stipend to continue their educational projects. The twenty one awarded projects displayed posters of their projects at the IMGC 2013 conference. Congratulations to all the SFE awardees that are involved in these excellent projects.

Beginning in October and continuing over the next several months, this blog will feature stories and pictures from each 2013 Search for Excellence award winners. Watch for the upcoming postings  and read about these outstanding projects.

The 2015 SFE awards nominations will begin in September – to apply follow the links.

Written by: Patty Driscoll, 2013 SFE Chair

National Public Gardens Day & Plant Conservation Day

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

April was a busy month with both Earth Day and Arbor Day falling just a few days a part and followed closely by May with National Public Garden Day and National Plant Conservation Day. Although both these national plant events are past, I wanted to share my special gift this year on another national day, Mother’s Day. For my Mother’s Day gift, my daughter took me on a horticultural tour of the San Diego Zoo, which curates a botanical collection of more than 700,000 exotic plants. I was in plant heaven! Let me share my special day via some photos.

 

Topiary Elephant, entrance to Zoo (photo courtesy C. Schultz)

Topiary Elephant, entrance to San Diego Zoo (photo courtesy C. Schultz)

 

Jacaranda trees in bloom - Jacaranda mimosifolia (Photo courtesy C. Schultz)

Jacaranda trees in bloom – Jacaranda mimosifolia (Photo courtesy C. Schultz)

 

Orchid collection (Photo courtesy C. Schultz)

Orchid collection (Photo courtesy C. Schultz)

 

 

Plant oddities; on the right Ponytail Palm Beaucarnea recurvate; on the left Madagascar ocatillo Alluaudia procera (Photo courtesy C. Schultz)

Plant oddities; on the right Ponytail Palm – Beaucarnea recurvate; on the left Madagascar Ocatillo – Alluaudia procera (Photo courtesy C. Schultz)

 

 

Practical Guides (photos courtesy C. Schultz)

Practical Guides (photos courtesy C. Schultz)

 

 

Innovative ideas (photo courtesy C. Schultz)

Innovative ideas (photo courtesy C. Schultz)

 

Feeding time at the zoo (photo courtesy C. Schultz)

Feeding time at the zoo (photo courtesy C. Schultz)

 

One of the interesting parts of the tour was the discussion on how the Zoo grows a lot of the plants that the animals eat every day from koalas to pandas and elephants. The dietary needs of the animals are very specific and add an important purpose to the function of the preservation efforts of the Zoo. Here one of the guides feeds a giraffe. After a long walk, we’re ready to eat too!

There’s a connection here….

Plant Conservation Day was started in 2001 by the Association of Zoological Horticulture (AZH), and has been actively celebrated by zoos in the United States ever since. In 2006, Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) partnered with AZH to help expand Plant Conservation Day celebrations to botanic gardens to develop more events to make celebrating more accessible and promote education and  interest in conserving the world’s plants. The BGCI web site also has a  plant search  that you might enjoy.

 

Plant Conservation Day(logo courtesy Botanic Gardens Conservation International)

Plant Conservation Day(logo courtesy Botanic Gardens Conservation International)

 

So we celebrated Public Gardens Day and Plant Conservation Day for rare and endangered plants in one fell swoop! Don’t let Mother’s Day pass you by next year without taking advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to explore the special places and plants near you!

 

Connie Schultz, Extension Master Gardener/Composter (’95 Cornell Extension) now volunteering in Johnston County, NC