04 December 2016

Scout's Guide to Wild Edibles

The new book, "The Scout's Guide to Wild Edibles: learn how to forage, prepare & eat 40 wild foods" by Mike Krebill is being released this month by St. Lynn's Press.

The handy paperback format will make it easy to tuck into a coat pocket or backpack and it's 190 pages loaded with information and recipes.

The author, Mike Krebill was an award winning middle school science teacher for 35 years so, while the book has plenty of detail, it is completely readable.

For each of the 40 plants covered the common and Latin name is provided along with photos of the entire plant and details for identification.

Additional information includes: range, habitat, positive identification tips, edible parts and preparation, when to harvest, sustainable harvesting and preserving the harvest.

Krebill says that he wrote about the 33 plants and 7 mushrooms that are his favorites and are widely found across the US. He included 10 activities that can be used with individuals and groups plus 17 kid-approved recipes.

Recipes include: fruit leather, burdock kinipira, dandelion donuts made with Bisquick, and a garden weed quiche.

This is a well-written and nicely illustrated book that can be used to introduce both scouts and adults to wild edibles.

List price is $19 and it is $13 at online retailers. Just in time for the gift giving season, too.

28 November 2016

Garden To Do List

Add caption
We are having some relatively balmy weather today for late November.

There are plenty of reasons to get outside in the garden!

- Make compost to improve next year's soil. Pile up faded plants, raked leaves, coffee grounds, etc. and let the rain (and snow) break it down into nutrient rich topsoil for next spring.

- Dump out flower pots that held annuals. In the photo you'll see that we pour ours directly onto the vegetable bed where they can compost in place.

- Prune any diseased or damaged branches, limbs and twigs. Diseased plant parts should be put in the trash. The rest can be composted.

- Pull out weeds that have grown among your perennials, fruit, and ornamental trees.

- Deeply water newly planted trees. Do not fertilize.

- Remove any remaining seed heads of plants you want to re-plant next spring. Zinnias in particular still have viable seeds.

- There is still time to plant garlic, daffodils, tulips and other bulbs that need months of chill.

- Protect young roses by piling 6 inches of soil around the crown. Add mulch late-Jan after we have had a hard freeze.

- If you know where you want to add a vegetable or flower bed next spring, put several layers of newspaper on it and anchor the newspaper with pots or rocks. By spring the weeds will be weak and the earthworms will have tilled the soil for you.

Enjoy being out in this almost-warm weather while it lasts!

20 November 2016

Carols & Crumpets Dec 3 from 8 to 3 pm

Hand made items are raffled
Members of the Tulsa Herb Society spend a full year making flavored vinegars, chutneys, jams, jellies, holiday decorations and more holiday goodies so we can enjoy shopping.

Carols and Crumpets 2017 Dec 3 from 8 am to 3 pm

Tulsa Garden Center  2435 S Peoria AV Tulsa

In addition to holiday goodies, the Herbies offer lunch at their Snowflake Cafe and evergreens to decorate your home at the other end of the Garden Center.

Tulsa Herb Society's hand made gift items
Dozens of vendors join the event to make it one of the most eclectic holiday shopping experiences in the area.

Not to be missed. (Hint - Arrive early - great prices so lots of items sell out early)

14 November 2016

Horticulture Industries Show 2017

Mark you calendars for the Jan 13 & 14 Horticulture Industries Show in Fayetteville Arkansas. There are always dozens of speakers with dozens of presentation topics.  This year's topic is "Local Foods, Farms, Gardens and Success"

The public is welcome!

Keep an eye on the website http://www.hortindustriesshow.org/
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HorticultureIndustriesShow/
OSU website http://www.hortla.okstate.edu/research-and-outreach/programs/HIS
for more information.

Register at this link https://www.tickettailor.com/checkout/view-event/id/70588/chk/be60/

The keynote speaker will be Anthony Flaccavento, SCALE, Inc.
Flaccavento has 25 years of hands-on experience in sustainable community development, along with a BS degree in Agriculture and Environmental Science and a Masters degree in Economic and Social Development.

08 November 2016

Emerald Ash Borers found in Oklahoma

Emerald Ash Borer - NH Bugs
The Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, reported that the Emerald Ash Borers have been found here. 

Eric Rebek, Extension Entomologist, reports. "Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, an invasive wood-boring beetle that has killed hundreds of millions of North American ash trees in the United States and Canada, has been recovered from a monitoring trap in Delaware County. This catch represents the first official record of this devastating insect in Oklahoma. 

Life Cycle
 The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) notified me of the find on October 13, and the identity of the specimen was subsequently verified as EAB. Information for sharing with the general public was made available by ODAFF and can be found at http://www.forestry.ok.gov/eab. Emerald ash borer belongs to a group of woodborers known as flatheaded borers. The adult beetles are often shiny and brilliantly colored, and thus are called metallic wood-boring beetles. 

Emerald ash borer was initially discovered infesting ash trees near Detroit, Michigan in 2002, but it was accidentally introduced from its native Asia in solid wood packing material sometime during the 1990’s. This exotic, invasive insect has been spreading throughout North America ever since and is now found in 29 states including Oklahoma and Ontario, Canada."

This link will take you to the entire entomology report.

Past issues of the Entomology Report can be found at this link.

03 November 2016

Bird Watching Talk - Springdale Arkansas Nov 19

The November 19 meeting of Flower, Garden and Nature Society of Northwest Arkansas will feature Amy Tucker speaking about "Bringing People & Nature Together."  

During Amy's 30-year career in health care administration, she noticed the positive impact of bird watching for her patients. 

This experience influenced her to be directly involved in the bird-watching business, so she and her husband, Don, now own two Wild Birds Unlimited stores. They offer products to ensure healthy birds.  

The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the Student Center of Northwest Technical Institute at 709 S. Old Missouri Road in Springdale, AR.  It is free and open to the public.  for more Info - call 479/521-7654.  

31 October 2016

Texas Master Gardeners' Nov Newsletter

The Texas Master Gardeners Association website is loaded with useful information for gardeners in this part of the U.S.

Their Nov 2016 newsletter is available at this link.

This month's topics include: a letter from their president and announcements of upcoming events. Their Facebook page is kept up to date with regular postings and you can see it at https://www.facebook.com/TexasMasterGardenersAssociation/?fref=ts

The International Master Gardeners Conference will be in Portland and registration is open
July 10-14, 2017International Master Gardener Conference 2017IMGC jpg
The Oregon State University Extension Master Gardener Program is excited to host Master Gardener faculty, staff and volunteers from across the United States, Canada and South Korea.

There are 44 concurrent session classes and 16 tours; you can register.

Sign up to explore Williamette Valley, Columbia Gorge, Pacific Northwest nurseries, iconic Portland gardens and the stunning Oregon Coast, plus a plethora of other offerings.

Two of the TX upcoming events include a 2017 conference in Galveston and a Cozumel cruise.
 MAY 1, 2017

Galveston County Master Gardeners and the conference committee are finalizing the details for the events following disembarkation from the cruise ship.  Even if you're not sailing with us, plan to be in Galveston on Monday, May 1st for our Annual Awards Banquet at Moody Gardens and subsequent tours on this unique island.  We have secured special pricing for our attendees at the Moody Gardens Hotel which will also include free parking to cruisers.  Stay tuned!

logo for 2017 circleALL ABOARD!  We have held onto a very small number of staterooms for latecomers, but once they're gone, they're gone and this ship will sail!

REGISTER NOW for one of the few remaining staterooms.  Join us April 27-May 1, 2017 as we sail to Cozumel, Mexico!

27 October 2016

Divide Spring Blooming Perennials Now

All of your favorite spring-blooming perennials can be dug and divided now, giving them plenty of time to settle their roots over the winter to bloom next year.

The list of plants to divide now includes: daylilies, iris, sweet violets, oxalis, thrift, candytuft, Shasta daisies, coneflowers and St. Joseph’s lilies (hardy amaryllis), among others. 

In March when the soil warms perennials will be peeking out of the soil, putting out new growth buds and showing signs of life. By then, their roots will have become established in cool, wet weather and be ready to spring forth.

You can use a spading fork or shovel to dig up the existing clump, just be sure to start digging far enough out from the central crown to get as much root as possible and to avoid damaging the crown.

Separate the clump of the original plant into sections with roots and cover them or put them in the shade while you prepare the soil they came out of. Dig organic amendments into the soil. This could include compost, peat moss, ground pine bark, etc.

When you have enough prepared planting holes for the divisions, put the healthiest cuttings in and surround the roots. Water the plant in and re-level it so the crown is right at soil level. Continue to back fill the hole and water the soil down.

Mulch the new plantings, keeping the mulch well away from the plant's crown. Don't fertilize in the fall or winter; wait until Feb. or March for fertilizing. 

22 October 2016

Gardening for Life

Bringing Nature Home recently posted an excellent reminder for us as we face fall clean up in the garden and plan for next year's garden. 
Amelanchier canadensis

Click on the link above to read the full article. Here are excerpts to whet your appetite:

Chances are, you have never thought of your garden — indeed, of all of the space on your property — as a wildlife preserve that represents the last chance we have for sustaining plants and animals that were once common throughout the U.S. But that is exactly the role our suburban landscapes are now playing and will play even more in the near future.

we have forced the plants and animals that evolved in North America (our nation’s biodiversity) to depend more and more on human-dominated landscapes for their continued existence. 

Viburnum dentatum
those little woodlots and “open spaces” we have not paved over or manicured are pristine. Nearly all are second-growth forests that have been thoroughly invaded by alien plants like autumn olive, multiflora rose, Oriental bittersweet, and Japanese honeysuckle.  

we humans have taken 95% of nature and made in unnatural.

All animals get their energy directly from plants, or by eating something that has already eaten a plant. The group of animals most responsible for passing energy from plants to the animals that can’t eat plants is insects. This is what makes insects such vital components of healthy ecosystems. So many animals depend on insects for food (e.g., spiders, reptiles and amphibians, rodents, 96% of all terrestrial birds) that removing insects from an ecosystem spells its doom.
But that is exactly what we have tried to do in our suburban landscapes. 
Acer rubrum
n the past we didn’t designed gardens that play a critical ecological role in the landscape, but we must do so in the future if we hope to avoid a mass extinction from which humans are not likely to recover either. As quickly as possible we need to replace unnecessary lawn with densely planted woodlots that can serve as habitat for our local biodiversity. 
Homeowners can do this by planting the borders of their properties with native trees plants such as white oaks (Quercus alba), black willows (Salix nigra), red maples (Acer rubrum), green ashes (Fraxinus pennsylvanica),black walnuts (Juglans nigra), river birches (Betula nigra) and shagbark hickories (Carya ovata), under-planted with woodies like serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum), hazelnut (Corylus americnus), blueberries (Vaccinium spp) . Our studies have shown that even modest increases in the native plant cover on suburban properties significantly increases the number and species of breeding birds, including birds of conservation concern. 
As gardeners and stewards of our land, we have never been so empowered to help save biodiversity from extinction, and the need to do so has never been so great. All we need to do is plant native plants!

18 October 2016

Seed Exchange - American Horticultural Society

November 1 is the deadline for sending in seeds you've collected from your garden for the American Horticultural Society Seed Exchange. 

Only AHS members can donate seeds. AHS members can order from the Seed Exchange in January 2017. Another good reason to join!

Memberships begin at $35.00.