23 May, 2010

New Farmers/Gardeners Market in Gardiner?

I really like this idea......not just a market for farmers but gardeners as well. Now you have no excuse for not having a home for excess squash, cherry tomatoes etc.
A group of Gardiner residents are starting a new farm market hosted by the Gardiner Library.  The market will be every Friday from 4pm -8pm.  We are looking for gardeners that may have more produce than they need or small farms that would like to join us.  Even is you have more rhubarb than you ever need or too much garlic and only want to sell one thing let us know.  It is fun to participate and share in the excitement of growing locally. 
We also want to have workshops on growing,composting, cooking, preserving...and many other wonderful things about food..... so if you are passionate about one and would like to have a workshop at the market let us know.
Contact them through Hudson Valley Network  www.hvfoodnetwork.com

18 May, 2010

Late Blight Strikes Again

Disease is likely being introduced on infected transplants.................................
Here we go again folks! This time late blight is infecting gardens in the south. And again the culprit is INFECTED PLANTS from the source
from Garden Center News and LA. Agriculture dept:
Scientists at the Louisiana State University AgCenter recently confirmed the presence of late blight on tomatoes in home gardens in Terrebonne, Lafayette, Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes. Symptoms include black lesions on stems and petioles, blackening of the fruit, and dark, dead areas on the foliage.
"The disease is probably being introduced on infected transplants, so be sure to check tomato plants for symptoms before you buy them," said LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Don Ferrin.
Experts across the state are working to remedy this situation as quickly as they can, Ferrin said.
"I recommend that home gardeners remove and destroy any infected plants," he said. "Additionally, as a preventative measure, I suggest they spray their plants on a regular basis with fungicides such as chlorothalonil, mancozeb, copper or a combination of mancozeb plus copper."
When using the mixture of mancozeb and copper, allow it to sit for about 30 minutes before spraying and stir it frequently, he said, noting that chlorothalonil may be used up to and including the day of harvest, whereas mancozeb cannot be used within five days of harvest.
"Because these fungicides are protectants only, thorough spray coverage is essential for control," Ferrin said.
"A number of fungicides are available at garden centers," he said. "Be sure to read the label carefully to be sure the product is intended for use on tomatoes, and apply the material carefully according to label directions.
"Late blight also occurs on Irish potatoes, so home gardeners may also want to spray them as a preventative measure," Ferrin said. "Fungicide use rates for tomatoes may not be the same for Irish potatoes, so be sure to check the label.
"With any luck, the warm weather that we're now experiencing will slow disease development," he added.
Last year, late blight wiped out thousands of tomato plants in the Northeastern U.S. Late blight, Phytophthora infestans, is the fungus-like pathogen that causes lesions and eventual die-off in tomatoes, potatoes and other tomato-family plants. This disease can be highly contagious among susceptible plants, and gardeners need to take steps to identify the disease and prevent it from spreading.

17 May, 2010

Go Ahead Rub It In! BBQ Sauces, Rubs and Marinades Talk in Hudson June 25th

Join me at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Hudson and learn how to make any thing on the grill taste better. From basic burgers to eggplant to fish any grilled fare s better with a little bit of forethought. Learn how to make killer signature BBQ sauces from all regions of the USA along with zesty marinades and powerful taste infusing rubs.
This outdoor BBQ presentation is scheuled for Friday evening June 26. The church is located at 8 Storm Avenue in Hudson at the corner of Rt 66. Stay tuned here or Golgl St. Mark's Hudson NY.

Relax....It's OK Not to Grow Every Kind of Everything

There are forty varieties of basil grown for commercial/horticulture use. There are 40,000 registered varieties of daylilies and three thousand kinds of tulips.
I am clueless to the all the totals on thyme, oregano let alone tomatoes. All these differing fruits, vegetables and herbs is enough to drive someone mad and make them give up gardening.
I became a victim of the cooking craze. I read cook books and hardly ever used the information gleaned from them. Why? I looked at all the great recipes and said if I cannot do all of them then I will do none of them. Sound familiar? Have you ever looked at an overwhelming owners manual to a digital camera, computer program etc and just give up?
Don't worry it's OK to be hokey again! Just look at most You Tube videos to find out. I have four tomato plants in my garden.........all of them Early Girl. Ready in 60 days. A tried and true almost heirloom, I think the new term is mid-century modern for almost but not quite antique but not null either.
I grow one kind of basil, one kind of cucumber, one kind of egg plant and one kind of sweet pepper. The reason? I only own a half acre of land. I am the only one who really cares for the gardens, I have other things to do besides garden, and I love to garden! But most of all I realize it is impossible to grow all these new things that come along. This does not mean
I never grow new things or new old things. I just do them one at a time.
Now as for Chile peppers.....................that's a different story!

10 May, 2010

Round Up Resistant Weeds?

This story from Hudson Valley Food Network about a story in the New York Times on "Super Weeds" that have become resistant to the world most popular herbicide: Round Up.
The Hudson Valley Food Network is an incredible source of information for local foodies. Super discussion groups and regular contributions from farmers, gardeners and locavores alike.
Mono-cultures on large factory farms have created not only super productive farm lands but super vulnerable land at the same time. I call it the steroid effect. As long as you keep taking them and do not get sick or interrupt the supply performance is incredible. But one mis-step or when time finally catches up to you the crash is fast and hard. The problem is not so much the permanent damage of the crash. Athletes make huge amounts of cash and fame so the risk is worth the crash in many cases on a material basis.
The premise is this: "I can win a gold medal in the Olympics, get the product endorsements and be stinking rich. When the steroid crash finally comes I may be out of a sports career but will still be stinking rich and doing the endorsement thing as long as I did not get caught taking 'roids".
Are we doing the same things on farms? Could mono-culture farm land with it's steroids, strong herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, be setting itself up for a crash? It seems so. 
The answer is localism. Local food from local gardens and farms. Local meat products whether free range or not. Mergers and acquisitions in corporate America are said to make the company more competitive. If more competitive means stomping out the competition the long term effect is no different than the steroid effect. That is not competitive at all.
American exceptionalism has died. It can only be gotten back by starting again.... in our back yards again just like the first time.


Freeze Warning for Hudson Valley Tonight

Yup it's true. Seven days after  85* weekend  weather that felt like summer it is time to raise the warning flag again. For gardeners in the Hudson Valley Region of NY there is a freeze warning in place. Temps tonight are expected to go down to 25*. The warning is in effect from late tonight through 9AM Tuesday morning.
I was going to plant tomato, egg plant and peppers this weekend. But the cold rainy weather put and end to that. Good thing!
But let's put this all in perspective. It is May 9th. the average last frost date for this region is May 15th. Should we be surprised? Yes and no.
Yes because we hear constantly in the news about climate change, aka global warming, and just last week I heard on a major news outlet that the growing season in the north east has gotten 10 days longer due to this global climate warming change or whatever they want to call it this week. Really? No not true at all. If anything we have had later last frosts several times in this area the last several years. Freeze warnings have been issued around memorial Day quite often in recent years.Memorial  Day is often two weeks later than the average last frost date of May 15th.
So do the numbers lie? I don't think so. It could be an old trick of manipulating the numbers. If you throw in all the extraordinary warm days that pop up in April and early May then you may come up with a few extra growing days. However a warm day in March or April does not a growing season make!
And no we should not be surprised by the freeze warning because after all it is still early May and Jack Frost is in no hurry to leave gardeners alone just yet.

05 May, 2010

Join Me at Mohonk Mountain House June 30th

I have only been to Mohonk Mountain House once. It was in 1982 for a college field trip. I know all about their beautiful gardens for sure. It is just one of those places that is just out of my regular travel areas. Now I have a reason to go!
I will be speaking at Mohonk on Wednesday June 30th for Ulster County Cooperative Extension. They have an annual Mohonk Walk where guests tour the gardens and then get a tremendous lunch. I will be be speaking on one of my more popular talks "Slugs, Bugs, and Other Thugs" also known as how to diagnose, control and eliminate insects, diseases, and weeds from your garden and prevent them in the first place.
What makes this talk exciting is the combination of photographs showing affected plants, symptoms to look for, conditions that cause plant problems along with remedies both natural and synthetic. But I go a step further and tell you how to prevent the pest from showing up again or even in the first place.
As always my talks include personal humorous anecdotes at no extra charge!
For more information contact: Ulster County Cooperative Extension

Politics of Gardening

Politics of Food and Farming Discussion Series

These small group discussions will consider opportunities for and challenges to building "a just and sustainable food system," which is central to the mission of the PFP. In three thematic modules, we will critically explore key food and farming issues, as well as alternatives for transforming the food system. We are asking participants who sign up for a given module to commit to completing short weekly readings and attending all four sessions. (We hope to repeat these modules on an ongoing basis, so we encourage you to wait to participate in a given module if you know in advance that you will miss more than one session.)

Please register in advance by sending an email to foodpolitics@farmproject.org. Each module will be limited to 15 persons. For those that are able, we welcome a $10 suggested donation (students and low-income: $5) for each module.