Newsletter

Printable Newsletter Version

NORTHERN SHENANDOAH VALLEY MASTER GARDENER ASSOCIATION NEWS
AUGUST, 2017

 

UPCOMING MONTHLY MEETINGS

  • Sunday, August 20, 4pm, Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit (air conditioned) French Price of Shenandoah Valley Farm to Table will be our guest speaker.  Her topic will be the Buy Fresh, Buy Local Program.  Please remember to wear your name tags and bring something tasty to share for the potluck following the meeting!  

French Price was born and raised in Shenandoah County in a large and colorful family with agricultural roots. She is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech where she studied Agribusiness. After college she began working for Virginia Cooperative Extension in Harrisonburg to promote local farms and food businesses while trying to build a resilient local food system.  Under the Virginia Farm to Table plan, French oversees the Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local chapter, coordinates the Virginia Market Ready direct marketing training program, and works on development and outreach for the Virginia Market Maker platform.  All of these programs are designed to increase market opportunities for small farmers in an effort to improve soil and water health. Farm to Table is more than just a trend it’s about consumers knowing where our food comes from to cultivate healthy people, farms and communities.

Directions to the  Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit Building, 125 Prosperity Drive, Suite 100, Winchester, VA 22602: On US 11 ½ mile south of VA 37 turn west onto Prosperity Drive.  Mid Atlantic Farm Credit is on your left.

  • Sunday, September 17, 4pm, Shenandoah University Cool Spring Campus, Gene Lewis, Going native process & research at Cool Spring Campus
  • Sunday, October 15, 2pm, Weber’s Nursery, Frederick, indoors/outdoors.  Peter Weber Right tree, right place
  • Sunday, November 2pm, 11/19, Warren County Govt Center, President/Volunteer Coordinator, Election/Business Meeting

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Sunday, August 6, Belle Grove Barn Series:  Air Plants: Those Tillandsia ($30 per person — $25 class; $5 supplies).   Larry Haun and I were going to teach the Air Plant class together.  The class will go on, and we will remember Larry as we have a workshop on Tillandsia.   Counts toward education hours.  Sign up at www.bellegrove.org.
  • Sunday,  August 13, 10am Virginia Native Plant Society Piedmont Chapter Car Caravan along Skyline Drive, stopping to see flowers, geological formations and views.  For details, contact piedmontvnps@gmail.com.
  • Sunday, September 10Belle Grove Barn Series:  Lavender: Crafting & Growing ($25 per person) lead by Rose Fairman—a great class with fresh and dried lavender and tips on how to use all the wonderful plants that Rose has grown.  Be inspired to plant some in your garden and come see how to use them in all sorts of crafts and cooking.  Counts toward education hours.  Sign up at www.bellegrove.org.
  • Sunday, October 22, Belle Grove Barn Series:  Williamsburg Holiday Display ($30 per person — $25 for class; $5 for supplies) Williamsburg style swags and mantle decorations, a class filled with dried flowers and fruit and citrus.  Counts toward education hours.  Sign up at www.bellegrove.org.

2017 GARDENING SERIES AT NSV REGIONAL LIBRARIES by Sara Carp

Come learn from your fellow MGs.  Entrance is free to all.  For more information, contact sarigardens@gmail.com.  You get MG education hours for attending any talks.  or see (for the Handley series) or countylib.org (Shenandoah County series).

  • Frederick County/Handley Regional Libraries http://handley.libcal.com/event/2992655
    • Success in the Garden Bowman Library, 871 Tasker Rd., Stephens City
      • Saturday, August 12 @ 2 pm: Save Seeds, Save Money, and (Maybe) Save the Planet, by Elaine Specht
      • Saturday, September 9 @ 2 pm: How Not to See Your Neighbors: Successful Tree Screens, by Sari Carp
  • Clarke County/Handley Regional Library System   
    • Sustainability in the Garden Barns of Rose Hill (sponsored by the library), 95 Chalmers Court, Berryville
      • Saturday, October 21 @ 2 pm: Happy Soil, Happy Plants, by Elaine Specht
  • Shenandoah County Library System
    • Adventures in Gardening  This series will alternate monthly between the main county library in Edinburg (514 Stoney Creek Blvd.) and the branch library in New Market (160 E Lee St.). Fort Valley Nursery has kindly agreed to donate topic- or season-appropriate plants to be raffled off as door prizes each month, and there will be monthly seed and seedling giveaways as well!
      • Saturday, September 2 @ 3 pm (New Market):  From Monticello to Your Backyard; Growing Your Own Historic Garden, by Sari Carp
      • Saturday, October 7 @ 10:30 am (Edinburg):  Bring Your Containers Indoors! Grow Fresh Herbs, Greens and More for the Winter, by Paula Brownlee
      • Saturday, November 4 @ 3 pm (New Market):  Happy Soil, Happy Plants, by Elaine Specht
      • Saturday, December 2 @ 10:30 am (Edinburg): Joy to Your Houseplants: Tips for the Holidays and Beyond, by Carolyn Wilson

IT’S FAIR TIME by Cy Haley

That’s right, once again it’s time for the fairs.  Every county in our unit is having a fair. What does that mean as a Master Gardener?  Well, some may be signed up to work an MG booth to answer questions or give advice on gardening dilemmas.  Some may have entries for potential prizes in produce, textiles, baking, arts and crafts, etc.  A few will have children or grandchildren entering livestock for exhibit and show.

There are so many reasons to attend a county fair, even if you’re not going in a support capacity you can still show your support by attending.  A few years back my husband and I attended all 5 county fairs in our unit area.  We checked out the buildings first to see the many, many entries and learn about various products being offered in each county.  Then we moved on to the livestock entries, then to the fairways to see the rides and games and check out the interesting food offerings, and finished out at the arenas where various programs, concerts or exhibitions were held.  We found that no two counties are alike and each county has its own special feel.  But we did find that the people attending were quite similar in each county.  They all had smiles on their faces. Young children were experiencing and seeing new things they hadn’t seen before. Older people were reminiscing about fairs from their past. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

So if you have the time and want to spend it with a bunch of happy people, then attend your county fair, or be like us and attend more than one.  If you do go be sure to stop by the MG table and say hi to your fellow MGs.  Hopefully you’ll have such a good time you’ll want to sign up next year to volunteer at your county fair. Enjoy the fairs!

HOW TO POST TRAVEL TIME?  by Susan Garrett

  • When you post Project and Educational Hours on VMS, you are asked to post the miles you have traveled.  (Note: You can use this mileage information if you itemize your taxes; please check with your tax advisor.) The time you spend in travel, however, is posted as a separate project, which is named “Travel Time”.
  • Most people post Travel Time monthly or quarterly.
  • Many people use the quarterly Excel report form entitled “Time Sheet 2017 – Paper Submission” (found on VMS under Documents/Newsletters) to have their quarterly mileage automatically calculated and then easily entered.

Travel Time does not count toward your required Project or Education hours, but it does count toward your Milestone hours. (Milestone hours are rewarded by VCE with a pin and a certificate for 250, 500, 1000, and multiples of 1000 hours.)

FREDERICK COUNTY REPORT by Helen Lake and Shan Kilby

The ‘dog days’ of summer are upon us with luscious peaches, watermelons and  home-grown tomatoes.  To can or not to can?   Hmm,  I’ve been freezing my tomatoes the last two years, gets too hot in the kitchen for water canning, although it sure does taste great in February.  But, since my tomatoes haven’t ‘turned ‘yet, I’ve got some time to decide which way to go on preserving that summer fresh taste from my vegetable garden.  Hope your garden treasures are growing well.  

Our Frederick County projects have been very busy this month.  Fremont/Timbrook Gardens continue their battles with the groundhogs.  Very impressive in the wide array of ways in which Mary Turner and company have tried to bring those critters under control.  And the children are stalwart in their third or fourth re planting of the beans and cucumbers, which seem to be the primary target of those varmints.  We’ve all had to deal with groundhogs, so lots of empathy is being sent out your way, Mary.

Our Family garden beds are flourishing under Paula’s magical fingers and the adult clients from Northwestern Works are very appreciative of the harvest that comes from them.  Several bags of lettuce, radishes and carrots have already been harvested in the cooler months, and we know that they are smacking their lips at the prospect of a tomato sandwich made from one of the plants they’ve helped  water all these summer months.  Paula will lead a discussion and planting of cool weather veggies with the NWorks clients and their staff in the next several months to extend the growing season.

Junior Master Gardener Garden Club Program at Greenwood Mill Elementary will begin their series of programs every Tuesday morning beginning 12 September through 17 October.  Faculty staff and parents are thrilled at the continuation of this very popular program for their students K-5th grades.  Master Gardeners present a series of educational talks and hands on sessions in the school cafeteria and outside in garden beds before school begins in the mornings.  This program is a collaborative one between NSVMGA and 4-H in Frederick County, led by 4-H Extension Technician Tammy Epperson (well known and loved by us all).  If you’re interested in participating or just learning more about the program, please contact Tammy at tepperso@vt.edu.  

Day Trippin’ Program is a new initiative presently co-chaired by MG volunteers Shan Kilby and Helen Lake.  This was born from an interest by Frederick County volunteers to get to know one another better by sharing day trips to sites and events within one day’s travel.  We had a productive planning meeting on 26 July and have confirmed five places to travel to in 2017 once a month.  Our first Day Trippin ‘event will be at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley on Wednesday, August23.  Beginning at 6pm, Dr. Peter Leimgruber head of the Conservation Ecology Center at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal will talk about animal conservation.  After the one-hour session, Master Gardeners will gather for a docent led tour of the Gardens of Glen Burnie.  Our guide will be speaking to the MSV’s new program of “Converting a Private Garden to a Public Site” and addressing the specific issues this project entails along with their implementation (and replacement) of massive plantings of disease resistant trees and perennials.  There will also be time allocated for a brief overview of the Day Trippin’ Program to those in attendance, accompanied with light refreshment.  A separate note will be going out to all members in Frederick County outlining specifics about the program.  

We’re thinking of new ways to engage with the public in Winchester.  We decided to start participating with the Old Town Winchester Farmers Market.  So far we are covering every other weekend.  Lots of folks are not really sure what Master Gardeners do.  We’ve been encouraging kids to get their hands in the dirt, planting a sunflower seed or playing our soil test game.  While the kids are participating in this activity, parents often open up with questions about bugs and gardens.  Lots of diverse questions here from vegetable gardens to lawn care.  So far we’ve had great participation from interns and regular Master Gardeners in the area.  Of course there’s always time to peruse the market selections with a treat from one of the bakeries and a great cup of coffee!  We’ve started a new tradition here in Winchester.

SHENANDOAH COUNTY REPORT by Sharon Bradshaw

We’ve been busy this summer with several projects. Corhaven Graveyard, with lead Sarah Kohrs, is hosting a group of home schooled students who worked with us last year.  They will be most impressed with the pollinator garden that was added earlier this summer.  Some of the plants are taller than the children.  Other children’s activities this summer included a couple of presentations to the 4-H nature camp and one to a group at the Fort Valley Library.  The library activity was so well received that we’ve been invited to create a series of children’s workshops in the Fort this fall.  One of our new MGs, Teresa Favilla, is collaborating with project lead Kathy Doyle and is the contact for these workshops.

The Woodstock Community Garden’s Growing Groceries activities are ended for this calendar year.  The committee was well aware that we would have a big learning curve, and we were right.  We are strongly considering changing venues and focus for next year.  We are committed to the original concepts – providing a successful experience in growing edible plants – but with new strategy and focus.

The Green Help Line has been busy – Mother Nature has been alternately generous with bake-the-earth heat and rain – a perfect combination for garden pests.  A couple of home consultations have been necessary for the questions that photos do not clarify.  In my own yard, the Japanese Beetles were all over a small volunteer American Beech tree a couple of weeks ago, then disappeared.  They reappeared yesterday busily decimating the four Boston ferns hanging on the front deck.  After a generous spray of an ecologically friendly lemon oil solution, they disappeared (almost), but the ferns are in sad shape and need to be ‘restyled’.

We are looking forward to the Shenandoah County Fair the last week in August. Master Gardeners traditionally are responsible for the produce exhibit check in process, and Mike Marx is the lead this year.  We will have our information table in the Exhibit Hall with all the produce entries and ribbons on display a few feet away.  We are also in close proximity to the children’s entries – a great combination to make contacts.  Volunteer opportunities are open each evening, first to in-county MGs, and then will be posted for the total membership in a few days.

PUBLICITY by Lynn Hoffmann

The Master Gardeners have a new writer on the team.  Jennifer Huffmann has done two articles on the Page and Shenandoah Farmers Markets.  They were submitted to the local papers and we hope to see them soon.  She will cover the Winchester Market and continue to write about local events and happenings.  I hope she becomes a regular in the Star and the NVD.

UPCOMING WORK FOR 2018 GARDENFEST PLANT SALE by Stacey Morgan Smith

As you know by now, this year’s GardenFest plant sale reached a new high in sales, thanks to the hard work of so many of you.  Between fall and spring, we had over 20 digging/potting parties, and many members dug dozens of plants from their gardens on their own.  We received an amazing assortment of unique, mature, quality plants.

Four members of the public have already contacted us for digging in their gardens, and some of our members will need help in their gardens.  If you’re interested in helping with or leading potting parties, please join us.  We’ll have a training session/pot-sorting session in October here in Mount Jackson.  I’ll share more in September.

What can you do now? Dig and divide bearded iris.  University of Maryland has a good step-by-step on the process at https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/dividing-iris.  

You can also divide daylilies, other irises, and red-hot poker, though you may need to give them more water than if you wait till fall.  (We’ll divide all of those at our training session.)  If you have space over winter, you can sow perennial seeds now to grow in your greenhouse or inside under grow lights.  

Did you know blanket flower blooms within 90 days of sowing?  It’s easy to grow, and we sell every pot of it we bring to GardenFest!

You can also take close-up pictures of blooms (like the bearded iris you see here) and mark plants to dig later. With a little planning, we’ll continue to have a wonderful plant sale for our shoppers.

It’s such a pleasure to work with you all on this amazing event. Thank you again for all of your hard work!

 

BLACK LIGHT GARDENING by Stacey Morgan Smith

Summer has descended hot and sticky here in the mid-Atlantic, and along with it, the dreaded hornworm.  We tend to get the tobacco variety here in the south, while our neighbors to the north normally see the tomato variety, but both of them can do major damage to a tomato plant in a very short space of time.

If you’ve tried to find a hornworm on your plant, you know it’s not always easy.  They blend in very well with their host, and it’s only by following a trail of frass and stubby stems that one can find the little critters.

Can you see the hornworm in the top picture? How about the bottom?

In the bottom photo, you can see it hiding under the leaf because hornworms (and a few other caterpillars) glow in the dark under black light.  I picked up a cheap black light flashlight online for about $10 and I use it to ferret out those I can’t find during the day.

As these non-retouched photos show, they’re beautiful at night.  Might be fun for some of the little ones in your family.

Interested in other critters that give off that special glow? See http://w3.marietta.edu/~biol/field_station/field_notes/glow.html

Remembering MG LARRY CAROLL HAUN

June 21, 1939-July 20, 2017

Dr. Larry Carroll Haun was born June 21,1939 in Winchester, Virginia, to Thomas Carroll Haun and Pollyanna Frances Hamman Haun. Larry began his new life in heaven on Thursday, July 20, 2017.  

Filled with unprecedented energy and zeal for nature, as a master gardener, he donated his time and energy to creating gardens at the Strasburg United Methodist Church (SUMC) gardens for the Town of Strasburg, and recently created a native plant garden for the National Park Service to attract pollinators.  He served as head master gardener for Belle Grove Plantation.  He taught school children about pollinators at Belle Grove.  His love of gardening was evident in his own yard.

Larry loved jazz and annually attended a jazz workshop in Louisville, Kentucky.  He played for the Ambassadors of Joy and composed a song titled, “Eighty-eight notes for Jesus”. He and Beth Whistler were the Two for the Road duo that performed jazz in Virginia and Maryland. He played a New Orleans style “When the Saints Go Marching In” like no other!

Larry was a graduate of Strasburg High School Class of 1957.  He earned a B. S. at Randolph-Macon College, Masters Degree in Physics at Emory University, and Doctor of Philosophy in Physics at Duke University.

His career began with the Center for Naval Analysis, Arlington, Virginia.  He continued work on naval programs when he relocated to Santa Barbara, California, and was employed by General Electric (GE), later moving with GE to Syracuse, New York.  While in New York he earned a degree in music.  I le retired from GE with 24 years of service.

Larry loved vacations and had many trips to Europe to ski the black slopes, to South America to ski the Andes, and he loved skiing in the Rockies.  Larry was an avid biker and in the autumn biked along the Maryland Eastern Shore, always remembering to bring oysters home to his beloved mother.

Larry loved to cook and was a host extraordinaire, serving his guests with his chefs hat on…beaming from ear-to-ear.

Having a heart for children, he played piano at Vacation Bible School at SUMC and also worked with middle school children cleaning up the town run.  To their delight, he played “Charlie Brown Christmas” and other familiar songs.  He also organized and led hikes for children at SUMC.

Larry remained unmarried because in his words, “I never found the right one”.

A memorial video was posted can be seen at https://youtu.be/W-u2D7er254.

 

EDITOR’S CORNER by Richard Stromberg

July 9 I came face to face with one of the “Grassy Thugs” discussed in the March article of this newsletter by Jocylen Sladen—Wavyleaf Basketgrass.  

My wife and I drove down US-340 to Elkton and turned east on U.S. 33 to a road at the western boundary of Shenandoah National Park.  Jim Hurley of the Blue Ridge PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, http://blueridgeprism.org  had emailed us the following invitation:

Jake Hughes, Exotic Plant Manager for the Park, has scheduled four volunteer treatment days this summer, Saturday and Sunday July 8 & 9, and Saturday and Sunday July 29 & 30 and will need to rely on volunteers for the foreseeable future to stop Wavyleaf from continuing its spread to proximate areas in Greene, Albemarle, Augusta, Rockingham and Page Counties.  Jake was very gratified by the results from the volunteer day last August, when fifteen of us treated four acres of the infestation.  That day alone amounted to a $2,000 contribution in volunteer labor to the Park, resources that Jake just doesn’t have to fight this plant.

On each of the four treatment days in July, we hope to field a team of fifteen backpack sprayers and up to ten hand-weeders. The backpack sprayers will work under Jake’s pesticide license, and will spray the target plants with a 2% glyphosate solution, the same herbicide and concentration as in Roundup. Equipment will be provided and a lesson in how to use it and recognize the plant. No experience is necessary; all that is needed is enthusiasm and strength/stamina to carry a 22-lb. (half-full) or 34-lb (full) pack for 1/2 to 1 hr per pack over uneven terrain in a forest understory. Hand-weeders will patrol peripheral areas of the infestation, weeding small colonies. We will begin the work at 9:00 a.m. each day, and you can stay as long as you like until we quit at 4:00 p.m.

Jake had emailed the following to Jim:

    

Here are a couple of before treatment (2016)/after treatment (2017) photo pairs from the site in Swift Run Gap we treated last August with the volunteer crew you recruited.  The results are really impressive!  The dense carpets of mature wavyleaf have been almost completely eliminated and only scattered seedlings–which won’t produce any seed until 2018 at the earliest–remain.  The effort that group of amazing volunteers contributed–on what was one of the hottest and most miserably humid days of the summer–suppressed what was one of the most extensive stands of wavyleaf known to exist in the park.  If we had funding for wavyleaf management, this work would have taken several days of crew time at a cost of well over $3,000.  The event you spearheaded was easily one of the most productive and beneficial volunteer workdays I’ve had the pleasure of helping with in my nearly 20 years of invasive plant management.  Though it’ll be hard to top what was accomplished last year, I look forward to working with you again this year to tackle more of this most worrisome invasive weed.

My wife and I were the only ones to hand pull small populations.  The plants are not deep-rooted but grow along thin stolons that have nodes about every half inch that can either put down roots or sprout leafy stems.  The runners break easily, but we did the best we could.  I used my phone to create waypoints for large populations conducive to spraying and passed them on to Jake for future expeditions.  

Wavyleaf Grass stolon

The infestation is right at the western border of the Park.  Since there are no trails going through the area, I asked Jake how he had found the infestation.  He told us he had discovered the Wavyleaf Grass when he went to check on a Bamboo population they had removed some years ago, so it was pure chance that it was discovered.

1 thought on “Newsletter”

  1. Glad to see the seed exchange was so well attended after so much hard work put into making it a grand event. Great articles on Ilex, too. Love the pictures.

Comments are closed.