June 07, 2010

Vermiculture Conference attracts 116

vermicompost conference
Participants crowd the room at the 10th annual Vermicompost Conference. (Photos by Natalie Hampton)

When N.C. State’s Rhonda Sherman started her large-scale vermiculture workshop in 2000, there were only a handful of attendees. But at this year’s 10th annual Vermiculture Conference, the room was filled to near overflowing with 116 participants from 28 U.S. states – including 49 from North Carolina -- and five other countries.

Sherman, Extension solid waste specialist in biological and agricultural engineering, hosts the conference each year, bringing together experts from around the world to share information on vermicomposting, the process of using earthworms to break down organic wastes. As the only conference of its kind, it has a loyal following of participants, ranging from backyard gardeners to entrepreneurs to municipal waste managers.

This year’s international participants came from Guatemala, India, Thailand, Israel and Canada. In addition to providing a means of reducing organic wastes, vermiculture has the added benefit of producing a vermicompost -- earthworm castings – that is valued as fertilizer. Research shows that plants raised with vermicompost produce greater yields and have stronger disease resistance.

Sherman urged conference participants to look for opportunities to profit from a vermiculture operation. Such opportunities can include sales of earthworms, vermicompost and teas – liquid fertilizer made with vermicompost. In addition, Sherman said that composters and soil blenders are adding vermicompost to their products, which will bring new market opportunities.

Some participants at the conference were already making a living in vermiculture. Linda Leigh of Tuscon, AZ, has been in the earthworm business for three years. Her business, Vermillion Wormery, uses food waste from grocery stores and restaurants, as well as horse manure for vermicomposting. In Arizona, horse manure is a fire hazard, so providing a means of disposing of the waste helps reduce the hazard, Leigh said.

Leigh, whose grandfather also raised worms, says that her business involves selling earthworms and vermicompost at local farmers’ markets. She learned about the Vermiculture Conference three years ago, but this year was the first she was able to attend.

Vince Ivory of Los Angeles and Kirk Sudheimer of Wake Forest represented those considering starting an earthworm business. Ivory, a teacher laid off in California’s budget crisis, said he was “looking for something to do.” He was attracted to the conference because of the agenda. “This vermiculture is very complex in terms of looking at a business model,” Ivory said.

Rhonda Sherman
Rhonda Sherman speaks at the annual conference.

Sudheimer, who was raised on a farm in the Midwest, said he and his wife were interested in returning to some type of agriculture, possibly vermicomposting. Like many at the conference, he found Sherman’s resources on the web and was thrilled to discover she was so close by.

Maria Rodriguez of Guatemala, one of the conference speakers, is the founder of a small sustainable development group – Byoearth – that is helping extremely poor women in Guatemala to begin small-scale vermicomposting businesses of their own. These women, who live near Guatemala’s garbage dumps, receive a small bin and earthworms they can use to generate vermicompost and earthworms to sell.

Rodriguez also found Sherman online, and Sherman asked her to speak to the conference. “In Guatemala, there’s not this level of scientific knowledge about vermicomposting,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez’s presentation was so moving that conference participants flocked to ask how they could contribute to her organization, Sherman said.

Conference speakers discussed issues such as effective large-scale biosolids vermicomposting and the effects of vermicomposts on plant growth and suppression of pests and diseases.

Mark Purser of Durham, CA, told the group about his 40-acre earthworm operation. Sherman said Purser had attended the conference for several years before she learned about his extensive operation. Now he is a regular speaker.

Purser told the group that he started the Worm Farm in 1994, as a way to transition out of chicken production. The operation now includes earthworms raised outdoors in windrows 300 feet long and 20 feet apart, earthworms raised indoors and storage for vermicompost, which is harvested once a year. Compost mixes make up about 75 percent of the Worm Farm’s business. The company also sells earthworms for $26.50 per pound, plus shipping, and the Worm Farm Learning Foundation hosts hundreds of school groups each year.

In addition to speakers, conference participants toured the Harris Worm Farm in nearby Mebane. Owner John Harris has 18 outdoor, on-ground earthworm bins that are bordered by railroad ties. He feeds his earthworms horse manure from a neighbor’s farm.

At the conference opening, Sherman announced that the first scientific book on vermicomposting, Vermiculture Technology: Earthworms, Organic Wastes, and Environmental Management will be published by CRC Press in October 2010. This 35-chapter book is edited by Dr. Clive Edwards (Ohio State University), Dr. Norman Arancon (University of Hawaii-Hilo) and Rhonda Sherman (N.C. State University). Contributing authors are from Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.

-N. Hampton

Posted by Natalie at 10:19 AM

May 03, 2010

Extension Master Gardeners launch blog

Extension Master Gardener volunteers have a new communication tool to encourage interaction and sharing at the national, state and local level. Cooperative Extension Master Gardener (EMG) program coordinators are gearing up to launch the first national blog for EMG volunteers beginning today, May 3.

Blog posts can be found directly at blogs.extension.org/mastergardener or through the new national Extension Master Gardener Web site at extension.org/mastergardener. With over 94,000 volunteers contributing more than $100 million in service nationwide, the EMG program is hoping to take its volunteer program to a new level by increasing the social interaction of its participants.

Read more from the eXtension blog

Posted by Natalie at 02:13 PM

March 19, 2010

Regional editions of Extension Gardener now available

The regional editions of Extension Gardener's spring e-newsletter are now available online via the Extension Gardener Web site. Editions for the coastal plain, mountains and Piedmont include regional events, gardening tips, information on garden spots to visit, and articles about food crops and ornamentals for home gardeners:


The spring 2010 editions also include statewide articles on fragrant shrubs for the home garden, asparagus and pollinators. A seasonal pest alert focuses on gypsy moths.

Posted by Natalie at 01:39 PM

June 12, 2009

Wake Master Gardeners celebrate 30 years

Wake Master Gardeners recently celebrated 30 years. Panelists who discussed the program's history are, from left, Sherrill Register, Carl Matyac, Pam Beck, Arabelle Plonk (front), Victor Lynn and Erv Evans. (Photo courtesy of Angela Hertzberg)

Master Gardeners who support N.C. Cooperative Extension in Wake County recently celebrated 30 years of service with a birthday party, cake and all. One highlight was a panel discussion with former horticulture agents and MG volunteers reflecting on the program's history. Wake's MG program began in 1979 when agent Victor Lynn learned of a program called "Garden Leaders" while attending a national agricultural agents meeting. Lynn returned to Raleigh to begin a similar program in Wake County. Today, Wake County Master Gardeners have 129 members and three emeritus members. In addition to answering home horticulture phone calls five days a week, the group is responsible for five demonstration gardens, three WaterWise gardens, horticultural therapy, Successful Gardener clinics, youth horticulture and a speaker’s bureau.

-A. Hertzberg

Posted by Natalie at 08:09 AM

March 09, 2009

JC Raulston Arboretum’s Gala in the Garden an anticipated springtime event


On May 3 from 3 to 7 p.m., the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University will hold its annual Gala in the Garden. Themed "An Enchanted Garden Party," the gala is open to the public.

In addition to the silent auction, guests also will enjoy live music by the Southern String Band and gourmet hors d’oeuvres, including a special dessert reception.

Gala tickets are $60. Proceeds from the event will benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum, a working research and teaching garden of N.C. State University.

To become a corporate sponsor or to purchase tickets, contact Anne Porter at 919.513.3826 or anne_porter@ncsu.edu.

Posted by Suzanne at 10:26 AM

December 16, 2008

Turfgrass conference, show scheduled in January

Experts from North Carolina State University will discuss a range of topics related to growing and managing turfgrass during the 2009 North Carolina Turfgrass Conference and Show in late January in Raleigh.

The conference, which is sponsored by N.C. State University and the Turfgrass Council of North Carolina, is scheduled for Jan. 26-29 at the Hilton North Raleigh, 3415 Wake Forest Road.

The event is designed for professionals in the turfgrass industry who manage the turf in areas such as golf courses, athletic playing fields and landscapes. Presentations will focus on topics such as disease, weed and insect control. Presentations on sod production are also scheduled.

The conference also includes sessions that provide the information necessary to obtain and maintain a license to apply pesticides in North Carolina and a trade show.

A number of conference packages are available, with the cost depending on the sessions attended. Early registration ends Jan. 9; after that date, registration fees increase.

Conference program and registration information is available on line through the N.C. State University Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education Web site at http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/.

Posted by Dave at 02:25 PM

November 24, 2008

NC youth win big at NJHA

youth at NGHA
North Carolina youth show their spirit for winning the State Spirit Award at NJHA for the second year in a row. (Photo courtesy of Liz Driscoll)

“A long, long time ago, all we knew was an avocado,
but we got better and now we know broccoli from tomato.”

This was the rap that erupted from the creative North Carolina youth delegates, remarking on their plant identification experiences in the Performing Arts category of the 74th National Junior Horticulture Association’s annual convention. Traveling down to Spartanburg, S.C. , 14 youth and five adult leaders from across the state spent five days discovering Southern horticulture and sharing their horticultural knowledge through speeches, presentations, demonstrations, essays, experiments and the Horticulture Judging Contest.

From Ikebana flower arrangements to strawberry- and honey-glazed fruit kebabs, the North Carolina youth articulately showed their skills. Our delegation was a merry bunch of youth, who enjoyed supporting each other with cheers, shouts, the wave and chants, earning them the Most Spirited State Award for the second year in a row. “Our North Carolina delegation is a dynasty!” remarked Michael Costa, a returning delegate, and enthusiastic and witty teen from Camden County.

“Our 4-H teens are inspirational in their genuine interest, dedication and excitement about plants and their desire to share the stories with others." said Liz Driscoll, 4-H youth horticulture Extension specialist.

"They took advantage of every opportunity the convention offered, from meeting new friends from other states, reconnecting with folks from previous years, participating in workshops and immersing themselves in local field trips to Hatcher Gardens, Wofford College campus arboretum, Milliken Arboretum and Clemson University.
Our youth drew high honors in many events and most youth participated in multiple events.

Thanks to hard work and dedication, the North Carolina youth brought home the following awards:
Horticulture Contest, Open Individual Honors
Grand National Champion (1st), Caitlin Davis, Stokes County
2nd Place: Dakota Starr, Wake County

Horticulture Contest, 4-H Team
5th place, Emily Mercer, Justin Simmons, Bryan Evans, Victoria Harman, all of Brunswick County

Horticulture Contest, 4-H Individual Awards
5th Overall: Emily Mercer, Brunswick County

Horticulture Contest, Open Team
Grand National Champions (1st Place), Logan Bland, Michael Costa, Tyler Lannon and Oliver Manzer, Pasquotank County (also the highest scoring team out of any category)

Demonstration, Artistic Arrangement Grand National Winner
Caitlin Davis, Stokes County

Demonstration, Horticultural Use
Grand National Winner, Charity Haskins, Hoke County

Illustrated Talk
Grand National Winner, Timothy Sherwood, Camden County

Demonstration, Production
Grand National Winner, Timothy Sherwood, Camden County

Prepared Speech
National Winner, Tyler Lannon, Camden County

Extemporaneous Speech
National Winner, Michael Costa, Camden County
National Winner, Timothy Sherwood, Camden County

Horticulture Essay Contest
National Winner, Dakota Starr, Wake County

Performing Arts
National Winner, Pasquotank/Camden County team -- Oliver Manzer, Timothy Sherwood, Tyler Lannon, Michael Costa, Logan Bland

State Spirit Award
North Carolina (second year in a row)

Horticulture Connections
1st place North Carolina Team -- Caitlin Davis, Stokes County; Dakota Starr, Wake County, Kait Neeland, Currituck County; and Justin Simmons, Brunswick County

NJHA Young America Project Winners
The NJHA Young America Program is designed to stimulate an interest in horticulture with youth ages 5-14 through the completion of gardening projects. We had a number of youth in North Carolina that were awarded for their achievements.
Gardening (5-8 years), Grand National Winner: Carter Mills, Wake County; National Winner; Nazeeha Aman, Wake County

Gardening (9 – 11 years), National Winners, Ishaq Ibrahim, Winston Beck, Charley Maynard, all of Wake County

Gardening (12-14 years), Grand National Winner: Michael Hoxie, Wake County; National Winners: Hunter Starr and Lillian Beck, both of Wake County

Plant Propagation (5-8 years), National Winner, Nazeeha Aman, Wake County

Plant Propagation (12-14 years), National Winner, Ismail Ibrahim, Wake County

Experimental Horticulture (5-8 years), National Winner, Idris Ibrahim, Wake County

Experimental Horticulture (12-14 years), Grand National Champion, Gabriel Hoxie, Wake County

Environmental Awareness (5-8 years), National Winner, Asiyah Ibrahim, Wake County

Environmental Awareness (12-14 years), Grand National Champion, Mary Silliman Ibrahim, Wake County; National Winners, Adrian Rodriquez and Nayeem Hossain, both of Wake County

NJHA Garden Poster Contest
(5-7 years), 1st place, Zachary Peterson, Sampson County; 2nd place, Vernae Boyd, Sampson County; 3rd place, Nazeeha Aman, Wake County

(8-10 years), 2nd place, Alexis Kirby, Sampson County; 3rd place, Angel Coleman, Sampson County

(11-14 years) 2nd place, Joseph Johnson, Sampson County

Posted by Natalie at 10:16 AM

August 22, 2008

In the Garden begins sixth season

Bryce Lane
Bryce Lane of In the Garden

Watch UNC-TV Saturday, August 23 at noon for the season premiere of In the Garden with Bryce Lane.

Now in it's sixth season, In the Garden continues to get rave reviews from viewers across the state. This program is a 30-minute home horticulture show that doubles as an introduction to horticulture course and it's a product of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences! Bryce Lane, instructor in the horticultural science department hosts the show. Communication Services produces the program.

This season Lane offers tips for the conscientious gardener. He focuses on water wise gardening -- how to best use this limited, precious resource and still maintain a beautiful landscape. Plus, as prices continue to rise, so do concerns about how to keep gardening in the family budget. Lane provides tips on how to save money at the garden center and still fulfill your plant wish list. This season Bryce also takes viewers to the Delaware Valley area to visit Longwood Gardens and Chanticleer Gardens. Tune in to UNC-TV each Saturday at noon!

The show repeats Sundays at 11:30am. Check local listing for air times on UNC-TV's digital channels.

Posted by Natalie at 08:45 AM

August 14, 2008

Martha Stewart visits Kannapolis campus

Leah Chester-Davis with Martha Stewart
(Photo courtesy of Leah Chester-Davis)

Food and garden guru Martha Stewart, center, recently visited the North Carolina Research Campus as guest of campus founder David Murdock. One of the gardening editors for Stewart's magazine, Andrew Beckman, has subscribed to Extension's Successful Gardener newsletter the past few years. Leah Chester-Davis, left, who has served as newsletter editor and team leader, asked Stewart to autograph a copy. Chester-Davis is coordinator of communications & community outreach and Extension communication specialist with the Program for Value Added & Alternative Agriculture based at the research campus. Also pictured is Tara Vogelien, director for business and research administration for N.C. State University's Fruit & Vegetable Science Institute.

Posted by Natalie at 08:43 AM

July 11, 2008

Horticulture students win design scholarships

horticulture students
From left: Dr. Pat Lindsey and some of her horticulture class -- Chris Reid, Erica Pineiro, Chase Erwin -- at the Wakefield 'Renaissance' site.

Christopher Reid and Chase Erwin, recent North Carolina State University graduates, this spring were each awarded a $1,500 Wakefield Development Co. scholarship for a drought-tolerant landscape design for a public village green at Renaissance Park community near Raleigh.

Reid’s and Erwin’s winning design, “Olio Trace,” which combines elements of historic Tryon Palace architecture and an appeal to Generation X lifestyles, includes drought-tolerant ornamental grasses, trees and perennials, as well as open-space pockets.

On-site work began on implementing the design in mid-June, Erwin said.

Reed, Erwin and other students in Dr. Pat Lindsey’s principles in plant design course (HS 416) in the College’s Horticultural Science Department created and presented drought-tolerant design plans. The class visited the site early in the semester.

In the first project of this kind in the department, Lindsey asked the class to incorporate both low-maintenance “hardscapes,” which include structural elements and produce a strong sense of design; and “softscapes,” which include a plant and grass selection attractive to birds and butterflies. They also had to include an educational component for homeowners.

”This project was huge,” said Erwin. “It took two months and probably a couple hundred hours collectively between us to complete. But the opportunity was too great not to put everything into it.

“Money is always motivation for a college student,” he said, “but for us, the idea of seeing a real design come into fruition was the ultimate push. We do countless designs in school that never get implemented so the appeal starts to wear off towards your senior year. You find yourself saying, ‘Oh, just another design that vanishes into thin air.’ So when we were selected, the excitement and relief were immeasurable. It was the icing on the cake for our senior year.”

The winning team was chosen by a panel of industry experts, with input from Renaissance Park residents.

“We were thrilled with the professional quality of work we received from the students,” said John Myers, Wakefield Development Co. president, in a press release. “All three projects were outstanding, and made our decision difficult. With ‘Olio Trace,’ specifically, there is a true sense of human scale and intimacy. We look forward to implementing this design into the community.”
-A. Latham

Posted by Art at 02:15 PM

May 19, 2008

'Almanac Gardener' to wrap up season


"Almanac Gardener," the UNC-TV gardening show featuring host Mike Gray and N.C. Cooperative Extension agents, is completing its 25th season and featuring Great Moments in Almanac Gardener History. The show airs Saturday at noon and Sunday at 11:30 a.m., with several additional runs during the week on digital UNC-TV channels. Retired panelist Larry Bass makes a cameo appearance on the May 31 and June 7 programs. The panelists and topics for upcoming show are below:

May 24-25
Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Karen Neill, horticulture agent, Guilford County; Linda Blue, horticulture agent, Buncombe County
Mike Gray/ Tony Avent, Plant Delights Nursery, "Jack in the Pulpit"
Bill Lord, "Growing Grass in the Shade"

May 31-June 1
Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Karen Neill, horticulture agent, Guilford County; Linda Blue, horticulture agent, Buncombe County; Larry Bass, Extension horticultural specialist, retired
Bill Lord, "Taming a Bee Swarm"
Mike Gray/Jeana Myers, "Kids in the Garden" (Jeana Myers is the wife of N.C. State horticulture professor Will Hooker, and "Almanac" shot this feature at their home.)

June 7-8
Panel: Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Karen Neill, horticulture agent, Guilford County; Linda Blue, horticulture agent, Buncombe County; Larry Bass, Extension horticultural specialist, retired
Linda Blue, "Growing Rhododendrons"
Brenda Morris, "Controlling Backyard Wildlife"

June 14-15
Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Karen Neill, horticulture agent, Guilford County; Linda Blue, horticulture agent, Buncombe County
Linda Blue, "Controlling the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid"
Karen Neill, "Home-Grown Mushrooms"

June 21-22
Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Lucy Bradley, urban horticultural specialist, N.C. State University; Amy-Lynn Albertson, horticulture agent, Davidson County
Linda Blue, "Growing Sprouts"
Brenda Morris, "Saving Water at Home"

June 28-29
Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Lucy Bradley, urban horticultural specialist, N.C. State University; Amy-Lynn Albertson, horticulture agent, Davidson County
Karen Neill, "Capturing Water for Your Landscape Using Cisterns/Rain Barrels"
Bill Lord, "Growing Beets & Swiss Chard"

Posted by Natalie at 10:27 AM

March 07, 2008

N.C. State takes center stage at Charlotte garden show

Liz Driscoll
Extension Associate Liz Driscoll shares her knowledge on how to get kids excited about gardening.

For one day at the Southern Spring Home and Garden Show in Charlotte, professionals from N.C. State University took center stage. On Feb. 29, three professors from the university and one faculty member from the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, shared their knowledge of plants with participants of the show.

Will Hooker, N.C. State professor of horticultural science; Mark Weathington, assistant director of the JC Raulston Arboretum; Liz Driscoll, Extension associate in horticultural science; and David Goforth, Cabarrus County agricultural agent, each took their place on center stage at the Merchandise Mart in the Queen City. All speakers were participating in Extension's Successful Gardener & Master Gardener Day, dedicated to the volunteer efforts of the state's Master Gardener volunteers.

The presentations were open to the nearly 12,000 daily attendees at the show. In addition, Extension agents and Master Gardener volunteers from Alexander, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Polk and Union counties, helped answer questions from those visitors to the home and garden show. The MGs volunteered at the show's Successful Gardener Learning Center.

Posted by Natalie at 09:59 AM

February 21, 2008

2008 Showstopper Plants are must-haves for Carolina gardens


The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association and North Carolina Cooperative Extension will kick off the inaugural year of Showstopper Plants at the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart, Feb. 27 through March 2.

The 2008 Showstopper Plants are promising new cultivars or iron-clad plants that thrive across the region. They are great choices for Carolina gardeners. This year’s selections consist of three shrubs: ‘Kaleidoscope’ Abelia, ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea and ‘Chindo’ Viburnum. Lenten Rose is the Showstopper perennial. The tree selection is ‘Oklahoma’ Redbud. Many of these plants will be featured in the show gardens. They also will be showcased as part of Extension’s Successful Gardener Learning Center at this week’s show.

According to John Vining, county Extension director of North Carolina Cooperative Extension's Polk County center, members of the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association nominated a group of plants that perform well in Carolina landscapes and are easy to find across the state. Extension horticulture experts reviewed the list to select the top five plants.

“Most of this year’s selections, when established, are quite tolerant of drought,” said Vining. “The selection committee’s goal was to choose plants that should thrive.

The lone exception is the Lenten Rose, which needs moist soil to excel. An established plant is one that has been planted for a minimum of three years. Following that time-frame the roots should be grown into our native soil enough to help resist droughts.”

A new publication on these 2008 Showstopper Plants will be available at Extension’s Successful Gardener Learning Centers at the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart, Feb. 27– March 2; the Southern Ideal Home Show at the Greensboro Coliseum, March 14-16; the Carolina Home & Garden Show at the Cumberland County Crown Center in Fayetteville, March 28–30; the Brunswick Islands Home & Garden Show in Shallotte on March 29-30; and the Southern Ideal Home Show at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on April 4–6.

Learn more by visiting www.tarheelgardening.com or www.successfulgardener.org.

Posted by Natalie at 11:04 AM

February 01, 2008

JC Raulston Arboretum announces Gala in the Garden


On May 4, 2008, from 4 to 7 p.m., the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University will once again hold its annual Gala in the Garden.

"Many will come in festive hats, others in their finest garden party attire; while others will be too focused to care as they bee-line to the botanicals to see what was donated for this year's event," said Dr. Dennis Werner, Arboretum director. "The Gala in the Garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum draws the diverse gardening community that surrounds the arboretum and beyond."

Enjoy music by the Southern String Band, gourmet hors d'oeuvres including a special dessert reception and bid on a variety of unique plants and other special items in the silent auction.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum, a working research and teaching garden of NC State University.

Tickets are $60. To become a corporate sponsor or to purchase tickets, contact Barbara Kennedy at 919-513-7004 or barbara_kennedy@ncsu.edu. For more information about the JC Raulston Arboretum please visit http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum/

Posted by Suzanne at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2008

JC Raulston Arboretum to host "Summer Solstice Celebration"

On the evening of June 21, 2008, the longest day of the year, friends will gather friends to host a party -- many parties -- across the state to celebrate the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University.

The Summer Solstice Celebration can be any party of the host's choosing. Hosts invite their friends to a party at their home asking for a donation to the arboretum at a set amount determined by the host. A tax-deductible in-kind donation will be given to the hosts for their expenses. Their guests also will receive a tax deduction for their donations.

"For one night, we hope to have more than 50 parties across the state," said Dr. Dennis Werner, director of the JC Raulston Arboretum. "The Summer Solstice Celebration will enable us to draw attention to and raise money for the arboretum, a nationally acclaimed garden that is certainly one of the state's gems."

Proceeds from this one-night event will benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum, a working research and teaching garden of N.C. State University. Half of the money raised will go to the JC Raulston Endowment for Excellence and half will go to implementing the arboretum's new master plan.

To host a party, contact Barbara Kennedy at 919-513-7004 or barbara_kennedy@ncsu.edu. For more information about the JC Raulston Arboretum please visit http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum/.

Posted by Suzanne at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2007

Gardening information available at Learning Center

Whether it's a question about how to make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood, drought-tolerant plants, dealing with insect pests or any other gardening question, Extension's Successful Gardener Learning Center is the place to get gardening information during the Southern Ideal Home Show April 13-15 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

The Learning Center is an annual feature of the Southern Ideal Home Show and is hosted by North Carolina Cooperative Extension horticulture agents and master gardeners. Extension agents and master gardeners will be available to talk gardening throughout the show, which begins at noon, Friday, April 13, and runs through 5 p.m., Sunday, April 15.

The Learning Center will be located in Dorton Arena. Center visitors can pick up a plant list that includes more than 20 evergreen shrubs, groundcovers and perennials to consider in Carolina landscapes. Also available will be the award-winning Extension's Successful Gardener newsletter, sponsored in March and April by CORTAID. Learn how to avoid poisonous plants and pick up coupons for CORTAID, an itch-relief product. Visitors may also pick up free soil sample boxes and register in a drawing for a free, one-year subscription to the newsletter. Visitors who register for the drawing will be added to a list to receive monthly e-mail gardening tips.

A new feature in this year's Learning Center will be a Container Planting Competition on Saturday, April 14, at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Register at the Learning Center 30 minutes prior to a preferred time slot for a chance to be selected to compete. All participants will receive a prize, and there will be one grand prize winner. DeWayne's Home and Garden Showplace in Selma will provide containers and plants for the competition and the prizes for participants. In addition, each participant will receive a one-year subscription to Extension’s Successful Gardener newsletter. Completed containers will be donated to the Durham Rescue Mission.

The Learning Center will feature the stonework of Brazeal Stone of Raleigh, a Successful Gardener sponsor. Another sponsor is the N.C. Green Industry Council, which will provide the plants featured in the Discovery Garden at the Learning Center. Other sponsors are Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and SuperSod.

Southern Ideal Home Show tickets are $8. For details, call 1-800-849-0248 or visit www.southernshow.com, where you'll also find a $1 off coupon.

Extension's Successful Gardener is a nationally recognized educational program that features an award-winning newsletter, gardening seminars and Learning Centers. Learn more at www.successfulgardener.org. This program is one of many offered by North Carolina Cooperative Extension, an educational partnership of North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, county governments and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cooperative Extension's mission is to help people put research-based knowledge to work for economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and an improved quality of life. Learn more at www.ces.ncsu.edu.

Posted by Dave at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2007

Almanac Gardener begins season April 7

Almanac Gardener graphic

Almanac Gardener begins its 24th season on UNC-TV Saturday, April 7 at noon. The show re-airs on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. The season runs 20 weeks through August 18. The show is a co-production of UNC-TV and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University.

In addition to answering questions from home gardeners, the show will include features on the following: "Using Native Stone in Your Landscape," "Starting a Spring Vegetable Garden," "Growing Mushrooms at Home," "Growing Vegetables in Containers," "Save Water...Mulch!!," "Attracting Beneficial Insects," "Pruning Trees," "Building a Dry Stack Stone Wall," "Starting Shrubs from Cuttings," "The New Hanover Ability Garden," "Gardening with Your Kids this Summer," "Three Most Popular North Carolina Strawberry Varieties," and much more.

The panel will include host Mike Gray; Karen Neill, horticultural agent, Guilford County; Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Stephen Greer, horticultural agent Forsyth County; Linda Blue, horticultural agent, Buncombe County; Susan Ruiz-Evans, horticultural agent, Dare County; Diane Turner, horticultural agent, Henderson County; and Lucy Bradley, urban horticulture Extension specialist.

Posted by Natalie at 02:49 PM

February 15, 2007

Charlotte extension agent wins statewide turf award

The Turfgrass Council of North Carolina has presented Extension Agent Jim Monroe with its Outstanding Service Award for 2007. The award honors Monroe for his impact statewide on the growth and professionalism of the turf grass industry.

Read more in The Charlotte Observer

Posted by Dave at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2007

Extension's Successful Gardener Learning Center Provides Gardening Answers

Whether it's a question about how to make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood, drought-tolerant plants or how to deal with insect pests, North Carolina Cooperative Extension experts will have the answers during the Southern Spring Home and Garden Show at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart Feb. 28 – March 4.

Whether it's a question about how to make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood, drought-tolerant plants or how to deal with insect pests, North Carolina Cooperative Extension experts will have the answers during the Southern Spring Home and Garden Show at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart Feb. 28 – March 4.

Extension horticulture experts will be available throughout the show at Extension's Successful Gardener Learning Center. The Learning Center, which is hosted by extension horticulture agents and master gardeners, is an annual feature of the home and garden show.

Soil sample boxes and the March issue of the award-winning Extension's Successful Gardener newsletter will also be available, and Learning Center visitors can register for a drawing for a free, one-year subscription to the newsletter. Visitors may also add their names to a list to receive monthly e-mail gardening tips from North Carolina Cooperative Extension. And information on poisonous plants will be available along with free samples of Cortaid Poison Ivy Care Toxin Removal Cloths. Cortaid is the sponsor of the March Extension’s Successful Gardener newsletter.

On Friday, March 2, Extension's Successful Gardener team will present seminars on the Great Garden Stage. March 2 has been designated Extension's Successful Gardener and Master Gardener Day and will be filled with informative presentations. Anyone interested in proven gardening techniques based on university research will want to attend these workshops. The day will kick off with presentations, followed by a container gardening contest for extension master gardeners and a search for excellence awards program showcasing outstanding master gardener projects.

Following is the schedule for Extension's Successful Gardener and Master Gardener Day.

10:45 a.m. Creative Container Gardening seminar – Bryce Lane, host of "In the Garden with Bryce Lane," which airs on UNC-TV, will share tips and ideas for container gardening, one of the most popular American garden trends. Container gardening is both an art and science, and Lane will focus on the principles involved in selecting, placing and growing all kinds of plants in containers. Lane is one of North Carolina State University's most popular teachers.

11:30 a.m. – Extension Master Gardener Container Planting Competition – Ten master gardeners will put their knowledge and creativity to work in an action-packed contest. Judges from Cooperative Extension and Fine Gardening magazine will select the winner, and Todd Meier, Fine Gardening magazine publisher, will provide helpful insight on the features of the winning container.

1:30 p.m. – Extension Master Gardener Search for Excellence Awards – Mike Gray, long-time host of Almanac Gardener, which also airs on UNC-TV, will serve as the emcee for this showcase of extension master gardeners and their winning volunteer efforts around the state.

2:30 p.m. – Gardening for Butterflies seminar – Linda Blue, N.C. Cooperative Extension horticulture agent in Buncombe County and one of the featured horticulturists on the Almanac Gardener TV show, will talk about the types of flowers butterflies prefer and how to plant for season-long color. Anyone who enjoys these fluttering jewels in a sea of color in your own backyard won't want to miss this session.

3:30 p.m. – Learn the Secrets to Successfully Combining Plants – Todd Meier, Fine Gardening magazine publisher, says pairing the right plants can be a challenge, even for the most experienced gardener. Meier will talk about how paying attention to a plant's color, shape and texture will make the endeavor easier. He will share a number of inspirational photos of successfully paired plants.

4:30 p.m. – The Almost Perfect Lawn seminar– Jim Monroe, Cooperative Extension agent in Mecklenburg County, will provide the information homeowners need to make their lawns the envy of the neighborhood. Monroe will share tips on planting and maintaining a Carolina lawn, providing information on fertilizers, weeds, grass seed varieties and common insects and diseases and what to do about them.

Show tickets are $7.50 in advance and $9.00 at the door. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, contact Southern Shows at (704) 376-6594 or 1-800-849-0248, or visit www.southernshows.com. Learn more about Extension's Successful Gardener at www.successfulgardener.org.

Posted by Dave at 02:53 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2006

Coconut trees in N.C.? Warm up to the idea

"Hardiness zones" for various plants and trees have shifted northward as temperatures have climbed since the U.S. Department of Agriculture last published a hardiness zone map in 1990.
Read more from the Greensboro News & Record

Posted by Dave at 08:23 AM

October 30, 2006

Turfgrass exhibit features living room furniture

Turfgrass sofa
Fairgoers take a seat on a living sofa made of turfgrass at the N.C. State Fair in October. (Becky Kirkland photo)

A turfgrass-covered couch and chair were the centerpieces of the N.C. State University turfgrass program informational display at the 2006 North Carolina State Fair. Students and faculty from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences program invited fairgoers to check out the living room furniture and to learn about ways to improve their own lawns. Throughout fair week, visitors to the display on the veranda of the Exposition Building were directed to resources from the College’s Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education (CENTERE), including the Web site www.TurfFiles.ncsu.edu. There, CENTERE offers turf tips and information on how to identify weeds, pest alerts and other turf-related news. On the final Friday of the fair, State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler stopped by for a special sitting on the turfgrass-covered furniture.
-T. Leith

Posted by Natalie at 01:50 PM

October 18, 2006

NJHA participants capture awards

NJHA delegates
North Carolina's NJHA delegates. Top row, from left, Will Houston and Dakota Starr; middle row, Ashley Kirby and Caitlin Davis; and bottom row, Ann Margaret Dietrich, Alex Hammerberg and Mary Kathryn Hardison. (Photo courtesy of Liz Driscoll)

North Carolina's participants in the National Junior Horticultural Association's annual convention in Omaha, Nebraska, returned safely in October, bringing with them numerous honors. The contingent of 13 included seven youth from Cleveland, Harnett, Stokes and Wake county and six adults to support them. They gave brilliant demonstrations, speeches, essays and competed in the horticulture contest.

All their efforts enabled them to gain the following awards:

Demonstration, Horticulture Uses
Grand National Champion, Mary Kathryn Hardison, Harnett County
National Champion, Will Houston, Cleveland County

Extemporaneous Speech
National Champion, Alex Hammerberg, Wake County

Illustrated Talk
Grand National Champion, Caitlin Davis, Stokes County

Horticulture Essay Contest
Grand National Champion, Dakota Starr, Wake County

Horticulture Contest, 4-H Team
3rd place, Ann Margaret Dietrich, Alex Hammerberg, Dakota Starr, Wake County

4-H Individual, Horticulture Contest
9th Place, Alex Hammerberg, Wake County
11th Place, Ann Margaret Dietrich, Wake County

Open Individual, Horticulture Contest
9th Place, Caitlin Davis, Stokes County

Many of the youth participated in multiple events, beyond what they had competed in at state 4-H Congress.

"The most amazing part of the experience is the chance for the youth to connect with others that share a passion for plants and learning," said Liz Driscoll, 4-H youth Extension specialist. "They formed a marvelous, supportive, enthusiastic, laid-back group of young people that represented North Carolina tremendously."

The group visited the Arbor Day Foundation Farm, got lost in the world's largest corn maze and learned swing dancing from award winner Will Houston of Cleveland County.

Posted by Natalie at 09:04 AM

September 13, 2006

Gardening questions answered at Home Show

Home Show logo

Gardeners with questions will have plenty of opportunities to talk with horticulture experts at this year’s Southern Ideal Home Show.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s horticulture agents and Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions throughout the show at Extension’s Successful Gardener Learning Center and Discovery Garden. Master Gardeners and horticulture agents from seven counties will be available.

The Southern Ideal Home Show is Sept. 22-24 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

The theme for the Learning Center, located in Dorton Arena, is "Plants with Fall Interest," and several beautiful fall plants will be showcased. Learning Center visitors can pick up a plant list that includes more than 20 plants to consider for a fall garden.

The award-winning Successful Gardener newsletter, Extension’s tree planting guide and other materials will also be available, while Learning Center visitors may also register to win a free, one-year subscription to Extension’s Successful Gardener newsletter.

The Learning Center will feature the stonework of Brazeal Stone of Raleigh, a Successful Gardener sponsor. The N.C. Green Industry Council is also a sponsor and is providing the plants featured in the Discovery Garden. The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources and U.S. Forest Service are sponsors of the October issue of Extension’s Successful Gardener newsletter, which will be distributed at the Learning Center. The issue focuses on trees, and the featured plant is the fringe tree, a native to North Carolina.

Extension’s Successful Gardener is a nationally recognized educational program that features an award-winning newsletter, gardening seminars and Learning Centers. Learn more at www.successfulgardener.org.

Posted by Natalie at 10:25 AM

August 23, 2006

Ranney develops new 'Carolina' dogwoods

Student with dogwood flower
Intern Irene Palmer, who works with with Dr. Tom Ranney to propagate disease-resistant dogwoods at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, here pollinates a dogwood flower. (Photo courtesy of Tom Ranney)

With its four-petalled flower heralding spring from North Carolina's coast to its forested mountains, the dogwood has come to be known - and treasured - as a symbol of rebirth and revitalization. And N.C. State University researchers are working to make sure it stays that way.

At the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Fletcher, Dr. Tom Ranney and his colleagues have spent the past five years working to breed hardier cultivars that withstand two diseases that have ravaged native flowering dogwoods. Recent grants from the N.C. Association of Nurserymen and Golden LEAF, a nonprofit organization focused on economic development, have allowed them to expand and accelerate these efforts.

Read more from Perspectives (scroll down)

Posted by Natalie at 09:56 AM

August 04, 2006

Garden Conservancy "Open Days" tour showcases private gardens, JC Raulston Arboretum

Photo of a garden

The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program comes to Raleigh in September, featuring six private gardens to visit on Saturday, September 23 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Sunday, September 24 (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.).

Gardens participating on these two dates feature sumptuous plantings beneath the native red- and white-oak canopy of a traditional Southern home with a formal Italian fountain and cascading waterfalls; a Japanese-style garden with a magnificent pond spillway; and a half-acre suburban property with a rose garden, secret garden, and several follies and garden accents.

A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum, a working research and teaching garden of North Carolina State University celebrating its 30th anniversary in conjunction with the tour.

Built and maintained by North Carolina State students, faculty, staff and volunteers, the eight-acre arboretum is a nationally acclaimed garden with the most diverse collection of plants adapted for landscape use in the southeastern United States.

Plant collections include more than 5,000 varieties of annuals, perennials, bulbs, vines, groundcovers, shrubs and trees from more than fifty countries, which are displayed in a beautiful garden setting that is open to the public.

Visitors may start the tour on either day at the JC Raulston Arboretum at 4415 Beryl Road in Raleigh, where discount admission tickets will be sold (6 tickets for $25). Single tickets to the individual gardens ($5 each) may also be purchased during the tour at each garden. Open Days are rain or shine, and no reservations are required. For ticket information, please contact Autumn Keck at the JC Raulston Arboretum at autumn_keck@ncsu.edu or 919-513-3826.

The Open Days gardens in Raleigh are featured in the 2006 Open Days Directory, which includes detailed driving directions and vivid descriptions written by garden owners. The national edition includes garden listings in 16 states and costs $20.45, including shipping. The South edition costs $5, and features gardens in Florida, North Carolina and Texas. Call the Garden Conservancy toll-free at 1-888-842-2442 to order with a Visa or MasterCard, or send a check or money order to: the Garden Conservancy, P.O. Box 219, Cold Spring, NY, 10516. Discount admission tickets are available through advanced mail order.

The 2006 Open Days Program is sponsored by W. Atlee Burpee & Co., America’s most trusted name in gardening for 125 years, providing seeds, plants, gardening supplies and accessories for the home gardener. The Open Days Program is also pleased to have Fine Gardening Magazine as its National Media Sponsor. Fine Gardening is published bimonthly by The Taunton Press, a trusted source of information and inspiration on house and home.

The Garden Conservancy introduced the Open Days Program in 1995 as a means of introducing the public to gardening, providing easy access to outstanding examples of design and horticultural practice, and proving that exceptional American gardens are still being created.

The Open Days Program is America’s only national private garden-visiting program, and is made possible by the work of hundreds of volunteers nationwide. Visit the Garden Conservancy and its Open Days Program online at www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays.html.

-S. Stanard

Posted by Suzanne at 09:23 AM

August 02, 2006

Extension specialists's pesticide manual draws national attention

The manual has value beyond certification exams, Buhler (above)says. “It also is being used as a resource book for pest management in the landscape.” (Photo by Becky Kirkland)

A certification manual developed in 2004 by Dr. Wayne Buhler, Extension specialist and associate professor in the College’s department of horticultural science, recently has been making waves.

The manual, “Ornamental and Turfgrass Pest Management: A Pesticide Applicator Certification Manual for the Carolinas and Georgia,” recently won the Blue Ribbon Extension Communication Award presented by the Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science. And, in 2004 the manual received the Outstanding Book Award, Extension and Industry Division, from the American Society for Horticultural Science.

A product of collaboration among 12 Extension specialists from N.C. State, the University of Georgia and Clemson University, the 160-page manual has caught the attention of pesticide safety educators from across the country.

A chapter on applying the correct amount of pesticide has been incorporated into the Florida licensing manual, and New Mexico will use the manual to prepare its applicators for the state exam. Educators in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi also are considering an adaptation of the manual.

In addition to Buhler, contributing authors are: Dr. James R. Baker, emeritus professor of entomology; Dr. Rick Brandenburg, professor and Extension entomologist; Erv Evans, consumer horticulturalist; Dr. Lane P. Tredway, assistant professor of plant pathology; and Dr. Colleen Y. Warfield, Extension specialist and assistant professor of plant pathology. June Lioret, editor in the College’s department of communication services, edited the manual.

“This is a great example of partnerships at work,” Buhler says. “We wanted to boost the competency level of applicators in all three states and provide them with more specific pest control information. Also, the learning objectives and practice questions in each chapter are designed to help allay the fear of testing and prepare applicators for their required certification exams.”

The manual has been translated into Spanish, and it is available on CD.

-S. Stanard

Posted by Suzanne at 09:27 AM

June 08, 2006

'In the Garden' featured in newspaper article

'In the Garden,' the UNC-TV gardening show featuring N.C. State University horticultural scientist Dr. Bryce Lane, is featured in an article in The Fayetteville Observer. The show is produced by the Communication Services Department, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Read more

Posted by Natalie at 02:37 PM

March 23, 2006

Home show will include Successful Gardener Learning Center

Raleigh's Southern Ideal Home Show, April 7–9, will feature Cooperative Extension's Successful Gardener Learning Center and Discovery Garden. Extension agents and Master Gardener volunteers will staff the Learning Center to answer questions.

Participating Extension agents include Carl Matyac, Wake County; Sarah Lane Ivy, Lee County; Shawn Banks, Johnston County; Kelly Groves, Vance County; and Taylor Williams, Moore County.

The Learning Center will feature “Gardening for the Environment: Using Drought-Tolerant Plants in the Landscape.” Visitors can stop by the Learning Center to get answers to gardening questions and to view drought- tolerant plants to consider for the garden.

At the Learning Center, visitors also can register to win a free, one-year subscription to Extension’s Successful Gardener newsletter and pick up loads of helpful information.

The Learning Center will feature the stonework of Brazeal Stone of Raleigh, a Successful Gardener sponsor. Another sponsor of the Learning Center is the N.C. Green Industry Council which represents thousands of companies statewide involved in all aspects of the green industry from growing plants and sod to landscape design, landscape installation, grounds management services, irrigation design, installation and service, retail garden centers and allied industries.

Extension’s Successful Gardener is a nationally recognized educational program that features an award-winning newsletter, gardening seminars and Learning Centers. The goal of the program is to help Carolinians increase their knowledge of gardening, manage their landscape investment and protect the environment.

Posted by Natalie at 08:19 AM

March 22, 2006

Alamanac Gardener returns April 1

Mike Gray photo

Almanac Gardener begins its 23rd season on UNC-TV April 1 and runs for 20 weeks through August 12. The half-hour show airs Saturday at noon, with a rerun on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

The show is hosted by Mike Gray, Communication Services department head emeritus. Guest Cooperative Extension panelists include: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; and horticultural agents Karen Neill, Guilford County; Linda Blue, Buncombe County; Emily Revels, Cumberland County; Sarah Ivy, Lee County; and Diane Ashburn, Henderson County.

As always Gray and panelists will answer viewer questions and award a coveted Almanac Gardener t-shirt to the on-air question of the week. Also, viewers can win a t-shirt by entering the Almanac Gardener Web quiz on the UNC-TV site.

With the current drought conditions across the state we'll be devoting several features to conserving water in the landscape and garden. Topics include:
"Choosing the Right Mulch for Your Landscape," Linda Blue
"Summer Landscape Water Conservation," Karen Neill
"Drip and Micro Irrigation," Karen Neill
"Building a Rain Barrel," Karen Neill
"Drought Tolerant Plants," Sarah Ivy

Other Almanac Gardener features on Protecting Our Streams (safe use of chemicals, fertilizers), Growing Summer Fruits and Vegetables (corn, egg plant, watermelons, grapes, peaches), Growing Organic Strawberries, Growing Shiitake Mushrooms, a tour of the West Bend Winery in Forsyth County, Ethnic Gardening, Poisonous Plants and Kid Safety, Mushroom Kits for Kids, Controlling Pantry Pests, Eight Steps to Take Before Using Pesticides, Colorful Fall Plantings, Renovating a Fall Fescue Lawn, Which to Plant..Sod or Grass, Growing Amaryllis, Cyclamen and Poinsettias; Building a Dry Stacked Stone Wall, and Solar Tools.

Posted by Natalie at 10:07 AM

February 10, 2006

Annual Master Gardener luncheon is March 3

Robert Bowden, director of Leu Botanical Gardens in Orlando, Fla., will be the featured speaker March 3 at the 10th Annual Southern Cooperative Extension and Master Gardener Luncheon during the Southern Spring Home and Garden Show in Charlotte.

The home and garden show is March 1-5 at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart. The luncheon recognizes the contributions that Master Gardeners and North Carolina Cooperative Extension horticultural programs make to communities across the Carolinas and Virginia.

Bowden’s topic will be “What’s Hot and Spicy in the Garden – Trends for 2006.” He will talk about trends in outdoor living areas as well as lawn alternatives and colorful, maintenance-free tropical plants.

Tickets to the luncheon are $35 before Feb. 18 and $40 if purchased after that date. The ticket price includes admission to the Southern Spring Home and Garden Show. The luncheon is open to the public. Attendance is not restricted to Master Gardeners.

The show will also feature Extension’s Successful Gardener Learning Center, an exhibit at which North Carolina Cooperative Extension horticultural experts and Master Gardeners will provide a wealth of gardening information. Learn more about Extension’s Successful Gardener at http://www.successfulgardener.org/.

Home and Garden Show tickets only are $7.50 in advance and $9 at the door. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, contact Southern Shows at 704.376.6594 or 1.800.849.0248 or visit http://www.southernshows.com.

Posted by Dave at 01:31 PM

January 19, 2006

Libraries exhibit will focus on vegetable gardens

The NCSU Libraries will host the exhibit Feast Your Eyes: The Unexpected Beauty of Vegetable Gardens, developed by the Smithsonian Institution Horticulture Services Division in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The exhibit will run from February 4 through April 2, 2006, in the D. H. Hill Library. Read more

Posted by Natalie at 03:15 PM

November 08, 2005

Youth take honors at NJHA

photo of NJHA winners
NJHA youth from North Carolina took honors in national competition last month.

Eight teenagers from North Carolina participated in the 71st National Junior Horticultural Association Convention in Aurora, Ohio, Oct. 7 - 10. The theme of the convention "Horticulture Rocks" resonated throughout the four-day event.

All competitions were conducted on Saturday, leaving the remainder of the time for educational workshops and tours. Participants were able to choose from a broad list of workshops. The tours included a stop at Klyn Nursery, a wholesale nursery on the shores of Lake Erie with over 1,700 species and cultivars and Holden Arboretum. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Science Center were of great interest to the youth.

As the convention came to a close on the final evening and the awards were announced, the North Carolina delegation fared extremely well. Winners were as follows:

Beth Tevepaugh, Cabarrus County, Grand National Award, Illustrated Talk "The Food Pyramid Guide Fit For a Pharoah."
Lory McCraw, Henderson County, Grand National Award, Fruit and Vegetable Use, "Cooking With Color."
Kayla Mason, Cabarrus County, National Winner, Peanut Food Use, "Peanut Hotline."
Katie McCraw, Henderson County, National Winner, Artistic Arrangement, "Flowers: The Fruity Way."

Matt Gromlich, Anna Sauls, Sara Turner and Vanessa Weidrick of Pasquotank County, members of the N.C. Horticulture Team, competed in the 4-H Horticulture Contest. Only five teams place, and this team was only .6 from placing.

Young America Projects (youth 5 to 14 years of age may compete in two projects in a calendar year from Gardening, Plant Propagation, Experimental Horticulture, and Environmental Awareness. Their projects are sent in and they only attend if the convention is in their area.) Wake County youth received a total of 18 Young America Awards (four Grand National and 14 National Awards).

"This was a super group of young people," said leader Carol Norden of Wake County Cooperative Extension. "They excelled in their competitions, had a wonderful time, and they represented North Carolina extremely well! It was a great opportunity for me to coordinate the trip and to work with all of you to make this a very successful trip for our youth."

Questions about the program can be directed to Carol Norden, 919.847.5462 or cnorden@bellsouth.net .

Posted by Natalie at 01:26 PM

August 26, 2005

Grant will support tree survey

Thanks to a $10,000 grant, Cooperative Extension will help conduct a tree survey of Tanglewood Park in Clemmons. Toby Bost, Forsyth County Cooperative Extension agent, has developed a plan to work with the park’s grounds maintenance staff and the Forsyth offices of Natural Resources Conservation Service and N.C. Division of Forest Resources to introduce ArcView/GIS technology.

The grant was provided by N.C. Division of Forest Resources’ Urban and Community Forest Grant program. Tanglewood Park is a 1,300-acre park, the largest public park in Forsyth County. The park has not had a proactive tree management plan for assessing the condition of its trees, thus ensuring the safety of the thousands of visitors to its facility annually. This was a concern to park staff because of ice storms the park has suffered this decade.

The grant has allowed the partners to hire a consulting forester to design and conduct a tree inventory for the park. Using Global Positioning System instruments, the forester has identified more than 400 trees on a new trail that is being cleared as an environmental classroom for school age children. The park’s staff received training during the winter months and acquired both the software and computer hardware to begin Phase I of a comprehensive park management plan. Both GIS technology and aerial photos currently available to them have allowed the park staff to produce high-quality imagery and maps for improving the park's trail system.

Posted by Natalie at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2005

'In the Garden' begins new season

Bryce Lane on the set

Tune in to the season premiere of "In the Garden with Bryce Lane," Saturday, August 20, at noon on UNC-TV. This season, host Bryce Lane of N.C. State's College Agriculture and Life Sciences showcases some of the state's most beautiful gardens. Many of them are created and maintained by North Carolina Cooperative Extension staff and Master Gardeners.

The August 20 episode features the Pitt County Arboretum, the Master Gardener program in Craven County and Tryon Palace. For more information on the Craven County garden, read this article from The New Bern Sun Journal.

Later in the season the North Carolina Arboretum, Rowan County Master
Gardeners, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Richmond Hill Inn, and Wing Haven will be featured. (Notice will be given on the exact dates these shows will air.) This season’s shows will also include a weekly Extension’s Successful Gardener tip.

Beginning August 20, "In the Garden" will air each Saturday at noon and repeat Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. on UNC-TV.

If you have any questions about the show please contact Sonya Williams Harris at Sonya_Harris@ncsu.edu.

Posted by Natalie at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)