H O R T I C U L T U R E Hello Horticulturalists! It seems that Spring sprung early this year. I think most of us caught the gardening bug early. I admit I put out tomatoes in April. How scandalous! Exciting news! Just wanted to let everyone know we are changing how we do fair entries this year. A new building has been constructed on the fairgrounds that will house the Open Class and 4-H Exhibits at the same time. It is our goal to have exhibits on display Sincerely, throughout the entire fair. Tentative changes for this year include: Exhibit check-in will be Wednesday, July 26th from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. ONLY. Both 4-H and Open Exhibits will be checked in and on display at the same time. th Pick up will be Saturday, August 5 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Amanda Sears County Extension Agent for Horticulture [email protected] (859) 623-4072 Instead of buying premade hummingbird food, try mixing your own... Mix a solution of one part sugar to four parts water. Boil water and sugar mixture for two minutes. Do not heat in the microwave. Cool the mixture and refrigerate. There is no need to add red dye. If you are using a red feeder, that should be enough to attract the birds. Go to http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/for/for97/for97.pdf for more information on hummingbirds. Did you know… Hummingbird nests are made of bits of plant material encircled with pieces of spider web. The spider web allows the tiny nest to expand with the growing young. Hummingbirds are the only vertebrates capable of sustained hovering flight, like a helicopter. They can also fly backwards and upside down! A hummingbird's wings will beat about 70 times per minute during direct flight and up to 200 times per minute during dives. A University of Kentucky entomology student has developed a list of bee-friendly trees and shrubs for the Ohio Valley region. “This list allows the average homeowner to participate in meaningful bee conservation efforts using sciencebased plant recommendations,” said Bernadette Mach, a doctoral student in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment who is working with Professor Daniel Potter’s program. In the past five to 10 years, researchers estimate that pollinator populations have declined between 30 to 60%, depending on the pollinator. While much of the attention has focused on dwindling honeybee populations due to colony collapse disorder, native bee populations including bumblebees, mason bees and many other solitary bee species, are also on the decline. Habitat loss due to urban and suburban sprawl is one of the main reasons. “This research provides a way to help restore the habitat and resources of bees and other pollinators while diversifying urban landscapes with horticulturally desirable plants,” Potter said. Mach took visual counts of bees visiting various trees and shrubs in locations around Lexington and Cincinnati, two urban centers relatively close in distance with comparable landscape plantings. She also identified 50 bees visiting the plant or planting at each site. She would repeat this for a particular plant species at five different sites, characterizing both the relative attractiveness of about 75 different species of woody landscape plants, as well as the types of bees that visit each plant across a total of about 375 different landscape sites. The list includes bee-friendly ratings of plants along with the bloom times of each. Mach identified a number of horticulturally desirable but underutilized plants as “bee magnets,” information that could help to spur sales of those plants by Kentucky nursery producers, landscapers, and garden centers. The full list of bee-friendly trees and shrubs titled, “Plants Bees Like Best,” is available at https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/files/bee_friendly_shrubs_and_trees_handout.pdf. Thoroughly inspect transplants for signs of insects, diseases or poor care. Check the stems for lesions or discoloration which indicate the presence of a disease. Gently pull a few transplants from their containers and inspect the root system. Avoid those that have a tangle of roots encircling the root ball. Make sure the roots are white and fibrous – avoid plants with brown or black roots. Is the plant the color it should be or does it look pale? Avoid plants that are spindly, they have probably not been grown in the best conditions. Instead, opt for plants that have a sturdy stem. Remember: It does not matter how cheap you get them! It is not worth bringing a sick plant into your garden. One sick plant could introduce pathogens into the area that may live for years! SAVE THE DATE Saturday, June 24th ~ 9 am to 1 pm Rain or Shine Agriculture is important to Madison County! Come see where your food is grown and sold by participating in the Meet Your Farmers Tour! This is a self guided driving tour of farms and farmers markets in Madison County. At each Farmer’s Market the Madison County Cooperative Extension Office will have information on canning, recipes, samples made using local produce, and kitchen gadget giveaways. There will also be great door prizes, but more about that in next month’s newsletter. Information about each tour stop is on the back of this newsletter. For more info and updates, check out our website: https://madison.ca.uky.edu/content/horticulture, find us on Facebook - search Meet Your Farmers Tour, or call 859-623-4072. **Please note… even if you do not have a Facebook account you can still see updates if you check our Facebook page.** *See the back page for descriptions of the Meet Your Farmers Tour stops* Gardeners of Madison County - Wednesday, May 18 - Field Trip to Lexington Field Trip to Springhouse Nurseries, Lexington, KY - for more information call Jerry Cook at 859-200-7884. Madison County Beekeepers Association Monday, May 22 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm * Meeting a week early due to Memorial Day Holiday * Madison County Cooperative Extension Office, 230 Duncannon Lane, Richmond For more information, please call Randy at 859-376-0332 or Debbie Sizemore at 859-200-0090. Meet Your Farmer Tour Saturday, June 24 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm - Various locations around Madison County See details in the article above and on the back page of this newsletter. Descriptions of the Farms & Farmers’ Markets you will see on this year’s tour. Community Garden at Glades Christian Church Farms come in all shapes and sizes! The community garden at Glades Christian Church started in 2016 when a few grandparents approached Grow Appalachia and the Berea Neighborhood Food Project. The first year the garden offered 16 raised beds and gave gardening space to eight families. This year they have added 10 more raised beds and a high tunnel. Also the garden is partnering with the Berea Farmers Market to host a mobile market site that will bring the market into the community in hopes of building a bridge and welcoming families in apartment neighborhoods. This project has been a true community partnership! Four Sisters Farm Four Sisters Farm started in 2009 after the Lincavage family moved to Madison County from Germany. They set up a dairy goat operation right away and over the years mastered the art of soap making. Their products are sold at Four Sisters Tea Emporium and at the Downtown Richmond Farmers’ Market. The farm also produces vegetables to sell at the farmers’ market. At this farm stop be ready to see goats up close as well as how they are cared for and milked. There will be a goat milking demonstration at the top of each hour (9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm) Cedar Cliff Greenhouse Cedar Cliff Greenhouse has been in operation for almost five years. In addition to selling vegetable transplants, they also grow and sell vegetables, farm fresh eggs, fresh baked breads, jams, jellies, pickles, and canned vegetables. They even have a Dandelion jelly, made fresh from flowers in their yard! In addition to selling at several farmers’ markets in the area, Cedar Cliff has also started a vegetable delivery service (CSA) which delivers fresh vegetables to your home throughout the growing season. Visit the farm to find out more! Madison County Farmers’ Market The Madison County Farmers’ Market has been serving Madison County with fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, crafts, jams, jellies, honey, and flowers for over 20 years. They are located in the parking lot of Lowes in Richmond. Starting on Saturday, May 13th, this market will be open on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 12 noon. On June 6th, producers will also set up on Tuesdays from 8:00 am to 12 noon. This market will also set up on Thursdays from 10 am to 1:00 pm starting on Thursday, June 1st on EKU’s campus next to the row of trees at Alumni Coliseum parking lot. Berea Farmers’ Market At the Berea Farmers’ Market, you can find fresh organic and heirloom produce, pastured meats, canned goods, artisanal breads, plants, cut flowers, soap, fiber products, quality handcrafts, and more. On Saturdays from May 20 through August 12, all children 18 and under can receive a free lunch as a part of the USDA Summer Food Service Program while their parents can purchase a variety of foods and beverages crafted from local farm ingredients. The market is located at 416 Chestnut Street in Berea, across from Peoples Bank and open on Tuesdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and Saturdays 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Downtown Richmond Farmers’ Market Downtown Richmond Farmers’ Market, Madison County’s newest market, offers homegrown vegetables and fruits, plants, baked goods, goat’s milk soap and lotions, honey, jams and jellies, eggs, crafts, cosmetics, and more! Other attractions include the strawberry festival in spring, a kid’s station full of games and activities (as well as a mini-farmers’ market), monthly workshops, and BBQ from Smitty’s Barbecue. This market is open on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm, and is located on First Street in Richmond.
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