Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Master Gardeners at Silver Lake Green Fest

Bucks County Master Gardeners Crystal Lecuyer, Roberta Turner, Jim Bray and Gary Dunbar hosted a successful booth at the Silver Lake Green Fest on Saturday, October 5th, teaching the public about composting.  Master Gardener Gary Dunbar took the lead on the project and offered this report:

By Master Gardener Gary Dunbar

First off, my thanks to all for coming out and helping. The entire event went very smoothly, from setup to breakdown. It was a very successful event.

We interacted with over 200 people, fielding questions of all types regarding composting. Quite a few people seemed surprised that you could add things like teabags and coffee filters to the pile, andquite a few said they were going to start composting. The stand-out question in my mind, which was brought up four times, was the possibility of the compost pile starting a fire. Evidently hearing that the pile heats up is causing concern for some folks. We informed them that a) the pile does not heat up to a temperature that would start a fire, and b) a compost pile needs to be kept moist, which would negate any chance of combustion within the pile. 

Silver Lake Green Fest has a "reward" program for young children who attend. They receive a "passport" that gets stamped by visiting various vendors' booths.  The Master Gardeners decided the kids needed to earn their stamps this year, so we gave them a brief description of what composting was about and a choice between a plastic bag and a leaf, asking them which they could compost. I believe we only had two children that chose the plastic bag.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Annual Dinner Speaker Liz Ball

We're very excited to welcome Liz Ball as our Annual Recognition Dinner speaker! 
Liz Ball has been a horticultural writer, photographer, and teacher for 30 years. Her articles and photographs have appeared in numerous catalogs, magazines and books, She writes about a wide range of gardening topics for gardeners, but specializes in issues that concern non-gardening homeowners who have lawns and plants to care for, but limited time and interest in working in their yards. She has been writing her weekly newspaper column, Yardening, for nearly 20 years.  

Liz Ball
Liz has co-authored nine books on plant and landscape care for Rodale and other publishers, including Smart Yard: 60 Minute Lawn Care (Fulcrum: 1994).  She is the sole author of many more, including Pennsylvania Gardener’s Guide (Cool Springs Press, 2002) and Month by Month Gardening in Pennsylvania (Cool Springs Press, revised 2007). 

Ten years ago Liz and Rick Ray moved to a new two-acre property in Delaware County, PA, part of which is a wetland/floodplain. In the upper area they cleared invasives, planted trees and shrubs and established gardens and a deer fence. The garden is simultaneously a collection of special plants, a place to try new plants, and a wildlife habitat.