"Growing Green” Education Fair 2013
After last year’s record drought more and more families in Rolla and the surrounding counties were interested in economical and environmentally-sustainable gardening practices. The Phelps County Master Gardeners sponsored the first-ever “Growing Green” Education Fair held on April 13, 2013. 400 individuals from Rolla and surrounding counties stopped by the fair between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., surpassing attendance expectations.
In fulfillment of the event’s vision, Learn, Plant, Harvest, those in attendance were able to meet with gardening experts at hands-on exhibits such as soil management, beekeeping and pollinator gardens, drip irrigation, plant propagation, vermicomposting (composting with worms) home food preservation, etc. Area master gardeners who attended presentations on drip irrigation, honey bees and native pollinators, soil management, and climate change were able to earn advanced education credits to maintain their certification.
The success of the Growing Green Education Fair was due to the generous support from corporate sponsors, grants, media and a strong group of volunteers representing many local organizations.
The University of Missouri Extension and the Phelps County Master Gardeners want to offer a special thanks to those in attendance for coming out and making this event a great success.
Time to get the pressure gauge on your canner checked
When you plant your garden, it’s so easy to imagine all of the great-tasting, healthy food that will come from those tiny seeds and plants. You may be one of the people that grow not only enough to eat during the summer but extra so it can be preserved for cold winter nights. Now is a great time to make sure your canning gear is ready for production when your garden starts producing more than you can eat.
The dial gauge on your canner should be tested every year to assure it is processing foods at the correct temperature. The dial gauge registers the pressure in the canner. The pressure is an indicator of the temperature of the inside of the canner. It is important for low acid foods to be processed at 240 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy the spores of Clostridium Botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism.
Phelps County University of Missouri Extension can check your pressure gauge in just a few minutes. This service is provided for a fee of $1. The office is located on the west side of the courthouse. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday.
If you are looking for information on how to preserve your fresh vegetables, University of Missouri Extension has up to date information on how to safely can foods. You can download them at http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/hesguide/foodnut. The Quality for Keeps series is all about home food preservation.
Don’t guess. Soil tests save time and money.
Soil testing is the best guide to the wise and efficient use of fertilizer and soil amendments, said Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Extension Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services.
Whether you grow acres of row crops or have a vegetable patch in the backyard, a soil test will provide you with an analysis of nutrients and a set of recommendations for any improvements.
“We frequently get questions from customers like, ‘I apply fertilizer every year. How come my plants are not doing well?’” Nathan said.
“Most of the time the problem is they never have done a soil test, but have been guessing on fertilizer requirements,” she said. “They do not realize that by guessing they are wasting money by over- or underapplication, and the excess fertilizer can end up in streams, ponds and underground water, polluting the environment.”
Soil testing can be done through the extension office. The cost is $15 per sample and mailed to the lab every Friday with a turn around time of about two weeks. Soil testing publications
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