Attracting Pollinators

August 8, 2014

Busy Bees and Butterflies

By Meredith Laurence, Events Coordinator

Environmental Educator, Annette Paluh, came to visit Bedner’s to present the topic “Busy Bees and Butterflies.” She began with some great facts and tips on having, and keeping, a plethora of pollinators in your home garden. She listed the top pollinators, especially ones local to this area. These include honey bees, butterflies, moths, fruit bats, hummingbirds (Ruby Throat), and the Hummingbird Clear-wing Moth. The best ways to attract pollinators is to have a food source for every life stage available all year round, ex; Chinese Witch Hazel, Violets, Allium (drumstick), Dogwood Shrub, Geranium, etc.

Annette also described the basic differences between moths and butterflies. Moths can be seen in both day and night, while butterflies present during daylight only. Moths have feathery antennae, and make their casing out of silk. Butterflies have club-shaped antennae, and make a casing of hard shell. The most well-known butterfly is the Monarch, which have seemed to be in danger in recent years, low in numbers, development, as well as loss of habitat, and appear later in season than normal.

Annette provided us with a wealth of incredibly interesting information, including some ways us humans can help provide a local area for these pollinators to be welcomed and to flourish. She provided us with handouts, “Conserving Wild Bees in Pennsylvania” and “Build Your Own Bee Condo,” which can be found at Bedner’s in our information area. Annette will be joining us again on Sunday, August 10 at 1:00pm, during our Fields to Fork event, with her “Spicy Medicine” presentation.We would be glad to see you there!

Preventing Leaf Spots

August 8, 2014

How to Prevent Rudbeckia Leaf Spots

By Beth Reid, Perennial Manager

So what causes those ugly purplish-brown leaf spots on your Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susans) and Echinacea (Coneflower)? Two fungi called Septoria and Cerospera. The infection usually starts on the lower leaves early in the season long before it becomes noticeable on the outer leaves. Warm temperatures and moisture on leaves for extended periods of time favor development of these organisms. High humidity and temperatures during August accelerate the leaf blight which is why it becomes obvious to you, the gardener.

While these infections don’t usually cause plants to die, they can become eye sores. In order to prevent or lessen the spread of the fungi, avoid wetting the leaves in the afternoon. When you do water, do it early in the day so the foliage can dry throughout the day. Preventative sprays of Daconil (chlorothalonil) or a copper-based fungicide applied early in the season can also help. Be sure to clean up dead and infected leaves as the spores overwinter in infected leaves. You may also consider replacing your Rudbeckia or Echinacea with resistant perennials such as Sedum, Coreopsis, or Daylilies.

Feel free to email Beth your plant questions at .

Chambersburg Peaches

August 8, 2014

What’s So Special About Chambersburg Peaches?

Thanks to the Polar Vortex the famous “Chambersburg peaches” are a little late this year, but they have finally arrived. Have you ever wondered what exactly was so special about the famed peaches? Here’s a little insight about the story behind them.

Tara Baugher, tree fruit educator with the Penn State Cooperative Extension Service says, “Growers tend to utilize the name ‘Chambersburg peach’ because it signifies high quality.” She adds that the micro-climate, soil and slopes in the Chambersburg area have been conducive to quality peaches.

So there you have it, but that doesn’t really tell the whole story. What you may not realize is that not all “Chambersburg peaches” come from Chambersburg. The Chambersburg name of these sweet and juicy summer fruits can also be affixed to peaches from orchards in surrounding communities and counties. Chambersburg is located in Franklin County, but “Chambersburg peaches” are often sold from neighboring Adams County as well.

Whatever the peach, its best left in a bowl at room temperature to soften. Chambersburg peaches, like all peaches, are best enjoyed when fully ripe. Come on out to the farm and get some soon!

Soap Making Class

July 16, 2014. Have you ever thought about taking a soap making class? This is an enriching, fun learning experience — a great gift idea, or an adventure to enjoy with a friend. This is a hands-on class where you will learn about the history of Colonial soap making, how to make cold processed soap with premium oils, and how to label your soaps. Students will go home with soap made in class and an instruction folder of resources. All equipment and materials will be provided.

Instructor: Lori Chandler

Fee: $25/person

Requirements:

  • All students must be 18 years or older.
  • Must wear closed toed shoes and long pants.
  • Bring a long sleeved shirt to wear during a portion of the class.

Register for your choice of class time: 9:00 am 1:00 pm

Ashgrove Soaps and Sundries

About the instructor: Lori Chandler is the owner of Ashgrove Soaps and Sundries in Valencia, PA – a home-based, family operation. They make small batches of soap balancing seasonal and year round varieties. They make a variety of soap types. Most of their soaps are made with 40% imported olive oil and some are made with 100% imported olive oil. All of their ingredients are restaurant grade assuring a premium product. Ashgrove Soaps believes in supporting the local economy. Many of their supplies are from Western Pennsylvanian sources: oils from Pittsburgh Restaurant Depot in Pittsburgh, Goat’s milk from farmers in Sarver, PA, and beeswax from the former President of the Central Western PA Bee Association in Wampum, PA. They are professionally associated with and are members of the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild.

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