Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Shameless Self-Promotion: The Farm Report 03-23-2023

Shameless Self-Promotion

The Walled Gardens at Gordon Castle

Howdy All! I'm still alive, but I've been really busy. I thought I'd put up a short post today to let you know what I've been doing - and promote myself a little in the process.

As many of you know, I participate with the Iowa State University Extension Master Gardener's program. It is a function and a group of folks I really enjoy. In a moment of weakness, I agreed to do two lecture/presentations for the Master Gardener's Spring Conferences this year. Soooooo, I've been putting together my lectures and slide shows for same. It is amazing how a few minutes worth of slides can take a winter's worth of time. But it can, and did!

The first presentation is this weekend, Saturday, March 25, at the Lakin Center in Malvern, Iowa. I think you can just show up at the door, but I'm sure they would rather have you pre-register so they'll know how many are coming. Here is a link to the info.

I'll be talking about the Walled Gardens that go along with the English Country House Estates. They were the source of food and flowers for the 'Big House' during their heyday. They were converted and abandoned during WW 2, but now fortunately many are being restored. Walled Gardens are a study in micro-climates, and we can adapt and use many of the centuries old gardening practices right in our own back yards.

Back Yard Orchards for Everybody

The second presentation will be the following weekend, Saturday, April 1, for the Pottawatomie County Spring Conference held on the Iowa Western Community College campus in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This one's topic is backyard orchards. My goal in this lecture is to remove all excuses as to why you can't have your own backyard orchard! I'll cover conventional fruit trees, of course, but I'll also add some info on apple varieties you can't find in stores, special purpose varieties custom tailored to wine and cider production, plus rootstock selection choices, 'how-to' grafting instructions and non-conventional growing systems like wicking pots and espaliered trees. No excuses - you can do this!

Again, I think the folks producing this series would really like it if you registered before attending. Lunch may be involved.... Here is a link to their info.  

This is possibly my shortest post ever. (Am I hearing cheers in the background?) But, I wanted to let you know I haven't gone stiff in some corner of the Oakdale House. All is well. Some seeds are up, others are on the way. Lettuce is growing in the greenhouse, and it was 10F three nights ago. Spring will be here, and it will 'FLIP' seasons on us this year. That's pretty much my life anymore - no easy glide paths, just BAM, and I'm met headlong with another set of jobs to do.

Cheers from Annie Oakley and me. O.J. says 'Hi' too; obviously he hasn't been so busy.

I'll write more next time.