corn growing in field in Western New York

Farm to School program is win-win for local farmers, students

Local farmers have a longer selling season for their products, and schoolchildren get fresh fruits and vegetables. This win-win relationship is made possible by New York Farm to School initiatives. “We wouldn’t be able to make this work without Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension,” said Dave Walczak, operations manager of Eden Valley Growers, a farm cooperative founded in 1956. Students get education about healthy eating, too. Get more details here….

proposed butterfly conservatory at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens plans to start work in fall on butterfly conservatory & more

by Connie Oswald Stofko The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens expects to start construction in fall 2020 on an exciting expansion project that includes: Butterfly conservatory State‐of‐the‐art classrooms New grow houses Expanded exhibit and event spaces Café New, more convenient visitor entrance Larger gift shop Completion is expected in the fall of 2022. It’s going to be cool! If you enjoy the Botanical Gardens now, you’ll love the new changes. Butterfly conservatory The butterfly conservatory, where you can walk…

hand with flower

Master Gardener training in Jamestown open to residents of 3 counties

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County is looking for new volunteers to enroll in the Master Gardener Core Training this spring at Jamestown Community College. Enrollment is open to residents of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie counties. Contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at 664-9502 or email Emily Reynolds at Cornell Cooperative Extension makes agriculture and horticulture knowledge work in pursuit of economic viability, ecological sustainability and social well-being for a rapidly changing world….

posters from Garden Walk Buffalo

Garden Walk Buffalo seeks artwork for 2020 poster

Garden Walk Buffalo, America’s largest garden tour, is looking for submissions of original artwork to promote the 2020 event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 25 & 26, 2020. Entries are due Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. This is an opportunity to share your artwork with hundreds of local gardeners and tens of thousands of visitors from around the U.S., Canada, and abroad. Submission guidelines: You may enter any form of painting (any medium, any style — traditional to contemporary), drawings, photography, illustrations, sculpture or…

butterfly on daisies

What are you thankful for as a gardener?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here in Western New York, we gardeners have a lot to be thankful for. Here’s my list, and I hope you’ll share your own thoughts in a comment below. I’m thankful that we got plenty of rain this season. I rarely had to water. Gardeners I talked to were thrilled that their perennials were so big and healthy! There are so many garden walks and Open Gardens during the summer in Western New York that no…

snowball hydrangea

4 ideas for hostess gifts and holiday gifts for gardeners

by Connie Oswald Stofko Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and from there we rush headlong into any number of holiday celebrations. Here are four ideas for thoughtful gifts to give gardeners and non-gardeners alike. ‘Snowball’ hydrangea We’re starting off with the ‘Snowball’ hydrangea because it can serve as a festive accent in your home from Thanksgiving through all the winter holidays. This potted plant will last probably a couple months, according to Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville….

boxelder bug

Don’t worry if you find boxelder bugs in your house; they’re harmless

Have boxelder bugs taken shelter in your home this fall? If so, don’t worry. They are native and won’t harm you, your house or plants. Boxelder bugs don’t bite or sting, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. They aren’t attracted to food the way ants are. They become inactive when the weather turns cold enough. In addition, the boxelder bug doesn’t significantly damage the trees it feeds on, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. The…

sage and parsley in snow by Stofko

4 gardening tasks for early winter

by Connie Oswald Stofko In other years, the middle of November would be a time to think about how to prepare for winter. This year winter has already made its appearance and is taking its sweet time to give us a break. Here are some things you can do now, even if your yard is covered in snow. Harvest herbs Despite the snow, my sage and parsley are still going strong. (The leaves on the sage are a bit limp,…

witch-hazel flowers

Witch-hazel’s fragrant blooms add interest in autumn & winter

If you’re looking for a plant that blooms in your garden now, consider witch-hazel. American witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is a native shrub that produces fragrant blooms in late fall and early winter, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The streamer-like flowers are just starting to appear at this time of year, following the annual loss of the shrub’s leaves. The yellow flowers typically last into December. Since witch-hazel is one of the few plants blooming now,…

wrapping paper

Before you buy wrapping paper, consider this: Can you compost it?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Those glossy wrapping papers are so pretty when they’re on a package, but what happens to the gift wrap after the package is opened? You might think that adding wrapping paper to your compost pile is a great way to use up the paper, but think again. Some wrapping paper can actually contaminate your compost with heavy metals– and that could affect your garden, too. Many kinds of gift wrap contain heavy metals such as lead,…

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