seeds

Free seed library starting in Amherst for organic veggies, herbs, flowers

by Connie Oswald Stofko Brenda Snyder was looking for a seed bank–a place where seeds are collected and shared–but she couldn’t find one in Western New York. “There were no seed banks I could even drive to,” Snyder said. “I thought, ‘How is that even possible?’ I decided somebody just needed to take the bull by the horns and get it rolling.” Working with other volunteers, she is setting up the WNY Seed Library, a free seed library for anyone who wants…

stinging nettle

Stinging nettle: weed or crop?

by Paul Hetzler, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County If you have a nettle patch, put away the weed killer and consider yourself lucky to have this tasty plant. Many gardeners don’t like stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) because they are painful to touch. The plants sprout little hypodermic needles on their stems, leaves and even flowers. These glass-like silica-based needles, called trichomes, inject a mixture of irritating chemicals upon contact. So why would you risk putting it in your…

chokeberry

Plantasia preview: Plants that look good & taste good, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko We buy plants with our eyes, said Ken Parker, CNLP, native plant expert and consultant. But when we choose plants that are edible as well as beautiful, we make our garden functional. “Plants are not just for aesthetics,” Parker said. And the edible plants that he recommends also attract pollinators, “so it’s win, win, win.” In this article, he shares some recommendations for trees and plants that that not only look attractive in our landscape, they…

sweet corn from Goodman's Farm Market Niagara Falls

Sweet corn, tomatoes now in season; you can continue to plant, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s what so many of us wait for all year: homegrown sweet corn and tomatoes. They’re in season now and you can get them at Goodman’s Farm Market, 2227 Cayuga Dr. Ext., Niagara Falls. Other homegrown produce includes blueberries, green beans, cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, Swiss chard, zucchini, summer squash and beets. You can also buy gardening supplies and plants, including hanging baskets, annuals and perennials. A large selection of hibiscus plants is available and they’re blooming….

Learn about braiding, drying white corn at husking bee

by Connie Oswald Stofko A reader once asked me if only Native Americans were allowed to grow white corn. “It’s our traditional food, but anybody can grow it,” said Layfayette Williams, project assistant with the Food is Medicine Project of the Seneca Nation, which aims to improve people’s health through native plants and cultural initiatives. You can learn more about growing white corn and braiding it for drying during a corn husking bee to be held from 1 to 7…

apples from Goodman's in Niagara Falls

Ship homegrown apples to out-of-town friends

There’s nothing like a crisp, juicy apple from Niagara County. Goodman’s Farm Market can help you give out-of-town friends and relatives a taste of home by shipping them locally grown apples. These lovely apples are fresh, grown in Niagara County and not waxed. Your loved ones will enjoy every bite. They can also add other homegrown items such as local honey, pears and Platter’s chocolates. These packages make a great corporate gift, too. For details, call (716) 731-3231or stop into…

boy holding a Rhode Island Red hen

You can raise chickens in your backyard; find out more in two classes

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Chickens are easy to take care of, they don’t cost a lot and they can be good pets, said Amanda Henning, Agriculture and Food Systems Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County. But before you run out and get a bunch of fuzzy chicks, find out what is really involved in raising chickens. Henning, who raises chickens herself, will teach two classes on “Backyard Chickens” in the small meeting room of the 4-H Training Center of…

fall decorations at Goodman's

Decorate for fall by making a large still life; get fresh produce, too

Your perennials may be waning, but there are many ways you can have color and interest in your yard during autumn. One idea is to make a large still life. Start with some hay bales from Goodman’s Farm Market, 2227 Cayuga Drive Extension, Niagara Falls. Add other colorful items from Goodman’s that evoke the season, such as pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn. Arrange the items loosely on top of the bales or beside the bales, or group the items in…

corn growing in field in Western New York

Want to make the leap to farming? Online classes available from Cornell

Have you ever considered making the leap from gardening to farming? The Northeast Beginning Farmers Project at Cornell University has created a series of online courses for those thinking of becoming a farmer as well as for beginning farmers. The interactive online courses run from five to seven weeks. Courses start in October, November, January and February. See the schedule here. Courses address aspects of growing as well as the business end of farming. Courses are $200 each. The first course…

strawberries-from-Goodman's-Farm-Market

Local strawberries are in season; get them quick

Home-grown strawberries last only about two weeks, and by the time some people realize strawberries are available, the season is over. Get local strawberries quick while they’re still available at Goodman’s Farm Market, 2227 Cayuga Dr. Ext., Niagara Falls, NY.  They carry home-grown fruits and vegetables in season, as well as honey and other local products. Swiss chard and leaf lettuce are in season now. There’s still time to plant flowering perennials and vegetables, and Goodman’s has a good selection…