orange and red peppers

Inflation: Ideas for growing food in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Maybe you haven’t noticed, but food prices are going up and may continue to rise. Food plants may be a good investment right now. To deal with inflation, consider growing vegetables, herbs or fruit that: You are really going to eat Are expensive to buy You can share with others Plant what you like to eat I used to have a large section of garden filled with chives. They grow easily and get a pretty purple…

heirloom squash at Urban Roots in Buffalo NY

Heirloom & specialty squash at Urban Roots: decorative & tasty

by Connie Oswald Stofko Instead of placing a common pumpkin outside as a decoration, you can use an eye-catching heirloom or specialty squash, said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St., Buffalo. “The bonus with these is that they are beautiful for decorating, and then delicious to eat,” she said. “They come in great shapes and different colors. They’re great on tables.” When she displays hers outside, she leaves them out until after…

composite image for Growing Gowanda event

Turning Gowanda brownfields into tourist destination, agri-hub

by Connie Oswald Stofko Gowanda, a once-industrial village left with 18 contaminated or underutilized properties, is working to revitalize itself by becoming a destination for agri-tourism and a hub for agriculture businesses. Not only that, it aims to reinforce and strengthen all the agriculture in this region. Find out more and get a taste of agri-tourism at Growing Gowanda from 5 p.m. until dark this Friday, Sept. 10 at 10 Industrial Place, Village of Gowanda. It will be set up…

flowering dogwood

Trees with flowers, fruit & nuts offered in state, county sales

Find trees to fit your landscape in the annual seedling sales held by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and by local counties. Each sale has different offerings. In addition to tree seedlings, some counties offer shrubs, wildflower seeds, ferns and supplies for your plants. See details on the DEC sale here. See sales in these counties: Cattaraugus Chautauqua Erie Genesee Niagara Orleans (See page 5 of the newsletter.) Trees with flowers, fruit & nuts Here are…

seeds

New seed library for WNY opens; it’s free!

by Connie Oswald Stofko The WNY Seed Library–the first free seed library of its kind in Western New York– has opened in Amherst. “There was no place in Western New York where you can get seeds for free,” said Brenda Snyder, who started working on the WNY Seed Library in June 2018. Food security is one of her goals. She feels that no one should go without food because they can’t afford it. The seed library aims to provide heirloom…

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…