Local horticulture opportunities set

I hope this fall-like weather is not a sign that winter will be arriving early.

This weather is great for football viewing in the horseshoe this weekend but I would like at little warmer. At least we have no frost threats and it looks like it will be perfect weather to attend the Clinton County Corn Festival this weekend.

If growing tomatoes is an interest to you, Guy and Sandy Ashmore at 394 State Route 380 Clarksville, invite you to attend their NCR-SARE field day at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17.

Guy and Sandy received a SARE grant to look at the “Economic implications of using tomato suckers to produce late season tomato plants instead of starting late season plants from seed.” They will present what they learned from growing these sucker starts in a high tunnel environment.

Guy and Sandy along with their family are organic farmers and have been for many years in Clinton County. They produce vegetables, eggs, meat turkeys and cut flowers and market at their farm as well as certain farm markets in the Southwest Ohio area.

The grant they received, as I said, was a producer Grant from NCR–SARE. North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) is one of four regional offices that run the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, a nationwide grants and education program to advance sustainable innovation to American agriculture.

NCR-SARE offers competitive grants and educational opportunities for producers, scientists, educators, institutions, organizations and others exploring sustainable agriculture in America’s Midwest.

NCR-SARE has awarded more than $40 million worth of competitive grants to farmers and ranchers, researchers, educators, public and private institutions, nonprofit groups, and others exploring sustainable agriculture in 12 states.

Project abstracts can be found by searching the SARE project database. Congratulations to the Ashmore Family as one of the Producer/Rancher grant recipients in 2017.

Another program locally to consider attending this fall/winter will be the Clinton County Master Gardener educational program.

The classes will be offered during the day from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday’s starting October 10rd and running through Dec.5 (10 sessions offered, you must attend all sessions to obtain the 50 hours of training required). The sessions will be held at OSU Extension, Clinton County in Wilmington.

The Master Gardener Volunteer training program is a practical and intensive training designed to educate participants in the following horticultural topics:

• Soils and Fertilizers

• Botany

• Herbaceous & Woody Ornamentals

• Weeds

• Plant Pathology

• Entomology

• Plant Propagation

• Integrated Pest Management

• Backyard Fruit & Vegetable Production

• Houseplants

• Lawn Maintenance

• Tree Identification

• And much more!

The Master Gardener Volunteer training program is open to anyone wanting to increase their knowledge on a wide array of horticultural topics and is open to residents from any county in Ohio.

Our Clinton County Master Gardeners play an important role in our community, helping with beautification projects at the parks, working with Habitat for Humanity, the local libraries youth education programs as well sponsoring such events as the annual plant sale and hort workshops in May, and hosting a pollinator scavenger hunt for families and kids to participate in along with the help and support of several Clinton County businesses.

Master Gardener Volunteers also help in the Clinton County extension office answering gardening questions. They provide educational presentations to garden clubs, can assist with 4-H youth garden projects, write garden columns for the newspaper and also host and conduct many other educational meetings and workshops for homeowners to participate in.

Becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer is an option for each individual intern. If you would like to become certified as a Master Gardener, after completing the program and final exam, individuals will be asked to volunteer a minimum of 50 hours by Dec 2018.

Individuals volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for area residents through OSU Extension. Volunteer hours can be completed in your county of residence or where you hold membership.

An application, references, background check and fingerprinting are required for all OSU Volunteers.

The cost for the entire course is $150 per person if registered on or before Sept. 30. Registrations received after Sept. 30 will be $175. Once trained, if you complete the 50 hours of volunteer time by Dec. 31, 2018, $50 will be refunded.

For more information contact our office at 937-382-0901 or check us out at the Clinton County Extension website at clinton.osu.edu. We also have a Facebook page – check it out at OSUE Clinton County Master Gardeners.

Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for 29 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.

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Tony Nye

OSU Extension