Well, Spring seems to have taken hold of Piedmont NC. Everything is lush and green and there is a lot to do. As a recovering perfectionist, I can tell you that stressing out over what you don’t get to will only drain your energy. Make sure that you see what you accomplished every day, including what happens in the garden. If you didn’t get to a particular task, appreciate the abundance of the garden and landscape. So much beauty occurs with no assistance from humans. Taking this approach to your gardening helps you enjoy your garden more, or at least, to appreciate it more. And that’s the key to becoming a successful gardener!
This week’s tip
I’ll start this week’s tip section with a couple of shameless plugs for my classes, since they tie in nicely with the information. I’ll be teaching “Organic Gardening 101” at Renfrow Farm on May 8, starting at 630PM. It’s a primer on organic gardening techniques and philosophy. You can sign up here. Beginning on May 15 is “Sustainable Agriculture 102” at Lomax Farm in Concord, NC. This is a series of classes based on organic principles. You can join us even if you didn’t take 101. It’s a hands on course that will definitely get you grounded in organics. Here’s more info.
Now, this week’s tip. Remember that I wrote last week that organic gardening is all about creating. Creating healthy soil, creating habitat for beneficial insects, and creating plant diversity. Beneficial insects help us in so many ways. As pollinators, they help us grow our food. Predators consume many of the pest insects that we struggle to manage. Parasite insects help with insect control as well. You can attract and support all of these critters by doing things that are beneficial to the garden anyway.
Herbs and flowers provide shelter and food for beneficial insects. Bunch grasses, preferably ornamental grasses, provide shelter for beetles that eat stink bugs and other pests. “Chunky” wood chip or bark mulches give beetles a place to hunt the juvenile stink bugs that live in the mulch. It’s quite simple, really. Plant more herbs, grow daisies and yarrow, add a couple of grasses, and mulch the garden with old wood chips or bark. If you want more details on any of these approaches, come to one of my classes, or schedule a consultation at your home. Here’s how to do that.
Here’s where I’ll be this week.
Monday April 30, I’m in Matthews, working on my business, as opposed to in my business.
Tuesday, May 1, Renfrow Farm and environs
After another rainy spell, I’ve got some catching up to do. If you miss me at the farm, contact me here
Wednesday, May 2, On the road
Thursday, May 3, 2018 Farm Business Management Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro, NC **This is a curriculum course and registration is closed for the semester. I teach Farm Business Management at CCCC, based on my work, Cash Crop: Cultivating Profit In Your Farm or Food Business. You can cultivate profit in the same way you cultivate your crops. Good planning helps you work ON your business as much as you work IN your business. Creating and analyzing enterprise and whole farm budgets cultivate the farm’s operation in order to grow your farm’s profits.
This class can be offered at your community college, too. Contact me to find out how.
Thursday, May 3, 2018 6:00-9:00PM Sustainable Agriculture 101
Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm, Atando Road, Concord, NC Registration is now CLOSED. Sustainable Ag 102, Field & Greenhouse Management, begins May 17. More info here.
Demand for sustainable or organically grown products continues to increase. USDA Certified Organic produce is in short supply at all major grocery stores. Opportunities abound IF you can produce a quality product, grow in sufficient quantities, and know the proper marketing channels. I’ve been teaching farmers to cultivate profit since 1996. Come join us at the Lomax Farm to learn how to grow good food in a certified organic farm. We’re going to be on a working farm, so dress appropriately. That includes dressing for wet, cold weather.
Friday, May 4, I’m available for home and Farm consultations. Contact me here.
Saturday, May 5, 2018 9AM-2PM, In the Greenhouse at Renfrow’s!
Renfrow Hardware, 188 North Trade Street, Matthews, NC
More info here.
Come see me for all your gardening needs, from fresh transplants, great products for the garden, or the best selection of seeds in the Charlotte region! Got a problem? Bring it to us. Need to understand a soil test recommendation? We’ll interpret it for you. Come see us!
How can I help you?
Spring is a great time to take stock of what’s going on in the garden and landscape. As new growth sprouts all over, new ideas do, too. But you may not know if they will work. That’s where I come in. I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested in a home landscape consultation, contact me here.
I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here
In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.
Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener! Hope to see you sometime this week!
Peace, Grace, & Love,