Posted on

Jeff’s Schedule for August 20-28, 2018

I’ll be in Patrick County, VA, the first part of the week, handling family business. Then I’m headed back to Matthews for more consultations, farm work, and research. For the weekend, I’m headed to Floyd, VA, to help set up my favorite festival of the year – Floyd YogaJam!!!

This Week’s Tip

Some of my favorite foods to grow are melons. This year, I only had room for ‘Burpee Hybrid’ cantaloupes. They looked great, bloomed like crazy, and have lots of fruit. BUT…when I went to harvest the melons, every single one of them had been damaged by some kind of borer, just enough to expose the inner flesh to rot. So far every one I found has been damaged. This is a new challenge for me as I have never encountered this problem in over 30 years as a horticulture professional. I’ve only seen the damage so far, so I don’t have much to work with. My suspicion is the damage is caused by the pickle worm, but I haven’t seen one yet, nor have I found any egg masses on the foliage. As I figure this out, I’ll provide you more information.
Here’s what to look for. Small holes bored into the bloom or the fruit. My experience has been that the damage is on the bottom, so it’s hard to see anything. The rest of the plant is undamaged, and in this case is very healthy, as I wrote earlier. The pickle worm is the larvae of a night flying moth, so that’s hard to see, too.
This kind of challenge is one of the things I like most about gardening and farming. Even after 30 years, I get to learn new things. So far from being frustrated, I am excited to learn something new!

Upcoming classes

Sustainable Ag 103, July 26 – September 20, 2018. 6-9PM
Lomax Incubator Farm, Atando Road, Concord, NC
This class is a part of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Agripreneur Academy. If you want to learn to cultivate an income through growing food, flowers, fiber, fuel, pharmaceuticals, and fermented beverages (unfermented ones, too), then come learn my “Cash Crop” method. Contact me for more details.

Skillpop class: Fall Gardening Basics, August 15 (sold out) & August 29, 2018 630-830PM
Renfrow Farm, 409 W Charles Street, Matthews, NC.
With a bit of planning and knowledge, you can enjoy eating something from your garden 365 days of the year in Charlotte’s mild climate. Learn how to extend your gardening season into the fall and winter by growing veggies such as broccoli, kale, carrots, garlic, onions, and many more! Utilize these principles for early spring (February and March) gardening as well! Details here for the 8/29 class.

Fall Vegetable Gardening Monday, September 10, 2018 630-930PM
Lomax Incubator Farm, Atando Road, Concord, NC
This is a new location for The Successful Garden Series. In Piedmont NC, we can continue the planting and harvest of food through the Fall and onto the winter months. It surprises many people just how long our growing season is, especially when your help it along with row covers and tunnel growing. More details here.

Home Composting, Tuesday, September 11, 2018 630-830PM
Renfrow Farm, 409 W Charles Street, Matthews, NC
Compost is a great addition to any garden. It solves so many garden problems simply by adding organic matter to the soil. It’s easy to make, doesn’t need a fancy bin, and keeps food scraps out of the landfill. We’ll look at a simple compost system that will let you create lots of great garden soil. Here are the details.

Home Composting, Tuesday, October 3, 2018 630-930PM
Lomax Incubator Farm, Atando Road, Concord, NC
This is our second class at our new location. Compost is a great addition to any garden. It solves so many garden problems simply by adding organic matter to the soil. It’s easy to make, doesn’t need a fancy bin, and keeps food scraps out of the landfill. We’ll look at a simple compost system that will let you create lots of great garden soil. Here are the details.

Edible Landscapes, Tuesday, October 9, 630-830PM
Renfrow Farm, 409 W Charles Street, Matthews, NC We tend to look at our food crops through a single purpose lens. How much food will this plant yield? But many of our fruits and vegetables look great in the garden! Come learn how to add these plants to our landscapes. We’ll feed our souls beautiful gardens while we feed our bodies good food. Details and registration here.

Where I’ll Be

Monday & Tuesday, August 20-21, 2018 Patrick County VA
I’m working on some private projects and conducting some family business.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 Matthews, NC
I’ll be at the farm, working in the Display Garden and the peanut project.

Thursday, August 23, 2018 Sustainable Ag 103 600-900PM
Lomax Farm, Atando Road, Concord, NC
Sustainable Ag 103 began July 26. Contact me for details.
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 hot, humid weather. Closed toed shoes are required on the farm. This is a hands on class. Be prepared for most of the class to be in the field. Your own water bottle is recommended, as is sunscreen and a hat.

Friday & Saturday, August 24-25, 2018 Floyd YogaJam
I always help set up for YogaJam, and this year is no exception. Check out the festival website here.

How Can I Help You?

Summer is great for spending time in the garden, not just working, but enjoying your garden. Feed your body good food from the garden. Feed your mind new knowledge as you learn more about nature. Feed your soul just by watching things grow. All this while having a beautiful place to sit and enjoy coffee before breakfast or a glass of wine in the evening. Get the kids outside and away from “the screen”. Decompress after a hectic day on the job. The movement and exertion of gardening has long been considered a beneficial physical activity, and you get food or flowers as a result!

If you’re not getting those benefits from your garden, right now is the time to change that. I can help you evaluate your home landscape and find the right landscape for your family. In a one hour consultation, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and teach you some cool shortcuts that make gardening more fun and interesting. If you’re interested in enjoying your garden even more, contact me here.

Organic farming has seen tremendous growth over the last few years, even while other sectors of agriculture have slumped. 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.

As a former Small Business Center Director in NC, I can tell you that these are times of great opportunity for small business owners. Many small businesses can be started for as little as $100! To take advantage of these opportunities, strategic planning is essential. 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!!!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Leave a Reply