Posted on

Jeff’s Schedule for September 3-8, 2018

In my travels, I’ve noticed that fall color is starting to show in some of the trees. I first noticed this in some Sycamores in Greensboro, NC. Seems a little early to me, but possibly heat and irregular precipitation might be pushing things a bit.

This Week’s Tip

Since fall leaf color leads to lots of leaves falling from the trees, it’s time to set up your leaf composting area. I hope you’re composting already, but I’ve been told composting is “something that your Grandpa does”. I am a grandpa, and I do, of course, compost. I have to admit, though, I was a little taken aback when I heard this. Composting is such an integral part of organic gardening. With all of the interest in organics, I assumed composting was increasing through association. Since it is not, I’m teaching my class on making and using quality compost a couple of times this fall.
So what exactly IS compost? Simply put, it’s decomposed organic matter. Anything that is carbon-based will decompose, so anything carbon-based will make compost. This makes leaves a great source of compost. In time, leaf compost makes great soil when added to gardens and beds. So instead of blowing leaves to the curb to be picked up, why not compost them?
Composting leaves is very simple. Chop ‘em up and pile ‘em up. Let ‘em rot. It really is that simple. Anything we do only speeds up the process or makes it a little neater. That’s where bins come in. A compost bin confines the chopped, piled leaves and allows all the critters that do the work to be more efficient. Bins need not be fancy. Some wire and some posts are all you need. Chicken wire, hardware cloth, or field fence work fine as sides for bins. Pallets and stacked tree saplings work well, too, but should be wired together. I’ve seen concrete blocks stacked neatly to make a bin. Even metal or plastic drums work once the original contents are removed and the barrel cleaned out. They all work, because the bin materials aren’t central to the process.
You can, of course, buy a composter. There are all kinds out there, and they all produce compost. I will say that the volume of leaf material in the fall dictates a larger bin, and that usually means a D-I-Y bin. We’ll talk about bin construction in my Home Composting classes. Details are below.
More on leaf composting next week.

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.

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

Tuesday,September 4, 2018, Matthews, NC
I’ll be working on my business (as opposed to in my business) in the afternoon.

Thursday, September 6, 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, September 7, 2018 Matthews, NC
I’m available for home landscape consultations. Contact me here.

Saturday, September 8, Matthews, NC
This time of year I may be at Renfrow Hardware, working at the Farm, or simply enjoying a coffee at Brakeman’s. Regardless of where I am, you can always stop by and find out more ways to enjoy your garden. Come see me!

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