Free workshops and demonstrations at Carroll County Farm Day on July 26
Are you interested in hobby farming, in backyard chickens, do you want to learn about bees, or how to felt with wool? Maybe you've even thought about raising a few piglets?! These are just a few of the great workshops UNH Cooperative Extension will be sponsoring this year at Farm Day, featuring a team of local experts, from bee keepers, to chicken farmers. The farming-expert you're looking for will be at Farm Day with a hands-on demonstration with Q & A to follow. UNH Cooperative Extension trained Master Gardeners will also be on hand to answer gardening questions, from pesky garden bugs, to identifying what's blooming in your garden. If you've always been envious of your neighbor's yard, here's your chance to ask the experts.
Everyone will find something of interest on this day full of fun events, workshops and markets at the County Farm Complex on 30 County Farm Road off Route 171 in Ossipee. The event is sponsored by Carroll County, UNH Cooperative Extension. For more information about Carroll County Farm Day you can see the full schedule of events on the UNH Cooperative Extension Carroll County calendar on the web at http://extension.unh.edu/Agriculture/Carroll-County-Farm-Day or contact the office in Conway at 447-3834 for assistance.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 05:22
Year of The Cucumber
Tips for Growing Great Cukes
Unbeknownst to many gardeners, 2014 is the Year of the Cucumber by declaration of the National Garden Bureau, which annually selects a versatile vegetable both adaptable and genetically diverse. More commonly acknowledged is that cukes are among the mostly widely grown occupants of the home garden, with hundreds of varieties available from seed companies across the globe.
A branch of the family Cucurbitaceae, cousin to squash, pumpkin, melon and gourds, Cucumis sativis arrived in the America with Columbus, and its gene pool has diversified ever since. In general terms, cucumbers are placed in two major categories, either slicing or pickling, based on use, and can be further classified by plant habit, either bush or vining.
In recent decades, plant geneticists have both enriched and complicated the process of variety selection. It is now possible to enjoy incredible yields in very finite spaces, to grow cukes in containers on your patio, and mature a crop under row covers without the benefit of wind or insects to pollinate the crop. But deciphering seed catalog descriptions sometimes seems to require an advanced degree. Would you prefer a gynoecious fruit resistant to mosaic? A parthenocarpic variety with an absence of cucurbitacin? In reality, the principles are pretty straight forward, and a cucumber glossary will help you wade through the verbiage.
Monoecious cucumbers produce male and female flowers on the same plant. All open pollinated and some hybrids cultivars are monoecious, and offer the advantage that the pollen and the fruit producing flowers are on the same vine. The disadvantage is usually a later, slower production of fruit.
Gynoecious cucumbers produce predominantly all female flowers which have the potential to bear fruit. The advantage is a higher and more concentrated yield, but the downside is that there must be a plant nearby which produces male flowers to pollinate the female flowers. When you choose a gynoecious cucumber, there will be pollinator seeds in the seed packet. The pollinator plants produce the pollen for the "all female" plants.
Plant breeders offered a new twist on gynoecious cucumbers with the development of parthenocarpic varieties, which produce only female flowers that do not need pollen to set fruit. Targeted for greenhouse production, these cultivars are also well suited to growing under row covers. The disadvantage is that if the female flowers are pollinated, the fruit can be misshapen with a lump or curve. Suffice to say that it's a good idea to isolate these varieties to one area of your garden to minimize cross pollination.
Tasty Jade, a new parthenocarpic offering from Johnny's Seeds, has been a major hit for me over the past several years. I start seedlings in late April and set them out in the hoop house the first week in May. Trellised up a wire support, the plants have been producing extra sweet cukes for several weeks. Another favorite is Little Leaf, a blocky, parthenocarpic type that produces pickling fruit on plants with half normal-sized leaves, providing easy visibility and harvesting. All America Selections Award winner Diva is a wonderful parthenocarpic variety, too. But there is also a place for traditional favorites like Marketmore, which has been around for decades.
Unfortunately, regardless of genetics, all varieties are plagued by cucumber beetles. Young cucumber plants, along with squash and melons, are especially vulnerable to this pest. Trying to fend them off with a minimal use of pesticides takes a concerted effort, but it is possible.
Adult beetles emerge from the soil in late spring, and nibble on the leaves and stems of tender plants. Adults also lay their eggs at the base of the roots of the plant and then the larvae grow on the roots. Even worse, the beetles spread bacterial wilt from plant to plant, a disease which causes plants to wilt and die before bearing fruit. There are two types of beetles—striped and spotted—but they're equally damaging.
One approach to dealing this these pests is to stagger your planting dates. Seedlings started indoors can be set out at normal planting time. If the plants are big and rugged enough, they'll be better able to withstand damage. As the season progresses, sow different hills a week or ten days apart so your crop won't all be at the most vulnerable stage at the same time.
Covering the crop is another intervention. Reemay is a great choice, a row cover that both excludes beetles and protects young seedlings from wind and extreme temperatures. You'll need to anchor the cover cloth at the edges with soil to keep adult beetles from working their way in.
It is also possible to trap cucumber beetles when plants are in the blossom stage. Beetles gather in the blooms after they have been pollinated and begin to whither and close. Check the blossoms in the evening, gathering those full of beetles and drop in a container of soapy water—just as you might potato or Japanese beetles. Also keep an eye out for later beetle hatches. In most areas, there will be multiple hatches over the course of the summer. And when it comes to cleanup time, get rid of spent vines and plant matter that may be hosting future generations.
When all else fails, rotenone or other pyrethrum products will knock back a cucumber beetle infestation. Like all pesticides, they need to be used with respect and protective clothing and gloves. With an integrated management approach, however, home gardeners may be able to keep these products on the shelf during much of the season while still producing an ample crop of cukes—better for you and your family, and the environment.
Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 02:39
The Mount Washington Valley Radio Control Club will hold it’s second annual Dave Roode Memorial Float Fly at Drew Pond in Intervale on Sunday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Drew Pond is located behind L.A. Drew Inc on Route 16 in Intervale. Look for the yellow feather flag at L.A Drew's.
This unique event proved to be very popular last year with families, children, and model airplane enthusiasts of all ages gathering to watch the model planes and helicopters equipped with floats for water landings, take off, maneuver, swoop, roll, dive, and land on the pond. New this year, a model tugboat will be in charge of performing water rescues of downed planes, along with a two-person kayak if needed.
Drew Pond is a perfect setting with a wide swath of mowed grass along one side of the pond and a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. Spectators are welcome to bring a picnic and lawn chairs. The Mount Washington Valley Radio Control Club will have tents set up offering barbecue lunch including Joe’s Famous Pulled Pork.
There will be a standing display of model airplanes, a model airplane flight simulator for those who wish to test their skills, and a raffle.
Invitations have been sent out to 30 flying clubs around New England. The Mount Washington Valley club expects more planes to be in the air at this year’s event. Last year, hobby pilots from all around New England arrived to test their float flying skills on the pond.
Dave Roode was a long time member of the MWVRCC and past president. At the inaugural event last year Dave acted as the MC with great spirit and enthusiasm. He died unexpectedly the day after the event and the flying club decided to memorialize his spirit and love of the sport with naming this event in his honor.
The Mount Washington Valley Radio Control Club welcomes new members. The club flies year round, from spring until fall at the flying field in Conway, and during the winter indoors at the Bartlett Gym. Members of the Mount Washington Valley Radio Control Club will be on hand and happy to talk about their hobby with anyone interested in learning to fly.
For more information visit www.mwvrcc.com
Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 02:39
BARTLETT – Bartlett Community Preschool is pleased to announce Ann Auger as the new Executive Director/Lead Preschool Teacher. The community is invited to meet Auger at an open house on July 17 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Josiah Bartlett Elementary School.
Ms. Auger is excited to continue the Preschool's reputation for high-quality early child care and education. She looks forward to increasing opportunities for children to learn through nature and integrating their natural curiosity and problem solving abilities into creative play topics and learning activities.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 04:25
The Lovell Historical Society will be presenting its 15th annual antique show with dealers from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts on Sunday July 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kimball-Stanford House on Route 5, directly across from the Lake Kezar Country Club in Lovell.
There will also be a live auction of contemporary items beginning at 11 a.m., conducted by Frank Eastman, regional historian and storyteller. Admission is free and there will be grilled foods, sandwiches, beverages, and dessert items available.
Currently, the items to be auctioned are: 2015 "First Time Golf Membership" to Bridgton Highlands Country Club; season pass to Shawnee Peak Ski Mountain; 200 Gallons Heating Oil; Decorative Sign Bracket from Rod Iron Designs; Two Cords of Seasoned Firewood; Day Rental of a Pontoon Boat on Kezar Lake; Dinner and Show for Four at Quisisana; Steamboat Cruise for Four on Kezar Lake; Framed Print of The White Mountains from Center Lovell by Melanie McGraw; Dinner for Four at Center Lovell Inn; Sterling Silver Bracelet by Harvest Gold; Day of Fly Fishing with Bob Hatch, Registered Maine Fishing Guide; Framed Print of Rooster on Eastman Hill by Roger Williams; Private Beer Dinner and Cellar Tour for Four at Ebenezer's Restaurant & Pub.
If you were unable to attend and would like to bid on an item, just let the society know and someone will bid for you, with a "not to exceed" limit.
There are three raffle items: $100 Gift Certificate for Rosie's Lovell Village Store donated by Tom & Rose McKenzie; $100 gift certificate for the Old Saco Inn; "Our Kezar" signed by photographers Lee Conary, Kenneth Goldman & Kelly Rickards. A book of tickets is priced at $5 for six tickets or $1 per ticket. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase the day of the event and the drawing will be held at 2 p.m.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 04:57
- Roshi Nancy Baker to speak at Conway Community Sangha in July
- Volunteers work to improve Madison Library gardens
- Household Hazardous Waste: A Common Problem, A Simple Solution
- North Conway Public Library annual book sale this weekend
- Volunteers needed for set-up of North Conway Library book sale July 11-13
- Brian Wiggin and Ken Rancourt to talk on local cemeteries July 8