Master Gardener course returning soon

  • Posted: Friday, May 16, 2014 12:11 a.m.
At last year’s Farmers’ Market, children from St. John’s Child Development Center toured the market.
At last year’s Farmers’ Market, children from St. John’s Child Development Center toured the market.

SALISBURY — What in the world does a horticulture extension agent do?

This is a question I often receive after I have been out of the office for a little while. Some clients don’t realize that we have to travel for trainings and meetings, work weekends or late nights, and we are not always in the office. Last week, I attended the Extension Master Gardener Conference and Agent training, so there were many questions that had to be answered this week. Here are a few of the latest dilemmas:


Question: Will you have another Extension Master Gardener Course?

Answer: Yes, we are planning to have one. Currently the manual is being updated. Our office is waiting for the release of the manual and we are hoping it will completed by this fall. The manual will be a great guide and also provide some updated and new chapters which will include natives, growing organically and better wildlife management techniques.

Question: What can you use mint for?

Answer: We receive lots of questions about using herbs. Mint can be tough for some but it is a great addition for many dishes and drinks. You can use crushed mint and sliced strawberries to flavor your water. It is also great in Greek dishes, using mint in a lamb burger is delicious. Using any type of herb can change the flavor of your recipe and make something boring turn into something fabulous. Speaking of culinary dishes, our local family consumer science agent will be having numerous Lunch & Learn programs throughout the year and one will be Infused Waters being held Aug. 28. Check out www.rowanextension.com for more details.

Question: Something is attacking my cabbage plants, what is it?

Answer: This is the cabbage looper, they love many plants such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, and that is just to name a few. This is one reason why it is so important to rotate crops and clean up the debris after every growing season. The cabbage looper pupates on the debris and if you do not remove it from your garden, you will help continue the life cycle. Cooperative Extension recommends at least a three-year crop rotation — not planting the same family of vegetables in the same location for at least three years. (See related content in Darrell Blackwelder’s column).

Question: You mentioned the farmers’ market last week, will they have any programs for families this year?

Answer: Oh, yes. The Salisbury Farmers’ Market is in the works right now selecting dates for some special activities, cooking demonstrations, cooking competitions, children’s activities and more. One item that is coming up this week (Saturday) is the Shortcake Day. The Salisbury Farmers’ Market, along with Girl Scout Troop 535, will have a Strawberry Shortcake day. The troop will sell the homemade strawberry shortcakes for $5. Who can beat fresh strawberries and homemade cakes? I hear the quantities are limited ,so you may want to go early.

For more information on pests, Extension Master Gardeners and activities at the Salisbury Farmers’ Market, contact your local Extension agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970. Or, visit some of the websites below:

Extension Master Gardener Volunteer: http://www.ncstategardening.org

Rowan County Extension: http://www.rowanextension.com

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