Spring Creek Homesteading Update – May 22, 2013

Summer Reskilling Workshops

June 1 – Planting a Pollinator Garden & Building a Bee Box with Justin Wheeler – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 301 South Garner Ave. ($12 suggested donation. Call 237-0996 or email to sign up)

July 6 – Building Rain Barrels with Justin Wheeler – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 301 South Garner Ave. ($12 suggested donation. Call 237-0996 or email to sign up)

July 13 – Building a Backyard Chicken Coop with Woody Wilson – Saturday, 9 a.m. t0 1 p.m. Host family needed! If you’d like to host the workshop in your backyard, please let me know. The materials cost will be $200 for lumber and hardware. The workshop instructor and participants will provide the labor, and you’ll keep the finished coop. ($12 suggested donation for participants. Call 237-0996 or email to sign up)

August 3 – PCO FarmFest Homesteader Workshop Series:

  • 1:00 p.m. – Using Cover Crops in Your Backyard Garden with Gene Bazan – Farmers, particularly organic farmers, use cover crops to improve soil structure, build fertility, control weeds and pests, attract beneficials, prevent soil loss and retain moisture. They look great, too. Cover crops realize these benefits at monetary, environmental and muscular costs lower than the industrial alternatives. Backyard gardeners can use cover crops too. In this introduction you will learn the varieties of cover crops, sources of seeds, how and when to use them, and how to incorporate their use within your food-growing activities. Gene Bazan and Tania Slawecki have been serious backyard food growers since 1997 when they took a bio-intensive mini-farming workshop with John Jeavons of Ecology Action in Willets, California. They have given talks and workshops at PASA, to local gardeners through Centre Region Parks and Recreation, through the Projects in Sustainable Living course at Penn State’s Center for Sustainability. They have posted considerable information on their website.
  • 2:00 p.m. – Gardening for Pollinators & Native Bee Conservation with Justin Wheeler – Did you know that there are over 4000 species of bees native to North America, and that 1 of 3 bites of food we eat are dependent on these pollinators?  Like honeybees however, our native bees are in peril.  Loss of habitat and other environmental issues have lead to major declines in our native bee populations.  In this presentation we’ll explore the difference between native bees and honey bees, and discuss simple gardening practices you can adopt to help protect these beneficial pollinators.  Justin will also discuss native bee nesting habitats, and demonstrate simple and attractive nesting houses you can make at home. Justin Wheeler is a Penn State Extension Master Gardener of Centre County.  Justin provides educational outreach concerning pollinator gardening practices and issues of environmental sustainability through the Snetsinger Butterfly Garden at Tudek Park.  An area of special concern is preserving our native bee population by providing habitat and pollinator friendly gardening practices.
  • 3:00 p.m. – Backyard Chickens with Nellie Bhattarai – Communities across our country are realizing the importance of bringing our food source closer to home.  Chicken ordinances have been recently been created in large cities like Atlanta and smaller ones like State College and surrounding townships, which allow for a few backyard birds on residential property.  In this program we’ll discuss the two primary reasons (education and nutrition) that our family has chickens, issues related to health and safety of keeping chickens, and the importance of communication and respectful balance within your community. Nellie Bhattarai is a local horticultural therapist and mom.  Upbringing in rural PA, education at Penn State, and service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal helped to expose her to ideas and practices in sustainability.  As a board member for the Harris Township Community Garden, she leads an effort toward educating our youth, encouraging a closer connection with our food source, and building community relationships through gardening.  Our home is a great example of how you can do a lot with a little space…raising chickens and rabbits, vegetable and flower gardens, mushroom logs, composting, berry bushes, and still have lots of space for a sandbox and a place to play!
  • 4:00 p.m. – Canning Summer Fruits with Josh Lambert – The growing interest in local foods and gardening have spurred a similar interest in home food preservation.  Home canning can provide a safe, cost-effective, and tasty way to preserve fruits and vegetables for consumption throughout the year.  This program will provide novice canners basic information about how to safely can high acid foods such as peaches, applesauce, pickles, and jams.  Josh will provide an introduction into relevant issues of food safety, information about what supplies you will need and where to get them, as well as a demonstration of the process of canning high acid foods with a boiling water bath canner. Josh Lambert is the President of the Board of Directors of Spring Creek Homesteading Fund and has been a home canner for more than 10 years.  Josh is also an Associate Professor of Food Science at Penn State.  He has experience with both water bath and pressure canning fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies.

Spring Creek Homesteading Information Resources

  • 5.16.13 SCHF Update (Monthly E-Newsletter) – Includes our first homesteader survey. If you receive the e-newsletter in your email inbox, please fill out at least the first question in the survey: “Do you want to continue receiving the Spring Creek Homesteading e-newsletter?” Starting with the July 2013 issue, e-newsletters will only be sent to people who have answered “Yes” to that first survey question.
  • UPDATE – If you are not already a subscriber, you can subscribe here.

New! Editorial Guidelines:

  • Weekly Blog Post: Within a year, I plan to transition the online blog to a paper newsletter published weekly on a hand-powered letterpress printer and distributed through local-focused downtown State College businesses and organizations. (Heading to Iowa for a Ladies of Letterpress conference in late June). In the meantime (until the printing system is ready to go) I’ll continue to post weekly Wednesday compilations of local sustainability news here at the blog. If you have an event or announcement for upcoming Wednesday editions of the Homesteaders’ Quarto, the submission deadline is Tuesday at noon each week. Announcements should be up to 200 words, and include the event title, brief description, date, time, location, cost and contact for more information.
  • Monthly E-Newsletter: Starting in May 2013, e-newsletters will be published once a month, around the 15th. If you have an event or announcement for upcoming monthly editions of Spring Creek Homesteading Newsthe submission deadline is the 10th of the month. Announcements should be up to 200 words, and include the event title, brief description, date, time, location, cost and contact for more information.
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One Response to Spring Creek Homesteading Update – May 22, 2013

  1. Jenny says:

    I’m quite the luddite, but I am having some trouble with opening the survey. Am I doing something wrong or are others having issues, too?

    Editor’s Note: The link is currently only available to ConstantContact newsletter subscribers. To add your address to the subscriber’s list, click here: http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin/ea?v=001gQG01YnT_CDPaXYPD2M2iQ%3D%3D

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