Odds and Ends

This year we have had a seemingly endless string of cloudy, rainy, cool days. In my gardens this translates into slugs (lots and lots of ’em), weeds, Japanese beetles, and cucumber beetles. So far we have avoided the dreaded late blight which was apparently shipped into the northeast on some tomato plants. Even though I started my plants from seeds I’m keeping a close eye on them because there are a lot of gardens in my area and the spores travel through the air. If this fungus is allowed to spread it could result in significant loss of tomato and potato crops for the season. Of course the cool weather means an abundance of leafy greens but it has left my warm weather loving veggies looking sad and lethargic. The flowers seem to be loving the frequent shots of water though and as long as I can keep the beetles from devouring them the colors, varieties and height is remarkable.
On another note entirely…If you are a farmer in Vermont that also has an artistic calling you might be interested in the following:

Are you a farmer? Are you an artist? Are you a farming artist? If you answered YES to these questions, the Center for Sustainable Agriculture would like to invite you to show your work in Bounty: a Celebration of Vermont’s Farming Artists.
This project is still in the planning stages, but there is a possibility that it will run for up to 12 months and travel around the state. The subject of the work is not limited to farming or food! Work can be 2-D or 3-D. In addition, there will be opportunities for short readings and music at the opening and closing of the show. Finished, framed work is preferred when appropriate to the medium.
If you, or a farmer you know are interested in being a part of this celebration, please contact Rachel Schattman at the Center for Sustainable Agriculture, UVM Extension (rschattm@uvm.edu, 802-656-9140).

Finally, if you live in the northeast and you are planning to apply for a SARE Farmer grant now is the time to get started. I know it seems like a really long way to the December deadline but competitive grant proposals take some planning and thought to develop. You might start now by making some notes about potential project ideas as they come to you. Then this fall you can flesh out the idea and begin to recruit technical advisors. By the deadline you’ll have a really competitive proposal.

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