Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fair Exhibits inspire Master Gardener Class

Gail Webb (Master Gardener), Angela Martin, Belindia Brown, and Judia Gentry.
The theme of the 86th Putnam County Fair was “Tennessee Pride”.  And pride was exhibited!  After touring the commercial booths, one guest exclaimed “…to think we have all of this in Cookeville.”  Produce and farm products demonstrated capabilities of local gardeners and farmers.  Arts, crafts, photography, and culinary pursuits made us proud of hometown talents.  As always, Putnam County Master Gardeners blended their exhibit with that of the Putnam County Fair.  Throughout their “Enchanted Gardens” they showed Tennessee Pride comes from our history and the resources of Putnam County.
Denise Blodgett, Isabella Barona, Adam Boutillette (Master Gardener), 
and Lisbeth Fortuno (Master Gardener)

As usual, the Master Gardener Building was a place where people congregated and talked.  Many guests had been to the Women’s Building where they had seen the fantastic exhibits of canned vegetables.  Thus, as they observed the historic Mrs. McGregor’s Kitchen in the exhibit, their conversation gravitated to canning.  They wanted to know: what was the best technique for this vegetable or another vegetable, do you cook the vegetable before you can it, is a hot-water bath sufficient or should one use a pressure cooker, what pressure, how long, etc.  Invariably they asked, “Will Master Gardeners teach a class on canning vegetables?” 

Master Gardeners is a component of the University of Tennessee Extension and is responsible for educating the general public on gardening related topics.  Working with Michelle Parrott, Nutritionist and Home Economist Extension Agent, Master Gardeners decided to offer a class on canning vegetables using both hot-water bath and pressure canning techniques.  The class and demonstrations will be at the UT Extension Building between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 25.  Enroll at the University of Tennessee Extension Office (900 South Walnut Avenue, Cookeville) (526-4561).  There will be a $5.00 fee to cover expenses.  Instructors will be Master Gardeners: Bonnie Coburn, Rosemary Ponte, and Dimple Stewart.

Of course, the canned vegetables exhibited at the Putnam County Fair are the best of the best.  However they all follow the same basic time honored techniques recommended by UT research.  Those exhibitors have honed the science into an art form resulting in a “Tennessee Pride” that is a part of our history, is a part of our present as seen in the exhibits, and will be a part of our future as people learn the science and art of canning.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The 2012 Putnam County Fair is officially underway!

Good Evening Friends,

The 2012 Putnam County Fair is underway!  Please make sure to stop by and see the Master Gardener Fair Building and admire the beauty created by so many.  Some of our younger visitors are pictured here with their scavenger hunts.  There's something for everyone to see and enjoy.  Please stay tuned for more photos from the fair!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Master Gardeners to Teach Class on Food Preservation

Putnam County is a gardener’s paradise.  The climate is moderate.  Soils are generally good.  Rainfall is adequate.  Thus, our landscape is beautiful and our vegetable gardens produce in abundance.  An old saying in the Upper Cumberland is “we eat what we can and what we can’t we can.”  In addition there is great gratification in “putting up” fruits and vegetables in our own kitchens.

For most of us, food preservation has skipped a generation.  But we have fond memories of grandma’s pickles and a favorite aunt’s jelly that were above and beyond that off the grocery shelf.  Thus, many of us are rediscovering the art of preserving foods that has been such a rich tradition in middle Tennessee. 

This resurgence is not attributed simply to our wanting cheap food, but because we want to control the quality and safety of the food we eat.  Also we want to eat local produced foods picked fresh and ripe, not handled by whomever, shipped in who-knows-what conditions, and chemicalized each step of the way.  In addition, we can customize recipes to accommodate our tastes and/or traditions of our region.

Home-preservation is easier and faster than we imagine.  The flavors and textures are phenomenal.  Quality is assured. And the compliments are supreme!  

Many people in Putnam County are learning time honored techniques under the tutorage of family and friends.  Others are taking classes.  Rosemary Ponte will be teaching an introductory class on preserving pickles and jellies, as well as demonstrating techniques for dehydrating fruits and vegetables, from 9:00 to 11:00 Saturday, July 28 at the University of Tennessee Extension. 

Rosemary is an experienced veteran at food preservation who began at the apron of her mother.   In addition to a Power Point presentation, specific techniques will be demonstrated.  Discussions and answers to questions will span the interests of participants as well as instructors.  All procedures meet University of Tennessee specifications.

Enroll at the University of Tennessee Extension Office (900 South Walnut Avenue, Cookeville) (526-4561).  There will be a $5.00 fee to cover expenses. 

You will be on your way to place jars of your pickles, chutneys, jellies, and jams on your table or on the table at your next social.  To say nothing of the fried pies.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Updates and Upcoming Workday

Good afternoon,

The cooler temps are a welcome relief!!  

REMINDER:  Meeting Monday, July 16th, at First Presbyterian Church, corner of Dixie and Broad.  Anita McCawley is furnishing a smoked ham.  I am bringing potato salad.   Hopefully, some of you can provide other side dishes.  Mary Ruth Winford had a brilliant idea!!  Bring a variety or varieties of tomato you are growing with a name label.  She suggested it would be fun to taste some different varieties.  Bring them cut into bite size pieces.  This should be a fun tasting party.  If you plan to eat, try to arrive around 5:30 so we can start on time at 6:00.

CB Coburn and Larry McNabb will be showing us simple propagation methods.  We will also receive updated fair information.

ATTENTION:  There will be a work day this Saturday at the fair building at 8:00am.  We are being provided some extra space for storage.  We will be able to ready the building for the fair exhibit.  Save and bring plastic bags (children's potting shed) and also one of the exhibits needs newspaper.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thanks to all that helped weed and water the Farmers Market Garden on Monday (boy it needed it bad). We need to set up a watering schedule - I know the garden is xeriscape - but this hot,dry weather is way too much for that garden. I need volunteers for Mondays,Wednesdays and Fridays. I have someone to water every other Friday, starting this Friday. We will need to water from now until rains start coming back. The hose is in the Bathroom closet at the Farmers Market - spicket is outside bathroom on north side. Bring your own watering wand to attach to hose. Please e-mail me with the date(s) you would like to water and I'll put a schedule together to send out. Thank you. Wendy Williams

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Farmer's Market Clean-Up and Plant Sale Pictures!

Good Evening Friends!

There will be a Clean Up at the Farmer's Market on Monday, June 25th at 9:00am.  Please bring gloves and tools to assist with weeding and general cleaning. 

Also there is a new slideshow with photos from the Plant Sale on the Photos tab.  It will be archived for there.  In the meantime, you can enjoy it here on the homepage!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

May Membership Meeting

Greetings Friends!
         I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weekend!   As a reminder, our May Membership Meeting on Monday, May 21st, will be held at First Presbyterian in Cookeville.  The church is located on the corner of Dixie Ave and Broad St.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Good Evening friends - there will be a workday on Saturday, May 5th, at 10:00am to get the Square Foot Garden at the extension office planted for the year.  We'll also have a brief meeting for those in attendance to determine a maintenance/harvest schedule.  Please plan to attend if you are interested in helping this year.  Please watch this page for updates due to a slight chance of inclement weather.  Hope to see you there!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Plant Sale Progress

Good Evening Folks!  For those of us who haven't had a chance to stop by the greenhouse, here's a peek at what's been going on:

Look at those healthy plants!  It's going to be a great sale.  Thanks to everyone participating in this project, thanks to combined efforts, We Are Growing, literally!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Jr. Ranger Camp at Burgess Falls Park

“The children participating in Jr. Ranger Camp at Burgess Falls Park show off their Putnam County Master Gardener - R.E.A.P. 'BEGIN' Garden Kits which include the “Soil Study”. Several individuals, as well as Three Sisters Farm and the Friends of Burgess Falls Park stepped forward to sponser thirty four garden kits for the children.  Thank you to Bill Summers for coordinating this with us.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Plant Sale Workday

Good Evening Friends!

There will be a 2012 Plant Sale workday this Saturday morning, March 31, at 9:30 at the Fair building.  We will be re-potting the last of our seedlings and also any bare root plants that members and interns would like to dig and bring for potting on that day.  This is last call for donated plants that need to be potted so they can get established by the sale date.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

A few reminders

Good Evening Friends!

I just wanted to add a quick reminder to check the calendar for upcoming events.  As the weather continues to be unseasonably warm we have lots of activities going on!

Also don't forget to check the 2012 Plant Sale Page, and stop by the photo page to see some new uploads from the recent events for the plant sale.

Hope to see you all at the meeting tomorrow (March 26th, 6pm - Extension Office)!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Volunteer Hours Opportunity

The Plant Sale committee will have a seedling re-potting on Saturday March 17, 9:30 a.m. at the fair building.  We will transplant seedling that Burgess Falls Nursery has raised for us and also donated perennials that members and interns will be bringing in that needs potted up. Please plan to attend if you can!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

2012 Plant Sale Webpage Now Available!

Good Evening Friends!

I am excited to announce the creation of a new page for the 2012 Putnam County Master Gardener Plant Sale by Serina Wells!  She has created a wonderful page containing all the information and updates for the upcoming plant sale.  Please take a moment to click on the new tab for the 2012 Plant Sale at the top of the page to be directed to the Plant Sale site.

We Are Growing!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Farmer's Market Clean-up

CLEAN-UP day at the Cookeville Farmers Market Garden on Tuesday, March 6th at 10am.  We will be weeding, trimming and dividing, so it will probably take approximately 2 hours.  (we did not have a fall clean-up because the weather was so mild, everything was still green - still is).  Please bring gloves, clippers, knee pads, shovel, maybe a garbage bag for the debris ........ - whatever you think you will use.  I'll bring a big tarp to put the divided plants on (shasta daisies and black-eyed suzies).  The garden is pretty full, so we will not be planting anything new, maybe later in the season if there are some bald spots, but unlikely.   If weather is bad, we will postpone to the next Tuesday, the 13th.