Three reasons why your website should link to eXtension

Is your master gardener or other extension horticulture website linked to the national eXtension website for gardens, lawns, and landscapes and/or extension master gardeners? If not, here  are three good reasons why you should consider it:

For these and other reasons, please consider appropriate links from your master gardener or other horticulture website to one or both of these national eXtension resources.

Best, Bill Hoffman

Extension MasterBloggers

While the national Extension Master Gardener blog is off to a good start, it’s far from the start of Extension Master Gardener blogging.

A number of state (and many more county!) programs  have been publishing master gardener blogs for awhile. If you are thinking of beginning a blog or are looking for posting ideas for an existing blog, check out the wonderful resources from:

Louisiana

Pennsylvania

Minnesota

California

Florida

Ohio

These are only the statewide blogs that:

  1. Come up on the first few pages of my search engine of choice, or
  2. Are promoted on the front page of the statewide master gardener website, and importantly
  3. Have been recently updated.

Does your state or county master gardener program have a pretty good blog, too? Please share it by leaving a reply to this post (don’t forget the link!). Feel free to tell us about other cooperative extension blogs that master gardeners might find interesting.

Best, Bill Hoffman

Edible Landscaping

Artichoke Flower
Artichoke in Bloom

Locally grown? Pesticide free? Organic? Food safety? Food Security? Obesity? Health? The pressure around food choices is rising.  By converting your landscape to include edibles, you can take control of these factors and many more.  Edible landscapes are designed to produce food, as well beauty.  They include fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, fruiting vines, herbs, edible flowers and vegetables not just hidden away in a designated garden, but throughout the landscape.  Growing your own food allows you to enjoy vine ripened produce fresh from the garden.  You can decide how much and what kind of pesticides to use on the foods you and your family eat.  You can grow varieties that are either hard to get or are expensive in grocery stores.

Have fun with the many beautiful edible plants.  Try Swiss Chard for a stained glass effect. Grow a variety of colorful peppers.  Enjoy nasturtiums, violas, borage, and calendula flowers in salads. Plan for year round harvest. Don’t have a yard? Try container gardens or window boxes of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. Begin with just one edible plant nestled into your garden, you will be amazed how it transforms your relationship with the soil, your landscape and the food you eat.

What are Master Gardeners learning and doing for Edible Landscaping in your area?

Let us know by submitting a comment by clicking on the comments link under this post

  • Are Extension Master Gardeners incorporating edible plants into volunteer training programs, projects, or tours to promote edible landscaping in your area?
  • What challenges might have been faced? One faced by many is shade.  Do you have recommendations for edible plants to grow in the shade?
  • Are edible plants readily available in the nurseries near you?
  • What are you doing to help promote edible landscaping?

Further Reading

Creasy, Rosalind. 1982. The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books. The text that started the edible landscaping revival. If you feel you need convincing, read this book.

Creasy, Rosalind. 2000. The Edible Garden Series. Boston, MA: Tuttle Publishing. With separate volumes on salad gardens, Italian gardens, heirloom gardens, and more, this series offers a wealth of ideas.

Gao, Gary and Brad Bergefurd. 2002. “Growing, Harvesting, and Using Culinary Herbs in the Home Garden.” HYG-1612-99. http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1612.html.

Hagy, Fred. Landscaping with Fruits and Vegetables. 2001. Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press. An excellent book detailing how to design an edible landscape for a typical suburban yard.

Hemenway, Toby. 2001. Gaia’s Garden: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Co. A guide to ecological design for the home landscape, including the use of multi-functional edible plants.

Jacke, Dave, Toensmeier, Eric, (2005) Edible Forest Gardens, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2: Ecological Design And Practice For Temperate-Climate Permaculture.

Kourik, Robert. 1986. Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally. Santa Rosa, CA: Metamorphic Press. Fact-filled design book and reference. Includes recipes. Out of print, but worth a search.

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