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We decided that in the eventuality of any need to cancel a class due to weather, the first place to check would be the Hanover Schools. If school is cancelled, so are we. You can hear cancellations on the radio and also on Channel 9. I will be sure there is an email sent to you prior to 7 AM of the class day. As far as checking on the internet (in case you missed the broadcast) visit http://www.sau70.org/. This is the website for the schools and they tell you IN RED if school has, in fact, been cancelled. I will call those without email prior to 7 AM.
Since we missed our first scheduled class, we all decided that the best solution would be to extend one additional week. Instead of ending our classes on February 24th, we’ll have an additional class, and finish up on March 3rd.
Next Thursday, Heather Bryant from the NH Extension service will speak to us about Vegetable Gardening. I promise you’ll learn a lot. Try not to miss it!
Next week, I will also ask you to decide what “pest” or “helper” for the garden you’d like to present. We will do these little reports after the break within each class, so plan on using about 15 minutes, but not more than 20 minutes, if possible. We’ll need a little time for discussion and class ends after 45 minutes or so. If you take too long, I’ll probably have to cut you short, so remember the time element. At any rate, I hope you’ll each pick some topic that really troubles, or pleases you, and report on that. The reports are always better if given with a bit of “passion”! 🙂 I’d love to have at least one “pest” and one “helper” presented during the second portion of each class. If you could prioritize which dates you’d like to present your “blurb”, I won’t have to “assign” them.
I really enjoyed class today and am looking forward to our next class. See you then!

Tomorrow will be our first class, so all the topics I mentioned a few days ago will be covered then. We were supposed to do them on the 13th (which was unfortunately cancelled).
One of the things I said we’d cover was IPM or Integrated Pest Management. I said I would have a handout for you. Well, I’ve decided just to explain it in class, and send you to a website that will give you a ton of extra information. That way, we’ll save a few trees, and it probably isn’t necessary to go into it at such great detail. Here is the link on IPM which is put out by the EPA.
I look forward to meeting you all tomorrow. Remember to bring those catalogs and books!

It’s too complicated to try to get up at the crack of dawn to make a decision about driving to class tomorrow. It’s an hour drive for me and a few others as well. My feeling is that we’re not 20 any longer, and driving in (possibly) nasty conditions is just not an appealing thought. At any rate, we will NOT have class tomorrow the 13th.
I’ll look forward to seeing everyone next Thursday, the 20th of January.

A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF YOUR GARDEN

Winter is NOT forever!

    CATALOGS/BOOKS/IPM

INTRODUCE OUR CLASS REPRESENTATIVE –CAROLE WENZ
• Carole may have a few things to cover about our class “operations”…

INTRODUCTIONS: Let’s tell each other
• Why we’ve elected to take this course & what we hope to accomplish here!
• How much gardening we’ve done
• Who got us started gardening
• How much land, if any, do we have available to garden

ASSIGNMENTS-PESTS AND HELPERS
• Next week (1/20/11) I will send around a list for you to set up your “assignment” and it’s date of presentation, so please be thinking about that.
• During every Second hour (except maybe next week) it would be wonderful to hear about at least one pest and one helper in the garden. This could be an animal, insect, chemical, or anything that impacts our gardens. I hope you will tell us how to encourage helpers, and discourage pests. Pictures, charts and any other techniques that would clarify our understanding would be great!
I would expect that you will pick one or the other and let me know what you have picked to do and when.
Let me give you a couple of examples of pests: bagworms, cabbage loopers, cutworms, Japanese beetles, deer, birds, moles, powdery mildew, verticillium wilt, etc.
Here are a few helpers: compost, soil tests, types of fertilizers, companion planting, Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt), more on IPM, etc.
If you would like to do more than one, that’s fine as long as no one else has chosen it as their first choice. The more the merrier. The office will be glad to copy paperwork as long as it’s no more than a page or two, and as long as you give them ample time. Preferably, the week prior to when you will do it. They can usually manage it since we’re doing it the second hour, if you get it to them prior to the beginning of class.

GARDENING ZONES
• I will hand out a copy of these, and lets talk about what they are and how they are useful. We’ll talk about what OUR zone is, and commit it to memory!

CATALOGS
• It’s sharing time! Let’s be sure each of us has a few in our hands and let’s see what they have to tell us.

BOOKS
• More sharing! If you’re comfortable, let’s each tell a bit about our favorite gardening book. We’ll do one at a time, so everyone who has a book can share it. Then we’ll go for the second “go round” should you bring in more than one.
• These books can be about gardening, places, wildlife gardening, bulbs, ANYTHING having to do with gardening! Let’s be creative!

INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
• Let’s just define this and know what IPM means and how it should impact us, and our gardens. I’ll have a handout with the definition, etc. We’ll talk about that too.

Somewhere in there about midway through, we’ll have a little break for a beverage and snack!

Last week I asked if anyone would be interested in being the Class Representative. Carole Wenz has agreed to help us in that way. I certainly appreciate the help she is offering us, and I know you will as well.
Our class will begin on this Thursday, the 13th of January. I am very much looking forward to meeting all of you at that time. It appears we have a full class, which is very gratifying for me. I hope I can live up to the expectations each of you will bring to class.
I also hope you will realize that gardening is something we all begin (or began, as the case may be) as total neophytes. There will be those in our class who are wonderful gardeners, and have been at it for years. They will bring a richness and expertise that we can ALL learn from! Then there are those who have worked all of their lives, and now in retirement, find they have the time and the inclination to do a bit of gardening, but haven’t got a CLUE of what it is they need to be doing! We must all realize that we can encourage them along while we also learn from each other about things we had never thought about where the garden is concerned. Probably most of us will fall somewhere in the middle. So, come with an open mind. Be willing to share knowledge and tips. We were all beginners once, and someday we will all be “green thumbs”. It’s up to us to help each other along. That’s what our class will be about!
For our first class I am hoping that you will all bring any gardening catalogs you have received in the mail, or picked up somewhere. They don’t have to be new. They can certainly be last years (if you save them, as I do…for a year anyway). We will go over these catalogs to find out what they tell us. Some of them are wonderful, other’s are pretty “marginal”. We’ll quickly figure out which is which and you’ll learn how to get a copy of the ones you like.
We will also look at a zone map. Our newer gardeners will learn why these are so important. Your zone is a number you should memorize in order to pick out the plants that will actually grow in your particular location.
Finally, bring your favorite gardening book(s). If we have time, we’ll share those as well. If you’re new to gardening, knowing which books will help you the most will be very helpful. All of you “experienced” gardeners, may find some new literature that will prove helpful.

Today, I got my course roster and the syllabus, as I’m sure you have as well. I’m so glad to see we have a full class of 18 people!
I am hoping one of you may step up to be the Class Representative. This is a pretty easy job. It involves setting up folks to provide snacks for our break, which is certainly not a requirement, but a little “nibble” is often quite welcome. It also involves being sure we have our name tags every week (they are found in the ILEAD office) and taking attendance at the same time. Lastly, the Class Rep. rides herd on us to be sure we hand in our evaluations at the end of the course. If you would be willing to take on this responsibility, please drop me an email at ncmgardener@gmail.com.
I will add to this blog from time to time during the course, so feel free to check it any time. As you can see from past posts, I also list my Seminars here.
I’m really looking forward to meeting all of you and comparing gardening insights!

Usually I don’t ask members of my ILEAD classes to do any homework other than enjoy their gardening. This year however, I will ask everyone to pick either a “pest” or a “helper” in the garden and give a brief report on it. We will do that during the second hour of each class. After our coffee break, we’ll hear a report on both a pest and a helper. I think that should be fun, and we’ll ALL learn a bit more about what “critters” add to (or take from) the garden!