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The LSU AgCenter will offer an agritourism workshop from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the Hammond Research Station. Participants will hear from experts about how to create an agritourism venue, attract visitors and market their business, according to Dora Ann Hatch, AgCenter agritourism coordinator. The workshop also will include a presentation on how to become a certified agritourism operator under the 2008 Louisiana Agritourism Limited Liability Law. The event will conclude with a tour of Mrs. Heather’s Pumpkin Patch in Albany, which is about 20 minutes from the station.

Registration is $15 per individual or $20 per couple before Oct. 20, or $20 per individual and $25 per couple the day of workshop. Lunch is included, but transportation to the pumpkin patch is up to individual attendees.

The workshop is sponsored by the AgCenter, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and Tangipahoa Master Gardeners.

For more information or to register, contact Hatch at 318-927-9654 or DHatch@agcenter.lsu.edu.

Writer: Olivia McClure: See the latest news from LSU AgCenter Communications at www.lsuagcenter.com/news_archive/

The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden will roll out the fall welcome mat with a corn maze and pumpkin patch festival Sept. 27-28 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in conjunction with the LSU Rural Life Museum’s Harvest Days. “What better way for families to end the summer than with a trip to the farm during harvest season,” said Jeff Kuehny, director of the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden. Visitors may purchase their tickets at the Rural Life Museum Visitors Center. Admission is $7 for corn maze activities in addition to LSU Rural Life Museum Harvest Days, which is $9 for persons age 12 years and older or $8 for those 62 years and older and children ages 6-11. Children under 5 enter free.

In addition to the corn maze, children’s activities will include an old-fashioned hayride, pumpkin and gourd painting, and an opportunity to climb a straw “mountain.” A new feature this year is the Red Barn petting zoo, Kuehny said. As in the past, visitors may purchase food and drinks from Burden Horticulture Society volunteers as well as pumpkins for children to paint.

The corn maze and balloon toss also will be open Saturdays on Oct. 4, 11 and 18 from 4-7 p.m. with $5 admission. Children under 3 enter free. Night Maze on Oct. 25 will feature a bonfire, hotdogs, s’mores and live music from 4-9 p.m., and organizers are encouraging flashlights and costumes that evening. Evening admission is $10. Children under 3 enter free.

The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens is located in Burden Museum and Gardens on Essen Lane just off Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge. For further information, contact Kuehny at 225-763-3990 or go online to http://www.discoverburden.com.

Writer: Rick Bogren: See the latest news from LSU AgCenter Communications at http://www.lsuagcenter.com/news_archive/.

Excitement is building as we move closer to October and the 2014 Southern Region Master Gardener Conference scheduled for October 21-24 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana!  The state of Louisiana takes great pleasure in extending a special invitation to all gardeners to join with Master Gardeners, Extension Master Gardener coordinators, and University and celebrity horticulturalists for an outstanding event of gardening education and some good ole down home southern hospitality and entertainment! This conference has it all including beautiful rooms at the Crowne Plaza for the conference special of $94 with registration. Also, there are still openings available for the Wednesday’s Cajun Night Out and the various conference tours. For master Gardeners looking for educational hours before the end of December-this conference offers that opportunity.  Below are links that provide an overview of the conference as well,  invitations by LSU AgCenter’s Plant Doctor- Dan Gill, Baton Rouge Mayor-Kip Holden, Lt. Governor-Jay Dardenne  and Crowne Plaza representative-Lauren Cox.   Don’t miss this outstanding conference and the great opportunity to enjoy and share in our southern roots!

Overview Invitation to SRMG Conference
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj5bymY-_ng
2014 Southern Region Master Gardener Conference (General Promotion with Dan Gill, Mayor Holden, & Lt. Gov. Dardenne) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkguAhCH5ws
2014 Southern Region Master Gardener Conference (Crowne Plaza- Lauren Cox)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5rQYunwDAI

SRMG Conference Schedule & Registration:  www.southernregionmgconf2014.com

 

From EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs: On June 20, 2014, President Obama issued a directive to federal agencies to create a federal strategy to promote honey bee and other pollinator health. Scientists believe that honey bee losses are likely caused by multiple stressors, including poor bee nutrition, loss of forage lands, parasites, pathogens, and pesticides.  EPA will address the role of pesticides and take action, as appropriate, to protect pollinators. Read President Obama’s directive. Two important tools are being released as part of EPA’s ongoing actions to protect pollinators. These and other EPA pollinator protection efforts complement those of the USDA, the lead federal agency tasked with identifying and mitigating the causes of U.S. honey bee decline.

EPA’s New Pollinator Risk Assessment Guidance: EPA has posted its new Pollinator Risk Assessment Guidance online. The guidance is part of a long-term strategy to advance the science of assessing the risks posed by pesticides to bees, giving risk managers the means to further improve pollinator protection in our regulatory decisions. The guidance, developed in cooperation with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory agency, builds upon our ongoing efforts to advance the science of pollinator risk assessment

We are already implementing elements of the guidance in our ongoing registration review of neonicotinoid pesticides as well as in our other pesticide regulatory work.  At the request of beekeepers and growers alike, the agency has also posted our Residual Time to 25% Bee Mortality (RT25) Data online. Bees may be susceptible to harm from direct exposure to pesticides sprayed on flowering plants, but pesticide residues generally decrease in toxicity as the spray dries and time passes. Farmers and beekeepers can use EPA’s RT25 data to gauge the amount of time after application that a particular pesticide product remains toxic enough under real-world conditions to kill 25 percent of bees that are exposed to residues on treated plant surfaces. Some have used this information to select pesticide products with shorter periods in which the chemicals remain active and can affect bees.

Registration for the 2014 Southern Region Conference is underway! This conference for 2014 will feature an outstanding cast of speakers, a variety of educational break-out sessions, tours, and gala fun!  The 2014 Southern Region Master Gardener Conference is scheduled for October 20-24 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Early bird registration ends July 15th. For complete information on registration, accommodations, scheduling, tours, and all conference activities go to: www.southernregionmgconf2014.com  and go to this U-Tube link for your invitation to join us in October for the 2014 Southern Region Master Gardener Conference!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj5bymY-_ng

What inspires and motivates people to volunteer; to act selflessly and make personal sacrifices that help others on behalf of someone else? Whatever the reasons, volunteers do make a difference in people’s lives every day. Take a moment to view this heart-warming video that demonstrates well how lives are touched through a simple volunteer act of helping someone.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/uaWA2GbcnJU

The educators at Smithsonian Gardens want to get the word out about a new program and are pleased to announce the launch of Community of Gardens, a participatory, digital archive for crowdsourcing stories about gardens and gardening in the United States. You can browse the stories on a map or submit your own story. Smithsonian Gardens is collecting stories about backyards, community gardens, memories of gardens past, heirloom plants, gardening through the decades, and more. Over the next year Smithsonian Gardens will also be rolling out a project-based learning curriculum and toolkit to support teachers interested in getting their students out into their community to collect stories about gardens. This summer Smithsonian Gardens will launch a mobile app. Here is a link to the project: https://communityofgardens.si.edu/

Take a moment browse stories from around the country, and think about adding your own story. Does your grandmother have memories of her Victory Garden? Have you always wanted to interview your neighbor about their community garden plot? Community of Gardens is about connecting communities and sharing stories about the green spaces that enrich our lives.

For questions regarding this grassroots, educational initiative, please email Kate Fox at communityofgardens@si.edu<mailto:communityofgardens@si.edu>.

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