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GreeneScene By Lisa Belding

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rom the time she turned eight years old, Bobbi Bailey has been involved in or an advocate of 4-H, livestock farming and responsible land management. This April, she brings her skills, experience, leadership and love of all things 4-H to Greene County. Bobbi grew up on a small farm in southern West Virginia near Princeton. That’s actually when she was first introduced to Greene County, during her own 4-H youth. “We raised shorthorn cattle, and every year we’d come to the fall cattle sale at Bradley Eisiminger’s Farm,” she recalls. “I remember always thinking Greene County had great livestock.” After high school, Bobbi went to Virginia Tech for her Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s in Agricultural Education. “I thought then I would be an Extention Agent; that was my initial goal,” she remembers. That’s because Bobbi had a special mentor during her 4-H experience that inspired her as well. Mercer County Extension Educator John Scott, Jr., made an impression on Bobbi that she’s quick to recall Meet Bobbi Bailey, Greene County’s New 4-H today. “I showed hogs and cattle all through high Extension Educator. school and college. He was always so helpful. The type of agent who would go out to the farms and help kids…very hands-on. He wanted to see us succeed, and we could feel that. Had it not been for him, I might have followed a different path,” Bobbi said. Bobbi did come right out of college and go to work for WVU Extension in Mercer County, following in the footsteps of John Scott, but it wasn’t very long before a new opportunity arose. “I had a chance to go to work for the USDA as a soil conservationist, a position that would take me to Westmoreland County, PA and broaden my experience quite a bit,” Bobbi

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explains. Next came a chance to serve nine counties (including Greene) in southwestern PA as a Resource Conservation and Development Coordinator. “I worked a lot with the Greene County Conservation District staff and once again, I found myself admiring the people and places around Greene County,” Bobbi recalls. Which may explain how Bobbi came to be a Greene County landowner herself. “I always wanted my own farm, I like Greene County’s rural nature, and I found the right place,” she states. In 2009, Bobbi purchased “I look forward to applying my experience and 170 acres on Big Shannon, and skills and working with the leaders, parents and began making kids to enhance that and continue developing a improvements, installing fencing bright future.” and a water system. -Bobbi Bailey Today she has 4-H Extension Educator about 45 head of beef cattle on the farm, which she cares for in between studies at WVU in Morgantown, where she is about to be awarded a PhD in animal nutrition science this spring. She plans to be living on her Greene County farm full time very soon. And she’s very excited about her new position as Penn State Extension Educator assigned to the 4-H program in Greene County. “I recognize a very strong and successful 4-H program already here in Greene County,” Bobbi says, “ I look forward to applying my experience and skills and working with the leaders, parents and kids to enhance that and continue developing a bright future. I have learned over the years that active involvement in 4-H can open doors and provide opportunities that kids may have never received otherwise. We all know how it teaches responsibility; and it opens and expands their minds, gives them a chance for social interaction that they’ll always remember. 4-H can be one of the most valuable experiences of a lifetime. People in Greene County know that. I’m pleased to be here and look forward to meeting you.” GreeneSaver •

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s many small towns all across America have done, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania was looking for ways to revitalize its downtown district. When a group of business owners and other stakeholders formed Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful, Inc., a Main Street organization whose mission was to revitalize the downtown shopping district and showcase it to others, one of several ideas was to have a downtown street festival celebrating the heritage and importance of sheep and fiber to the community. It was a good idea, and springboarded the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Festival, now celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The festival has outgrown the space available on the streets of downtown, and is now staged at the Greene County Fairgrounds, continuing to bring visitors from several surrounding counties and states to Waynesburg, and serving as a fund-raiser for other downtown promotions and attractions . Ralph Adamson performs shearing demostra“One of the things WPB strives to do is bring tion at the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Festival. activities, promotions, and festivals to downtown Waynesburg to showcase our historic shopping district” WPB Promotions Committee Chairperson and former SFF chairman Shelly Brown said. “I knew that Greene County had always been a leading producer in the state for lamb & wool, so it seemed like a natural fit to suggest a festival based around sheep and their fiber to the board. I didn’t know much else about sheep, and at that time, I didn’t even like lamb, but I knew how to organize a committee and set up a festival, so they put me in charge of the first one.” Brown began recruiting people that she knew were involved in the sheep industry. “I called people who sold lambs, who worked with fiber, who owned sheep, who sold wool,” Brown recalled. “People were excited and in a short time, a fabulous committee was born. We pitched ideas for how to have the festival and then matched people and their talents to the different ideas we had come up with.” The nearly twenty committee members met monthly, and immediately came up with many ideas for the new festival. They included having a sheep-shearing demonstration, a breed pavilion, a fiber-arts competition, a dog shepherding demonstration, fiber arts and craft vendors, a lamb-cooking demonstration and lamb sampling, among others. Carol Adamson, the current SFF chairperson, leads the dog-shepherding demonstration, and her husband, Ralph, shears sheep at the festival. They believe strongly in the educational merits of the festival. “We want this to be a learning experience for everyone who enters the grounds,” Carol Adamson said. “We want people, especially our youth, to know where food and fiber come from. We also want to promote the history of our County. There was a time when every farm had some sheep. I remember my grandfather had a group of wethers and their wool paid the taxes on his farm. Then, in the 1980s, we began to have a huge predator problem. Coyotes wreaked havoc, and a lot of the older farmers just quit. Since then, we have dropped to 3rd or 4th in the state for sheep, and many of our young people don’t remember what an impact they had on our culture.” Marianne Turchek, a Westmoreland County shepherdess who runs the SFF breed pavilion, agreed. “Greene County still has a lot of family farms and is a really nice community,” Turchek said. “But there are a lot of people who have never seen sheep other than Suffolk and Merino. We decided to bring as many breeds in as we

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could, so people could see, touch, and learn about them as well. I have seven breeds on my farm, including Olde English, Babydoll Southdowns, Tunis, and Finns. We show people the difference between wool and hair sheep, and the variety of sizes that sheep come in. We have a great time out there.” The fiber arts vendors have become an important part of the festival, with vendors of all kinds coming from all over the country. Rose Marie Kendall, of Wildrose Farm, finds and contacts all of the vendors for the SFF. “Vendors are important because they show our visitors all of the things that come from the animal fiber,” Kendall said. “We run ads in national publications, like spinning magazines for example, to attract vendors. We also look at other fiber festivals, like some of the ones held in Vermont, Maryland, and Ohio, and recruit from there. I have also looked online at vendors and invited them here. We are selective; we don’t want people selling items that anyone could buy and make from a craft store. We want authentic, hand-crafted items that farmers and artists have made.” The festival has expanded over the years to represent much more than sheep wool. Other fiber animals now participate annually, including alpacas from Phil and Lena Galing’s farm, Lippencott Alpacas. “We came on as vendors in the festival’s second year,” Lena Galing said. “We’ve been on the board since the third because we just fell in love with the whole process. Phil is responsible for the food vendors and the website maintenance, and I teach classes on knitting, crocheting, and both spindle and wheel spinning. We are proud to work with such a determined, cooperative board to help Greene County stay true to its roots.” Another major emphasis has emerged as a priority in recent years and that is the promotion of American Lamb. Each year the festival spotlights area chefs as they perform lamb-cooking demonstrations that involve teaching and sampling. The American lamb provided for the demonstrations and sampling comes from Greene County’s Elysian Fields Farm, purveyor of lamb preferred by world famous chefs from California to New York. And, there’s usually some more locally grown lamb from Greene County 4-H Market Lamb Sale being served up for visitors. Live music, interactive children’s activities, a photo exhibit and more round out the festive atmosphere. This year’s Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival is being held May 18-19, 2013 at the Greene County Fairgrounds. Both admission and parking are free. For more information, visit www. sheepandfiber.com .

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verybody loves strawberries! These delicious and aromatic fruits are a favorite summer treat. Why settle for expensive supermarket strawberries when they’re so easy to grow at home? Happy both in the vegetable garden and on the patio, try growing strawberries in hanging baskets, containers, and even window boxes! Grow your own strawberries today and discover the flavor of warm sun-ripened fruit picked fresh from your own garden. Unless you find locally grown, organic fruit at your market, most store-bought strawberries—like store-bought tomatoes— are tough specimens designed for long trips to markets, and it seems to me they just don’t taste like those that you pick 20 feet from the kitchen door. Also, most store-bought fruit is sprayed with who-only-knows-what pesticides, fungicides, and whatever-else-cides. The important first step when you decide you want to grow strawberries is determining where you want to grow them. They do best in their own bed or garden area because they should not have to compete with other plants for nutrients and space. And they need room to spread their legs - literally. Strawberry plants send out runners and make new plants from the main or “mother” plant. This can be a burden or a blessing to the gardener. If you have space and want to increase your crop, strawberries are working it for ya! If you have limited space ,then you can enjoy growing strawberries, too; but you will have to work a bit harder keeping them contained by removing the runners and giving them to a friend or neighbor for their garden. Strawberries are best planted in the spring or autumn. They prefer a sunny and sheltered position in fertile, free-draining soil. Improve your soil with lots of organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure prior to growing strawberry plants. Strawberries can be grown in semishade - in fact alpine strawberries prefer this! However, summer-fruiting and perpetual-fruiting strawberries may not crop as prolifically in the shade as those grown in full sun. For my strawberries, I chose to build a 4’ x 8’ raised bed out of 2 x 8 pine. Eight inches is plenty deep for a strawberry bed because they are shallow rooted plants. I planted 25 plants down the middle of the bed in two rows. So 12 in one row and 13 in another row about 8-12 inches from the first. See photo below. The first year I planted the bed I planted onions on each outer

edge only because I knew the strawberries would take a while to get going and strawberries like to grow near onions. I mulched with straw NOT hay. You want to avoid hay because you’ll be depositing weed and grass seed in the last place you want it to grow. I filled the beds with 1/3 loam and 2/3 aged cow manure. My experience has been that strawberries do not need much

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fertilizer if any. The manure seems to feed them well. I did add a act as a resting place for berries as the grow to keep them clean little lime to each bed which will last for a couple years. and dry while they ripen. Strawberry plants will produce well for about 5 years. At that point it is best to start new beds with new plants and remove and Next you need to decide compost your existing plants. which kind of strawberry That’s it! Easy to grow and a delight to eat. Add strawberries to your garden plan and enjoy fresh homegrown berries. you want to grow. There are three main types of strawberries: June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral. In short, June-bearers have the largest fruit but only produce one big crop over a week or two. Everbearers produce a larger early crop, smaller late crop, and a few berries in between, while day-neutrals produce throughout the growing season. Everbearers and day-neutrals typically produce less and smaller berries overall than do the Junebearing varieties. Considering these characteristics will determine which type is right for you. If you want fresh berries throughout the year and don’t mind picking smaller and fewer, go with a day-neutral or everbearing variety. If you want sheer quantity of berries, go with a June-bearer (what most people do). Considerations on how you plan to use your strawberries also come into play when determining which type to buy and plant. If you want to can or preserve your harvest, it is easiest to accomplish your goals with the larger size and quantity that come from June-bearing strawberries.

Planting your strawberries When planting your strawberries give them plenty of space for better cropping and easy access. For growing in the ground, plant strawberries 18” apart and in rows spaced 30” apart. Dig out a hole big enough to spread out the roots of each strawberry plant. In the bottom of the hole, create a mound or hill of soil that is flush with the surrounding soil level. Put the strawberry plant on top of the hill inside the hole so that the crown is at soil level and spread the roots out down the sides of the hill. Fill in the hole and ensure that the soil level is even with the middle of the crown. Planting too shallow may cause the roots to dry out before they establish, and planting too deep can also damage growing strawberries. See the figure above for proper crown placement. Once the plants are planted, press to firm the soil around the roots and then water thoroughly. After the first year you can fertilize in very early spring with a 5-10-10 fertilizer or a seaweed and fish emulsion water soluble fertilizer. This will help the beds get a needed boost after winter. You can also add a light layer of aged manure around the plants and between the rows to help cover new roots that have formed and build up settling soil levels in the bed. The biggest problem I had with my strawberries was keeping the birds away from them. I plan on using hardware cloth to cover the beds and elevating it by a few inches to keep it off the plants. I do not recommend bird netting because birds can get caught in it. Most strawberry plants are winter hardy but it does not hurt to mulch with straw in early winter if you are in a zone that goes below freezing for a good part of the winter or if you get a great deal of snow. In early spring remove the straw, add your manure and fertilizer and use the straw around the plants as mulch to help conserve water and keep soil moist in the summer as well as

How to grow strawberries in hanging baskets & containers. Strawberries are well-suited to baskets, containers and patio planters and are ideal for those with limited space. This also keeps them safely away from slugs, snails and small animals that enjoy the fruits as much as we do! For a 12” hanging basket it’s best to only grow three or four strawberry plants so they don’t compete too much for light, nutrients and water, which will ultimately reduce cropping. Incorporate some water-retaining granules and slow-release strawberry fertilizer into the compost before planting. Check the compost daily in hot weather and water if the top half-inch of compost feels dry. If growing strawberries in pots or hanging baskets, feed them every two weeks during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. When flowering begins, switch to a high-potash liquid fertilizer to encourage good fruiting.

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Stick Together for the PSSAs

hen Beth Center Middle School Principal Amanda Kinneer was asked if she would be willing to be duct-taped to the wall in front of her students, she said she would only consider it for a good cause. When she found out it was designed as a fun and motivational tool for her students during Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) testing, she jumped onboard wholeheartedly. “One of my 6th grade science teachers asked me about it,” Amanda said. “I agreed when I heard the whole idea. ‘Stick Together for the PSSAs’ became the theme we worked with in the weeks leading up to the test, and throughout the testing phase.” “We had a PSSA pep rally for the entire 6th, 7th, and 8th grades,” Middle School Secretary Tara Miller said, “where students could buy a foot of duct tape for a dollar. Then they could tell us where they wanted it taped to Mrs. Kinneer and we placed it on her. One student spent $45 alone! Altogether, we raised almost $700 that day. It was a fun way to kick off the testing week.” Since the school’s student council had purchased T-shirts with the theme printed on them for every student and staff person to wear, $500 of the money raised was given to them as a thank-you. The remaining money was used to buy gift cards and prizes that were given out during the week of testing. “We had challenges, like remembering to wear your PSSA T-shirt,” Amanda continued. “Students who completed the challenges got to put their name in for a chance to win the prizes. It was a way to keep the students focused on the theme of sticking together.” “We wanted the students to know that they could each do their part by getting a good night’s sleep, eating a healthy breakfast, and making sure their attendance was good during the testing,” Tara added. “The whole thing really got their attention,” Amanda said. “And that is what we wanted. We wanted them to remember that when we stick together, everyone does well.”

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Principal Amanda Kinneer was stuck to the wall as part of Beth-Center Middle School’s Sticking Together Through the PSSA theme.

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“Keep On Clipping!”

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Greenhouse Grant Given

MBM hosts Spring Fling

Margaret Bell Miller Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society (7th & 8th graders) recently hosted their first Group Community Service Project: a “Spring Fling” for Central Greene Employees’ children and grandchildren. Approximately 32 children of Central Greene employees enjoyed an afternoon of creating Easter Egg Bugs, Chicken Cups, decorating and eating Easter Cupcakes, Bunny Bowling, Easter Egg Hunting, and a visit to the Easter Bunny.

Carmichaels Area High School recently completed construction of a 24x48 greenhouse as part of a Native Plant Restoration Project. During an open house held for persons involved with the Greenhouse in some way, Bettie Stammerjohn, of Community Foundation of Greene County (CFGC), announced that the Foundation’s Board of Directors had just approved an additional grant of $15,000 for the Greenhouse Project. The grant is made possible by a contribution from CONSOL Energy Inc. through the Foundation’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Innovative Education Fund. This grant will provide an automatic watering system for times when school is not in session, Student Garrett Elek holds benches for additional growing space, heating tubes for increased a perennial plant that was germination, and tree tubes to protect the seedlings once planted started in the Carmichaels in the habitat, along with other equipment and supplies to keep the Green House. Greenhouse project sustainable in the future. “Our Greenhouse Project has exceeded our expectations!” said Kevin Willis, teacher at Carmichaels Area. “We are grateful for the unwavering support of our School Board and administration, as well as the CFGC and everyone else who has helped us make this happen.”

Easter Bunny Visits Mon View

National Junior Honor Society members pose for a picture after their group community service project.

Cruisin’ For a Cure

The Easter Bunny greeted more than 200 children and adults who turned out for the Greene County Department of Recreation’s Easter egg hunt and skate, held Saturday, March 16, at Mon View Park in Greensboro. During the hunt, children searched for 2,000 eggs hidden throughout the park. This year, a special prize was given to the child who found a “Recreation” coin that had been hidden in one of the eggs. The winner, Jaime Chambers, 7, of Crucible, received a Vivitar digital camcorder. There was also a basket decorating contest; an Easter skate was then held from 2 to 4 p.m. Spring skating hours at Mon View are 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Regular admission is $5 for all skaters, whether renting skates or bringing their own, and $5 for nonskaters.

(l to r) Sixteen prize-winning children are pictured with Recreation Director Jake Blaker and the Easter Bunny. They include Tiny Miss Greene County Alexis Hooper; Easter basket decorating contest winners Luci Bowers, Kelsey Vessels, Kayne Drew, Skyler Pike, Madelynn McDonald, Austin tBuchanan, Kaylin Kelly, Patience Eddy and Addie Boardley; Easter egg hunt winner Jaime Chambers; contest winners Jaden Revak, Asia Revak, Nicholas Campbell and Ashlin Hawkinberry; Petite Miss Greene County Annalise Willis; and contest winner Kylei Grim. Not pictured is contest winner Autumn Snatchko.

Blaker Awarded Again For the 3rd consecutive year, the Patriot’s Dream Riding Association will be hosting a Car Cruise to benefit the American Cancer Society (ACS). “We had been involved with ACS’s Relay for Life for several years when Doug Wilson from WANB radio suggested that we put on a car cruise,” said Tom Ayres, PDRA President. “Members voted and we decided to give it a try. I think it has been pretty successful.” The first year saw about 30 cars register. “We were able to give the ACS about $3,000,” Tom said, “and we felt pretty good about that. We decided to do it again and see what happened. That year, we got about 80 cars and gave about $6,500 to the ACS. It now looks like we will have over 100 cars registered for this year’s event, which has been moved from the airport to the Alpha Aquatic Center, and is scheduled for May 18th from 12-4pm, rain or shine.” “One of the things we like to point out is that once we are at the facility, every dime that comes in at the cruise goes out to the ACS,” Tom added. “Any vendors that don’t accept those terms don’t sell there. We are one of the first cruises of the season, and we are sure it will be a nice event.”

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Jake Blaker (left), Greene County director of recreation, accepts a Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, Inc., excellence in programming award from John B. Balicki, PRPS president.

For the seventh consecutive year, Greene County Recreation Director Jake Blaker has received an excellence in programming award from the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, Inc. Blaker accepted the award at a ceremony held March 26 during the 66th annual PRPS State Conference at Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, PA. The Department of Recreation was honored for activities offered last year as part of the county’s summer Day Camp program. The department offered art classes for campers as well as a field trip to the Greene County Historical Society Museum. “It is exciting to see our day campers use their imaginations and create their own artwork,” Blaker said. “These hands-on experiences of arts and crafts and learning about history at our local museum should leave many lasting impressions.”

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rowing tomatoes is among the most popular activity in vegetable gardening. Information on how to grow tomatoes is searched on the internet more than any other plant. It’s actually pretty easy to grow tomatoes, and the flavor of a warm ripe tomato, fresh from the vine to your table is one of a kind. Tomatoes need well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. The soil pH should be around 6 to 7. They should be planted after all danger of frost, and protected if late frost is predicted. If they are still not too tall, you can use plastic milk jugs that have been cut off to cover them. Tomatoes grow in typical garden space or a variety of containers, including hanging tomato planters, like the Topsy Turvy Upside Down tomato planter. Just make sure they will get plenty of sun and have enough soil around the roots to stay moist with regular watering. Choosing the right variety is more important than you might think. Many people just wander down to Home Depot or Lowes and think they’ll find the best varieties for their area. This is not typically the case; a local nursery is a much better choice, or start your own seedlings at home. Determinate vs. Indeterminate: Determinant varieties tend to grow to a specific size, and then stop, and often yield most of their fruit over a short period of time. Some determinate varieties are Celebrity, Mountain Pride, and Rutgers. Conversely, indeterminate plants will continue to grow over the season, and will bear fruit over a longer period of time. Indeterminate varieties continue to grow and produce leaves and flower clusters until disease, insects, cold, or lack of water and fertilizer kills the plants. Indeterminate varieties are Better Boy, Floradel, and Big Beef.

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Staking & Training Tomatoes Staking or supporting tomato plants keeps fruit and foliage off the ground. This reduces loss from fruit rot and sunburn where foliage does not provide protection. An age-old problem with tomatoes is that they tend to sprawl all over the place. While this is not always bad, in some cases it can lead to malformed fruit, invasion of pests and disease if we allow them to lie directly on the ground. So as we look for tomato support, let’s consider the advantages of tomato stakes vs. cages. Tomato cages and trellises are bulky and can be difficult to store, but they do let the tomato plant grow in a wider area, which is its natural tendency. On the down side, reaching in for ripe fruit at the center can be a little difficult. Finally, many of the cages you see in stores aren’t really that sturdy, with simple spot welds that tend to break off sooner than you’d like. If you build your own from sturdy fencing – not a problem. Set your tomato plants 3 feet apart in the row and place a cage over each plant. Push legs into the ground for anchoring the cage. Protect early plants from cold and wind by wrapping the

bottom 18 inches of each cage with clear plastic. Black plastic mulch, in combination with caging and a clear plastic wrap, promotes early blooming. Caged plants generally are pruned to four or five main fruiting branches. As plants grow, keep turning ends of the branches back into the cages. Caged plants may not produce ripe tomatoes as early as staked or trellised plants, but they produce more tomatoes that are less likely to crack or sunburn. Staking tomatoes typically requires more pruning of the tomatoes than cages do. Common stakes are made of wood, which need to be at least one inch square. Do not use chemically treated wood. Another common stake is rebar, which certainly is strong enough and can be driven into the ground easily. In both cases, the basic idea is to tie the tomato plant to the stake every foot or so as it grows, pruning off the excess growth to keep it trained to the stake. Make sure the vine is not choked off by the twine or tie wrap used to tie the plant off. The use of twine is recommended as it has plenty of strength but some give to avoid cutting the vine. Some people use soft ties made of old nylon hosiery. Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart in the row. Place the stake 3 to 4 inches from the base of each plant on the side away from the first bloom cluster to prevent trapping the fruit between the plant and the stake. Pruning and staking makes the job of getting to the fruit a little easier, and access to the bottom of the tomato plant for watering and weeding is easier than with cages. The downside is extra effort in tying as the plant grows, and the aggressive pruning necessary may result in a slightly lighter yield. You can learn about an effective hybrid method called “StakeA-Cage” that combines staking and caging online at www. oldworldfarms.com GreeneSaver •

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The Grange

fter the Civil War divided our nation, southern farmers were having a difficult time getting their products to market; many farming practices were outdated; and the result was a serious dent in their social and economic position. A man named Oliver Kelley, commissioned by President Andrew Jackson to tour the south, collected data that would be useful in an effort to improve the southern famer’s plight. What Oliver Kelley discovered inspired him, along with other founders, a total of seven men and one woman, to begin a campaign that resulted in the birth of the the Grange, officially referred to as The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. From its beginning the Grange has been a fraternal organization which encourages families to join efforts at improving the economic & political well-being of the community and agriculture. Some of the changes resulting from Granger efforts include regulations of railroad transportation costs and grain warehousing. The birth of the Cooperative Extension Service, Rural Free delivery of mail, and the Farm Credit System was largely due to Grange lobbying. The influence of the Grange became a nationwide movement, and still is today. Grange membership has been proudly claimed by such well-known persons as Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, artist Norman Rockwell, businessman Frederick Hinde Zimmerman, and Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic. The Grange came to Pennsylvania in 1873, with 25 local Granges formed in PA that year. There are currently 235 local Granges in PA, four of which are located in Greene County. Over the years, the focus has adapted to encompass much more than the needs of agriculture. A statement from an annual report at a recent national convention stated, Harvey’s-Aleppo Grange, located on Rt. 21 west near “The Grange provides opportuni- Graysville, is one of four Grange halls located in Greene ties for individuals and families to County, PA. develop to their highest potential in order to build stronger communities and states, as well as a stronger nation.” “Grange membership is very strong, though we are not all farmers anymore. Here in Greene, we have East Franklin Grange, New Freedom Grange, Carmichaels Grange, and Harvey’s-Aleppo Grange,” said Mary Jane Kent, a member of Harvey’s-Aleppo. Mary Jane, a fourth generation grange member, believes that the granges have something to offer to everyone. “One of the strongest points about the grange is that men and women have equal say in this organization, and it was one of the first national organizations to recognize women as equal members,” she proudly adds. “In addition, all members have an equal voice regardless of whether they have been a member for four generations or four minutes. We really believe that everyone brings value to the table.” As a non partisan organization, the Grange supports only policies, never political parties or candidates. Granges participate in government by taking issues important on the local level to the POMONA, or county grange, then to the state and national levels for consideration. Community service continues to be a central theme. “We believe that should be done on a local level as well,” Mary Jane said. “At Harvey’s-Aleppo, we offer scholarships to students in the nine townships we represent, we host hunter-trapper safety courses, we visit personal care home residents monthly, we host blood drives, we distribute produce through Produce for People, and many more things. We are always open to suggestions about what needs we can fill, and of course, we are always open to new membership.” FMI on Harvey’s-Aleppo Grange, call Mary Jane at 724-710-0470; East Franklin Grange at 724-627-8555; Carmichaels Grange at 724-966-2727; and New Freedom Grange at 724-428-3004.

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GreeneScene By Lena Galing

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he Greene County Conservation District will mark National Soil and Water Stewardship Week May 5-12. This year’s theme is “Where Does Your Water Shed?” National Soil and Water Stewardship Week recognizes that fertile soil and clean water provide daily sustenance as well as security, and that effective conservation practices and stewardship have resulted in a richer standard of living. As part of the weeklong celebration, the Conservation District will host a Conservation Service Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Greene County Fairgrounds. The service fair is designed to connect the community with the local civic organizations that are working to promote the county’s natural resources. These organizations will have an opportunity to network with potential volunteers, recruit members and promote their upcoming events and programs. Booth registration is free, although space is limited. The registration deadline is Monday, April 29, and organizations should be conservation-minded in mission. During the service fair, the Conservation District will have giveaways and will also kick off a contest to design next year’s Soil and Water Stewardship Week logo. For more information, or to register an organization for the Conservation Service Fair, call the Conservation District at 724-852-5278.

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ocal and state officials recently joined the Greene County Department of Human Services in celebrating the opening of Whitehill Place, transitional housing apartments located in Waynesburg Borough. The 203-year-old building – which was purchased by the County in December 2010 and fully renovated by Waller Corp. beginning in May 2012 – now contains six singleoccupancy apartments for individuals left temporarily homeless. According to Karen Bennett, Greene County human services administrator, residents are allowed to stay for no longer than 18 months and must meet certain federal criteria. Residents will receive job and life skills training, as well as treatment for any behavioral issues, with the ultimate goal being self-sufficiency. “Everyone here had a puzzle piece that was used to put together the beautiful picture of Whitehill Place,” said Karen.

(l to r) Pictured are, front row, Karen Bennett, Greene County human services administrator, and Brian A. Hudson, Sr., executive director and CEO, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency; second row, Greene County Commissioners Archie Trader and Blair Zimmerman and state Rep. Pam Snyder; back row, Shar Whitmire, director of provider relations, Value Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania; Ed Geiger, director, Center for Community Financing, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development; Jeff Widdup, investment officer, First Federal Savings and Loan of Greene County; state Sen. Tim Solobay; John Bendel, director of community investment, Federal Home Loan Bank; Valerie Vicari, director, Division of Western Operations, Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; and Greene County Commissioner Chuck Morris.

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he super popular Flashlight Drags® are returning to the Greene County Airport in Waynesburg this summer, with five exciting events on the calendar. “It’s shaping up to be the best season yet, with lots of new activities and racing action,” said Michael Schindel of Altered Gas Performance Events, LLC, producer of Flashlight Drags®. One example of something new fans can expect this year is more prerace events, including an exhibition by Pittsburgh International Dragway racing alumni on July 7th. “During its years of operation before closing in 1976, the PID was one of the most popular drag racing venues in the country. Host to Don Garlits, the “Big Daddy” of drag racing; Grumpy Jenkins…. All the big names raced there. Some of them still get together for reunions on occasion, and they’ve agreed to come to Waynesburg on July 7th and put on an exhibition for the fans. It will be quite a show, I’m sure,” said Michael. And then, you can climb behind the wheel and try your hand at it. That’s the appeal of the Flashlight Drags®. This is where you can be a race car driver – in your own car. Flashlight Drags® offers a safe alternative to street racing. The concept of course is a throwback to the early days of drag racing, when things were uncomplicated; two cars line up for a race and someone blazed a flashlight to signal the start of the race. Now, with the Flashlight Drags® in Waynesburg, you can experience the same thrill in a safe environment. The format is simple: approximately 1/8 mile race, heads-up format, no brackets, and no classes. It’s just for fun. That means racers can race against anyone they want, as often as they want. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, just get back in line and do it again. “Some racers have made more than twenty runs during one event,” Michael explains, “You can race your buddy; race your brother, sister, or mother; moms race dads; dads race kids. Whether you’re a racer or a spectator, it’s a family event.” These events are intended for street cars and trucks (including diesel trucks this year), so your vehicle must be street legal; and you need all the appropriate paperwork, such as proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license. Drivers must be 18 years old, or have a notarized parental consent form, which is available online at www.flashlightdrags.com. You’ll also find the complete list of rules and requirements on the website and up-to-the minute event status. Just click on the rain-out link and follow directions. You’ll then get a text or e-mail notice if an event is rained out. Check it out now, then mark your calendars for each event and be prepared to have some fast fun!

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Pollinators Presentation Betty Robison, member of the Town and Country Garden Club, recently presented a program on the importance of pollinators in the food chain, as one in every three foods eaten requires pollination. She named and discussed the more common pollinators—bees, birds, bats, butterflies, beetles—and stressed the importance of establishing a pollinator-friendly habitat in one’s landscape whether it be containers, patios, yards, or gardens. Robison is the owner of Robison Acres Plant Sanctuary in Scenery Hill and has been a member of the Washington County Master Gardeners for 16 years.

“Cache” Me Town & if You Can! Country

The Greene County Department of Recreation is once again offering “Cache Me If You Can,” a geocaching game designed to showcase eight recreation sites across Greene County. Participants visit the eight sites, find a pass code located inside each geocache container and send the pass codes, along with the participant’s name, address, phone number and T-shirt size to the Department of Recreation. Information can also be e-mailed to pblaker@co.greene.pa.us. All participants will receive an official “Cache Me If You Can” Department of Recreation T-shirt (adult sizes only). The first 10 entries will each receive a single-admission pool pass to Alpha Aquatic Center in Waynesburg. The game ends Dec. 1, 2013. For a full brochure of GPS coordinates and clues, call 724-852-5323, or visit www. co.greene.pa.us.

Proclamations Announced Greene County Commissioners proclaimed the month of April 2013 Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s theme is “It’s Time to Talk About It.” The proclamation acknowledges the importance of educating the community about sexual violence prevention, supporting survivors and speaking out against harmful attitudes and actions.

Scholarship Applications for this year’s Town & Country Garden Club of Rices Landing scholarship are due on April 26, 2013. The Club awards an annual scholarship to a graduating senior at Carmichaels Area, Mapletown, Jefferson-Morgan or Waynesburg Central High School. Graduating seniors who are pursuing an education in conservation, ecology, forestry, floriculture, horticulture, landscape design, environmental studies, or the sciences can apply. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded for one academic year. FMI, students should see their guidance counselors.

Foxy

Pictured (l to r): Commissioner Chuck Morris; Renee Presto, Sexual Trauma Treatment and Recovery Services (STTARS) prevention/education specialist; Commissioner Blair Zimmerman; Joanna Dragan, STTARS program supervisor; and Commissioner Archie Trader.

Book Signing Flenniken Library will host award-winning author, Linda Rettstatt, who grew up in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, for a book signing on Monday, May 20 from 4 to 6 pm. Linda writes both women’s fiction and mainstream contemporary romance. Her first novel And the Truth Will Set You Free, was published in 2007. She has thirteen novels to her credit and is included in one anthology of fiction. Her book, Love, Sam won the EPIC eBook Award in 2012. She was named Author of the Year at Champagne Book Group in 2010 and has been nominated again for this honor for 2012. Her recent novel, A Falling Star, is loosely based on her hometown of Brownsville.

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More Zumba

Classes For an additional four weeks this spring, the Greene County Department of Recreation will offer morning Zumba classes at the Greene County Fairgrounds, starting April 29, from 8:30 to 9:30am every Mon., Wed. & Fri. Individual classes are $8 per class, or preregister for all 12 classes at a discounted rate of $5 per class, total of $60. FMI call 724-852-5323, or visit www. co.greene.pa.us.

Ann Newman of Waynesburg submitted this great photo of a red fox she says is a member of a fox family she sees frequently on her property. “They seem to pose for photos!,” Ann said. Thanks for sharing!

Flag Distribution Greene County Veteran Affairs posts this schedule for their annual flag distribution to local veteran organizations and cemeteries which will be recognizing veterans on Memorial Day: Organizations may pick up flags on May 3, at the Greene County Fairgrounds from 8:30am – 2:00pm. tCemeteries may pick up at the Greene County VA office May 13-17, 8:30am-4:30pm. Thank you for honoring our veterans! FMI: 724-852-5275.

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Customers at the Downtown Waynesburg Farmers Market enjoy shopping for fresh produce from Fred McConn and Homer Harden.

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omer Harden, a 77-year-old man, has been farming since he was five. At that age, his family had a dairy operation; and, while he wasn’t tall enough to drive a tractor, he was needed. So his folks taped blocks of wood to his shoes to give him the required reach to the pedals and he went to work. The older Homer got, the more farming he did. And he even began to do a little independent selling on the side, including going to his neighbor Dolly’s house to sell her his bantam eggs. “He wasn’t allowed to have any pennies,” Homer’s daughter Sheila McConn laughed, recounting the tale. “But he’d sneak to Dolly’s, and she’d give him a quarter for a dozen anyway, after making him promise to keep it their secret. She just told me that story again the other day.” Today, Homer Harden owns a 70-acre farm near Fredericktown where he and his son-inlaw, Fred McConn, raise animals for meat and also plant 15 acres of produce annually. How Fred and Sheila got together is worth noting. They first met at the Greene County Fair in 1972 when she was 12 and he was 13. They were sweethearts for a few years before going their separate ways and marrying other people. “Many years later, after we had both been through divorces, we met up again at the Washington County Fair in 1993, I think,” recalled Fred, “and we married in 2000. We love it when people ask us how we met.” It was certainly apropos for the two to connect at an agricultural fair – because, along with Homer, farming was and is their family way of life. “We grow a full line of produce,” Fred said. “We plant about 2,000 cabbages, 1,000 each broccoli and cauliflower, over 6,000 peppers, over 6,000 tomatoes, and between 400 and 500 pounds of seed potatoes in four different varieties each year. We also grow kale, collards, beans, sweet corn, and so much more.” “Our growing season starts in January, when we begin planting seeds in our greenhouse and high tunnel,” Fred continued. “We start from seed every plant we grow.” And all of this locally grown produce is locally sold as well. None of Harden Family Farm’s produce gets shipped to wholesalers. “We sell from the farm, and we sell at the area farm markets,” Fred said. “We go to Waynesburg, Greensboro, Charleroi, and Monongahela. In the early weeks, we can handle the markets all ourselves, but around the Fourth of July, it gets really busy, so we recruit some help from Christy and

In addition to farming, the Harden Family Farm also raises hogs, laying hens, meat chickens, and rabbits.

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A nice selection of freshly picked produce is what keeps local farmers market shoppers coming back to Harden Family Farm booth.

Rebecca Volz, one of our local 4-H families. They help a lot at the Waynesburg market, and sometimes at the farm with transplanting.” Homer and Fred begin planting sweet corn in the third week of April and continue to plant every two weeks. “We plant as much as we can handle every two weeks so that we have fresh corn to offer all summer long,” Fred said. “We plant about 2,000 cabbages, 1,000 each “The weather broccoli and cauliflower, over 6,000 peppers, affects everything we do, and this over 6,000 tomatoes, and between 400 and year we got a little 500 pounds of seed potatoes in four different bit of a later start than last year, but varieties each year.” we do have onions -Fred McConn, Farmer in the ground and potatoes and cabbage ready to go. We’ll be in full swing in no time at all. In fact, since we started tomatoes in the high tunnel this year, we hope to have ground-ripened tomatoes in mid-June.” Despite their extensive list of vegetable produce, the Harden Family Farm raises no fruit. “We know that no one person can do everything,” Fred said. “Instead, when they are in season, we get apples and peaches from an orchard in Chambersburg and sell them here. Everything we sell is Pennsylvania-raised.” In addition to the produce, Harden Family Farm raises hogs, laying hens, meat chickens, and rabbits. “We sell rabbits for 4-H and also for meat,” Fred said, “mostly in eastern markets. We also raise Cornish Cross chickens for meat which we sell, already frozen, at the farm markets. We also raise turkeys for Thanksgiving, too.” Homer and Fred’s busy season will run through mid-October before things slow down again. “Then, in the off season, we’ll clean things up, make repairs, and get ready to do it all again,” Fred said.

Homer Harden helping a market customer choose from all the Sheila McConn holds up a chicken on “chicken-plucking day” when Harden Family fresh produce. Farm processes their own birds on the farm for sale at area farmers’ markets. GreeneSaver •

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As mentioned in last month’s column, there are some exciting changes and opportunities on the horizon as we explore and promote the uses of our abundant shale gas, and how it will affect both transportation and manufacturing in our region and beyond. This is an exciting time for our nation! In addition to the economic impact, there are many touting the benefits of energy independence as an equally important result of this gamechanging resource that is under our feet here in the area of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays and in other parts of the nation as well. The ways in which our abundant natural gas is utilized – who, how and where it is used – will turn this dream into a realization. If you want to learn more about all this, mark your calendar for May 16-17, 2013. The Tri-County Oil & Gas Expo is hosting a 2-day natural gas utilization conference on May 16 & 17, 2013 at the Doubletree by Hilton Pittsburgh – Meadowlands. That’s what it is all about, a chance for manufacturers, educators, business entrepreneurs, public officials, fleet operators and interested general public - basically anyone who is interested in learning about CNG and LNG as alternative fuels for cleaner cheaper transportation. Also, for those interested in economic development opportunities and learning about the manufacturing renaissance we’re about to experience here, and the potential workforce and business needs that will be required to foster the growth of the industries. General topics that will be presented at the conference include: • Market Opportunities for Gas to Liquid: Market Drivers & Can it Transform the Industry? • Fueling Your Current Fleet on Natural Gas: Conversion Technologies • Fueling your Natural Gas fleet, the private, public or home-fueling dilemma – refueling stations, home-refueling options • Natural Gas Engines – current and future engine availability • The Natural Gas Fueling Infrastructure:

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The tristate regions response to the fueling -station demands • Legislative response to the growing demand for natural gas utilization…are PA, WV and OH partners or competitors? • Ethylene Crackers in the Appalachian Basin: Potential for the region and factors driving the decision makers This is just a sampling of the topics to be covered in the 2-day event, which is presented by the Tri-County Energy Alliance and the Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research of Penn State. Manufacturing and energy industry professionals, technology experts, leading automotive manufacturers, educators, lawmakers and others will all be there as presenters, panelists, facilitators and speakers. This is a huge opportunity for the people of Greene County and throughout southwestern PA to really understand the fundamental challenges we face in most effectively using our shale gas resource, and in making the best natural gas utilization decisions, and certainly how to benefit from this resource as an individual citizen, a business owner, a civic leader, government official or educator. Following the 2-day conference will be the Marcellus Mingle networking social, a chance to network with key stakeholders in the industry and those already working to maximize utilization of natural gas. Then on Saturday, the popular Tri-County Oil & Gas Business to Business Expo and trade show at the Washington County Fairgrounds. The events are separate, but complementary. You can register for either one or both. Anyone interested in learning about gas utilization is welcome to attend the conference for one or both days. For more information and to register, go online at www.tricountyoilandgas.com Local businesses that serve the energy industry interested in exhibiting at the TriCounty Oil and Gas Expo at the Washington County Fairgrounds on May 18th can also learn more and register online at www.tricountyoilandgas.com

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THE FINALE

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Waynesburg Brewing Company VS. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union

he brewery had boomed! The factory was valued at roughly $150,000 dollars, (quite a hefty sum for the early 1900s), and was moving nearly 4,000 barrels of malt brew each year. However, the temperance band still played the same tune. The ladies union, the W.C.T.U., which many jokingly said stood for “women come to torment us”, was relentless at license renewals each year. By the end of 1907 the brewery not only had the ladies to deal with, but an additional union had been formed. The Greene County Anti-Saloon League, with our hero, Miss Mary E. Sayers as acting secretary, ready to ride tall and proud upon her swift horse of right and justice! By the spring of 1909, both forces felt they had the evidence to bring down the newly founded brewery once and for all! It was that spring at the renewal hearing there happened to be a strange turn of events. Sitting Judge Inghram decided he was unfit to preside over the case. He said the decision was based on the fact he had failed as director of Farmers and Drovers Bank, which had been assigned eighteen shares of stock in the brewery. Therefore, he did not wish to become involved. Instead, Judge J. Q. Van Swearingen stepped in and attorneys from both sides of the isle were ready to take center stage. The temperance, now led by Carrie Morris and Mary Salmons Parry, brought forth damaging accusations. Alleged evidence showed that sales to minors and sales to men of intemperate habits had taken place. In addition, they claimed beer deliveries had been made to The Peoples Natural Gas Company that was building the largest pump station in the world at that time. This they said was not

only illegal, but had caused the employees to become habitual drunkards, and hindered the construction of the new plant! Between the accusations and the 3,577 names on a petition opposing the brewery, the judge had heard enough. The renewal of the license was refused to the brewery, and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union rejoiced! The ladies of the W.C.T.U. pledged, “We shall give our greatest efforts for civic righteousness in the years to come!” The owners of the brewery, hardened by these actions, vowed they would return in 1910 for justice. The ladies were quick to act upon that cry. They organized a gigantic rally at the Waynesburg Opera House, attended by over 1,000 people. The lowest point of blatant propaganda occurred when they brought 67 children to the stage. Three young girls carried white umbrellas to represent the dry counties in Pennsylvania: Greene, Mifflin, and Bedford. The other 64 children raised black umbrellas, and recited the rhetoric, “We hope to get out of the wet.” Then the young voices sang, “Pennsylvania shall yet be free.” Free indeed, my friends. Free of a historic landmark that might have still been with us today. Free of a business that might have been a flagship of Greene County. Free of the privilege we might have had of tasting a brew that our kin developed with passion and love. Free of a business that many today have never even heard about… The Waynesburg Brewing Company.

Seeds, tools, supplies, potting soils, insecticides, fertilizers, Muck garden shoes. And everything else for spring. EVEN CHICKS & DUCKLINGS

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GreeneScene By Barb Barchiesi

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GreeneSaver April/May Issue  

This monthly publication features stories about Harden Family Farming, How to grow your own strawberries and tomatoes, and more! Check out t...

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