Bye, bye garden season. Hello farm tour

The 2012 gardening season as we know it is about to end.

With temperatures as low as 24 and a freeze warning,  those delicate blooms will likely not survive past tonight.

That means you need to pick everything you can today. I have all my water bottles lined up for the last of the dahlias. If a bud has cracked open at all, it has a chance of blooming inside. I’m picking it today for I’ll be weeping tomorrow.

Now if you planted cold weather crops in August like gardening experts advised, you can extend your growing season. You’d have turnips, kale and other fun vegetables.

I didn’t. So today is my last day.

If you planted in pots, you can bring them inside, but let’s face it, we’ll only get more cold nights. It is October, after all.

Lucky for us, production on farms does not stop, and Saturday we’ll get a rare opportunity to experience life on the farm.

The Penn State Extension and the Monroe County Conservation District are hosting the free tour of eight Monroe County farms from 11 a.m. to  3 p.m. Saturday. Did you see the word free? When I go on vacation I pay to see even one farm.

There’s Royce Fetherman who operates a family tree Christmas tree farm in Cherry Valley. Who knew how much work goes into growing your Christmas tree?

The wine makers at Big Creek Vineyard will discuss the challenges of growing grapes in the Poconos.

Visitors to Brian Bruno’s Apple Ridge Farm in Saylorsburg will get a glimpse of the chicken and egg operation, and experience baked goods fresh out of the stone oven.

But you won’t want to miss the doings at the Josie Porter farm.  That’s the home of the Cherry Valley Community Supported Agriculture.  Full shares and half shares are offered between the months of June and October for 22 weeks. Produce is grown on the farm and members can pick up the bounty starting in June.  

They also sell the produce. What a great way for non-gardeners to eat local produce.

The Penn State Master Gardeners are starting demonstration gardens here  at Josie Porter’s too. Why sit in a classroom when you can dig in the dirt, Master Gardener Marilyn Baughman says.

A memorial garden will have native plants so you can see how they can fit into your yard, a rock garden and a teaching garden.

Saturday, Baughman will be at the Josie Porter farm discussing the benefits of mulch in your garden. Heather Haas will be there discussing good bugs and bad bugs.

There are good bugs? You bet.

Haas says wasps are great pollinators, and some bugs, such as lady bugs, eat the bad bugs. It’s a good day when someone else does my work.

So take a few hours Saturday to learn about what is happening at farms around the Poconos. I’m willing to bet you’ll get some useful tips for you own yard, too.

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