Special Events Saturday June 6th at the Town of Halifax Farmers Market
Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 13th from 8am to 11am at the Town of Halifax Farmers Market for a display on Straw Bale Vegetable Gardening. Southside Master Gardners will have a planting and sowing demo during market hours ending at 11am. Master Gardeners will be available to explain the art of straw bale gardening and answer all of your gardening questions.
Straw bale gardening has been around since the Aztecs and was used by the pioneers in their westward movement across the United States. The beauty of the system is that it requires no soil preparation and has many of the benefits of raised beds without the expense. But before you think the system is as simple as cutting a hole in a straw bale and plopping in a plant, a conditioning process is required. This is not difficult but does take about 2 weeks to prepare the bales for planting.
We all want vegetable gardens that are weed and pest free. Key advantages of straw bale gardens are no weeds and fewer pests especially ground boring insects or soil borne diseases. The straw gardens are adaptable to any space no matter how small. Because the plants are grown at a higher level no stooping is required for harvesting and maintaining. The bales make great compost at the end of the season.
Getting the right type of bales is a priority. Thinking that you can use any old hay bale you’ve got lying around is asking for a weed nightmare. Straw is the baled remains of small grain crops after harvesting the grain so do not contain seeds. Its hollow stems contain no nutritional value for animals and is normally used for bedding. Smaller bales or “lady” bales are desired because of ease of moving.
If you want to learn more about this innovative style of vegetable gardening please join the Southside Master Gardeners at the Halifax Farmers Market located at 209 S. Main Street in the Town of Halifax where they will detail the advantages, the conditioning process, the maintenance and where to purchase bales. Come on out and find out the joy of raising your own nutritious produce in a straw bale. Also visit the regular vendors offering fresh cut flowers, fresh produce, grass raised meats, fresh baked sweets, fresh eggs and much more.
Growing vegetables in straw bales is an innovative way to raise vegetables without the drawbacks of traditional vegetable gardens. Join the Master Gardeners on June 13th at the Halifax Farmers Market to learn all the ins and outs of the process.
The Town of Halifax Farmers Market and Virginia Cooperative Extension are hosting a "Canning Salsa Workshop" (with tomatoes, peppers, & onions using a hot water bath) on Saturday July 19, 2014 from 10:00am - 2:00pm at the Town of Halifax Farmers Market. Registration deadline and $15 fee must be received no later that 5:00pm on Friday July 11, 2014. Please register by calling Chris Brown @ Halifax Extension Office, 476-2147 or Denise Barksdale @ Halifax Town Hall 476-2343. Fee includes Ball Blue Book preserving guide, ball 4 piece canning kit, jar of product and LUNCH! Topics covered include: proper sealing of jars & lids, correct processing time, unsafe canning methods, proper storage and labeling, necessary equipment, foods preserved in boiling water bath, the consequences of unsafe preservation methods such as Clostridium Botulinum. Make checks payable and mail to: Virginia Cooperative Extension-Halifax P.O. Box 757 Halifax, VA 24558.
Thanks to our local sponsors! Burnett & Sneed, Hite Insurance, Packhouse, and Triangle Florist.