Ohio’s little-known, native fruit might gain more notice soon.
Extension recently launched Marketing and Orchard Resource Efficiency (MORE) Ohio Pawpaw, a statewide, grant-funded effort that teaches farmers how to establish productive pawpaw orchards and find markets for the tropical-tasting fruit. Light green on the outside, a ripe pawpaw is about the size of a large potato. It tastes a little like a combination between banana, mango, and pineapple. It can also be soft like an avocado. Large black seeds have to be nudged out of a pawpaw before the light yellow fruit can be eaten. Though the fruit is not widely known, there’s a pocket of pawpaw fans in southern Ohio, where an annual festival features pawpaw gelato, pawpaw chutney, pawpaw wine, and even pawpaw beer. “I liked pawpaws a lot better the second time I tried them,” said Sarah Francino, a Ohio’s little-known, native fruit might gain more notice soon. CFAES master’s degree student who has tasted and tested many varieties to try to help Ohio farmers determine the best ones to raise and sell. If you’re not keen on how pawpaws taste, you might still be drawn to pawpaw trees for their bright yellowness in the fall, she said. “If you let them grow in the open, in full sun, they form a beautiful pyramid,” said Francino. Francino is working for MORE Ohio Pawpaw, which is spearheaded by Matt Davies, a CFAES assistant professor, and Brad Bergefurd, an Extension horticulture specialist. Read the full story here.
The answers to growing better crops are under your feet if you look. So says Steve Culman, soil fertility specialist at The Ohio State University, who is helping lead an upcoming workshop on how to test your soil. “Soil testing provides a window into the soil, revealing if a plant is likely to see the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive,” said Culman, based at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences(CFAES). The workshop, called “Digging Into Soil Health: What Tests Can Tell Us About Our Soil,” will be Feb. 14 in Dayton. It’s part of the annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), which runs from Feb. 14–16.
Eugene Braig has a passion for water — for Ohio’s ponds, rivers, lakes and streams; for the myriad things that call it home, from yellow perch to pickerelweed, smallmouth bass to microscopic plankton; and for making sure all its parts are in tune.
A project led by Eugene Braig, a program director for aquatic ecosystems with the School of Environment and Natural Resources in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and colleagues at The Ohio State University to train individuals who live near smaller lakes and reservoirs in pond management and HAB prevention is featured in the latest newletter of the North Central Region Water Network. A unique feature of the project is that it seeks to serve and address moderate-sized waterbodies and owners (often multiple) of these waterbodies. Read more.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) has killed millions of ash trees in Ohio, the Midwest and eastern North America, including possibly yours. But there are ways to help your woods bounce back. For starters, you should scout for invasive plants on a regular basis, said Kathy Smith, forestry expert at The Ohio State University. If you find any, you should root them out. With fewer trees in your woods and more gaps in the canopy, “the concern is that non-native invasive species can quickly get out of hand,” Smith said. She named buckthorns, honeysuckles, garlic-mustard and kudzu as a few of the many invaders you should watch for.Woods hit by ash borers also may need selective thinning, seedling planting and changes in the owner’s management goals, Smith said, all depending on how many ash trees died and what kinds of trees remain. Harvesting timber may need to be reduced in some cases. Smith will speak on the topic at the Ohio River Valley Woodland and Wildlife Workshop near Cincinnati on March 17. The event offers 15 sessions on subjects including birds, bats, trees, bees, ponds, and timber and wildlife management. It’s for landowners in the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana tri-state region. It’s also for anyone else interested in conservation.
Registration for the 2017 Ohio Environmental Leaders Institute is Now Open! Developing Leadership in Ohio’s Urban Environmental Landscape
The Ohio Environmental Leaders Institute provides environmental, natural resources and sustainability professionals (and professionals-in-training) with the skills needed to better address the many complex, unique environmental issues facing our state. This annual, cohort-based program seeks participants from the private, public, non-profit sectors. Individuals who lead, or who aspire to lead collaborative planning and decision-making processes that integrate science and public values will benefit the most from participating in OELI.
A workshop on Feb. 6 in Bucyrus will show you how money can grow on your trees. And also under and around them. Called “Woodland Opportunities,” it’s from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in Ohio State University Extension’s Crawford County office, 112 E. Mansfield St. “‘What should I do with my woods?’ It’s a question we get a lot,” said Kathy Smith, coordinator of OSU Extension’s Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, which is sponsoring the event and providing the instructors.
Nov. 15 event at The Ohio State University aims to help Ohio’s cities, towns and suburbs limit conflicts between people and wildlife, from deer to geese to coyotes. Organizers say the 2016 annual conference of the Ohio Community Wildlife Cooperative is for local government officials, community leaders, town planners and others. Its theme is “Living with Wildlife and Resolving Conflicts in Ohio.” Urban wildlife conflicts are increasing, and so are the challenges for local governments in managing them, said co-organizer Marne Titchenell, wildlife program specialist with Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). The headline of a recent story by the Associated Press, for instance, said U.S. cities are “increasingly dealing” with the problem of “messy goose poop.
Two special events at The Ohio State University will look at two big personalities — a famous grizzly bear and media mogul turned environmentalist Ted Turner, an Ohio native — and the mark they’re making on the American West. The Ohio State-based Environmental Professionals Network, a service of the School of Environment and Natural Resources, is hosting both events. The school is in the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. On Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., photographer Thomas Mangelsen and writer Todd Wilkinson will present “An Evening with Grizzly Bear 399,” a photo-rich talk based on their book Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek.
Millions of ash trees have died in Ohio, meaning millions of chances exist for Ohioans to cut them down with chainsaws. A series of talks at Farm Science Review will show how to do it safely. The Review is a Sept. 20-22 trade show at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio, about 25 miles west of Columbus. The series, called “Chainsaw Safety and Maintenance,” will be given three times in the Review’s Gwynne Conservation Area: on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.; and on Sept. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.