Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Eat Local!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cultivate Kansas City folks were rocking this really cool t-shirt athe Expo..
Yesterday morning, I ventured out to the EatLocal! Expo to see if I could find some local sources for grass-fed beef and also grain (we're so excited to try out our new grain mill!) 
Since this was my first time at the Expo, I wasn't sure what to expect. Just trying to find a place to park was an adventure and the Civic Center's gym was packed to the gills with people.
 My guess is that there were easily 800 people in attendance while I was there.  Chatting with one of the sponsors from Slow Food KC, they mentioned that the expo had been going on for about 10 years and that this was the biggest attendance they had seen so far. 
Sounds like lots of people like me are waking up to the idea of fresh, local and organic foods.

There were lots of local vendors hocking their locally-grown wares, including fresh veggies...

and hard red wheat and ground flour....

and all kinds of transplants and seedlings. 
Check out the size of these yellow pear tomatoes!

Some of my favorite folks, BadSeed Market, were there also. 
And they brought along their "super sexy vegetables"...

... and free range eggs...

...and kitchen composters. 
These were cute, but really nothing more than a plastic coffee can. I didn't ask what they were selling them for.  I suspect we all have something we could repurpose for this.

They also had some canned goodies.  Doesn't that tomato sauce look yummy?

They're offering some classes this spring at the Market, and I'll be putting those on the Events Calendar later today.
I also met Sherri Harvel from Root Deep Urban Farm, having recognized her from the website.  What a wonderful, charming woman!  We exchanged contact info, chatted about different varieties of heirloom tomatoes (she had a dozen varieties of seedlings for sale), the upcoming urban farm tour, etc.  I missed the tour last year and her urban farm on several vacant lots not far from Cranky Puppy was on the top of my list of farms that I wanted to visit. 

Christine from The Deadly Nightshade had her open house yesterday afternoon and there was NO WAY I was going to miss seeing what they've done with the old Victorian house that we renovated. And I desperately needed a haircut first. 
So I skedaddled out of the Expo with  some yummies:  (1) - a pound of 21-day-aged grass-fed Angus ground beef - for me; (2) summer sausage (made from the same stuff) - for J. and (3) tons of contact info, and information on some more events!  I'll be adding these in the next day or so to the Events Calendar.
Oh, and if you're local and missed this event, I've got some good news.  They're doing it again on April 6th at the Metropolitan Community College's Penn Valley location.  Click here if you want some more info.
Happy Easter, everyone!

Gangster Gardening

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

“Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus, you get strawberries.”
-Ron Finley, artist and guerilla gardener in South Los Angelos

This guy has a really powerful message for all of us and not just those of us in the inner city.  His TED talk below is just 10 minutes long and well worth your time.


Home is Where You Make It

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I've got a new critter around the farm that you need to meet.  He's taken up residence in the ceiling light on the back porch.  That is, the light that used to have beautiful seeded glass in it until SOMEONE broke it 3 days after I installed it.  (That somebody may have been me...)
Can you see his tail sticking out on the left?

Here's a closeup....look really closely. 
Can you see his eye and beak to the right of the lightbulb?

An adorable little house sparrow has decided that this light is a cozy, safe place to rest every night and he's always in there right before dark.  I suppose it's better than snoozing in the 8 inches of snow that we got on Saturday night.

I've affectionately named our new house guest Zinger, since he likes to fly off and zing past you when you walk out the door. 

Welcome to the neighborhood, Zinger! 
You're welcome to stay as long as you like as long as you don't poop on anyone.

(Don't let anyone tell you we don't have high standards here at Cranky Puppy Farm.)

My Notes from Tomato Grafting Class

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Under threat of impending snowstorm yesterday, I drove out to the middle of nowhere to attend the K-State Extension seminar on tomato grafting.  And, boy, am I glad that I did.  I had read about grafting heirloom tomatoes onto more disease-resist hybrid rootstocks last year (and posted about it and some great resources on graftng here).

What I'm really excited about is how easy grafting is.  After watching a demonstration, it took me about 2 minutes to graft 6 plants.  I'm so excited about this - I came home with 6 Cherokee Purple heirlooms grafted onto Maxifort rootstock that I get to baby for the next 10 days.  What does that mean?  Read on, my friend....

Tomato Diseases

Tomatoes in general are susceptible to a variety of diseases:  fusarium wilt, verticillium wilt, blight to name a few.  In sandy soil, you can also add in soil nematodes that attack the roots.  Here in Missouri and Kansas, fusarium and verticillium are the most common and we don't need to worry about bacterial wilt.  Verticillium is a cool weather fungal pathogen and the bad news is that, once you have it, it can live in the soil for anywhere from 5 to years!

**By the way, a good way to tell if you have verticillium wilt is a V-shaped lesion (or lesions) on the tomato leaves.

The best way to fight these diseases and pests but still have your yummy, non-GMO tomatoes is to graft an heirloom onto a hybrid,disease resistant rootstock.

Now here's something I learned in the class and haven't found anywhere else.  When you buy hybrid tomatoes or rootstock, they normally indicate their resistance levels with a combination of the following codes:

Notice that there are multiple races (or variants) or fusarium wilt listed.  There are also now 2 races of verticillium wilt. If you see "V listed as a disease resistane, it is Race 1 only.  Currently, there are NO known tomato varieties that are resistant to Race 2!  So, if you get that in your garden, you are screwed with a capital S.

Here's a great chart from sare.org that shows the resistance of the rootstocks that are available.

Benefits of Grafting for Heirloom Growers

K-State has been performing research on various rootstocks, growing environments and grafting techniques in an effort to identify the best combinations for optimal growing here in the Midwest.  So far, they are seeing a 43 to 52% increase in tomato yields when using grafting (versus standard planting methods).  It may not seem so at first, though, as grafted tomatoes usually produce less on the first harvest but then produce more than a non-standard plant on successive harvests.  They also tend to produce longer during the season.

In addition to a much bigger yield, you also get the following benefits with grafting:
  1. Disease an soil-bourne pathogen resistance
  2. Drought resistance (some rootstocks)
  3. Salt tolerance
  4. Higher fruit quality
  5. Bigger high tunnel production (bigger yield in smaller spaces)

That last one is perhaps the most important for someone like me as a backyard grower!

Buying RootStock or Grafted Vegetables

Determinate varieties are experts at turning grafts into fruit production - they're great at soaking up nutrients and pumping them up the stalk.  Cherokee Purple heirlooms are a perfect partner, as they are able to take the increased nutrient and water flow and, since they're also less vegatative, they are able to produce higher yields of tomatoes.  Here's a

There are lots of rootstock varieties out there but K-State is focusing on the most popular varieties - Maxifort, Beaufort, Arnold and BHN-589.  According to their research so far, Maxifort has proven to provide the best yield so far.  You can buy Maxifort and other rootstock varieties at Johnny's Seeds, as well as already-grafted tomato plants and other veggies at Territorial Seeds.  You might check your local nurseries also, as many of them are starting to sell grafted plants.

Rootstocks are expensive!  You'll probably pay somewhere from 40 cents to $1.70 per seed, depending on the variety.  (50 Maxifort seeds are $27.00 at Johnny's.)  That's because they are a very specialized hybrid tomato variety and they are often very hard to produce and don't germinate well.  If you're considering growing your own rootstock, that's something to consider.

Tips for the Grafting Process

The process for grafting is fairly simple:

1.  The rootstock and scion (the plant to be grafted onto the rootstock) must be the same size.  Ideally, they will have 2to 4 leaves and the stems will be between 1.5 to 2.0 mm in diameter.  You have to keep an eye on the plants, as tomatoes grow extremely fast.  There may be only a 24 hour window when they are this size!  If you need to slow a plant down to get the sizes right before grafting, put it in a cool place.

2. Always graft inside where you can control the environment - especially the temperature.  The best time to graft is early in the morning or oafter dark, when there is little water stress on the plants.  Placing the plants in a shaded area or 2 to 4 hours before grafting will also reduce stress.

3. Make sure you disinfect your tools,grafting clips, and hands (or wear gloves - it will keep potting soil out of your fingernails).  Rubbing alcohol works fine for this.  Also, as your grafting, clean your knife or razor blade every 20 plants.

4. Cut the rootstock right below the cotyledons (first set of 2 leaves) at a 45 degree angle.

5.  Slide the grafting lip onto the tip of the rootstock.  The clips that we used in class are made of plastic and are designed so that you can pinch them open (see below).  As the plant grows, the clips fall off.  There are also spring-loaded clips but, if you use those, make sure you pull them off after the graft has healed. 

Flexible grafting clips. These fall off as the tomato heals and grows!

6.  Cut the scion below the cotyledons, but leave enough stem so that the leaves aren't stuck in the clip.  You'll need to pay attention to the size of the stem here - if you have to go higher or lower to match up with the size of the rootstock, that's fine.  You can also cut off the cotyledon leaves if needed.

7.  Slide the scion into the top of the clip and push gently until the two stems are seated against each other. 

8.  The plants will appear to wilt fairly soon after you graft them.  Place the plants in a healing chamber for 7 to 10 days (or until they no longer show signs of stress).  For the first 2 days, it should have no light and a constant temperature of 72to 75 degrees.  I covered mine with a plastic dome to maintain the humidity and placed them in  closet.  You could also cover them with a shade cloth or even use a walk-in cooler (if you have one!)  Ideally, humidity should be around a steady 85 to 90%.  Keep a close eye on their environment.  If they appear to be perking up on Day 3, open a hole in their covering (or expose them to a little more light) and then increase light more and more until they don't appear to be stressed any long and the graft is healed.

You will probably see tiny little roots growing from the graft as the vascular tissue heals together.  This is normal and they will fall off as the plant grows.

9.  Harden and dampen off the plants are you would normally.

10.  When planting:  I usually plant my tomato plants deeper, to encourage rooting.  You do NOT want to do this with a grafted plant.  The graft needs to above the soil level or the scion (the top plant) will root and it will destroy all the benefits of having the graft there.

Importance of Pruning Grafted Plants

As with standard tomatoes, it's a good idea to prune your plants - especially if you are growing a type that is very vegetative (produces lots of leaves or stems). By removing the leaves, you force the plant to redirect its energy to producing fruit rather than vegetation.

Want to Learn More?

I highly recommend this video from Extension.org and this PDF from Johnny's Seeds.  Or just Google "tomato grafting" and find a treasure of information!

I hope you found this information useful.  I'll be posting in the next couple of days about how my little graftees are doing in their infirmary.   Cross your fingers for me that I don't kill the little guys!

I'm sharing this post as part of this week's Homestead Barn hop and Home Acre hop. Lots of stuff going on over there...go check it out!

Tomato Grafting

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Illustration courtesy of WindCrestFarm
Snow this morning, maybe BIG snow on Thursday, more snow on Saturday.  Really?!?  When am I going to be able to get out in my garden?

On a good note, however...the workshop that I really wanted to attend has been rescheduled!  From what I've been reading, you can graft an organic tomato plant onto stronger disease-resistant hybrid rootstock and get the best of both worlds:  organic tomatoes without all the woes.  Anyway, here are all the details if you're local and also want to attend.  I'll definitely be there and will report back to y'all on everything I learned this weekend.

I've added this to the Events Calendar (click on Events on the menu bar above).  With Spring around the corner, there's lots of stuff going on.  So be sure to check the calendar for online webinars and local events related to homesteading, preserving, gardening, farming and more!



Tomato Grafting: Benefits and Technique (Hands-On)
includes demonstration and "hands-on" practice at grafting tomatoes

Saturday, March 23
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Location: K-State Olathe Horticulture Research and Extension Center, 35230 W. 135th St., Olathe, KS, 66061
Cost: $15

Ever heard of grafted vegetables? Interested to learn how and why people are doing this? We'll discuss the benefits of grafting with rootstocks that confer disease resistance and increase plant vigor and yield. We'll also talk about the details of the grafting process, and what it takes to do your own grafting in addition to a demonstration. Audience participants will also get to try their hand at grafting and plants and supplies (knives, clips, etc.) will be provided.

For more information or to register: crivard@ksu.edu

St. Paddy's Ba-Dump-Bump

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The remains of one of my ancestor's castles in Dromaneen, Cork.  Photo courtesy of Mike Searle.

Ah, the emerald isle calls to me with a siren's voice!  My family name on both my mother and father's sides are unmistakably Irish, my great grandfather was an Irishman, and my sister has traced our family's lineage all the way back to an ancient king.  Every year I say I'm going "across the pond" to visit and we never make it.  *sigh* Someday....

We celebrated the American Irish Lovefest (better known as St. Patrick's Day) last night by rocking out with Irish folk rock legends, The Elders, at the Uptown Theater.  Aaaaagh...Irish fiddle!  You can listen to them here.  And if you like what you hear and are anywhere near KC, they'll be blowing the roof off the Irish Center's Gala on April 18th.  You can bet I'll be there.

Anyway, I thought I would leave you with an Irish funny to get your St. Paddy's Day started off right.  Hope you enjoy!

A few years ago we toured Europe. Shortly after arriving in Italy, we noticed that outside every cathedral was a small golden pillar, holding a golden phone. The plaque invariably read: "Direct line to heaven. $1,000." Not having the extra cash, we didn't call.

After seeing much of the continent, we visited the UK. Our first cathedral there was an Irish one, and more of a chapel, really. Outside ...
was the now-familiar golden phone. But the plaque read: "Direct line to heaven. $0.25."

We grabbed the priest and asked, "Father, how can this be? All over Europe, these Direct lines to heaven cost $1,000. Why is this one only twenty-five cents?"

He smiled gently and replied, "Aye, but you're in Ireland now. It's a local call."

The Local Pig

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Where's the bacon?
This the mural on the wall of what may very well be our new favorite place.  It's called "The Local Pig" and it's just a stone's throw from our house here in the Historic Northeast area of KC in an unassuming old building at 2618 Guinnotte Avenue.  It seems fitting that a charcuterie (that's fancy talk for butcher shop) would be tucked into the East Bottoms among the railroad lines that serviced the stockyards back in the late 1800's to early 1900's.  Catty-corner from the building is the old Heims brewery fire station and a block down is the infamous Knuckleheads, one of the best place to catch blues or honky tonk in the country.

You're greeted at the door by a huge piece of slate that notes their hours (10:30 a.m to 7:30 p.m. daily) and their fanciful pig logo on the door. 

Through the door is the butcher shop, and around back is their newly opened sandwich truck called Pigwich. They were busy this Saturday afternoon but our grumbling tummies dictates that we wait in line for their burgers and fresh chips (and a Coke) for just $8.00. Delicious!  Then we headed in to what I can only refer to as "meat heaven".
Click to biggify if you want to read the menu.
Once inside, the sunny yellow walls frame the long row of meat cases and the chalkboard that list the current specials. The stained glass windows, butcher paper roller, and wooden fencing surrounding the cases makes this feel like an old-school butcher shop.  That and the fact that folks were choppin' and sawin' meat in the back right out where you can see them rather than behind a set of swinging doors.  
To the left are freshly cut heritage breed pork chops, roasts, lamb, goat, Kansas City strips and a rib-eye that could have served as a dinner plate.  They're twice the size of a standard cut ribeye.  Everything is local and hormone and steroid-free. 

It's at this point that J. started wiping the slobber off his chin and I moved on to see what was in the middle case.  It's here that I found what I was looking for - 4 different kinds of bacon.  Italian herb, jalapeno, black pepper and the 4th I can't remember.  All super thick cut and...well...this is when my mouth started watering.
To the right are free range eggs, freshly made sausages, pate, and cheese and cream from the local Shatto dairy farm.  If you haven't tried their milk, you haven't had milk!

We walked out the door with a 1/2 pound of black pepper bacon (for tomorrow morning!), 10 pork, smoked gouda and bacon meatballs, and a pound of fresh pepperoni cut in 1/2" thicknesses.  All was wrapped in white butcher paper and then placed in a string-wrapped box. The pepperoni barely made it all the way home before J. was munching on it.

Butcher Boxes (a semi-CSA)
Folks looking to sample a variety of what TLP has to offer can subscribe for the weekly or bi-weekly "butcher box" containing 5, 7, or 10 pounds of locally-sourced meats and complements such as pastas, soups, spice blends or fresh herbs.  A 5-pound box is just $35.00 weekly which is almost enough meat for an entire week's meals if you're carnivore's like us.

Hands-On Classes 
But this isn't just a butcher shop - one thing I really like is that they also offer hands-on classes on making sausages, breaking down a pig from snout to tail, and making charcuterie. I've added their classes for 2013 to the Cranky Puppy Events Calendar for those of you that are local and want to check them out.  But  I'm warning you...they fill up FAST. We were looking at the Whole Hog Butchering class for May last week and it's now full and so is June.  I'm not sure I want to be butching a hog in the middle of a sultry July or August, so I may see if J. will sign us up as a birthday present to me in September. 
Yep, I'm not your traditional kind of girl...

They're So Fluffy! (CUTENESS ALERT)

Friday, March 15, 2013

The new residents over at the local Tractor Supply are quite over-the-top adorable, aren't they?

We did actually have a reason to stop in last night other than just to "ooo" and "aahh" over the sweet little chicks.  Every time we go out to water the chickens, Henrietta's water bowl is low or almost empty.  J. and I have been thinking that she must be the thirstiest hen in the world.  But on further inspection yesterday, we found a tiny little pin-size hole in the bottom of the pan that we had been using - it was an old pan that came along as a "freebie" in a box of stuff that I bought at an auction.  Problem solved:  the water had been slowly draining out.  So off to TS we went to find her a new one. 

That is...after J. was able to pry me away from the little chicks.

And the ducklings.  Aaah!

And more chicks.

I want one!

I'm operating on cute overload right now.

BTW, Henrietta is one spoiled pet chicken.  New water bowl and, last weekend, we bought her a newer, bigger enclosure.  With a real gate and everything!  Very uptown.....  We may put that together tonight, so I'll post pics.

It's going to be a balmy 75 degrees today and I'm taking the afternoon off to bask in the sun while I can.  And maybe get some prep work done in the garden while I'm at it.  *wink*

Ta ta til later,

I've shared this as part of this week's Farm Girl Blog Fest. You might wanna check it out!

The Rising Cost of Land

Saturday, March 09, 2013

"Portrait of a Lonely Barn" - Bates City, Missouri
We've talked before about the rising cost of milk.  But I guess I didn't realize how much of an effect the economy has had on the price of good, arable land.

J. and I headed to an auction this morning in Bates City, which is a good 30+ minutes to the east of Kansas City down I-70.  When we took the exit and immediately found ourselves looking at the snow retreating from fields full of dirt black as coal, I took a deep breath and relaxed.  It felt like home.  It smelled like Spring. 

Sometimes we know the stories behind estate auctions but this one wasn't the usual run-down-family-farm-with-a-paintless-barn-that-is-barely-standing-after-the-old-farmer-passed-and-no-wanted-to-follow-in-his-footsteps story.  The brick house with its 3 garages looked brand new and it sat on 41 acres with nice-sized new barn and a second tract of 20+ acres for sale separately.  In the living room was a whiteboard that showed the bids on the house and the 2nd tract.  Someone bought them both for $535,000.  I marveled to J. that it seemed like a really high price. 

Then we walked down to the barn to look at the 2005 John Deere 5103 tractor and Gator that they were selling.  Both went high - the tractor sold for $12,000 and it didn't have a loader like mine.  Knowing that it would be $6 - 7K to add the loader, I feel good about paying $15,000 for mine last year with the loader.  I s'pose it always feels good to think you got a good deal.

And that got me to thinking about our farmland.  We bought it over a decade ago and paid $72,000 for 40 acres with a brand new 30' x 40' Cleary building on it.  I'd say the going price to have that barn built was $10,000; maybe $12,000 with the concrete work and clearing.  Doing the math, that's $1,500 per acre.  We scrimped and saved to pay for it and the mortgage on our house, but it was a labor of love.

But this auction?  If we say the house was worth a generous $250,000, that land sold for somewhere around $5,000 per acre.  And that got me to thinking some more.  So I did some looking at UnitedCountry and LandsOfAmerica and was dumbstruck to see a farm just down the road for us selling for over $4,000 per acre.  Holy crow!  We could sell and make a tidy little profit if we were so inclined.

Courtesy of Univesity of Missouri Extension. Our area had the highest increase!
When I told J. what I had found, his reply was "Well, unlike the dollar bill, you can't make more of it.".  Yuuuuuuup, he's right.  Land is a hedge against a devaluing dollar and a world gone mad.  In fact, over the last 100 years investment in farmland has only experience three brief periods of negative returns (1930s, 1980s, and 2008).

Am I selling?  No way, Mr. Auctioneer.  No way.

I've shared this post with this week's Weekly Top Shot. If you want to see some awesome photography, that's the place to be!

Sams Club for Zombie Apocalypse Preps?

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

J.'s brother is a mail carrier and this guy looks a little bit too much like him.  Yikes!
Have you watched too many Walking Dead episodes (like me) are convinced that the zombie apocalypse can happen at any time? 
Well, Sams and Costco are the places to get prepped for that kind of event.  Where else can you buys mountains of toilet paper, beans, and cheese puffs?  The only thing they don't have is ammo.  So I've been keeping an eye out for a good deal on memberships and I've finally found one for Sam's Club.
Spend $45 and get a 1-year Advantage membership
$20 gift card (good at Sams or Walmart)
+ $20 in vouchers for free 16" pizza, rotisserie chicken and 24 Artisan cookies
= a 1-year membership for just $5.00!
If you're already a member, you can still take advantage of this because you don't have to activate your membership until June 18th.  If your membership is expiring sometime between now and then, it's a great deal for renewal (you have to switch it to a family member that doesn't have a current membership, though, as this is valid only for new members).
This deal is only available through tomorrow night (March 7th), so you have to act fast if you want it.
To view details or sign up, use this link:
Completely Self-Serving Disclaimer: If 3 people sign up for the deal through my referral link above, I get my Sam's membership for free.  So I'm hoping that someone needs a good deal on a Sams membership and wouldn't mind helping me out by using the link.  Whether you use my link or not, it's still a great deal to get a Sams membership for just $5!
By the way...you know what would really scare the heck out of me?  Zombie chickens.
Think about it.

It's All Ours

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Zero balance, no more checks to write.  The farm is officially all ours now.  We are giddy with excitement!  I look at this picture and I'm instantly transported from this noisy, obnoxious rat-race of a city to a place where you hear nothing but cows and the wind in the corn. 
One day...
So I suppose it's some kind of strange synchronicity that Mary Ann over at Calamity Acres posted about a story she had read over at This Old House Too about an old farmer in Vermont named Romaine Tenney. 
I hadn't heard this story before and it touched me so much that I cried after I read it.  This man who loved his community, his family, his old farmstead where he was born, his land - he loved it all so much that he died for it.  I know the way I feel about our acreage and I'm sure it doesn't even come close to the depth of feeling that he had about his.  If you have a moment, please read the story of Romaine Tenney and how he lost his life because of "progress".
Here in Kansas City, they have bulldozed 100+ year old houses to build freeways.  The University of Missouri-Kansas City used eminent domain in the late 1990's to buy up entire neighborhoods for a research center that they never built (read about it here). In Merriam, Kansas, they forced a used car dealer out with eminent domain so that the BMW dealership could expand and increase the city's tax coffers.  And they bulldozed 150 houses and farms to clear way for Nascar's new Kansas Speedway, a ruling that the Kansas Supreme Court upheld as "public purpose".  (Source: here).  Now is that a lawful use of eminent domain!?  I think not.
God bless you, Romaine Tenney.  The world needs more people like you in it. Having read your story, I will never forget it.

New Feature: Events Calendar

Monday, March 04, 2013

You can tell it's almost Spring by the stack of seed catalogs on my desk and the tons of emails in my inbox about garden shows, seed swaps, tomato grafting, sheep shearing and a dizzying array of other events.  There are so many exciting opportunities just in March alone!  Here are just a few I'll be attending:

  • Worm Composting and Hot Compost Workshop (thanks to Christine @ TheDeadlyNightshade!)
  • Urban Fruit Production Seminar
  • Eat Local! Organic Expo
  • 2-part Webinar: Grazing Goats

A good friend of mine got me a "Farms and Barns" wall calendar for Christmas and I was trying to keep track of all these classes and workshops on it, but it quickly got untenable.  So then I started putting them all on my Google calendar so that my phone will alert me when something's coming up.

(I can't help it...I was watching "Despicable Me last night)
Maybe my readers would be interested in a calendar that shows all the events also?  By jiffy, what a great idea.

So I've done just that.  I've compiled a list of all the upcoming gardening\farming\livestock webinars, workshops, and classes that I know about into one place for you right here on the Cranky Puppy blog. Just click on "Events" on the menu bar up there.

You can change from "Week" to "Month" views by clicking in the upper right-hand corner of the calendar.  Click on "Agenda" to see a longer list of dates with the complete titles. 

Agenda view is easier to read.
Honestly, I like this view the best.

Double-click on an event to view more details about the event - I've included the original source, location and time, how to register, etc. Please note that some of these events require advance registration and are not free!  So, if you're interested in something, make sure you read closely and understand what's required to attend.

Finally, you can also click from the details page and add the event to your own calendar.  Easy peasy!

Before I end this post, I'd like to say one thing about the University extension offices.  They are a great wealth of information and many of their resources are absolutely free.  If you haven't checked out your local extension office, you should.  And you know what else is awesome?  You don't even have to be in the same state to register and listen to their webinars.  So think outside the box and look at some other extension offices in other states.  (Or wait and see what I put up on the new calendar!)

I hope you find this new calendar as useful as I have!  Oh...and if you have events that you'd like for me to add, please hit the "Email me!" button at the top of the blog.  Thanks!

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