You Bet Your Garden

Events with You Bet Your Garden's host, Mike McGrath


Mike McGrath at TEDx

Mike McGrath covered everything you need to know about composting at the TEDxPhoenixville event in October 2012. Find his talk helpful? Be sure to mark your calendars to catch Mike at other fun & informative gardening events, listed below!



November 19: Empty Bowl Dinner

Lutheran Theological Seminary on Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia

Mike once again has the honor of hosting the annual Empty Bowl benefit dinner for the homeless, this year to be held (for the second time!) at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Chestnut Hill PA. Coordinated by the Northwest Philly Interfaith Hospitality Network ("The shelter that's not like a shelter"), this year's event takes place on Wednesday evening November 19th. You'll get to pick your own hand made bowl out of a room filled with literally hundreds of beautiful bowls donated by local artisans and/or schoolchildren. Then you get to eat all the soup you want from a delectable variety (like Hot & Sour, Chicken Noodle, Butternut Squash, Italian Wedding, etc., etc.) donated by area restaurants—great bread, too! You get to eat your fill and then take home your bowl--all while helping homeless families. Such a mitzvah! Three seatings; for details, call: (215) 247-4663 - www.philashelter.org





Gardening events in the Delaware Valley


October 29: Vermi-Composting Workshop

Middlesex County EARTH Center in Davidson's Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick, NJ

Now is the time to learn how to reduce waste and improve soil, right in your own backyard through this free composting seminar. Class starts at 6:30 p.m. and runs about 2 hours. Please call the Middlesex County Office of Solid Waste Management at 732-745-4170 or e-mail solidwaste@co.middlesex.nj.us to register for the free workshops. Workshop attendees may also pick up pre-purchased compost bins at the workshops. Call the Solid Waste Office before the workshop for a list of available compost bins.


October 30: GHOST TALES and GOOSEBUMPS: LOCAL LEGENDS BY FIRELIGHT

Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132

Every town has its tales—ghost stories that send chills down your spine and make goose bumps spring up on your skin. This Mischief Night, Laurel Hill Cemetery is host to the region's classic ghost tales and creepy legends. Featuring The Not Ready for After-Life players as storytellers of these otherworldly tales, tours will depart every half hour through the stones and mausoleums of Laurel Hill. By candlelight, firelight, and lantern, storytellers will regale you with tales sure to set your bones shivering. Afterwards, slow your slow heart rate with hot cider and cookies. Enjoy an appropriately Victorian macabre introduction by Sussurus Din, author of Gloomy Presentiments of Things to Come and You Think Us Mad, Don't You?. Bring your own flashlights. One evening of Ghost Tales and Goosebumps is scheduled at Laurel Hill: Thursday, October 30 at 7:00pm. Tours will depart every half-hour, with the final tour departing at 9:30pm. The cost for Ghost Tales and Goosebumps is $20/person general admission. Advance reservations are requested for groups. Tickets can be purchased at the door, by phone (215) 228-8200, or online.


November 2: Growing Garlic in Your Garden

EARTH Center located in Davidson's Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick

Rutgers Master Gardeners want to help you sharpen your food growing skills by offering a new gardening workshop called Growing Garlic in Your Garden. This free workshop is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at the EARTH Center. The workshop will begin with an indoor presentation followed by an outdoor, hands-on planting session. Though this is a free workshop, pre-registration is required by calling 732-398-5262 by October 29. No "walk-ins" are permitted.


November 15: Introduction to Bee-Keeping

EARTH Center located in Davidson's Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick

Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County offers an "Introduction to Bee-Keeping" workshop at the EARTH Center in Davidson's Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Avenue, South Brunswick, NJ. The seminar will take place on Sat. Nov. 15, from 10AM – Noon. A fall workshop is timely as the materials needed for starting a colony in the spring should be ordered by the end of January. This is a free workshop but pre-registration is required by November 12 at 732-398-5262. Come learn the basics of establishing a hive. It has been stated that with the pressures leading up to the recent "Colony Collapse disorder" outbreak, hobbyist beekeepers have made a positive impact on the Honeybee population. Middlesex County's EARTH Center would like to help spark any resident's interest in this age old environmental stewardship practice. A supply of catalogues will be on hand to demonstrate the materials necessary. Also to be discussed will be garden plants that can serve as pollen sources when naturally occurring sources are not easy to find in our area. Weather permitting the lecture will be followed by a brief walk outside.


December 8 - 11: NOFA Organic Land Care Course

Philadelphia, PA

A 30-hour organic land care accreditations course for land care professionals, designers and environmental educators begins December 8 at PHS. This class provides a well-rounded curriculum for understanding organic land care principles, practices, design and maintenance. Presented in partnership with the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), the curriculum is based on NOFA's Standards for Organic Land Care, which extends the vision and practices of organic agriculture to the care of landscapes where we live our daily lives. Upon passing the accreditation exam at the end of the course, students become an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP), which is a marketable credential offering many benefits. For additional information and to register, click here. Members of PHS, the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN), Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA) and other partners (check registration page) receive a 10% discount on the full registration fees. A 10% discount is also available to groups of three or more registered by the same business or organization.


February 3 - 7, 2015: 24th Annual Farming for the Future Conference

State College, PA

The Pennsylvania farming community will convene to celebrate and learn about "Nature as Mentor" during the 24th Annual Farming for the Future Conference, presented by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) in State College, PA, February 3-7, 2015. More than 2,000 participants, comprised of agriculture industry workers as well as students and community and business leaders, will participate in workshops, trainings, exhibits, receptions showcasing regionally sourced foods, an educational program and unique special events. Highlighting the conference are two main addresses, well-known author/activist Frances Moore Lappé and conservation agronomist Ray "The Soils Guy" Archuleta. During Friday's opening keynote address, sponsored by Lady Moon Farms, Frances Moore Lappé will give attendees a look into the research for her book "World Hunger: 10 Myths," a topic that resonates throughout the agriculture community. Moore Lappé delivers her message of the importance of embracing agroecology, ending global poverty and meeting the climate challenge as pieces that come together to develop one "ecomind," an ideology she delivered through her book EcoMind. Through studying groups' struggles and successes throughout the globe, Moore Lappé addresses aligning with nature for effective practices to empower world citizens to end world poverty. Saturday's keynote, sponsored by PASAbilities Sponsor Kimberton Whole Foods, Ray Archuleta is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist whose passion for soil health has earned him the nickname "The Soils Guy." Archuleta is known for his infectious excitement while sharing his vast knowledge of soil health and agroecology principles, amassed over a more than 25 year career. His expertise extends to water health, quality and irrigation and, as a conservationist, addresses our responsibilities to protecting and nurturing these essential resources. In addition to these two phenomenal keynote addresses, the conference will also present six in-depth pre-conference tracks and over 100 main conference workshops. Kids have the opportunity to attend and learn as well with an ag-focused Future Farmers program just for them. A bustling TradeShow will connect attendees with over 80 agricultural businesses and organizations. Throughout the four-day event, conference goers will be entertained while they learn, with activities such as live music, movies, yoga, knitting circles, a seed swap and much more. Sponsorship opportunities are available for those who wish to join in this widely attended event. To learn more about the Farming for the Future Conference, visit pasafarming.org/conference.