09/11/14 4:00pm

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This press release was just received and it’s too good not to share. You must be part of a garden organization. Get your free bulbs to make Newburgh beautiful!

Greetings,
We at Hudson Valley Garden Association love spring bulbs for being a low maintenance, cost effective way to add early flowers to the garden that return year after year. Our two newest programs – the Bulb Donation Project and Bonus Bulbs – provide an opportunity for garden organizations and civic groups who perform public planting in our communities to receive free bulbs donated by HVGA. These programs coincide with our second annual Bulb Sale fundraiser and free bulb classes.

We’re excited to make these donations, and wanted to make sure your organization and community did not miss out on this opportunity! Links are provided to all relevant forms and information, but please email info@hvga.org if you have further questions.

Bulb Donation Project
Hudson Valley Garden Association will donate bulbs to one Mid-Hudson Valley not-for-profit garden or civic organization per county (Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Putnam) for public planting and civic beautification purposes. Bulb packages include:
– 25 Allium “Purple Sensation” – Showstopping, 4” violet-purple globes bloom in May.
– 600 Daffodil “Dutch Master” – The best classic yellow daffodil available.
– 250 Grape Hyacinths – Blue, low-growing favorite is great with daffodils or along paths.
This program is co-sponsored by ADR Bulbs, one of the nation’s biggest importers of flower bulbs located in Chester, NY.

Bonus Bulbs
Hudson Valley Garden Association will donate an additional 100 daffodil bulbs to up to five Mid-Hudson Valley not-for-profit garden or civic organizations that place bulb fundraiser orders of $75 or more for public planting purposes. Orders can be placed online or by mail.

Applications
Applications must be received before October 3, 2014.
Download Bulb Donation Project application
Download Bonus Bulbs application

Spring Blooming Bulbs Class – FREE!
Learn how to select, plant and care for spring bulbs. This class will introduce gardeners to the wide variety of bulbs that thrive in Hudson Valley gardens and offer design tips on where and how to incorporate bulbs into your existing garden for greatest effect. Presentation is for both experienced and beginner gardeners. Pre-registration required, space is limited.
– Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 10am: Montgomery Place, Red Hook, NY. Register here.
– Saturday, October 11th, 2014 at 10am: Chester Public Library, Chester, NY. Register here.

Photo by NR flickr pool user Steven Rosas

04/03/14 11:30am

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With the support of Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Land Bank is going to be sprucing up La Vida Community Garden on the corner of Chambers and First and is seeking individuals and families to participate!  The beds will cost $10 for the season and everything will be provided–seeds, water, tools, and technical support from Cornell Master Gardeners.  All skill levels are welcome! Anyone interested can email mfletcher@newburghcommunitylandbank.org or leave a message at 845-569-7350.

03/26/14 7:30am

Armory Gardens

Garden plots now available at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center. We have shown you in previous posts some of the great work that happened there last year. It’s great to see it continuing another year. You will receive free seeds and free gardening advice. In essence free produce if you maintain your plot.

For more details call 845-245-4035

05/01/13 10:30am

12_1This past Sunday I had the pleasure of attending a little workshop in my neighborhood about what most of us think of as a pesky weed, the dandelion. The workshop’s focus was how to make dandelion wine! Yes, wine!

I immediately had visions of prohibition and smoked filled speakeasies; throbbing music that make your joints ache. I almost wore a flapper dress and cut my hair into a short bob, but I got a hold of myself and put on jeans and a tee-shirt. After all, it wasn’t a workshop on dandelion moonshine and bootlegging. Nor was it simply a workshop about making wine with weeds, it was also about the medicinal and edible versatility of the dandelion.

01_1The workshop was the brain-child of a gardening club, The Gardens of Newburgh. The club meets often to share botanical tips and to find ways to promote the beautiful gardens in our city. You can visit Garden Newburgh on Facebook and find out more and don’t forget to “like” them, unless of course you don’t like gardens; which would be odd since you’re reading this post. Case Wyse was asked to lead the workshop. Case is a young man who is living in Newburgh volunteering for Americorps VISTA; “a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty.” His work for VISTA also brought him to The Armory Community Garden where I first him.

02_1The workshop was held just around the block from my house at the home of Michael G. As I walked up the long driveway, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Michael’s home. It is not unlike many of the historical homes in the city. The house and its architecture were reason enough to join this gathering. On the front door of the house was a note that read, “We’re around the back.” In the back was a group of about nine adults gathered around a picnic table. If I hadn’t known better I would have sworn I had just walked into an English garden party.

06_1But then I spotted my neighbors, one of which looks like a more refined version of The Dude from The Big Lebowski, which ironically brought me back to reality. These were the same neighbors who only an hour earlier told me that they couldn’t go to the gathering. I was a bit dismayed at my tardiness because even people who couldn’t go to the meeting got there earlier than me. Case then gathered us in a circle a few feet away from the table and with a big smile on his face he reached down and grabbed a bunch of dandelions out of the ground and told us all to grab a few too.

03_1The first thing I wanted to do was press the yellow flower against my cheek and twist and turn it until my cheek was covered in beautiful yellow rouge. Instead I turned my attention to Case who was talking about dandelions being a compositae plant and that this species of plants were made up of different flowers, ray flowers and disc flowers. Case then peeled away the green layer of the plant where the flower meets the stem and showed us the underneath part of the flower. My knowledge of scientific terms for the parts of a flower are limited so feel lucky that I can name the stem, leaf and flower.

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What we discovered by peeling apart the dandelion was that beneath the yellow petals was a row of thin white strands sitting on top of a row of thin green strands. The only part of the dandelion that is used to make wine is the yellow along with the white strands, without any of the greens. Apparently the greens of the dandelion will give the wine a bitter taste. Case pulled out some of the yellow petals and took a bite and said, “If you eat the yellow flower you can taste the sweetness.” We all proceeded to eat dandelion flowers. This is a testament to Case’s passion for dandelions he didn’t even have to persuade us to eat a weed from right out of the ground. I took a bite of the flower and at first I couldn’t taste the sweetness but then with my second mouthful, I tasted the mild sweet taste of the dandelion!

Newburgh DandelionCase went on to state the various medicinal qualities, one being that the roots of the dandelion are used as a liver and blood tonic. The sap of the dandelion is used to treat skin ailments such as eczema and mild acne. He also cited the many nutritional values of the dandelion including its abundance of calcium, Vitamins A, C, and E. And dandelion greens are used often in salads and can be sautéed, adding a little lemon juice helps tame any bitterness. Listening and watching Case talk about dandelions was like listening to an artist talk about his paintings. At one point Case proclaimed his love for dandelions by saying, “This is what is so impressive about dandelions and why I love them! They bloom when the sun comes out and they close when the sun goes down. They are self pollinating and survive in the direst of circumstances.”

07_1After our workshop we all gathered inside Michael’s home to eat lavender cookies and lavender cake, baked by Lily Norton a leading member of Gardens for Newburgh. The conversation drifted away from weeds and soil and eventually led to our love of this city and the ways in which we work to preserve all the good and revive what has been broken. One conversation led to a recent quote from U.S. District Court Judge Coleen McMahon who after sentencing a member of the Bloods called the city of Newburgh “the most pathetic place in New York State.” Clearly the Judge only sees a weed, while the rest of us Newburghers see wine!

To make your own dandelion wine here is one link that can get you started, http://www.wikihow.com/
Make-Dandelion-Wine. You can also visit Pantano’s in New Paltz there website is, www.pantonsbeerwine.com

Photos by Erica Shires