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Urban Homesteading Series from Penn State Extension to launch in June

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog straw bale2Learn how to garden in bales of straw with the experts from Penn State Cooperative Extension. Photo by Doug Oster

URBAN HOMESTEADING SERIES PROGRAM LAUNCH

PITTSBURGH, PA, MAY 26, 2015:

Penn State Extension’s Urban Homesteading Series to Launch June 2015

Penn State Extension of Allegheny County is proud to announce the launch of the “Urban Homesteading Series”.

This series is designed for creative do-it-yourselfers with an interest in sustainable food and living adventures. Each workshop features an expert instructor leading hands-on demonstrations in a variety of homesteading activities which are scalable for home, apartment, or community projects.

Upcoming programs include:

  • June 18: Straw Bale Gardening
  • July 7: Bug Your Bugs! July Pest Walk
  • July 21: Midsummer Night’s (Berry) Jam
  • August 4: August Pest Walk
  • September 8: Winemaking
  • September 24: Gardening with Perennials

Registration is open for the first workshop of the series, Straw Bale Gardening, on Thursday, June 18, 2015 from 6 pm – 8 pm at the Penn State Extension Edible Teaching Garden at 400 N. Lexington Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15208.

Straw-bale gardening is a low-cost, low-maintenance, back-friendly raised-bed gardening method. The Master Gardener instructor will lead a hands-on workshop, present the technique step-by-step at the Edible Teaching Garden where this method is practiced. Pre-registration is required and the fee for this class is $25.

Fall and winter workshops include home beer brewing in partnership with local craft breweries, gardening with perennials, yeast and sourdough bread baking classes, intercropped urban fruit orchard, pruning and lactofermentation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER

Visit: bit.ly/1FqAp7R

CONTACT

 

Rachel Samuels, Program Assistant: (412) 482-3464, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Penn State Center Pittsburgh

Energy Innovation Center

1435 Bedford Avenue, Suite A

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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Big Stone Gap movie gets Oct. 9 theatrical release

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

bigstonegap
 
If you were a fan of the Adriana Trigiani book “Big Stone Gap,” good news. 
 
The movie adaptation will be released nationwide on Oct. 9 by Picturehouse. Trigiani makes her directing and screenwriting debut with the film starring Ashley Judd, CMU grad Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, John Benjamin Hickey, Jane Krakowski, Anthony La Paglia and Jenna Elfman. 
 
Rounding out the cast are Chris Sarandon, Jasmine Guy, Judith Ivey, James Hampton, Paul Wilson, Mary Pat Gleason, Dagmara Domincyzk (also a CMU grad and married to Wilson) and Mary Testa.
 
“Big Stone Gap” was shot on location in the southwest corner of Virginia. It’s set in 1978 and brings to life the story of working prople in a coal-mining town in the Appalachian Mountains. 
 
“We made not just a great movie, but a beautiful movie. It looks lush,” says Ms. Goldberg, in an announcement about the release.
 
Here is the official description: 
 
“Set in 1978, ‘Big Stone Gap’ tells the story of the ever-ordinary Ave Maria Mulligan (Ashley Judd) who lives a simple life with her mother, runs the pharmacy, directs The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama, and hopes that Theodore Tipton, her best friend and the high school band director will take their platonic friendship in a romantic direction. Ave Maria waits, and before she knows it, she turns 40.  Ave Maria decides that happiness is for other people — that is, until a long-buried family secret throws her quiet life spectacularly off-course.”
 
 

 

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Empty Netter Assists - Esposito takes season off - 05-26-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Forward Angelo Esposito (right), the Penguins' first-round pick in 2007 who has seen his career interrupted by injuries, took most of the season off from organized hockey.

-Former Penguins defensive prospect Ondrej Nemec has joined Severstal Cherepovets of Russia's KHL.

-Happy 56th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Pat Riggin. Acquired midway through the 1986-87 season in a deal which sent Roberto Romano to the Bruins, Riggin spent parts of the final two seasons of his NHL career with the Penguins. He appeared in 17 games for the 1986-87 Penguins and had a record of 8-6-3. The following season, he played in 22 games and went 7-8-4. He was released in the 1988 offseason. In 39 games with the Penguins, he had a 15-14-7 record with a 3.64 goals against average and .875 save percentage.

-Happy 52nd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Ron Meighan. Acquired early in the 1982-83 season along with Anders Hakansson and a draft pick in a deal which sent George Ferguson and a draft pick to the North Stars, Meighan's Penguins career amounted to 41 games and eight points that campaign. After spending the next season with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Baltimore, Meighan was released.

-After the Jump: A wild game 5 between the Ducks and Blackhawks.

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Heirloom iris reveals a family's legacy

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog irisThis beautiful heirloom iris has a story to tell. Photo by Doug Oster

Soft blue iris petals cling to drops of rain on a spring morning in the garden.

The variety was a gift to me from Bernice Born, who inherited the plant from her mother, who got it from her mother. Passing on plants to family and friends is one of the magical parts of gardening.

I met Bernice after writing this Saturday Diary in the Post-Gazette about discovering some cool vinyl records. She called to see if I was interested in some of her old records. During our conversation in her home, she told me the story of this iris and how important it was to her family. 

The flowers followed them everywhere they moved, eventually ending up on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Those pretty blooms were always the background for family photos. I promised to return when the flowers were blooming to write the story.

20140602doirishomes1aBernice Strawinski is the mother of Bernice Born, who was about 14 months old in this picture. It was shot at her grandmother's home in Torrington, Conn. The irises are in the background to the left and right. Mrs. Born has moved her grandmother's irises all across the country as she has moved from home to home.

 

Last year at this time, I spent part of the day with Bernice to tell the wonderful story of how her family has been connected with the plant for as long as anyone can remember.

As I left, Bernice insisted I take a division of her family treasure. They were planted in a bed filled with rich compost and where they get the most sun in the garden.

Tight buds started to unfurl a couple days ago and when they did, all I could think about was Bernice, her family and how important this plant is to all of them.

Every time she shares the plant, she's sharing a part of her family history; and every time it blooms the story is told again.

That's the magic of gardening.

 

 

 

 

 

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Maverick Rowan might be coming back to Lincoln Park

Written by Mike White on .

Maverick Rowan scored more than 1,000 points in his freshman and sophomore years at Lincoln Park before leaving for a school in Florida last year. 

Next season, Rowan might be playing at Lincoln Park again.

Rowan is considering coming back to play his senior season at Lincoln Park, a charter school in Beaver County that plays in the WPIAL. He played this past season at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and helped Maverick Rowanthe team win a state championship. But it seems likely that Rowan will leave Cardinal Gibbons. (Rowan is pictured as a sophomore at Lincoln Park in the PIAA Class A championship game).

Rowan's father, Ron, said this morning that his son is considering three options: stay at Cardinal Gibbons his final year, come back to Lincoln Park or graduate early and go to college. He has a number of scholarship options from big-time programs and his father said colleges have said they would find a place for his son if he decided to graduate early. That would mean those schools would find a scholarship for him in the 2015-16 season.

Some of the schools that Rowan likes are Louisville, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wisconsin, UCLA, Pitt and West Virginia. Rowan is a 6-foot-7 guard who is rated the No. 42 player in the country by Rivals.com. Louisville is recruiting him hard and would like Rowan to join the team for the 2015-16 season.

"Nothing is definite yet. We just have to make a decision," said Ron Rowan. "I found a place he can graduate from. He can take the two classes he needs. 

"If he decides he wants to go to college [this fall], then that's a decision that needs to be within the next 10 days, because he will have to start summer school right after school ends [at Cardinal Gibbons]. If he doesn't go to college, then there is a little bit of time to make a decision."

 

Ron Rowan moved his entire family to Florida when his son transferred to Cardinal Gibbons. But the family never sold their house. The Rowans lived in the Central Valley School District.

"We never sold the house and I just can't keep having two places," said Ron Rowan.

Ron Rowan said if the family moves back, Maverick would definitely attend Lincoln Park and not Central Valley. Ron Rowan said last fall one of the reasons his son transferred to Cardinal Gibbons was to get more competition. If the family moved back, why not go to Central Valley? Yes, Lincoln Park's program has had plenty of success and the Leopards do play a good non-section schedule. But Lincoln Park plays in Class AA. Central Valley plays in Class AAA. Central Valley's section has Beaver Falls and New Castle, who are both expected to be strong next year. Class AAA in the WPIAL is expected to be strong overall next year.

Rowan didn't indicate one way or another what Maverick might do. But if I were a betting man, I'd say he will be at Lincoln Park next season. That is just a hunch.

"Nothing definite has been decided," said Ron Rowan.

At Lincoln Park, Rowan scored 1,482 points as a freshman and sophomore and was named to the Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 as a sophomore. He averaged 26.3 points that year and helped Lincoln Park win WPIAL and PIAA Class A championships.

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