2nd Saturday Small Tool Sharpening & New Cookbook Available from Master Gardeners
Tool Sharpening September 10 at the Halifax Farmers Market
By Kathy Conner Cornell
The Second Saturday with the Southside Master Gardener Association will feature tool sharpening from 8 to 11 AM at the Halifax Farmers Market on September 10. The new SSMGA cookbooks will be available.
Garden tools are an extension of the home gardener’s hand. Good tools are an investment, one that needs to be protected especially when money is tight. Fortunately, this is not difficult to do. Bring your small hand tools to the Halifax Farmers Market on September 10 and the Master Gardeners will cheerfully clean and sharpen your tools.
We all know that sharp tools, especially pruners, are easier to use, but did you know sharp tools are better for the plant? Dull pruner blades can tear bark or mash a stem leaving a wound that is open and susceptible to the entry of diseases or insects. The plant has defenses to heal from a sharp clean cut made at the proper place.
One situation that is often overlooked is the need to keep tools clean and disinfected. It is common for dirty tools to be carriers of disease. Regularly disinfecting tools is as easy as having a squirt bottle of alcohol handy and spritzing tools before moving from plant to plant. If pruning out diseased plant parts, it should be done with every cut. The Virginia Extension Agency recommends using mouthwash or alcohol, but a weak bleach solution (one part bleach to nine parts water) or disinfecting cleaning solutions such as Lysol® are good alternative disinfectants.
It is a good idea to clean andsharpenyour tools after every use. The following is an effective method but if this seems to complicated just bring your tools to the market:
1. Spritz tool with disinfectant before doing anything. You do not want to spread disease pathogens to sharpening or cleaning implements.
2. Use a steel wool pad in soapy water to clean the working surface. This will cut through gummy resins and caked on dirt.
3. Once clean, use a bastard or mill file to sharpen the blade. Follow the angle of the bevel, pulling the file away from the tool edge. Some tools have bevels on both sides so both sides will need sharpening.
4. Tools such as trowels and shovels can be passed through a bucket of sand filled with oil. Used motor oil works well. This will provide a protective film on the tool to prevent rust.
5. A drop of lubricant such as WD-40® or 3-in-1 Household Oil® should be applied to working parts to keep them operating smoothly.
“Thyme to Eat!” was created to support Master Gardener outreach programs such as public garden education, the children’s garden at the Southern Virginia Botanical Garden and Farmers Market programs, as well as scholarships for local 4H campers. It is chock full of riveting recipes like Gnudi, Pan y Mas, Beouf Bourguignon and even a Squash Bug Trap – well, we are Master Gardeners! There are also traditional favorites such as Sweet Potato Casserole and Pecan Pie. Cost of the cookbook is $14.
Bring your garden tools to the Halifax Farmers Market on September 10 and Tommy Conner and Linda Singer will cheerfully sharpen and clean them free of charge
Now is the Thyme to Eat!
The Southside Master Gardener Association has recently published “Thyme to Eat!”, a cookbook with over 450 delicious recipes. Cost for the cookbook is $14 and can be purchased from active Master Gardeners.
Something that you might not realize is that Master Gardeners love to cook as much as they love to garden. “Thyme to Eat” is chock full of riveting recipes like Gnudi, Pan y Mas, Beouf Bourguignon and even a Squash Bug Trap – well, we are Master Gardeners! There are also traditional favorites such as Sweet Potato Casserole and Pecan Pie. This is the second cookbook the Master Gardeners have compiled, with the other being published ten years ago. Lots of new Master Gardeners have joined the group since the first creation and friends were invited to contribute, so the cookbook is full of fresh ideas.
“Thyme to Eat!” was created to support Master Gardener outreach programs such as public garden education, the children’s garden at the Southern Virginia Botanical Garden and Farmers Market programs, as well as scholarships for local 4H campers. The cookbook will be available at both the Halifax and South Boston Farmers Market. You can also contact Kathy Parker at 434-476-6696 to pick up cookbooks at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 197 MountainRoad, Halifax. Please support your local Master Gardeners by purchasing a cookbook. These make great stocking stuffers and wedding gifts. For more information visit www.ssmga.org or call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147, option 0.
Thyme to Eat! is the new Southside Master Gardener Cookbook, which is now for sale. It is loaded with lots of delicious recipes. Get your copy today.