A Native Plant Seed Swap and Wild Ones Chapter discussion will take place on Saturday, November 11 from 1pm – 3pm. The free event will be held in Hope Hall at the Center for Hope & Healing, 601 North Evergreen Drive, White Cloud, 49337. Guests are encouraged to collect native plant seeds from their yards & gardens to share with others.
“We want to spread native plants around our county to help support our pollinators and wildlife. And what better way than to share free seeds with other homeowners!” states Katie Clark of the Newaygo County Environmental Coalition (NCEC).
“We will also discuss the possibility of starting a Wild Ones Chapter in Newaygo,” added Sally Wagoner of NCEC. “Wild Ones is a national nonprofit that promotes the preservation of biodiversity through increasing native plant communities. There are chapters all around Michigan, but the closest one to us is in Grand Rapids.”
“The number of community members interested in native plants is growing rapidly. We think the time is right to start a Wild Ones chapter here,” Ms. Wagoner added. “A Wild Ones affiliation will provide information and resources on growing native plants, as well as assure camaraderie among native plant enthusiasts here.”
According to Katie and Sally, there are instructions on how to prepare your seeds for the seed swap:
Questions? Email: email@example.com. For information about Wild Ones go to www.wildones.org.
NCEC is a 501c3 non-profit which endeavors to be the environmental resource hub and to support the beauty and sustainability of Newaygo County and region. Learn more at www.nc-ec.org.
Author Jennifer Graeser Dornbush to Present New Book at Fremont Library
Live @ the Library, a series of events including author visits and informational presentations at Fremont Area District Library, is thrilled to host Jennifer Graeser Dornbush for a reading and presentation of her newest book.
Jennifer is a screenwriter, author, international speaker, and forensic specialist. She is developing multiple projects for TV and film, while also penning mysteries, thrillers, and short stories. She will present her newest novel, Last One Alive. In this story, Dr. Emily Hartford is back in Chicago, ready to move forward and leave the past behind, until an unexpected request for help sends her deep into an investigation—and into the path of a killer.
This event will take place in the Fremont Library’s Community Room on Tuesday, October 24th at 7:00 p.m. and books will be available for purchase.
Photo and article by Donna Iverson
If you’re a gardener, exploring a farmers market is like exploring an art museum to the artistically inclined.
And if it’s fall, there is one veggie that is almost certain to catch your eye: snake gourds. Shaped like giant writhing green beans, the snake gourd is a subtropical vine native to southeast Asia. They are a member of the pumpkin family.
In Michigan, it is sold as a decorative craft item that can be carved into anything from musical instruments to bird houses. Birds that will nest in a snake gourd house include wrens, chickadees, swallows, blue birds, titmice, and nuthatches.
Before carving out a birdhouse in a snake gourd, it is necessary to dry the plant until it is well hardened. This could take up to a year, according to a local farmer. Instructions can be found at: https://www.thespruce.com/gourd-bird-houses-4070291
Most people just use snake gourds as fall decorations, especially around Halloween….taking advantage of their scary appearance.
With the warmer summers of late, Michigan farmers are now able to grow snake gourds locally. Seeds are available from Baker Creek at https://www.rareseeds.com/ If you do grow your own snake gourds, they are edible when they are very young …about the size of a cucumber. And reportedly, they taste a lot like a bitter cucumber. They are also a staple of Ayurvedic medicine.
The snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina) arrived in Europe from China around 1720. By the 1820’s, Thomas Jefferson was growing it in his garden at Monticello. It is classified by some as a heritage plant. Technically, it is a fruit and not a vegetable.
Photo and article by Donna Iverson
As October rolls around and the Halloween decorations appear, it seems like human skeletons on front lawns are getting larger and larger.
This year, skeletons have reached 12 feet tall, looming over many a front yard filled with spiders, tombstones, and witches. And they don’t come cheap …a 12-foot Halloween skeleton can run up to $300 at big box stores.
So what’s going on? A house-sized skeleton certainly gets attention. And is definitely scary, reflecting our times. These oversized skeletons are a huge menacing presence that says something is coming for you.
Our growing fascination with skeletons harkens back to an earlier era. In late Middle Ages, intellectuals were beginning to study anatomy in a more scientific way. Dissection was reveling the body’s structure. Like today, a fascination with skeletons grew.
In the US, it is legal to possess, display and sell human bones with a few exceptions. Eight states forbid the selling of bones. These states include Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Caroline, Texas and Virginia. Native America skeletons and bones are also protected under the Native American Graves Protection Act.
The oldest skeleton discovered by archaeologists is Lucy, uncovered in Ethiopia in 1974. She dates back 3.2 million years. Today, scientists are able to extract DNA for ancient skeletons telling us more and more about our ancient history.
Meanwhile in our front yards, skeletons rule. At least they do through the month of October.
Author John Smolens to Present New Book at Fremont Library
Live @ the Library, a series of events including author visits and informational presentations at Fremont Area District Library is thrilled to host John Smolens for a reading and presentation of his newest book.
Michigan author John Smolens will present his novel, A Cold, Hard Prayer. In 1924, an orphan train delivers a girl of mixed race and a boy with a disabled hand to rural Michigan, where a farmer’s attempted rape and subsequent murder forces them to flee; hunted by law enforcement and the reemergent KKK, mutual trust and determination helps the teenage suspects navigate a stark American landscape shaped by prejudice, hypocrisy, and fear.
This event will take place in the Fremont library’s Community Room on Tuesday, October 17th at 7:00 p.m. and books will be available for purchase.