What’s in The Weekly Post this week?
Horses seized in Stanfield
Stanly County Fair
Taking care of those thorny problems – New Plant Lady column!
Photo by Eric Chappelle
The secrets to companion planting
Companion or complimentary planting has always enjoyed success with gardeners but scientists were a little skeptical. The idea smacked too much of using astrology and other types of lore to plant. Which is not to say that these ideas don’t work too. Gardening is as much folklore as it is science. But scientists have begun to see things our way and complimentary planting has become a mainstay at garden clubs and agriculture fairs.
I found two wonderful older books last week about the subject. They are both by the late gardening advocate Louise Riotte. One is called Carrots love Tomatoes and the other is Roses love Garlic. The books have some little secrets in them about companion planting that are very interesting and I love Riotte’s common sense, simple language.
For instance, did you know planting borage close to strawberries is good for them? Borage provides organic potassium, calcium and other minerals to the soil. Also, nasturtium planted under fruit trees helps repel borers.
I was really intrigued by the idea of chopping up banana peels and composting them into the soil around roses to help improve them. I usually compost banana peels into my vegetable garden but I will put them in my roses now.
There are other good ideas as well. I grow Jerusalem artichokes every year and learned that they are good companions to corn. Also, morning glories will help melons grow when planted close to them.
There are hundreds of ideas in these books. It will take some time to go through all of them. I love when folklore proves to be correct by science standards. It takes those science folks a while to come around to what gardeners have known for hundreds of years. it brings a smile to my face when it happens.
In reading some old companion planting books last week, I learned that azaleas should never be planted near black walnut trees. This is because a chemical in the trees’ makeup, juglone, will wash off the trees and kill the azaleas.
Photo by Joyce Lavene
Festivals spring up
By Joyce Lavene
Senior Staff Writer
With the warm weather, local festivals are beginning to blossom throughout the area. While the fall festivals may be a last goodbye to summer, spring festivals welcome in the light and warmth that have been absent over the winter months. Especially after the challenging weather this area has made it through this year, spring festivals will be a good time to go out and enjoy the day.
Like their fall counterparts, spring festivals can be rainy or in areas where there’s mud or that have difficult walking areas. Whatever festival you plan to visit, dress accordingly, bring cash, as many vendors (especially food and drink vendors) don’t take debit cards, and enjoy the colors and sights of spring.
Live it up Cabarrus
Bring the whole family to the Live It Up Cabarrus kickoff celebration at Frank Liske Park from 2-5 pm Saturday, March 20. Admission is free. This festival will offer hands–on exhibits to demonstrate practical ways to have a more sustainable lifestyle, such as backyard gardening, healthy cooking, composting, kids activities, a viewing of the short film “Fresh,” selections of local food, and much more. This event is free and open to the public. Learn more at www.cabarruscounty.us/liveitup. This is actually the beginning of a series of programs which will provide easy–to–implement tips to begin living a more balanced life.
Uwharrie Books Spring Fling
Please join us to celebrate the season on March 20 from 10 am to 2 pm, the first day of spring! Admission is free. Register to win a gift card. Book signings by local authors, free samples of delicious baked goodies. Spring crafts for kids…and more. Contact Uwharrie Books for details or to register 212-2 E Main St, Locust, NC 704-888-2244 firstname.lastname@example.org www.uwharriebooks.com
Locust Spring Kick-Off Festival
The City of Locust will hold a spring festival on Saturday, March 27 from 9:30 am to 3 pm in Shelton Memorial Park on Hwy. 24/27 next to Locust Elementary. Admission is free. This includes Opening Day Ceremonies for youth baseball and softball. there will be a car show, lots of food and craft vendors. Prizes from the Stanly County Golden Tennis Shoe hunt will be awarded during the festival. All proceeds will go to fundraiser for West Stanly Baseball and Softball Association as well as Parks and Recreation. Car Show proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. For more information, contact Dan Sullivan 704-781-0028 ext. 106 or email@example.com
Historic Gold Hill Spring Fest
Spring Fest in the Village is the annual festival in Historic Gold Hill held on March 27. The event is from 10 am to 4 pm featuring an Easter bonnet contest, egg hunts, raffle and a new year of shopping in the village for unique ideas for home and garden. For more information – 704-723-2351. Admission is free.
Reed Mine Spring Festival
The Reed Expansion Committee (REC) will hold a Spring Festival on April 8 through 10 from 10 am to 4 pm. REC is a tax-exempt nonprofit dedicated to supporting the Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site. Children and families can come out to the gold mine and learn about the history of the site in a fun and engaging way. Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented discovery of gold in the U.S. This festival hopes to bring families out so that children can experience learning with their parents. There will be live music, festival games, special exhibits, vendor booths, panning for gold, and guided underground tours. Admission is free, but each of the eight games will cost $1 per play. Wristbands are available for $10 ($5 if you come back another day and bring your old wristband with you). Panning for gold is $2 and tours are free like normal. There is also a picture drawing contest and an essay contest. Picture drawing is from grades K-2 and 3-5. Students may either drop by the gold mine (9621 Reed Mine Rd. Midland) during March to draw, or their teachers may send an e-mail to ReedExpansionCommittee@gmail.com if they wish an entire class to submit. The essay contest is open to 8th graders in Cabarrus, Stanly, Mecklenburg, and Union Counties. All essays and pictures must be submitted by April 1 to be eligible. All submissions will be displayed at the festival, and winners will be presented with prizes in a ceremony April 10. Prizes TBA.
Spring Festival at Rocky River Vineyards
There will be live music, food vendors and wine tastings as the Rocky River Vineyards’ annual spring festival returns on April 17 from 11 – 6 pm. Admission is free. Music by the Hip Cats. Contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Spring Herb and Plant Festival – Concord
Saturday, April 17 from 8 am to 5 pm at Piedmont Farmers Market, Concord is the fifth annual Cabarrus County Herb and Plant Festival. The project is part of the Cabarrus County Master Gardener Volunteer Association. There will be over 75 vendor in attendance offering: common and unusual herbs; annuals; perennials; day lilies; roses; garden art; pottery and planters; vegetable plants; teas; soaps; lotions; essential oils; food vendors and much much more. it will be held at the Piedmont Farmers Market, 518 Winecoff School Road. For more information, call 704-920-3310.
Spring and Herb Festival – Mint Hill
April 17, from 9 am to 3 pm, is also the day for potters, painters, vendors, food and flowers mingling with music and fun at the Mint Hill Spring and Herb Festival. Admission is free. The event is held every year at the Mint Hill Historical Society, 7601 Matthews Mint Hill Road. For more information, call 704-573-0726 or info@MintHillHistory.com.
Photo by Joyce Lavene