300 Volunteers Needed To Tap Maple Trees For Largest Maple Syurp Festival In Ohio

Volunteers needed to tap Maple Trees!


Each year, in the stillness of winter, maple trees stand at the ready… waiting… preparing for that day when they give the very sap needed for true maple syrup.  And this year, the time has come once again.

Who: EVERYONE! It does not matter if you Scout or not! Bring your family, friends, Pack, Troop, Crew, Ship, Girl Scout Troop, 4H Club, Church, and / or Service Club!
What: Maple Tree Sap Tap
When: January 31st, at 9am
Where: Camp Lazaurs, U.S. 23 Delaware, Ohio.

Saturday January 31, 2015 10 am Camp Lazarus begins the Annual Tapping of the Trees. With only volunteer help, nearly 1,000 spiles, buckets, and lids need hung throughout the 300 acre camp. Everyone is welcome to come learn and help tap the trees. Hot coffee and chocolate is always available.

Registration can be done on the Maple Syurp Sap Tap Facebook event page by clicking

If you unable to register on Facebook, or have any questions, please feel free to call the Camp Ranger at (740) 548-5502.



Fall Garden Tips From Delaware’s Garden Mentor

Starting with a black thumb.

My inspiration garden via This Old House

My inspiration garden via This Old House

I am a complete novice gardener. Before moving to Delaware, Ohio

 and buying our first house, Scott and I were apartment dwellers where I promptly killed a variety of potted plants. My mom frequently jokes about how all of her indoor plants die unless she names them after someone she hates. Needless to say, the idea of keeping the current landscaping around our house thriving, let alone planting anything new in my 30ft by 30ft backyard, has been quite daunting.

I desperately want to be a good gardener. I have visions of a cottage-y wonderland with beautiful flowers my girls will frolic among, observing butterflies and sweet baby birds. We will relax in the soft grass and (somehow through the black walnut trees hanging over us) watch the clouds float by. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to do this. So, I have called in reinforcements.

Learning from the Locals

I have had two local master gardeners offer me tips and advice over the past year. One has come into my yard and help me think about the best way to lay out the land, so to speak. Since I am not Ohio-native, many plants I remember from my childhood simply won’t live and especially won’t thrive with our Midwestern winters. Kris introduced me to some new plants and helped me picture an arrangement that I will work to put in place over the next few years.

The second master, Melissa Neill, the Garden Mentor offered me advice on foundation plants and how to care for what was planted before we bought the house. She can also help with garden design and garden problem solving. She is a wealth of information, and a great resource for all of us in Delaware. Ms. Neill has graciously shared three tips for us all to start getting our yards in shape this fall and therefore to be ready for next spring!

Clara Curtis Daisies via Flickr

Clara Curtis Daisies via Flickr

Quick tips to prepare for fall

1. If you have roses, do NOT trim them anymore! Leaving the hips on signal to the plant that it is time to stop growing for the season and prepares them to bud next year.

Also, there are many plants which will flower next year on the stalks which grew during the summer this year (called “old growth” versus the “new growth” stalks and branches that will grow and then bud next spring). They should not be trimmed anymore either, or you may not get any blooms. These include spring bloomers such as lilacs, rhododendron, forsythia and mophead or lacecap hydrangeas.

2. Trim non-flowering shrubs and bushes now. And when trimming bushes and hedges, always keep the top of the bush slightly more narrow than the bottom, otherwise the top branches will shade the bottom and keep them from growing properly. Wait until spring to trim any holly or other broadleaf evergreen.

3. For a fun fall flower you can plant now, try the Clara Curtis Daisy. It’s actually a chrysanthemum, but is more hardy to our area (meaning they will last through the winter and bloom again next year) than the traditional mums you can find at the grocery store. The Clara Curtis can be found at a local nursery or through a catalog.

Melissa Neill, the Garden Mentor can be reached at or 740.972.0452

Please share any of your own fall lawn and landscaping tips! We’d love to see what Delaware is going to grow this season!

8th Annual Delaware County Master Gardener Plant Sale Scheduled for July 27 & 28.

The Delaware County Master Gardeners Association will be holding a plant sale at the Delaware County Fairgrounds Sheep and Swine Barn, 236 Pennsylvania Ave. Delaware, on Saturday, July 27, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and on Sunday, July 28 from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. or until sold out. The huge plant sale will feature thousands of colorful annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, herbs, hanging baskets and much more, all at unbelievably low prices. Other items for sale include gently used gardening accessories such as containers, baskets, tools, birdhouses, bird feeders and garden ornaments.

Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions on plant care.. This event is open to the public. All proceeds will go towards education and beautification projects through the Delaware County OSU Extension/Master Gardener Program. For more information, visit or call 740-833-2030.

The one who owns the seeds, owns the seed market!

The Way It Used To Be

Indiana Farmer Vernon Bowman, like many other farmers of yesteryear, saved some of his soybeans from each year’s crop for replanting a new crop the next year.  After several years of this, Monsanto sued in Federal Court in Indiana.  Bowman lost and was ordered to pay Monsanto $84,456.  Bowman appealed, and, ultimately lost in the U.S. Supreme Court on May 13, 2013. 

The seeds that Bowman used were genetically modified.  Monsanto created genetically modified soybean seeds and obtained patent’s on them.  Even though Bowman grew them in his own fields from seeds saved from the prior year’s crop, in the words of the U.S. Supreme Court “[b]ecause Bowman thus reproduced Monstanto’s patented invention” the law does not protect him, and a “patentee [such as Monsanto] retains an undiminished right to prohibit others from making the thing his patent protects”—even invented seeds.  Whether the invention is a cell phone screen, a prescription medication, or new kind of toy, a person cannot, without permission, legally copy and reproduce an identical product.  The same holds true for patented seeds.  Bowman’s seeds were unauthorized copies of the “patented invention” and, therefore, illegal. 

 As early as 1999, thirty percent of all soybeans worldwide contained  Monsanto’s patented genetics.  Now, some sources indicate that ninety-eight percent of all soybeans grown in the United States contain Monsanto’s patented genetics.  Only Monsanto has the right to save these seeds and replant them.  And, of course, it may license seed farmers to do the same.  Anyone else doing so without permission can be sued and will, likely, lose. 

But they’re my seeds! 

Why can’t you save your seeds or otherwise reproduce your plants for replanting or resale?  They probably are protected by one or more of the following laws:  Title 35 of the United States Code (patent law), the Plant Patent Act of 1930, the Plant Variety Protection Act, the Federal Seed Act, state seed licensing laws, or private contract law.  Seeds protected by these laws play a major role in the marketplace today.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued close to 2,000 utility patents for plants, plant parts, and seeds.  These laws and the patents granted protect commercial varieties of soybeans, corn, wheat, rapeseed, and numerous other plants.  The reach of these laws extends to the private family garden.  Even if you are capable of reproducing them on your land, you likely have little or no right to do so without permission, which generally comes with a price. 

 Statutory protection of seeds is of obvious commercial advantage to the developers of those seeds.  Patents put the patent owners into a monopoly-like position, affording them the opportunity for great profit.  The seed “inventor” of any seed of commercial value has the opportunity for significant control of the entire agricultural market from family farmer to consumer.  Farmers who farm these seeds in compliance with law may see increased yields and higher profits—in the near term.  Long term, it significantly depends on the generosity and integrity of the seed “inventors.”  As one DelawareCounty farmer explained, as a practical matter of agribusiness economics, many family farmers lack meaningful profitable alternatives than to buy patented or licensed seed, because they require reliable crop yields to maintain profitability.  Farm equipment payments must be paid, as must farmland mortgages or leases.   

 Commercial growers of seeds that are not protected by the laws described above must be especially careful because the plant seed of some plant varieties, through inadvertent cross-pollination can, over time, come to contain patented genetic material.  While, legally, it probably is the obligation of the growers of patented seeds to prevent pollen from their plants from drifting out of their fields onto adjoining property, most farm fields contain inadequate wind breaks, barrier rows of crops, or other mechanisms to prevent cross-pollination through pollen-drift.  Blaming pollen-drift from the neighboring farmer’s field would be the obvious factual defense if sued by the patent holder, but it would not guarantee victory. 

What can be saved?  

Only open-pollinated, seeds can be saved and reproduced without risking serious legal problems.  Essentially, such seeds are heirloom varieties in the public domain.  However, re-selling seed produced from these crops, nonetheless, may result in violations of state and/or federal law that could include lawsuits, fines, and, in some cases, criminal prosecution.   Before using or selling any saved seed for commercial seed or food production (whether for animals or humans) it is critically important to know and comply with applicable law.