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Archives for September 19, 2016

Oyler: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is a truly precious resource – Tribune


Oyler: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is a truly precious resource

Updated 3 hours ago

My daughter Elizabeth, my granddaughter Rachael and I visited the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in North Fayette one recent Saturday afternoon.

It is the outgrowth of the Horticultural Society of Western Pennsylvania, a well-meaning group of landscape architects and horticulturists.

Their dream of creating a botanic garden came to fruition when Allegheny County offered them 432 acres in Settler’s Cabin Park, an area that had suffered from decades of coal mining.

They formed a nonprofit organization to accept the challenge of reclaiming this land for use as a horticultural facility.

A major task was removing the remaining coal on 72 acres of the site and returning the surface to arable land.

An equally difficult problem was the presence of abandoned mine drainage and its pollution of the water supply on the property.

I was aware of this problem because of a senior design project a group of our students did 12 years ago.

Someone from the Horticultural Society had contacted us and inquired if we could have some students study several infrastructure problems associated with the botanic garden they were planning.

At that time, the proposed site was southwest of the current location, on McGill Road, rather than Pinkerton.

We were asked to study access alternatives to the McGill Road site and to recommend a remediation system for an abandoned mine (acid) drainage problem at a source in Kentucky Hollow.

We assembled a team that included environmental engineers who made numerous visits to the site before coming up with a design for a system that would convert this problem stream of water into a usable resource.

The McGill roadway design and the abandoned mine drainage remediation design were submitted to the Horticultural Society folks and helped them justify going ahead with the planning of the Botanic Garden.

The final location of the garden is on Pinkerton Road, and the acid mine drainage remediation system treats a source in a different hollow.

I was particularly eager to inspect the actual system that Hedin Environmental eventually installed.

The outflow from the treatment system feeds Lotus Pond, a lovely small body of water currently sporting blooming water lilies.

It is the centerpiece of an Asian-themed environment, complete with cherry trees, a classic arched Oriental-style bridge and the beginnings of a Zen garden.

It is easily the most impressive thing we saw.

Beneath the Zen garden is an underground reinforced-concrete chamber housing the acid mine drainage remediation system. The chamber contains 450 tons of limestone.

The polluted water is fed into the chamber, where the acid in it reacts with the limestone and is precipitated.

The remediated water then is discharged into the pond at a rate of less than 10 gallons per minute.

I am pleased that this final design is so similar to what our students had proposed in 2004.

The Lotus Pond restoration project received the 2014 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, a well-deserved honor.

At this time, the Botanic Garden has concentrated its efforts on the 60 acres that make up the Woodlands Garden; we spent most of our time there.

The trails are pleasant, and there is sufficient signage to help everyone identify trees and plants in it.

The complex also includes extensive flower gardens, a “Heritage Apple Orchard” and a log house dating to 1784.

When I think about all the pleasure I have received from my twice-daily walks in the woods near our house, I realize the remarkable potential of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden for Allegheny County residents who are not as fortunate as I am.

It is always a special treat for me to visit a completed project and realize that some of our students made a relevant contribution to its implementation.

John Oyler is a columnist for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at 412-343-1652 or joylerpa@icloud.com.

Article source: http://triblive.com/news/neighborhoods/carlynton/11142047-74/garden-botanic-system

Ceramic artists ride design’s trend toward the handcrafted

Waterbury, Vt., based ceramics maker Jeremy Ayers, 41, works in his studio, flanked by his sons Fletcher, 5, and Weston, 4.

Article source: http://siouxcityjournal.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/ceramic-artists-ride-design-s-trend-toward-the-handcrafted/article_1d4ee2c8-ae25-5c50-bcc9-9f2738088b50.html

Why kids should work (and 10 ideas for jobs)

Back in the day, most kids held summer
jobs and were expected to do real household
chores, but these days many families are
focused on achievements, extracurriculars and good grades for college
applications. (But it’s worth noting that colleges
see the value of work experience,
even elite colleges.) Indeed, high school
employment has moved steadily downward
in the last 15 years,
according to the Child Trends Data Bank. In 1999, 35.5
percent of high schoolers held a job, and by 2014, only 18
percent did.

But life is more expensive these days, and kids learn
important life lessons from earning their own bucks. We do our kids a disservice
by willingly handing over the funds for them to buy pricey gadgets, says Ron
Lieber,
New York Times money
columnist and author of

The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart about Money.” Kids need to learn how to save and budget, skills
required for adulthood, and we need to give them practice before the stakes are
high. A job also teaches them time management, hones their work ethic and
boosts soft skills such as cooperation, task follow-through, independent
thinking, self-reliance and getting along with others.

Typically, jobs at fast-food restaurants or grocery stores
require teens to be 16, but your kids don’t have to wait this long. Tweens and
younger teens are industrious, creative and capable people who enjoy being
useful. Let them get started early by
offering their own services. Aside from babysitting, here are a few ideas to jumpstart a business gig.

1. Pet-sitter: Your
neighborhood always needs a reliable pet-sitter or dog walker. In my
neighborhood, two young sisters set themselves apart with some extra
flourishes. For starters, they cared for animals of all kinds, including guinea
pigs, birds, fish, reptiles and chickens, in addition to dogs and cats. They hold
brief meet-and-greets with new clients, have them fill out a short questionnaire
about the pets and provide no-cost extras like opening/closing blinds, turning
lights on/off, retrieving mail and watering plants. At the end of the job,
they provide a detailed daily record, a small gift bag of handmade dog or cat
treats and their business card personalized with a photo of the pet(s). Now
that’s service.

Have a kid who can handle mowing lawns in the summer or shoveling snow in the winter? People will pay someone to do those chores. (Photo: JNP/Shutterstock)

2. Gardener: My high school son did regular gardening this summer, from weeding to pruning to sprucing up the landscaping of a property going on the real estate market. If your child doesn’t know much about what weeds look like, help him learn or have a neighbor with a green thumb give him a crash course.

3. Tech assistant: Lots
of people have technology-related tasks waiting to be done but no time to do them. Does
your neighbor need help moving photos from a camera to the computer and saving
in the cloud? Could your child help the nearby grandparents with setting
up a new smartphone, Blu-ray player or smart TV? Savvy,
media-oriented kids have a lot to offer older folks who aren’t digital
natives.

4. DJ for birthday
parties:
Lieber’s young relative and a friend started a DJ business and
priced themselves to be affordable for kids’ birthday dance parties. If kids set
their rates appropriately, they’re sure to be hit with parents who need a creative
birthday party idea. Plus, little kids love to dance.

5. Party assistant: Lots of parents don’t even realize they need a helper until they’re in the
middle of the event. Tweens and teens can help at birthdays with chaperoning,
serving snacks and cake or running the activities. There are also graduation
parties, bar and bat mitzvahs or other celebrations. A young assistant will be a
lifesaver.


Does your child have a knack for making pretty, handmade jewelry? She could sell her trinkets for a small price. (Photo: AndreyCherkasov/Shutterstock)

6. Jewelry maker: My 12-year-old niece has made a niche for herself as a budding jeweler, beading necklaces and bracelets and selling them at local farmers markets where the vendor fee is low. She’s been known to top $50. Consider taking a product to the next level by setting up a free website at a site like GoSpaces.

7. Poop scooper: No
one likes this chore, but if you have a dog and a yard, you need it done. I would hire your child if I owned a dog. To get started, suggest
your child post fliers in your neighborhood.

8. Window washer: This is another task many people don’t have time to do, and elderly people probably
shouldn’t do if it involves a ladder. Have your child invest in a bucket, a
squeegee and a few soft cloths (or old T-shirts). (Of course this one will require supervision to make sure the ladder is steady if the window height requires the use of one.)

9. Holiday baker: When I was young, one of my favorite activities was to bake cookies and cakes,
but I never thought to take it to the next level. These days, teens are baking
and decorating cakes, cupcakes and other treats for special occasions. They
can practice decorating cakes for their family to hone their skills.

10. Tutor: Is your
child skilled in math or spelling or Spanish? More to the point, are they
good at explaining concepts to younger kids in an accessible way? Lots of kids
do better learning with someone who’s not their parent, and young tutor types
probably understand Common Core curriculum methods better anyway.

These
are just a few suggestions to get the ideas rolling, but ideas are only limited by your child’s
imagination. Consider whether they have the capital to create items for sale, although I would argue that parents shouldn’t subsidize this as it detracts from the money lessons kids need to learn. For
more job ideas, check out
How to Make Money as a Kid,
where you’ll also find tips on rates, advertising and how to pick the right
idea. If your neighborhood belongs to
Next Door,
kids can start by posting their services there.

Good luck and have fun! And parents, try not to take over the process.



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Article source: http://www.mnn.com/money/personal-finance/stories/why-kids-should-work-10-ideas-jobs

15 business ideas you can start almost any time

Starting a business today no longer requires months or market research and thousands of dollars to get started. You can simply stay in your pajamas, although I wouldn’t recommend that, and start a successful business from the comfort of your home

Even if you decide to leave the house, there are more than enough business ideas floating around that require little time and resources to launch.

In fact, here are 15 business ideas that you could start today.

1. Freelancing

It’s easy to understand why there are more than 54 million Americans who have joined the freelance revolution. They have a flexible schedule, can work from anywhere they want, and can make a comfortable living doing something that they either enjoy or are talented at. And, this trend isn’t going away anytime soon.

If you have a little bit of experience and are skilled at anything from graphic design to writing to photography to coding, then you can become a freelancer with little more than a computer. Of course, it does take time to build a solid reputation and list of clients, you can still start applying for gigs at any number of freelance job sites immediately.

2. Blogging

Whether it’s building your own blog through WordPress or using a website builder like Wix, Anyone can start a blog in just a matter of minutes. Blogging is also affordable since you just have to purchase a domain name and host. 

There are also many companies (like our blog) that pay freelancers to write for their blog. This can make you good side income and for some be a full time job.

3. Online retailing

I’ve decided to lump several online retailing ideas together since they’re extremely similar.

  • Affiliate marketing. I just mentioned this, so it’s a great place to start. Essentially, you plug other products or services on your website. You’re provided a unique link so whenever a visitor clicks on that link and make a purchase, you get a commission.

  • eCommerce site. Thanks to sites like Etsy you can sell your handmade crafts.

  • eBay or Craigslist for unloading used items. I’ve even asked neighbors if I can sell their things and take a 50% commission on anything I sell. It’s worked out great at building up cash in my ebank.

  • Drop shipping is when you sell other people’s products online, but the items are shipped from the manufacturer’s warehouse.

4. Public Speaking/Teaching/Tutoring

If you want to share you knowledge with others, whether if it’s how to become a more effective leader in the workplace or the Spanish language, you can make money by teaching online classes, becoming a tutor in your neighborhood, or speaking at libraries, rec centers, or adult education education classes.

5. Consulting/Training

Another way to pass along your knowledge is by launching a consulting or training business. That’s because there are plenty of entrepreneurs and companies looking for talented individuals to teach their employees how to do everything from learning a computer program to becoming an eco-friendly business.

There is also lots of consulting for app companies. As there are an estimated 5.8 million apps that have been created, the need for countless consultants to maintain their apps persists.

6. Errand Running/Personal Assistant

There are seniors and busy people who need someone to run errands for them, or even become their personal assistant. These tasks could include going to the grocery store, cooking, cleaning, or driving them across town. You can join TaskRabbit or Care.com to find jobs.

7. Babysitting/Petsitting/Housesitting

Don’t fool yourself. These jobs aren’t just for teenagers. There are a lot of people out there who have made a career out of these types of jobs. Of course, it may take time to build your trustworthiness after receiving word-of-mouth recommendations but you could start asking your family, friends, and neighbors today if they need someone to watch their children, pets, or home.

8. Landscaping

Do you enjoy being outside? Do you also enjoy doing yard work, like mowing and gardening? Then you can start your own neighborhood landscaping. You can even eventually go on to design beautiful garden beds. But, in the meantime, you can start off small. Trust people. A lot of people dread pulling weeds!

9. Catering/Baking

If you have a knack for cooking or baking, then this is an obvious business idea for you to start. You probably already have all the equipment too. Just start going out and inform your network that you’ve started your own business.

10. Repairman

Whether it’s computers, furniture, or cars, if you’re good with your hands then start offering this service to paying customers.

11. Social Media Management

Brands have realized the importance of having an online presence, and that includes being active and engaging on social media. That’s why they’re willing to pay individuals to manage their social media channels. If you have that talent, then you can start this business today.

12. Event Planning

If you’re organized and have the ability to thoroughly plan events, then become an event planner and handle anything from weddings, birthday parties, to retirement parties.

13. Language Translation/Transcribing

Do you know a second language? If so, you can make a living by translating or transcribing this language for others.

14. Referral Service

These types of entrepreneurs essentially refer businesses to customers. For example, you could be hired by an attorney’s office specializing in family law to find individuals who may be seeking to divorce their spouse.

15. Local Tour Guide/Relocation Service

If you know your neighborhood like the back-of-your hand then you can either become a local tour guide. But, what if there isn’t much to see because you don’t live in a historical city like Boston or Philly? You could scout office location for businesses and connect them with local businesses like restaurants that deliver or sell office equipment.

John Rampton

Article source: http://mashable.com/2016/09/19/15-business-ideas-you-can-start-today/

More Great Gardening Books

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Though the title might be uninteresting to the average gardener who isn’t planning a rooftop garden, this wonderful book is filled with information that is invaluable to anyone who wants to be successful in gardening.

Of special interest to this reviewer was the voluminous information on container gardening. Rooftops lend themselves to plants grown in containers rather than in a layer of soil, so the author has thoroughly covered the subject.

Once one starts reading, this is a hard one to set aside. For those interested in transforming a city rooftop into a viable, living environment, the book covers how to assess your proposed rooftop, the what and why of rooftop soil, starting seeds, using flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees in such a setting, as well as dealing with problems like wind and rain or snow, and critter damage.

The book is interspersed with success stories for commercial rooftop gardens, many of them grown and managed by restaurants where the produce is used fresh on a daily basis. The appendix and resource lists at the end make this a book to have for just about anyone.

Disclaimer: I received this book for review, but if I’d had a glance through it at a bookstore, I would buy it!

The Weather Resilient Garden

Author: Charles W. G. Smith

Instead of bemoaning the bad things that can happen to our gardens, we can be proactive if we understand all the natural events that our planet bestows upon us. This excellent book is a defensive approach to planning and landscaping, keeping the weather in mind.

Anything you might need to know about planting a beautiful, but tough garden is contained in the 412 pages written by horticulturist, naturalist, editor, and educator Charles W. G. Smith. The first part of the book describes how to plan your weather-resilient garden, with regard to location, microclimates, soil, and other issues. The weather section specifically covers cold, ice snow, salt, flood, drought, fire, hail, heat, humidity, lightning, and wind ” and what you need to know ahead of time to keep your gardens safe.

The final section offers information on 100 weather-resilient plants, including perennials, shrubs, trees, vines, ornamental grasses, annuals, and lawns. More resources are available through the appendix, supplies and resources, further reading, USDA Hardiness Zone maps, botanic common name index, and a general index.

I quite literally LOVE this book!

Article source: http://www.norwichbulletin.com/blogs/20160918/more-great-gardening-books

Local Living Venture gardening workshop series to give tips on composting system Sept. 24

Participants in a past Local Living Venture composting workshop set up the pile.POTSDAM — As part of their series of gardening workshops, the Local Living Venture (LLV) will team up with Potsdam’s Janet Lomastro to share her tips and tricks for easy maintenance of her unique and sensible 3-bin composting system.

The upcoming workshop will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Lomastro’s system involves no turning of the pile, the downfall of most would-be composters. Participants will leave with a very clear understanding of how to run the simplest, yet high-performing, compost pile with the least amount of effort involved.

The group will be versed in the “makin’, bakin’ and takin'” of yard waste and food scraps. The group assembled will create a working pile that can also be visited later to see how it’s heating up.

A tour of the home’s riverside landscape garden, that has utilized so much of the rich compost soil, is included. This workshop continues to be a perennial favorite, in terms of attendee evaluations, and was the first workshop ever put on by the LLV in 2010.

Attendance is limited to 12 persons, so an RSVP is necessary due to limited session size.

There fee of $22 general, $40 couple, $10 student benefits Local Living Venture workshop creations, with scholarships available by arrangement.

To register, email LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com and include phone number(s) and the number in the party to receive the location and directions.

 

 

Article source: http://northcountrynow.com/featured_events/local-living-venture-gardening-workshop-series-give-tips-composting-system-sept-24

Tips on planting a pollinator garden

THE WEEK AND SATURDAY. THAT IS YOUR LATEST FORECAST. LETICIA: I’M OUT HERE ON THE PATIO AND WE ARE TALKING ABOUT MAKING A POLLINATOR GARDE BEES AND BUTTERFLIES IN YOUR YARD. LET’S START WITH YOU CAROL. IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ALL PEOPLE BECAUSE POLLINATORS ARE FOOD SUPPLY. RIGHT NOW, WE ARE SEEING AND WARMING TH KLEIN IN THE POLLINATOR POPULATION AND SO HELP THAT. LETICI BUTTERFLIES, MOTHS. FOUR PEOPLE LOOKING TO PLANT, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE VARIETIES YOU HAVE CHOSEN FOR US THIS MORNING I GO — THIS MORNING GECKO — THIS MORNING GECK ? SHELTER IN THE WAY OF TREES, GROUNDCOVER SHRUBS, AT DIFFERENT LEVELS LARGE BIRDS WANT TO BE UP LOW. ANIMALS WANT TO BE LOW. LETICIA: CAN THIS BE POSSIBLE IN ANY HOM GECKO — HOME? IF YOU WANT TO ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES TO COME LIVE IN YOUR GARDEN, YOU NEED TO PROVIDE HOST PLANTS. CAN YOU NAME SOME OF THE PLANTS TO LOOK FOR. . NURSERIES ARE GETTING BETTER ABOU PROVIDING NATIVE PLANTS. LETICIA: WHO WOULD THIS ATTRACT? HUMMINGBIRDS. THEY STICK INTO IT. IN THE SMALLER INSECTS CANNOT GET TO THE NECTAR AND SO THEY WILL HAVE A PRIVATE SUPPLY. LETICIA: HOW THEIR — HOW ARE THEY ALERTED TO I? DO THEY JUST SEE THE DIFFERENT SMELLS? STYLES, COLORS. YELLOW ARE ATTRACTED TO MEET, PROTEIN. THAT IS WHY THEY COME IN AND ANNOY YOU. LETICIA:

Article source: http://www.kcra.com/news/tips-on-planting-a-pollinator-garden/41719706

Master gardener Brain Minter’s tips for the fall season

The summer is ending, and for gardeners it’s just about time to wave goodbye to the season’s vibrant greens.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have color in your garden throughout the colder climes.

Master gardener Brian Minter recently sat down with B.C. Almanac guest host Andrew Chang to discuss how to make the most out of your fall garden.

“When we get into that real dull weather, we will totally appreciate the color that we put into it,” said Minter.

Minter offered three tips — and a lot of other helpful advice — on how to take advantage of the season.

The colour switch

First and foremost: make the colour switch.

“Using things like foliage — anything that has colourful stems, interesting leaves, yellows, oranges and bright colours that are going to be with us throughout the winter time,” Minter said.

The most popular plant entering the fall and through the winter will be winter flowering heather, he says, which will flower for several months during the cold season.

Heathers can bring a variety of pinks, reds and oranges that will brighten up your garden through the winter. For tips on how to cultivate them, you can visit Minter’s website.

Minter expects the winter flowering heather to be the most popular fall garden selection this year. (Flower Meaning)

Get your garlic in!

There’s only a couple of weeks left to get your garlic in the ground, but the sooner the better, says Minter.

There are quite a few varieties to choose from.

“In most garden stores, they’re carrying a wide selection — up to 15 or 20 varieties today. But I have to say, from a lot of the growers that we talk to, the Red Russian seems to be the dominant, care-free, idiot-proof variety for me that just seems to perform well,” said Minter.

Plant them three times the width of the bulb deep — roughly three inches — in very well-drained soil.

The fall is a great season to get your garlic growing — but the clock is ticking! (CBC)

Don’t forget fast food

Minter says it’s the perfect time to get your lettuce crops in — spinach, romaine, butter, and the like. They’ll grow fast in the fall temperatures, so try to get a few crops in before it really gets too cold.

With files from CBC’s BC Almanac

To listen to the full interview, click on the audio labelled: Master gardener Brian Minter shares tips on how to get your garden ready for the fall

Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/brian-minter-fall-gardening-tips-1.3768101