Nature and Country Living Classes

Nature and Country Living

301 A Snowshoe Hike to Somewhere  Instructor: Nancy Wottrich, environmental educator This class has been canceled 

In anticipation of a snowy winter, this trip will seek out the best snow conditions in any one of PA’s or NY’s beautiful natural areas, within an hour and a half drive of Susquehanna County.  We will explore the woods, looking for animal tracks, studying winter botany and just enjoying being out in the fresh, clean winter air.  Closer to the trip date, participants will be informed of the destination and details on how to prepare for the day. Snowshoes will be required, but if you don’t have any, a limited number of loaners may be available (please indicate your need when you register).  This trip is cancelled if the conditions are not good or in the event of inclement weather.  Limit 15 students

One Wednesday, February 6  This class has been canceled

Time:  half to full day, depending upon destination

Fee: $5.00


302 Bench Grafting Apples    Instructor, Robert Fearnley This class is full

Bench grafting is not magic or voodoo. Come learn to graft a  scion onto a semi-dwarf rootstock. Scions and root stocks will be provided. Bring a grafting knife if you have one.  You will go home with a young tree ready to plant. Class limit 10 students.

One Saturday, March 30 , 10:00 am  This class is full

Location: Salt Springs Park, Carriage House

Fee $5.00 Material Fee: $10.00


303 Pruning Basics    Instructor: Master Gardener and Retired State Forester, Jim Kessler  This class is full
When should I prune? How should I prune? Where should I prune? Why and why not prune? These and other pruning questions will be demonstrated on common trees, fruit trees, and shrubs.  After you understand the basics of pruning you will be able to take your knowledge to most trees and shrubs for better growth, durability and health.  Directions will be emailed shortly before class. Class will be held rain or shine so dress appropriately.
One Saturday, March 23 , 10:00 am  This class is full
Location: Private Road, Montrose
Fee: $5.00


304 Build a Mason Bee House with the Master Gardeners  Instructors: Master Gardeners Jim Kasten and Lori Wallace
Mason Bees are solitary bees and great pollinators. More dependable and productive then honey bees in early spring! Learn how to attract these native bees plus other pollinators and beneficial insects. This year we will build a redesigned Mason Bee Lodge that will be easier to keep clean! On your Montrose Area Adult School registration form, please indicate the number of lodges you wish to make and add the cost to your registration fee.  Please bring your own cordless drill if possible; we have a limited supply of drills. Deadline to order materials is March 8th.  Or, you may simply listen to the discussion and observe the building of the lodges.
One Saturday, March 16, at 10:00 am
Location: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Church St. Montrose
Fee: $5.00 Material Fee: $18.00


305 Master Gardeners Host 7th Annual Spring Gardening Clinic
Instructors: Master Gardeners from several Counties including NY. Plus, Charlene Wildes, Environmentalist and Don Hibbard from our local SCCD!
Join your local Penn State Master Gardeners and Master Gardeners from surrounding areas for the 7th Annual Spring Gardening Day. This all-day event features a variety of fun and educational gardening programs. Meet a few of the new Master Gardener trainees from Susquehanna County as they present their individual projects from training class.  There will be several classes throughout the day which will include: tomatoes and their common diseases, weeds and invasive plants, therapeutic horticulture, and more!
Plus make your own Boursin Cheese to take home! Flavored Boursin Cheeses are very expensive, but not if you make them yourself. Take your bounty of herbs and learn how to make a variety of these cheeses. You will be amazed at how easy this is. The plain cheese base and all supplies will be provided for you to make your own flavored cheese to take home.
Demonstrations, educational material and displays will be on hand, plus a book sale. The day will conclude with a silent auction.  Morning refreshments and a delicious lunch are included.
One Saturday,  April 27, 9:00 am until 2:00 pm, doors open at 8:30
Location: Montrose Bible Conference, Lake Ave, Montrose
Fee: $35.00


306 What Kind of Butterfly is that?   Instructor: Master Gardener Nancy Dooling

Everyone loves butterflies! Learn how to identify our most common types and how to attract them to your yard and garden using ornamental plants, herbs, trees and shrubs.

Most everyone knows what a Monarch is, but did you know there is another species that is almost identical? Would you like to learn the names of our native butterflies and what food sources they need to survive? Come join the Master Gardeners and find out these facts and much more. We’ll also provide plants that’ll help you get started on your own butterfly garden.

One Thursday, May 2 , 6:00 pm

Location: Penn State Extension office, 88 Chenango Street, Montrose

Fee: $5.00


307 Build Your Own Native Bee Hotel    Instructor: Don Hibbard of the SCCD
You all know about the plight of honeybees, and you may have heard about mason bees but what about the rest of our native bees? There are over 300 native bees in Pennsylvania. Monday, May 20th is world bee day.  So, invite some backyard buddies to pollinate your garden, by making a native bee hotel that can house a variety of our native bees. A short presentation on the importance of our native pollinators will be followed by a hands-on demonstration on how to make a native bee hotel.  Participants will design and assemble their own hotel to take home with them. There is a fee of $5 per hotel you wish to make, but most of the materials can be scavenged in your own yards.  Please bring your own cordless drill since we have a limited supply. Deadline to order hotel kits is May 10th. Class limit of 10 people.

One Saturday, May 18, 10:00 am

Location: Susquehanna County Conservation District, 88 Chenango St.

Fee: $5 Material Fee: $5.00


308  Growing Blueberries at Home  Instructors: Master Gardeners, Lori Wallace and Jim Kasten
Native to North America, blueberries have been around for more than 13,000 years! A rich history, an even richer taste, plus health benefits; what’s not to love about blueberries? Want to grow a few blueberries for yourself? Can’t keep the critters away from the bushes you already have? What type of soil do they like? Join us and get these questions answered and more. You will receive tips and pointers on how to successfully grow your own blueberries at home!
One Saturday, June 8, 10:00 am
Location: Penn State Extension Office, 88 Chenango St., Montrose,
Fee: $5.00



309 Living on the Land: A Self-Sufficient Lifestyle  Instructor, Steve Castrogiovanni

This class is taught by a third-generation resident, raised on the land, who recently built a cabin equipped with no electricity or plumbing.  Although the Federal Homestead act, begun in 1862 (160 acres free if you worked the land for five years)ended in 1962, but extended in Alaska until 1986, there is a renewed interest in “getting back to the land” and learning a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Homesteading Today is a popular website and is gaining adherents among the newly retired.  We live in a relatively undeveloped area of the Endless Mountains where people are creatively finding ways to get back to basics.  You will be given an introductory overview of what you need (space, equipment, tools and skills) to help you reach your goal of a more independent life and living gently on the land.

One Saturday, June 8, 2:00 pm

Location: Forest Lake Fire Hall

Fee: $10.00

310 Fantastic Flora and Fauna   Instructor: Nancy Wottrich, environmental educator This class has been canceled

With the warm winds of spring come a parade of birds, heading north or hanging here, as well as a carpet of ephemeral flowers on the forest floor.  It’s difficult to know whether to look up or down, but we’re going to try to do both!  These classes will focus on recognizing by sight, song and habitat the most common bird species as well as any Spring migrants we may encounter.   We’ll also study the forest floor to learn about the fleeting Spring wildflowers under our feet, as well as anything else of interest upon which we stumble.  Each class will visit a different public natural area in the county.  Participants will be notified before the first class with more details on how to prepare and where to meet.  Bring binoculars, hand lens, and bird and flower field guides if you have them. Class limit 15 students.

Three Thursdays, May 16, 23, 30 with June 6 as a rain date from 9:00 am to 12 noon This class has been cancelled



311  Weaving a Lavender Wand    Instructor: Master Gardener, Gayle O’Brien
Back by popular demand! Lavender wands, also known as lavender bottles or lavender batons, is an old Victorian pastime.  Women would usually spend their free time crafting items out of flowers.  These were used to scent drawers as a lavender sachet or hung on cabinets for decoration and freshening. Since the Victorian age until now, there has been a great demand for this lovely plant. Encasing the scent of lavender in ribbon allows you to enjoy the fragrance for years to come.  Taking the time to create wands lets you get lost in the moment while enjoying the aroma as you weave the ribbon around the stalks.  Join us at Humming Hill Lavender Farm and not only learn how to make these wands but get a few tips on growing your own lavender plants too.  The cost of materials for each wand is $5.00.  Please indicate on the registration form how many wands you will be making.
One Saturday: July 20, Session #1, 10:00 am

July 20,  Session #2, 1:00 pm (Please indicate on the registration form which session you will be attending.)

Location: Humming Hill Lavender Farm, Brooklyn, PA
Fee: $5.00 Material Fee for each wand ordered. $5.00