Nature and Country Living Classes

Nature and Country Living

301    Master Gardeners 6th Annual Spring Gardening Day   Instructors: Master Gardeners from Several Counties

Join the Penn State Master Gardeners for their 6th annual Spring Gardening Day! This all day event features a variety of fun and educational gardening programs!  There will be several classes throughout the day which include: growing ornamental grasses, container gardening, pruning perennials, growing hydrangeas, plus much more!  Demonstrations and displays will be on hand plus door prizes and a silent auction to complete the day.  Morning refreshment and a delicious lunch are included.

One Saturday April 7, from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm

Location: Montrose Bible Conference, Lake Ave, Montrose

Fee: $30.00


302    Make Your Own Birdfeeder    Instructors: Ann Vitale and Master Gardener, Jim Kasten

Many people feed birds. Many also love to watch them and listen to their cheery songs.  Join us for a perfect winter project and learn how to garden for birds! We will also cover the best seed to buy, feeders to get, where to place them, can you feed them year-round, prevent larger birds from scaring smaller birds, stopping those pesky squirrels, and keeping feeders clean plus much more.
After a brief informational presentation, you will learn how to create your very own feeder out of PVC.  We have a limited supply of battery powered drills so please bring your own and safety glasses as well.  The cost of materials for each feeder is $24.00.  Please indicate the number of feeders you wish to make and add the cost to your registration fee.
One Saturday, Feb 17th, 10:00 am
Location: St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Church St Montrose location changed to 88 Chenango  St. Montrose
Fee: $5.00 plus cost of each feeder $24.00


303   The Natural Feast Around Us: Foraging for Wild Edibles Instructor: Susan Vinskofski  This class is full

Join us as we explore the sides of a dirt road, varied fields and a pond edge in search of spring wild edibles and medicinals.  The instructor is experienced in identifying and using plants we have probably seen without knowing. These “weeds” and “wildflowers” are often overlooked as a source of nutrition.  Stinging nettle pesto? Pine needle salad dressing, anyone? The foraging session will take place on mostly level to mildly uneven terrain. This is not a hike but a walk on private fields, lawn, and hedgerows.  Rain or shine, dress according to the weather and for walking in brush-cut areas and old farm fields a mile and a half from South Montrose. Limit 20 students.

One Thursday, May 3 at 10:30 am

Location: 766 Darrow Hill Road, Montrose (directions will be sent prior to class)

Fee: $5.00  This class is full


304    Perennials Through the Seasons   Instructor: Rose Barnhart, Master Gardener  1:30 session is full

Would you like to start growing perennials, or add more perennials to your garden?  This class will provide color photos and information on over 100 perennials grown by the instructor right here in Susquehanna County!  Not only will you learn when each perennial blooms in our area but also where to plant and how to care for each plant.  This class will be offered twice.  Choose one class that best fits your schedule.  Each class is limited to 20 students.

One Tuesday, April 17, at 1:30 pm , This class is full     One Wednesday April 18, 7:00 pm.

Location: Montrose Bible Conference, Dreyer Hall, Honeyman Room, Locust St. Montrose

Fee: $5.00


305    Lasagna Gardening II Plus Tours   Instructors: Paul Kuntz and Ben Robinson, Master Gardeners

Come to the Grand Opening of our new educational garden and outdoor classroom!  Join Paul and Ben for an informal talk about Lasagna Gardening and a tour of all the other various beds in the new garden.  Paul and a few other Master Gardeners will begin to plant the Lasagna bed and the tours will be given throughout the day at 1 hour intervals.  The Grand Opening will coincide with our Annual Spring Plant Sale/Fundraiser.  Various venders and food will be present also for the occasion.  We will be there rain or shine! Come and visit us!

One Saturday, May 12 beginning at 10:00 am until 3:00pm

Location: Extension grounds, 88 Chenango St., Montrose

Fee:  Free


306    Wildlife Rescue – Do you Know When and How to Rescue?   Instructor: Angie Colarusso

Do you know what to do if you find a wild animal in distress or abandoned? Who to call? The founder of Second Chance, Angie Colarusso is licensed through the PA Game Commission to care for mammals, with the aim of returning them to the wild.  The program will explain what to do if you find a baby or adult animal you think is in need, what not to do, the precautions necessary, and other useful tips.  Tours of the center are not allowed in order to limit human interaction, so animals can be returned to the wild.  Several animals that could not be rehabilitated will be at the program. Children 12 years old and older may register and attend with a registered adult.

One Thursday April 5, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

Location: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Upstairs hall, Church St., Montrose

Fee $5.00


307    Make Your Own Grow Light Stand   Instructors: Master Gardeners, Jim Kasten and Lori Wallace

Join the Master Gardeners for a great winter project to break the winter blues.  Learn how to start your own seedlings!  After a short lecture filled with useful information you will proceed to the “hands on” part of the course and make your own grow light stand out of PVC piping. The light is easy to make using a standard 4-foot shop light!  It is easy to store when you are not using it.  Get a few tips on seed starting while you are at it!  “Store bought” stands start at $70.00 and can run into the hundreds!  The material cost for each homemade light stand is $45.00.  On your registration form, please indicate the number of light stands you wish to build and add the cost to your registration fee.  Deadline to order materials is March 16th. Or, you may just simply listen to the discussion and observe the building of the light stands.

One Saturday, March 24, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Location: St Mark’s Parish Hall, Main St., New Milford

Fee: $5.00 plus $45.00 for each light stand ordered


308   Make Your Own Bat House   Instructor Amy Boot, Master Gardener

Once again, this popular class will be offered by Master Gardener Amy Boot.  Come join her and learn about the mysterious night life of bats!  Bats consume an enormous number of mosquitos and other crop damaging insects such as cutworms and moths.  Bats are the only mammal that can fly!  More than half of the bat species in the United States are in severe decline or listed as endangered.  In addition to loss of habitat, one of the biggest threats comes from white nose syndrome, a disease that has decimated bats in the U.S. and Canada.  Learn how to make your landscape more bat friendly.  Then build a house for up to 100 bats!  Each house costs ($35.00). They also make nice gifts. On your registration form, please indicate the number of houses you wish to buy and add the cost to your registration fee.  Please bring your own cordless drill if possible.  We only have a limited supply of drills.  Deadline to order the materials to make the bat house: April 21.  Or, you may just simply listen to the discussion and observe the building of the houses.  Class limit, 15

One Saturday, May 5 10:00 am until 12:00 pm

Location: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Church St., Montrose

Fee: $5.00 plus material fee of $35.00 for each bat house ordered


309    Combination Class: Make Your Own Tomato Cages and Low Tunnels   Instructors: Penn State Master Gardeners, Jim Kasten, George Schreck, & Lori Wallace

Once again, these two heavily requested classes are back!  Tired of those flimsy cages you buy at the box stores?  Want something better? Make your own extremely sturdy tomato cages that will last for years.  At 10:00 am, the first session will begin with a short lecture with tips for growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and pole beans.  Then the fun will begin as each student makes their own cages out of concrete reinforcement wire!  Each cage is approximately 5 feet tall by 2 feet round. Be sure to bring a vehicle that they will fit in!  The cost of material for each cage is $5.00.             Then immediately following the first class the second session will begin!  First, we will explain how to extend your growing season by using a variety of methods.  In this hands-on experience, you will then learn how to bend each of your 10-foot-long EMT pipes into hoop! The maximum space between hoops should be 30 inches: how many you need depends on the length of your garden bed or beds.  Each person will be given the opportunity to bend their own hoops on a bending jig.  The hoop is approximately 4 ft. wide and 4 ft. tall and the cost for each 10-foot pipe (hoop) will be $3.50.  You also have the option to just come and listen to the discussions and gather a few tips without purchasing hoops or cages. On your registration form indicate the number of hoops or cages you wish to purchase and add it to your $5.00 registration. Deadline to order materials for this class will be April 6th. Class limit, 20.

One Saturday, April 14 at 10:00 am until 1:30 pm

Location: Salt Springs State Park, The Carriage Barn

Fee; $5.00     Fee for each cage $5.00      Fee for each hoop $3.50


310    Preserve Your Beautiful Blooms    Instructors:  Master Gardeners, Lori Wallace and Jim Kasten

Spring is a special time of year!  As the days grow warmer, all types of flowers and foliage begin to appear in a huge assortment of colors and shapes.  A welcome relief after a long cold dark winter!  Pressing flowers and foliage is a simple way to immortalize and preserve the colors of springtime and summer.  The old way of sliding blooms into a phone book and stacking heavy books on top works, but the stack is cumbersome; it gets in the way; flowers are disturbed each time you add new ones, resulting in shattered, mildewed or simply lost specimens. When you know how to make a flower press, you eliminate those problems and create beautifully dried blossoms.
Join us and learn several methods of pressing flowers as well as other ways of preserving spring and summer’s bounty of blooms!  Gather some horticultural information plus a few inspirational ideas on what to do with the preserved flowers afterwards!  Following the lecture, you can assemble your own flower press with parts that have been premade by Master Gardeners and begin the process of pressing a few flowers. This is a fun project for children and adults alike. The cost of each flower press that you assemble is $7.00. Please indicate on your registration form how many presses you would like to make.

One Saturday; May 5, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Location: St. Mark’s Parish Hall, Main St., New Milford
Fee: $5.00 plus cost of each press ($7.00)


311    Weaving a Lavender Wand       Instructor: Gayle O’Brien, Master Gardener  This class is full

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 the flowers.  These were used to scent drawers as a Lavender sachet, hung on cabinets for decoration and freshening. Since the Victorian age till 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 to 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 the wands but get a few tips on growing your own lavender plants too. The cost of materials for each wand is $5.00. Please bring a pair of scissors. Please indicate on the registration form how many wands you will be making. Class limit 20

One Saturday, July 14 at 10:00am
Location: Humming Hill Lavender Farm, Brooklyn
Fee: $5.00 plus cost of materials for each wand made. ($5.00)  This class is full


 312    Living on the Land:   A Self- Sufficient Lifestyle    Instructor: Steve Castrogiovanni   This class is full

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. Class limit, 15.

One Saturday, June 9 at 2:00 pm   This class is full

Location: Private home in the Forest Lake area. Directions will be sent to registrants.

Fee: $10.00


313    Make a Mason Bee House Instructors: Master Gardeners Jim Kasten and Lori Wallace

Mason Bees are solitary bees and great pollinators, more dependable and productive than honey bees in early spring! Build them a Mason Bee Lodge! Learn how to attract these native bees plus other pollinators and beneficial insects. The cost of materials for each lodge is $15.00. On your 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 April 20th.  Or, you may just simply listen to the discussion and observe the building of the lodges.

One Saturday, April 28th at 10:00 to 12:00pm (noon)
Location: Salt Springs State Park, the Carriage Barn by Wheaton House & historic kitchen garden
Fee: $5.00 + $15.00 for each lodge


314    The Basics of Drip Irrigation    Instructors:  Master Gardeners, George Schreck, Jim Kasten and Lori Wallace

Have you ever wanted to install Drip Irrigation, but didn’t know where to start? Don’t know a Pressure Regulator from an Emitter?  Come and learn everything you wanted to know about Drip Irrigation systems.  We will go over the basic components of a system and sources for parts.  Then you will get a “hands on” demonstration to install a drip irrigation line at our new Educational Gardens.

One Saturday, June 16th at 10:00 am until 12:00 pm
Location: Educational Gardens, Cooperative Extension office, 88 Chenango Street, Montrose
Fee:  $5.00


315    Pruning Basics    Instructor: Jim Kessler, Master Gardener & Forester

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.

One Saturday. March 24, 9:00 am
Location: Apple Valley Farm, 8689 SR547 Gibson
Fee: $5.00


316    Learn Your Frog Calls   Instructor: Kristi Sullivan, Cornell University in Partnership with the Edward L. Rose Conservancy

There are seven kinds of frogs in our area and they all have very distinctive calls (hint: None of them say “ribbit” or “croak”).  Join us for a brief indoor presentation where you will learn about the different frog species and how to identify them by their calls.  Then we will go for a hike outdoors and see, then hear, some of those frogs.  The class takes place at the Edward L Rose Conservancy’s beautiful Greenwood Sanctuary near Dimock.  You will also learn how you can help scientists document the presence of frogs in the area.

One Sunday, June 3rd, 7:30pm to 9:00 pm

Location: Greenwood Sanctuary, Dimock, PA

Fee: $5.00


317    Make Your Own Soil Block Maker    Instructors: Master Gardeners, Jim Kasten & Lori Wallace

Join Master Gardener Jim Kasten and learn the benefits of soil blocks, how to create your own soil mixture and make your own soil block maker out of common hardware and PVC pipe. You will learn where to get pre-mixed soil and we will explore premade soil blockers. Also pick up a few tips on starting your own transplants. The material cost for each block maker is $15.00. On your registration form, please indicate the number of block makers you wish to build and add the cost to your registration fee.   Deadline to order materials: March 16th.  Or, you may just simply listen to the discussion and observe the building of the soil block makers.

One Saturday, March 24th, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Location: St. Mark’s Parish Hall, Main St., New Milford

Fee: $5.00 plus $15.00 for each block maker ordered


318    Nature Explorations Through the Seasons    Instructor: Nancy Wottrich, Environmental Educator,  This class is full

This course consists of five guided walks to discover the amazing occurrences in the natural world over a 5-month period.  Each month we will look at (or listen to, or smell or taste) whatever attracts our attention as we wander the fields and forests. We will visit a different local natural area each month (within a 30 -45-minute drive from Montrose).  There will be a fair amount of walking on uneven surfaces during each class, with stops interspersed to examine, identify, (photograph if you want) and ponder what we find.  The pace is not rushed – we are out to discover the natural world across the seasons, but expect to walk a few miles each class.  Participants will receive more information on location and how to prepare prior to the first class.

Five Fridays, February 16, March 16, April 20, May 18, June 15,  9:00 am until 12:00 pm (noon)

Various natural areas to be announced Feb 16 canceled due to weather and rescheduled for Friday Feb 23.  March 16 rescheduled to March 23.

Fee: 25.00 This class is full