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Full Service Garden and Homesteading Organization Takes Root in Pittsburgh

Food Supply Concerns Motivate Female Entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh to Help Families Grow Life-Sustaining Gardens

Pittsburgh, PA: Root Cause, a full service garden and homesteading organization, has been founded in Pittsburgh. Founded in part by internationally known rapper, singer, activist and entrepreneur Kellee Maize, Root Cause is supported by a group of 20 other female entrepreneurs. After witnessing empty grocery store shelves due to the COVID-19 chaos, this group of women recognized food as not only a root cause of concern in the crisis but also as the key to changing many other issues that exist on the planet today.

In addition to planning and maintaining edible gardens and homesteads for clients, Root Cause aims to mend the disconnect between people and the earth that our food comes from by providing support in a variety of related areas such as:

  • Greenhouse construction
  • Medicinal plant gardens
  • Chicken coop set-up and maintenance
  • Beehive set-up and maintenance
  • Indoor growing facilitation
  • Harvesting and canning
  • Custom raised garden beds

The founding members of Root Cause are experienced educators. For families who wish to create and maintain gardens or homesteads on their own, the group will provide teaching and resources so that children and adults can participate. Root Cause is prepared to provide training in planning, creating, maintaining, harvesting and preserving a sustainable permaculture food-bearing environment on their land.

Other founders include lifelong gardener, forager and yoga instructor Tami Gingrow; permaculture designer, herbalist, and tantra instructor Michelle Czolba; and massage therapist, energy healer, and community organizer Roxanne Banks-Williams. These four founders and the majority of other members are mothers who believe strongly that this knowledge of how to live sustainably must be passed down to the next generation as a means of survival and wellness.

Root Cause’s goal is to provide an open source of information as the organization grows so that the team can expand and empower other communities across the globe to follow suit.

About Root Cause: Root Cause is a full service garden and homesteading organization dedicated to helping its community create and maintain gardens and homesteads. Founded in April 2020, Root Cause looks forward to serving the Pittsburgh community and beyond through a variety of gardening, homesteading, and teaching services.

Be like the Lakeside Daisy

Lakeside Daisy (Hymenoxys herbacea)

The Lakeside Daisy (Hymenoxys herbacea) is a tough little flower that only grows in four known locations in the United States. It is a federally threatened species and has been listed as endangered in Ohio since 1980. In early May, an ordinary looking gravel patch along Ohio’s Most Beautiful Mile bursts into full bloom on a 137-acre preserve – Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve, the only natural population of the Lakeside Daisy remaining in the United States. This preserve, located on the Marblehead Peninsula at 309 Alexander Pike (off SR 163), Marblehead, Ohio, is only open to the public during the month of May.

In 1988, Ohio’s Division of Natural Areas and Preserves acquired 19 acres of the abandoned limestone quarry and in 2019, added 118 acres to that, protecting over 700,000 daisies. The long-lived perennial grows where few other plants can survive, and when you see the Lakeside Daisy Preserve, you’ll appreciate how extremely difficult those growing conditions can be. This long-lived perennial grows on nearly barren limestone bedrock in full sunlight from early May through early June.

Lakeside Chautauqua, the site of the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs’ 2020 Gardeners’ Day Out in August, is just a few miles from the nature preserve, has its own patch of Lakeside daisies. In 2000, Sid Foster established a bed of Lakeside daisies on Lakeside’s lakefront near Perry Park. The garden is in memory of his grandmother, Daisy Farley Foster, who was a Lakeside resident from 1913-1959. Sid Foster, Dottie McDowell and McDowell’s family maintain the garden for all to enjoy.

We have all been asked to be tough during the COVID-19 crisis. Being isolated may feel like a barren landscape. But just as the Lakeside Daisy appears bright and unaffected by the difficult surroundings, we, too, will again rise to the sun, admire the sky, and dance with the wind. I hope you can visit Marblehead when the Lakeside Daisy is in bloom! ODNR has a Wildflower Bloom Report on its website. http://naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/wildflowers/post/wildflower-bloom-report-starts-soon GrOw with it!!

by OAGC 2nd Vice President, June Gebhardt

COVID-19 Cancellations

Like the rest of the world OAGC is faced with difficult situations regarding the health and safety of our members and their communities. The current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic has canceled many events around Ohio, the United States and the world, in hopes of halting the spread and severity of the illness caused by this new virus.

As cancelled OAGC sponsored events are shared with the webmaster (webmaster@oagc.org), they will be posted below.

OAGC Event Cancellations

All SPRING REGIONAL MEETINGS have been CANCELLED.

CANCELLED: April 18-19, 2020 – Granville Garden Club (Reg. 8) Daffodil Sale/Show

CANCELLED: May 9, 2020 – Fairfield Garden Club (Fairfield OH, Region 4) Fundraising Luncheon. Rescheduled for October 20 at 11 am at Fairfield Community Arts Center (411 Wessel Dr., Fairfield, OH 45014) Contact Mary Gamstetter at 513-892-6806, 513-379-2153 or gams@isoc.net.

CANCELLED: May 25-26, 2020 – Exhibitors’ and Judges’ School #1

CANCELLED: May 31-June 5, 2020 – Nature Study Retreat

CANCELLED: June 11-13, 2020 – OAGC Annual Convention

The Importance of Using Native Plants in Your Landscape

by Victor Wang

It may be tempting to surround your home with exotic or show-stopping plants, but those plants come with risk and responsibility. Your landscape should complement all aspects of your home’s exterior. Using native plants has many benefits, not only for the environment but also for the time you spend working outdoors.

Low Maintenance

Long “to-do” lists mark our days as we balance work, family, chores, and time for ourselves. While gardening is therapeutic, you still want time to sit back and enjoy your garden. Choosing native plants for your landscaping means you’ll spend less time tending to them. Low-maintenance native options are already well adapted to the Ohio environment and soil conditions, and often need little to no extra watering. They are hardy to last through the season and usually thrive when they aren’t fussed over.

Support Local Pollinators

Butterflies, bees, and other Ohio pollinators are sure to visit the native areas of your yard. These vital parts of our environment help to create healthy plants and support the fragile balance of the ecosystem. Planting native options, such as goldenrod or purple coneflower, invites these pollinators to stop and stay awhile as they gather nectar.

The natives also preserve Ohio’s biodiversity. Local birds and wildlife depend on native plants for their food source. Invasive plants often crowd out the native species, robbing the local wildlife of food and habit.

Cut Down on Water Usage

The Buckeye State experienced abnormally dry conditions in 2019, with 12% of the state in a moderate drought. Water conservation efforts are gaining momentum in all 50 states as more people realize the value of this natural resource. Doing your part by planting native flowers, shrubs, and trees in your yard will help cut down on the need to water.

Less Expensive

Gardening and yard work are great ways to beautify your home, but they also come at a cost. Choosing native plants to surround the house is a great way to save money. Native options often are cheaper than other varieties at the local garden center, thanks to their abundance in the area.

You can also ask for starts or cuttings from neighbors or friends who have an abundance of native species. You’ll save money and add a sentimental aspect to your gardening as you remember who gave you the plant.

Native Vs. Invasive

An invasive plant is one that can cause economic or environmental damage in Ohio. Their natural predators often weren’t imported with them, so it’s easy for them to spread out of control. Ohio is fighting back against nature’s enemies, by banning 38 species of exotic plants. The Japanese honeysuckle, autumn olive shrubs, fig buttercup, and others that steal water from local species are now illegal to sell in Ohio.

You can still find plenty of intruders at your local nursery. Before buying any plant that isn’t native, ask yourself if it’s worth inviting the invasive bugs sure to come with it? Support Ohio’s first Native Plant Month in April 2020 by planting some wild geranium or black-eyed Susan.

Victor Wang grew up in Central California, plucking tomato worms from his mother’s heirloom tomato garden, and is now a master gardener and freelance writer. His areas of expertise include landscaping, pest control and, of course, gardening.

2020 Gardeners’ Day Out — Lakeside, Ohio

Mark your calendars now for the 2020 GARDENERS’ DAY OUT
Ohio’s Most Beautiful Mile – Lakeside Chautauqua
OAGC Gardeners’ Day Out August 21-22, 2020

source: https://danavento.com/lakeside-chautauqua/

OAGC is planning a Gardeners’ Day Out (GDO) starting at 9 am on Friday, August 21 at and continuing through 7 pm, Saturday, August 22 at Lakeside Chautauqua (www.lakesideohio.com). The cost per person includes access to the 19+ gardens in the resort, access to the pool and wellness center, a farmers’ market on Friday, an Antique Show and the Northwest Ohio Gladiolus Society show on Saturday, recreation activities, and many more Chautauqua programs.

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to feed your garden soul and nurture your mind, body and spirit! Lakeside’s one square mile private resort is a Chautauqua community that welcomes all to the beauty of the Lake Erie shore and islands. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, Lakeside is a unique place bringing together families and friends to enjoy the same sustaining values and traditions learned as a child. Since 1873, it has provided a Chautauqua summer experience dedicated to spiritual growth and renewal, educational and cultural enrichment, and recreational pursuits.

Cars are kind of a nuisance in Lakeside (parking is very limited), so leave your car in the available parking lot then take a free shuttle to your meeting place. Most people walk, bike, or drive golf carts around Lakeside. OAGC plans to have some golf carts available around the town just for us. Everyone must stop to show a bar coded pass on the way in — and out. This pass is part of your Gardeners’ Day Out registration package.

Lakeside is like a 1950s neighborhood. The grounds are safe. There’s the $3.5 million aquatic center with a kiddie pool and splash park, a giant fenced-in playground, Shuffleboard and a swimming beach on Lake Erie with kayaks available to rent. There are ice cream shops, 7 quaint restaurants to enjoy your nightly dinner on your own and many eclectic shops to explore. With all this to feed your soul, there are also 19+ gardens for your touring pleasure and most of the quaint homes have beautiful unique landscaping. And of course there is the Lake Erie shore!

EVENT COST: Adults are $50/OAGC member* for Friday through 7 pm Saturday activities (Garden programs/tours, 2 lunches, art project, Friday night Hoover Concert).
Youth are $40/youth age 13 to 24). Kids 12 and Under are $20/kid (Note: This is good from Friday – Sunday.)
PLEASE NOTE: Additional fees to extend your stay for Saturday night (till 7 pm Sunday) are $20 per adult OAGC member* or $10 youth. This allows guests to go to the Hoover Concert Saturday evening (TBA) and stay through Sunday evening.
Alternative options: Saturday – Sunday until 7 pm (or just Saturday) option: $35 per adult OAGC member* (includes Saturday’s garden programs/tours, 1 lunch and the Hoover Concert Saturday evening and stay through Sunday evening if desired.
*adult non-OAGC members must pay an additional $10 for the event.

Hotel Options: Reservations for 2020 will be available in January 2020 and are good at either the historic Hotel Lakeside (866-952-5374, ext. 230) or Fountain Inn (419-798-4461, ext. 230) for: Double Occupancy (2 queens or 2 fulls) @ $115+ taxes/night; Single Occupancy (1 queen) @ $99+ taxes/night.

Yes, there is much to fill your stay but we have allowed some free time in each day to do all you want!! The full event schedule and registration form will be in the spring issue of The Garden Path. Contact OAGC 2nd Vice President June Gebhardt (jgebhardt@oagc.org) with questions.

Visit these sites to prepare for your trip:

Gardens of Lakeside Chautauqua (video): https://www.dropbox.com/s/jicc17g44432we2/Lakeside%20Gardens%202019.mp4?dl=0

Lakeside Chautauqua (video): https://www.facebook.com/LakesideOhio/videos/429269747846535/

Lakeside Chautauqua website: https://www.lakesideohio.com/visit

Entertainment possibilities abound nearby if you care to extend your Lake Erie experience:

Marblehead Lighthouse: https://www.marbleheadlighthouseohio.org/

Kelley’s Island Glacial Grooves: https://www.kelleysislandchamber.com/

Ferry available in Marblehead (5 minutes) or Port Clinton Put-in-Bay Island: https://www.visitputinbay.org/

Port Clinton African Safari: https://www.africansafariwildlifepark.com/

Cedar Point Amusement Park: https://www.cedarpoint.com/

Additionally, there are many nature parks and areas located around the area! https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g50604-Activities-c57-Marblehead_Ohio.html

Support Ohio’s first Native Plant Month in April

by Jean Jankowski, Ohio Association of Garden Clubs, First Vice President

(Update: Events listed at bottom of this post.) For years OAGC has been touting the importance of including native plants in our landscapes, as well as creating public spaces designated for natives.

Many of the regional meetings I have attended since becoming an officer have had speakers and educational displays addressing how the establishment and growth of native food sources creates a foundation for a healthy ecosystem. Many of our members signed the petition that led to establishing April as Ohio Native Plant Month, the first of which will be celebrated in 2020.

We now have the opportunity to share our knowledge and bring public awareness to this vital topic. There are hundreds of native species in Ohio and many of them are not being promoted in the industry. We all love our non-native cultivars, but if we just plant three natives for each season and encourage others to follow our lead, it would make a tremendous difference. We also need to address the invasive plant crisis.

According to the Ohio Invasive Plant Council, “Invasive plants cost natural resources and recreation agencies,farmers, industry and homeowners millions of dollars each year.” The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs needs to take this opportunity to hold lectures or open meetings. On behalf of all birds, insects, and all wild creatures, I challenge our regions and garden clubs to jump on the bandwagon.

Think of unique ways to get the message across. Collaborate with your local Master Gardeners, schools,scouts, garden centers, metro parks, state parks, or preserves. Make sure your local schools and city council are aware of Ohio Native Plant Month and encourage them to participate. As an organization of gardeners, we are aware of the vital importance of pollinators, and although we complain about some insects and wildlife, we know that each one has a unique purpose, and we are all sharing the planet.

Email your event announcement to the webmaster (webmaster@oagc.org) so that it can be listed on the OAGC website (www.oagc.org) and help publicize the event on social media. Please send a copy to me, as well, so I know about all the OAGC native plant events that will be taking place next April. I hope to attend as many as I can.

UPCOMING NATIVE OHIO PLANT MONTH EVENTS:

April 23, 2020: Region 7 Spring Regional Meeting: The morning program is “Native Plants” by Guy Denny. (23 Pickwick Place, 1875 N. Sandusky Ave., Bucyrus, OH 44820.) Contact Kristy Apt at kapt@oagc.org.

April 28, 2020: Region 2 Spring Regional Meeting: The afternoon program is Dan Hodges will speak on “Nature in the Garden — Biodiversity of Native Plants”. (South Side Christian Church, 3300 South Side Dr., Lima, OH 45807-2278.) Contact Charlene Guingrich at cguingrich@oagc.org.

April 30, 2020: Region 5 Spring Regional Meeting: The morning program is “Gardening With Native Plants” by Ron Corbett. (The Centre, Miami Valley Centre Mall in Piqua, OH.) Contact Penny Adams at padams@oagc.org.

2019 OAGC Convention

The 89th annual convention for the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs was held July 18-20 at the Roberts Centre near Wilmington, Ohio. Using the theme “Wild About Ohio”, around 185 members and guests enjoyed days of floral designs and horticulture displays, programs, door prizes and raffle prizes. A complete report of all the convention winners can be found in the Oct-Nov-Dec issue of The Garden Path.

Bus trip to the 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show

OAGC 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show
Bus Trip – March 3-5, 2020
3 Days – 2 Nights – 4 Meals

Get ready to plan your garden for next year! Or just marvel at the beautiful flowers and displays at the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show.

Day 1: Depart for Philadelphia with rest stops and lunch, on your own, along the way. A stop will be included at the Flight 93 Memorial. Because of the actions of 40 passengers and crew aboard one of the planes, Flight 93, the attack on the U.S. Capitol was thwarted. Dinner is included before arriving at a local hotel near King of Prussia, PA. (Dinner included)

Day 2: Today you will attend the 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show, Riviera Holiday. You will quickly understand why this is America’s premier flower event. Start your day at the show and be welcomed by groves of Citrus trees. Breathe in fragrant waves of lavender inspired by the terraced gardens of Monaco. Drifts of purple and white spiked salvia, specimen succulents and, an intoxicating variety of scented geraniums, roses, rosemary and sage create a stunning mosaic that is at once picturesque and charming. Walk the esplanade of flowering arches. Become enraptured by the delightful dimension of Show gardens and dramatic accents that rise in soft meadows of horticultural perfection. Explore the allure and extraordinary plant palette of some of the world’s captivating coastal regions. Riviera Holiday beckons you to embrace your inner romantic and create a Mediterranean inspired garden of your own. This evening check into the Hilton Garden Inn Convention Center for tonight’s stay. (Breakfast included)

Day 3: Following an included breakfast, we depart early this morning for Longwood Gardens. Boasting 11,000 varieties of plants spread out across more than 1,000 acres of gardens, meadows, woodlands and elaborate horticultural displays, Longwood Gardens always has something in bloom. This afternoon, lunch is included at Shady Maple Smorgasbord before departing for home. Arrive back this evening excited to share stories of the wonderful flowers seen in Philadelphia. (Breakfast & Lunch included)

Tour Package Includes:
Round-trip Transportation via Croswell’s Deluxe VIP Motorcoach
Two (2) Nights Accommodations
Two (2) Breakfasts, One (1) Lunch, One (1) Dinner
All Admissions and Attractions as Described Above
All Taxes and Gratuities on Included Meals and Lodging and Luggage Handling
Tour Cost Per Person:
$599.00 Double Occupancy $569.00 Triple Occupancy $549.00 Quad Occupancy $919.00 Single Occupancy
For More Information or to make a Reservation, Contact Charlene Thornhill at 937-548-3417.

Cancellation Protection is available to you for $55.00 per person for double, triple, and quad occupancy and $75.00 for Single Occupancy. Cancellations with Cancellation Protection will be guaranteed a full refund up to the day before the tour departure. Cancellation Protection allows a refund on any unused portion of a tour due to illness or emergency while on the tour.
Cancellation protection may be added when you make your FINAL payment.
A $100 Deposit, per person, is due by December 1, 2019.
Final Payment by January 10, 2020.

CLICK HERE FOR THE REGISTRATION FORM

On the road again – this time to Pigeon Forge and The Biltmore Estate!

OAGC will be heading south November 18-21, 2019 with a bus trip to visit sights around Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and also visit the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

The first day of this 4 day – 3 night trip includes a stay at the Country Cascades Hotel in Pigeon Forge and dinner at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in The Island Complex before exploring The Island.

Day 2 highlights include: departing for the Biltmore Estate, a special luncheon at the Deerpark Restaurant, visiting the Biltmore Winery and returning to the hotel in Pigeon Forge.

Day 3: after an included breakfast, depart for the Titanic Museum, visit the Mountain Valley Winery for a tour and tasting and a fun evening and dinner at the Hatfields and McCoys Dinner Feud.

Day 4: breakfast is included before meeting a step-on-guide and traveling to the Smoky Mountains. There will be time to explore Gatlinburg before departing for home.

Tour cost per persons: $699/double occupancy; $629/triple occupancy; $599/quad occupancy and $949/single occupancy. A $100 deposit is needed by August 30 and full payment due by October 5.

Bus pickup locations are: Drury Inn and Suites Columbus Grove City (4109 Parkway Centre Drive, Grove City, OH 43123, 614-875-7000, Exit 100) and Drury Inn and Suites Cincinnati Sharonville (2265 E. Sharon Road, Sharonville, OH 45241, 513-771-5601, Exit 15)

CLICK HERE FOR FULL TRIP DETAILS AND REGISTRATION FORM.