Blaine CORE offers classes

Published on Wed, Mar 2, 2011 by By Kelle Sunter Blaine Community Orchards for Resources & Education (CORE)

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While many folks are interested in putting in fruit, (and it is a great idea!) fear of the unknown keeps them from moving forward with their plans.

Blaine Community Orchards for Resources and Education (CORE) wants to help allay those fears by offering two more workshops to help individuals learn more about maintaining fruit in our area.

We facilitated pruning workshops in early February that was successful, with more than 40 folks taking the opportunity to learn more about pruning their trees.

Pollination workshop

All plants that produce flowers need “pollinators” to complete their reproductive cycle. Without the aid of insects, birds, wind or humans delicately dusting them with paintbrushes – we would not be able to harvest – grain, alfalfa, most vegetables, fruits, berries – let’s face it, anything!

Most of us have heard about the crisis condition that domesticated honeybees have been in for the past several years but we are now starting to see it in our own yards. A lack of pollinators leads to a distinct “lack” in the garden. Many local gardeners noticed it especially after last year’s wet, cool late spring.

So, what can be done about it? Most of us aren’t thinking about breaking out our paintbrushes for a daily spin through the garden – and many of us haven’t thought about it all! But NOW is the time to begin learning about alternative pollinators, one of which is the Mason Bee. Commonly known in our area as the Blue Orchard Mason Bee (or BOMB for short).

Mason Bees are easily managed, are gentle (non-stinging), and are incredibly good pollinators, as they are willing to fly out and work in cool, wet weather.

This workshop is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 5, at the Blaine public library.
Introduction to spraying/

Integrated pest management

Another major question that fruit gardeners have is “should I spray, when and what?”

We will be offering two workshops (same material, just two different times) on integrated pest management. This relatively new method of insect control is a three pronged approach beginning with making plants healthier, timing applications of non-toxic controls and protecting fruit with mechanical controls.

Come learn about why, when and what to spray in your garden, with particular attention to fruit producing plants.

This workshop is scheduled from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 8 and from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 12.

All workshops are free, held at the Blaine public library, but limited to the first 25 people.

For more information, visit www.blaine-core.com or call 332-7435.