Date: 01/09/2023

Speaker: Ashleigh Knox , Hexed Honey Farm

Ashleigh gave an informative and fascinating presentation on the challenges producing high grade local honey.  Bees in general are threatened by pesticides and lack of sufficient native sources to pollinate.  Bee a are in decline due to diseases and parasites. Members are encouraged to provide native plants such as Joe-pye weed, bee balm, iron weed and goldenrod. They are further threatened by the stress experienced when trucked in massive quantities around the country to pollinate industrial agriculture operations ranging from Maine blueberries to California almonds.

Date: 02/13/2023

Speaker: Betty Walke & Peggy Cummings,
Baltimore City Master Gardener

Peggy Cummings and Betty Walke – Baltimore City Master Gardeners shared their expertise and a great slide presentation on “How to Design Pollinator Gardens”.  It included very helpful information on invasive species and encouraged Members to use native plants as a source to promote pollinators. A handout was provided on How to Design a Pollinator Garden. The Baltimore City Masters Gardeners and The University of Maryland Extension are resources for questions regarding pollination. The complete presentation and additional information can be found below

Native Perennials for Pollinators

How to Design a Pollinator Garden

Soil Preparation for a Pollinator Garden

Date: 03/13/2023

Speaker: Dave Kirby
Baltimore County Code Enforcement Officer

Guest Speaker Code Enforcement Officer and 4th District Lead Inspector Dave Kirby covered what Code Enforcement does in the County – ensuring compliance with Baltimore County Code and Zoning Regulations – and how it benefits communities.  Enforcement is complaint-driven, but Officer Kirby acknowledged how difficult it can be to file complaints against neighbors which is why complaints can be files anonymously. Enforcement officers can also do driving “sweeps” and act on violations they observe. Officer Kirby heard from some members about specific very difficult situations and committed to further efforts to deal with those. Officer Kirby passed around pamphlets with information and contacts. Call 410-887-3351 or visit the Code enforcement website.

Date: 04/10/2023

Speaker: Ken Jordan
Family Winemaking

As summer approaches with lots of good fruits and vegetables (we hope!) there is always the dilemma of what to with too much.  Ken shared with us the prefect answer for how not to let it go to waste, as well as a really great reuse for empty wine bottles. He makes wine with nearly every fruit you can think of, and with all sorts of combinations of those fruits. He has used such abundant plants as rhubarb, and many kinds of vegetables. Ken showed us the equipment he uses, and illustrated the general process. Home or family winemaking is produced by the gallon  generally in three phases: primary fermentation for two weeks, followed by secondary fermentation lasting three to six months, after which your wine is bottled. Some very good samples and examples were shared.  It was a fascinating and delightful topic! Some good sources of information include:

The Joy of Home Winemaking – Terry A. Garey (printed guide)

University of Maryland, Agriculture and Food – Enology & Winemaking

University of Pennsylvania – Winemaking as a Hobby

Maryland Homebrew store for equipment