Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Master Gardener’

Life is an Adventure for Jo Lucas Master Gardener of the Year 2018

 

Jo Turkey hunting 001

Turkey hunting has been a long time family tradition.

Everywhere she goes, Jo Lucas finds something to enjoy. For her, life is discovering new things on a daily basis. Part of this she credits to meeting the love of her life, Don Lucas, who had a spirit of adventure like no other.

   Their adventure began in Cody, Wyoming where they were married…with an elk hunt for a honeymoon. Since then hunting, fishing, gardening and many other activities filled their lives until just recently when Don died as a result of an accident.

   Their adventures could fill a book and have created many fond memories for her. They made friends wherever they went.

Jo with bear 001

Don and Jo with the bear she shot in New Hampshire.

   In New Hampshire, they both shot a bear and the bearskins still hang in her house today. She was sitting in a log yard when a bear appeared lumbering through the logs, getting closer and closer. She decided there was no choice but to shoot it and killed it with one shot.

   But bears aren’t the only thing on her hit list. Moose, elk, antelope, turkeys and other small game have all been part of her adventures from Maine to Alaska. She’s visited 49 of the 50 states with Hawaii still on her bucket list.

Jo Ice Fishing 001

Ice fishing in Maine was a very cold but fun experience.

   Ice fishing in Maine provided an unusual experience as temperatures were down to -20 and -30 degrees when they took a snowmobile out on the ice. Sometimes when they were ice fishing, they had a portable shanty to use as a windbreak. In Alaska, salmon fishing captured their attention.

Jo Cooking Tent 001

Their cooking tent is packed with supplies.

   Sometimes they used a camper, but most often tents. They had a special cook tent and then several sleeping tents a short distance away just in case an animal would decide to invade the cook tent overnight. Two dogs and a pistol kept her feeling a little safer wherever she happened to camp.

Jo Farmers Market

Jo sold her salsa and jams at the local Farmers’ Market.

   Back home in Guernsey County, Jo enjoyed large gardens and a fruit orchard. From these, she made delicious salsas and jams that she sold at the Farmers’ Market during the summer season.

   As a youngster, she grew up in the 4-H program in the Millersburg area, where horses were her passion and project. But on Thanksgiving, everyone went turkey hunting. It was a family tradition!

Jo salmon 001

Fishing for salmon in Alaska was a real success.

   Since Jo’s move to Guernsey County, she has been involved in the community in so many ways. Jo was the auxiliary president who brought back the idea for Wonderland of Trees at the hospital. That first year, there were six trees and six wreaths.

Jo fruit trees covered

Fruit trees are covered with parachutes to keep birds from eating the fruit.

   Other community organizations that are lucky to have her assistance are the Soil & Water Conservation Board (vice-chairman), Ohio Association of Garden Clubs (district treasurer), Mt. Herman Church (treasurer), Hopewell Homemakers, and Adair Ladies Bible Study at Antrim. Perhaps it should be mentioned that Jo has a degree in accounting.

Jo Raspberries 001

Her raspberry patch is used for jams, pies, or just a bowl of berries!

   In the last couple of years, she decided to go back to that early passion from 4-H of training and showing horses. These days she assists at Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Center near Norwich. This facility helps the handicapped improve their physical, psychological and cognitive behaviors through association with a friendly horse. Veterans are always welcome.

   Working here has given Jo real pleasure as she volunteers as barn manager. She gets horses ready for riding by exercising them beforehand. Yes, sometimes she even rides herself.

Jo Tomatoes 001

Her delicious salsa was made possible through this large tomato patch.

   Jo Lucas loves the out-of-doors in so many ways but gardening is one of her favorites. She was recently named OSU Extension Guernsey County Master Gardener of 2018, a well-deserved honor. Jo was one of those original Guernsey County Master Gardeners.

   She remembers her days in 4-H and all the help the advisors gave, so felt it was her turn to “give back” to the community. She has shared her knowledge of gardening with hundreds of Guernsey County elementary school children.

Jo Cherry Tree Pruning

These trees were used to demonstrate proper pruning methods.

   Ag school days, master gardener classes and workshops are a few of the ways that she has given back. Over the past few years, she has hosted three pruning workshops at her home.

Jo Lucas and Clif Little

Clif Little presents Jo with the Master Gardener of the Year Award.

   Local OSU Extension Educator, Clif Little, praised Jo by saying, “I can sum up her work as a Master Gardener volunteer as hard-working, energetic, friendly, generous and very interested in learning. She is the type of person that will always help when we offer gardening classes.” That says it all!

Jo Flowers 001

This flower bed contains crazy daisies, daylilies and iris.

But one place that Jo is a bit dangerous is in a plant nursery. She enjoys trying new plants and searches for them wherever she goes. Sometimes she comes home with almost too many.

   There are still a few places on her bucket list and both relate to ancestry. Her grandparents came from Austria and Ireland so those are two places she would enjoy exploring.

Bear Skin 2

This bearskin hanging on her wall at home makes her smile as she remembers her adventures.

   Of one thing you can be certain, Jo Lucas will not be sitting in a rocking chair watching the world go by. She’s always ready for an adventure as she strives to learn something new each day.

If you have interest in becoming a Master Gardener in Guernsey County, contact Clif Little in the Guernsey County Extension Office at 740-489-5300.

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Pat Graven Stays Close to Nature

 

Pat Graven 001

These wave petunias bloomed during the week of Christmas.

Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.

~Albert Einstein

Take time to smell the roses. Pat Graven takes time to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside and wants her garden to blend in. The area around her home flourishes with plants that are natural to the area. It’s her place to relax as she works with her plants, and leaves the cares of the world behind for a little while at least.

     But Pat didn’t always live in the country. In fact, she was a city girl from the Cleveland area. There, her grandmothers influenced her life at an early age. One grandmother had a passion for roses and would gather rose petals in the morning to make a facial. The other grandmother would only eat things that were grown on the farm. You can see how Pat came to love nature.

Pat played the shopkeeper

This talented lady even played the shopkeeper in “The Magical World of Dickens”.

     Before coming to this area, Pat worked with the police department in Cleveland as a dispatcher. But once she saw the hills and streams of Guernsey and Muskingum counties, she was hooked.

Pat lime tree 001

Her lime tree needs a lot of sunlight.

     Here she quickly learned to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. Her love for animals makes living here extra special as her yard is filled with deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels and many, many birds.

     She seems to have a special attraction for birds as when she finds a dead bird along the road, she’ll stop and carefully pick it up with plastic gloves. Then she buries the bird with a plant, to let it continue to have value.

Pat Sphere Collection

Springtime daffodils are surrounded by a few samples of her special sphere collection.

     Over the years, Pat has picked up spheres of various metals and glass, making an outstanding collection..many from around the world. A special one she picked up on one of her trips to Ireland, a land she enjoyed “just because it feels good there”. She also has treasures from her trips to Mexico and Hawaii. But now, she is content to enjoy her home and surroundings.

Pat Paintings

Galway Bay in Ireland on a moonlit night inspired Pat to paint the picture she is holding.

     This very unique lady also has a talent for painting. Pat didn’t even realize she had this ability until she went to a class taught by Sue Dodd, who was an inspiration. Pat said, “I never would have painted if it weren’t for Sue.” Pat also works with Dickens Victorian Village to create heads for their mannequins.

Pat flower garden 001

Flower gardens such as this can be seen all over the hilltop where Pat lives.

     When Pat decided to begin planting flowers around her home, her first thought was to find plants that would attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. When Pat does decide to take a short trip these days, Baker’s Acres – a favorite greenhouse – is her destination.

Pat aloe

Throughout the year, Pat enjoys her rose geranium, citronella and aloe plants.

     In 2006, Pat decided to join the OSU Extension Master Gardener program in Guernsey County. This group of gardeners gives many volunteer hours to the community to make it a more beautiful place to live.

Pat favorite orchid

When Pat grew orchids, this one was her favorite.

     Pat’s goal in joining was “to learn to manage the land properly” since she lives on a farm. Her yard is like none other. In Pat’s eye, “A flower is no more than a weed in disguise.” She loves weeds and has created an unusual and interesting setting by using native plants in a most eye-catching way.

Monarch Butterfly

Pat’s grandson, Joseph, captured this Monarch butterfly having a nectar taste treat.

     Most of what she has learned has been by trial and error. Every year she experiments with a few new plants just to see how they will thrive in our local climate. But you’ll still find many traditional coneflowers, salvia, primrose and lilies surrounding her many artistic garden statues and yard art.

Pat Bathroom Greenhouse

This large bathroom greenhouse is a great place for her jasmine and other plants to thrive.

     Her eyes light up and her face breaks into a smile as she tells you about her latest projects. Just recently her jasmine plant has blossomed for the second time this year. According to Pat, “My whole house smells heavenly.”

Pat Master Gardener

In 2017, Pat was named Master Gardener of the Year.

     In 2017, Pat was named the Guernsey County Master Gardener of the Year. Working with the elementary school children and young ag students to teach gardening skills gives her real pleasure. Often she even has gardening classes at her home on the hill.

Pat and Garden Club friends sharing their straw bale garden.

Kathleen, Vi and Pat, all Master Gardeners, share information about using straw bales as containers for plants.

     Her easy going manner and cheerful smile open the door to many conversations with friends and even strangers. If Pat happens to be stuck in a long line at the store, she doesn’t complain. Her first thought is, “Who can I strike up a conversation with?” Her words of advice to everyone would be, “Happiness is in your destiny. You need not be in a hurry.”

Pat's flowers 001     Would she consider going back to Cleveland and leave this peaceful countryside? “People are so nice down here, why would I ever go back to the city.” The community certainly hopes she will continue to spread her joy of volunteering in so many ways for many years to come.

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