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Plant America; Grow & Share

Robot Identifies Diseases in Plants
Ann Arbor Autonomous Vehicle Group (A3VG) created the National award-winning FarmAidBot robot on the Washtenaw Community College campus (WCC). The A3VG core team called “Teamato” consisting of computer science grad student at Eastern Michigan University, a mechanical engineer at Ford Motor Company, an electronic systems engineer at Brose Group, and co-founder of A3VG and agri-tech entrepreneur. All are also members of the Detroit Autonomous Vehicle Group.Teamato targeted the development of a machine learning platform to identify diseased vegetables in greenhouse and agricultural field settings. When the members discovered that Washtenaw Technical Middle College operates a hoop house filled with lush tomato, melon and bean plants on Washtenaw Community College campus, it became the center of the group’s efforts.Over the course of four months and many hours in the hoop house, the group created FarmAidBot, a motorized system of sensors, cameras, computers and software that was trained to identify various types of molds, wilt, canker and powdery mildew on plants. It was awarded “Best Use of Artificial Intelligence” in the challenge. For the 2019 national challenge, they plan to continue to develop and refine this robot plus create an automated navigation system for wheelchairs.Washtenaw Technical Middle College, an academy chartered by and located on the campus of WCC, uses the garden to supplement classes ranging from biology to entrepreneurship.Submitted by Carol Brodbeck as extracted from WCC’s December 2019 issue of On the Record.Carol BrodbeckFROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENTPicture taken from the FarmAidBot website

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Monroe County Conservation District deadline for trees & shrubs 3/22/19

order now–www.monroecd.org

The deadline for wild flowers is 6-10-19–
use same web site but different order form available on line

Lenawee Conservation district tree sale now going on also; deadline March 11, 2019
Order here http://www.lenaweecd.org

Both entities carry informational books on a variety of topics. gk

We’ve added a Map

A new link has been added to our Map page…check it out! This link will give sightings for various plants and species (i.e. Hummingbirds, Baltimore Orioles, Monarch Butterfly, Signs of Spring and Tulips). How Fun to see where people are sighting things. You may also report sightings you have seen to them. Just click on the link on the Map page.

The following message is sent on behalf of Rebecca Finneran, MSU Extension Horticulture Educator, finneran@msu.edu…..

Greetings Gardeners!

Warm up winter during the Smart Gardening Conference in Grand Rapids on Saturday March 2! Held in tandem with the West Michigan Home and Garden Show, our day will be jam packed with excellent presenters! Nationally noted presenter William Cullina, Director of the Coastal Maine Botanic Gardens, will captivate you with “Sugar, Sex and Poison-Shocking Plant Secrets Caught on Camera”. Richard Hawke, Plant Evaluation manager and scientist for Chicago Botanic Gardens will explore great perennials for the Midwest that also support pollinators. This year’s speaking lineup also includes a look at the truth about GMO’s and how they could potentially affect the gardener of the future.

We are proud to offer a number of scholarships raised from the generosity of last year’s attendees during our silent auction. Compliments of West Michigan’s commercial garden community, the silent auction offered again this year will ensure scholarship dollars are available for years to come.

Everyone looks forward to our Smart Gardening complimentary gift bag, which will feature not only an exquisite plant, but also a waterproof IPM pocket guide for perennials. Your conference registration name badge will provide free access to the West Michigan Home and Garden Show all weekend long!

Register here: https://events.anr.msu.edu/2019GRSmartGardeningConference/ Please see the attached flyer for more details about this fun and exciting conference! We hope you can join us!

Rebecca Finneran

Michigan State University Extension

Horticulture Educator

West Michigan Horticulture and Master Gardener Program Administrator

Let’s BEE Educated

Naida sent me this information for posting. It’s a FREE program for improving lives of honeybees.

https://mbgna.umich.edu/event/honeybee-nutrition/
Latest Research and Development: Using Microbials to Improve the Lives of Honeybees
March 12 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48105 United States + Google Map

A presentation by Dr. Vera Strogolova, a beekeeper, microbiologist, and co-founder of Milwaukee-based Strong Microbials. She has presented talks on honeybee microbes and probiotics (most recently at the Florida State Beekeeping Association annual meeting in October 2018) and microbial control of small hive beetles. Presented by Ann Arbor Backyard Beekeepers (A2B2). Free.

Photo Friday

By Jennie S, photo by Gail K.
First meeting of 2019-Welcome Josh from Four Star

Speaking off the cuff, without his power point presentation, but with great plants as props, Josh Miller held us spellbound and stayed after noon to answer the many questions.

He gave tips on choosing and managing plants in landscapes and containers as he described selection criteria and disease management on several types of plants.

Then he shared benefits and drawbacks of several of the horticulture related careers he has had before accepting a management position at Four Star Greenhouse. He credited business education at MCCC along with his landscape degree from Owens and experience working for large nurseries for his successes at Toledo Botanical Gardens and in his current job.


He gave us good advice regarding our beautification projects, both in choosing and siting plants as well as fertilizing. And, he had brought enough plants for a great turnout, so those who came took home more than one. Most had a nice basil plant he says will make the best indoor plant of any basil if you grow it dry and in the best light you can give it. There were also samples of supertunias, calibrachoa, coleus, a new landscape gomphrenia and sedum that will make those who missed the meeting jealous of those who came and got 2 or 3!

Congratulations to Paul

Our own Paul Russeau, Monroe County Master Gardener, received an award for his native gardens. Here’s some background information and photos. This is a great honor…Congratulations Paul:

From the national Wild Ones website:
As the only national not-for-profit educational organization with a mission to promote environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities, Wild Ones serves as a resource for private individuals, schools, commercial property owners, and community decision makers as they move toward ethical choices in land use and in the redefinition of current guidelines and ordinances affecting our landscape. Because we are a “plants-roots” organization, our organizational goals are accomplished through local chapters and their individual members.

Paul writes:
The award, was presented to me by the Wild Ones Oak Openings Region Chapter. One of the activities of the chapter is to present student, business, public agency, and residential landscape awards. The Oak Openings is a globally-threatened ecosystem of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

I am a member of he Oak Openings Region Chapter and applied ( you do not need to be a member to apply) for the 2018 Native Landscape Residential Award. The criteria for the award is have 50% or great native plants in your garden, the garden must be at least two years old, submit a list of the native plant species in your garden, and include the primary source of your native plants. I was selected as one of the gardens eligible and the Awards Committee visited/toured my garden. After the committee toured all garden that were selected, I was chosen the winner. It really was an honor to receive the award.

After I read Doug Tallamy’s book Bringing Nature Home, it was for me a “call to action”. I then knew when making landscape decisions I could have an impact on the survival of birds, insects, and other wildlife simply by selecting native plants. In addition , and as a result of my Master Gardener training, I needed to help educate my community on sustainable gardening, the benefit of native plants and their role in our ecosystem.

For more information on Wild Ones:

Link to Wild Ones Oak Openings Region Chapter
Welcome

Link to the national Wild Ones website
Welcome