BUDS Gardeners

Calendar of Meetings and Events

Our programs are educational and always open to the public.  The evening starts promptly at 6 PM with the meal, then the program begins just as soon as everyone sits down and the speakers is finished with their meal.  When the program is finished guests may stay for the business meeting or leave as they choose.



January 5 ~  Program by Marci Nebgen

Outside the Norm

Marci will be presenting a PowerPoint and discussing her Clearfield County farm (Hickory Ridge Farm) and the alternative methods (including Aquaponics) that they have learned and are practicing. She will also talk about how they feel about sustainability in agriculture, and of course - how important they feel it is to eat fresh and local foods.

Marci will also introduce the concept of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and explain how it operates. Opportunity will be provided for anyone who wishes to sign up for a CSA food share in 2017.


February 2 ~  Program by Bill Monaco

The Doctrine of Signatures…Myth and Fact

This is a PowerPoint on the Doctrine of Signatures, which is the belief that plants could be used for medicinal purposes. The presentation traces origins including influential men, and the east versus west comparison. Learn about the influence of astrology, religion, the occult, Alchemy, Herbalism, Apothecary and more on the practice of early medicine. Join us in sorting myth from fact in this fast moving show.

Bill is a retired high school biology teacher. He also taught biological sciences at the Penn State DuBois Campus.  His interests include natural history, travel, and technology.


March 2 ~ Program by Dr. Harold "Hank" Webster

Views of Rocky Mountains Environs

Dr. Webster will share images from a fall 2016 trip to Colorado and South Dakota.  The influence of weather and elevation on the vegetation and wildlife will be a focus.

Dr. Harold "Hank" Webster is a professor emeritus in biology and retired from Penn State DuBois.  He has a lifelong fascination with natural history and ecological relationships.


April 6 ~ Program by Suzann Rensel

License Plates and a Gale named Agnes 

From gardening to energy, Suzann’s program will take a brief look at a generation of environmental change, or not! 

Suzann is an Environmental Education Specialist with Clear Creek State Park.


May 4 ~ Program by Joshua Brock

Local Hops Production

Have you ever been curious about what it takes to grow and care for hops that are intended for local craft beer production?  Joshua Brock, owner of Hoffman Appalachian Farm in Saint Marys, PA, is in his 4th year of local hops production, harvesting and processing. 

Joshua’s 1-acre hopyard is modeled after the immense hopyards of Yakima Valley, Washington and Germany.  From site selection, to choice of hops varieties, trellis construction, equipment, harvesting, drying and pelletizing, catch a glimpse of it all in Joshua’s PowerPoint presentation.

Hoffman Appalachian Farm has expanded from its original 30 hop hills to over 450 hop hills in 2016, along with laying the groundwork for barley and other small grains.


June 1 ~ Program by Brad Bittner

Container Gardening

Brad will describe and demonstrate how to grow flowers and vegetables in containers, along with the use of various containers. 

Brad Bittner, owner, started Vir Terra Landscaping in 1990 after graduating with a degree in Horticulture from Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA.  Brad was also a public school teacher for 13 years in agriculture education and environmental science.

Vir Terra Landscaping is “The Low Maintenance Landscape Specialist” In DuBois, PA.


July 6 ~ Program by Chris Grecco

Butterfly and Caterpillar Host Plants

In addition to discussing Butterfly and Caterpillar Host Plants, Chris will bring along some butterfly field guides.  He will even demonstrate how to make a butterfly feeder.


August 3 ~ Program by Cheryl Shenkle

Heirloom, Open Pollinated, Hybrid or GMO?

What exactly does each term really mean?

Cheryl has been involved in gardening since she learned it as a child from her neighbors and family.  Soil and developing growing areas are her passion.  She has been President of the BUDS Gardeners (many thanks to the members) since the beginnings of this gardeners group, and has always been a very active community volunteer. She is also the Coordinator and an active volunteer for the Penn State Jefferson County Master Gardeners.


September 7 ~ Program by Girl Scouts

Sprouts for Strength - Community Education Garden

This team of girls has been achieving their goals by teaching healthy nutrition classes to elementary-age children, helping kids grow their own mini-gardens, growing an impressive garden on Main Street in Brockway, harvesting vegetables, having a stand at the local Farmer's Market, and teaching canning and cooking classes.

In June 2014, five girls from Brookville and Brockway came together to identify issues that they cared about in their community and to find a way to make a positive difference.  The girls decided to tackle the issue of poor nutritional habits and find a way to promote healthier eating, primarily among families with elementary-age children. 

The team expanded, research was conducted, community connections were made and by summer 2015, the "Sprouts for Strength" Community Education Garden project was well ahead of schedule.

October 5 -  Program by Grandview Farms of Curwensville, PA

Grandview Farms Goat Milk Products

In 2013, we, the Shaw “kids”, started our journey into taking over the family farm.  Dad, “the farmer”, is still very active and involved.  Dad already had the goats, the equipment, and the expertise. 

We did our first milking on September 21, 2014.  So, we were milking, but what could we do with the milk?  State laws are very strict with the sale of milk to consumers.  We needed to make improvements with our milk house, parlor and barns.  We needed to generate some income for these improvement projects, which led to SOAP MAKING!

We currently have our Commercial Feed License so we can legally sell raw milk for animal/pet consumption.  Our next goal is to obtain our milk permit for human consumption, and be able to start selling our goat milk and goat cheese in the summer of 2017.


November 2 ~ Program by Richard Kralj

Fermented Foods: Are They Safe to Eat?

Richard Kralj, M.Ed, RDN, LDN
Penn State Extension
Food Safety & Quality-Senior Extension Educator




January 7   Program   Hank Webster

Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers


February 4   Program     Bill Monaco

Selected Pennsylvania Wildflowers, Their History and Their Use.


March 3  Program     Kelly Williams

Watershed Restoration in Clearfield County

The program will be presented by Kelly Williams, Watershed Specialist, Clearfield County Conservation District.  It is titled, "Watershed Restoration in Clearfield County".  It will be an overview of the Watershed Specialist's efforts to restore and protect Watersheds in Clearfield County.  Kelly will also talk about Acid Mine Drainage (AMD), stream monitoring, assessing macroinvertebrates (bugs) populations in streams and shocking fish to determine populations and species diversity.


April 7   Program   Mandy Marconi - Pennsylvania Game Commission

Eastern Bluebirds and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Them

Enjoy an interactive Power Point presentation on the beloved Eastern Bluebird.  During this program you will learn how to identify this beautiful songbird by sight and sound, nesting  behaviors, diet, habitat requirements, why their population declined and what you can do to help bluebirds.

Mandy will also have a replica box with a nest for folks to look at, replica eggs, a replica bluebird and the song for them to hear.


May 5   Program   Lori Rancik

Let's Move and Get To Our Gardens

Lori Rancik is a Registered Nurse and currently the Case Manager for the Woman's Health Center of Penn Highlands Healthcare.  She has been in this role since January 2007 when Penn Highlands joined Spirit of Women and began implementation of their women's health program.

This program will provide education to participants about bone health and movement. Conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis will be reviewed.  Participants will learn some simple exercises that will improve strength and balance along with some suggestions that will make gardening easier on bones and joints.


May 25-28  Plant Donation Sale

Charlie's Alternators between Kurt Johnson Auto Sales and Shankel Pharmacy.  10-6 daily.


June 2   Cheryl Shenkle and Karen Trudo

Why is the Monarch Important to Our Survival?

Why is such a fuss being made over dwindling numbers of the Monarch Butterfly in the North American Migration event.?  Are they endangered?  Do we help or just enjoy the "Flying Flowers".  Might our efforts hurt them?  Come meet our "Lady Monarch" and see why she was worth the effort of going to Nescopeck, PA to get her earlier than Monarchs will normally appear in our area.. Monarch Rearing kits will be available at the meeting. There is no fee as long as the Monarchs are brought back to us for public release.  Otherwise we will provide a supplemental kit with which you can raise them for you own enjoyment to release at your own home.


July 7   Program    Rich Johnson - DCNR Forester

Forest Management and Stewardship

Rich will present a program about the utilization and conservation of our forest's natural resources, including general habitat management for wildlife.


August 4   Program   Cheryl Shenkle, Penn State-Jefferson County Master Gardener Coordinator

GMO, Hybrid and Heirloom Plants

Good or bad?  (Was Cancelled)


September 1   Program  Chris Grecco, President of Allegheny Highlands Bird Club which holds monthly meetings in Smethport, PA

Birding For Beginners


October 6   Program    Keith Miller

Growing  Mushrooms at Your Home

This presentation will cover the basics on how to grow culinary and medicinal mushrooms using local resources like logs and woodchips. An inoculated log will be passed around for examination.  Currently there is a re-awakening in the US, and people are realizing just how simple it is to cultivate several types of mushrooms right at home.

A printed list of reliable suppliers for home mushroom growing supplies will be provided.


November 3   Melinda Hughes, President, Nature Abounds

Climate Change Affecting Flora and Fauna

Melinda will explain how Climate Change affects plants and animals, but also includes humans.

Nature Abounds is a national 501c3 organization that is encouraging people to wake up, unplug from society, and take action for the environment. More info is here:  www.natureabounds.org  .


December 1   No program. 

Harvest/Christmas Dinner and Party.  All members and guests are welcome, please bring friends.  Also, each attendee should bring a gift ($20-$25 value) for the Dirty Bingo, small fun items or goodies for the Left-Right Game, and a dish to share for dinner.  Cheryl will send out a sign up list.





Jan 8    Program       Janet Sullivan      Metta Yoga                           

Chair Yoga for Gardeners


Feb 5    Program      Bill Monaco                                                                     

Spring Wildflowers


Mar 5    Program      Dr. Hank Webster                                                           

Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers


Apr 9     Program     Amber Nolder      PA Game Commission           

Bats in the Garden


May 7    Program     Mandy Marconi      PA Game Commission         

"Elk"sploration"- About Elk in PA - Good children's program 


May 27-28-29-30     Plant Donation "Sale"    Charlie's Alternators


June 4   Program     Emily Thomas         Penn State University             

The Effects of Shallow Oil and Gas Development on Songbirds in the Allegheny National Forest


July 2    Program     Dr. Jocelyn Smrekar        Clarion University                                

The Basics of Growing Orchids in the Home


Aug 6    Program        Keely Roen        Penn State             

Raising Monarch Butterflies


Sep 3    Program       Melinda Hughes-Wert      Nature Abounds                    

Wildlife Gardening


Oct 1     Program      Cheryl Shenkle                Penn State-Jefferson County Master Gardeners     

Choosing and Planting Native Shrubs


Nov 5    Program       Cheryl Shenkle                 BUDS Gardeners                 

Yule Log Lore and Craft


Dec 3    Harvest Dinner / Christmas Party 

Members and all guests are welcome. 

Bring a gift to swap and a dish to share.





July 2    Program      Bob Michael                       Local Beekeeper                          Bees

Aug 7    Program      Gary Gilmore                     DCNR Forestry Brookville            Wood Vinegar

Sept 4   Program      Emily Thomas                                                                         Bird Banding

Oct 2     Program      Kim Ettaro                                                                               Massage

Nov 6    Program      Melinda Hughes-Wert        Nature Abounds                           What we can do to help Turtles

Dec 4    No Program                                                                                               Harvest/Christmas Party