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Mar 25, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘MOBOT’

Extra Sauce: 14 weird questions from St. Louis gardeners

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

In our April issue, we picked Glenn Kopp‘s brain for tips and tricks to make our home gardens as fruitful as MoBOT’s William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening, where he serves as horticulture information manager. But Kopp isn’t the only helpful Master Gardener on staff. Each spring, a whole team of gardening experts at MoBOT’s Horticulture Answer Service fields hundreds of questions from St. Louis-area gardeners – including a few oddball ones that catch even these seasoned professionals off-guard. Here, the MoBOT team shares 14 of the strangest queries ever received:

1. What is the name of the plant that has pink flowers on it?

2. I don’t remember where the sun comes up – is it the east or the west?

3.  Can I use birth control pills and put them on my plants to fertilize them?

4. Q: How do I kill a pine tree?
A: Why do you want to kill it?
Q: Because I want it taken away.
A: Why not have someone come in and cut it down and take it away?
Q: My brother-in-law will do that, but only after it has died.

5. Q: What is the round fuzzy thing growing on my red bud tree trunk? Maybe a bug? What to do?
A: Put on a pair of gloves and pull “things” off.
Q: Oh, I couldn’t do that! Couldn’t I just hit the things with a hammer?

6. My big black oak is dropping its acorns! Does that mean it is going to die?

7. Is it too late to bring my geraniums in? (Call date: Feb. 2)

8. Do you have reproduction facilities?

9. I put my poinsettia in the closet on Sept. 15. Can I take it out now? It doesn’t look good. Why doesn’t it bloom? (Call date: Dec. 8)

10. I have a hole in my yard. What do I do?

11. I have a plant that’s too tall. The bottom leaves fall off and it grows from the top. What is it? What do I do to make it shorter?

12. How do you keep birds out of trees?

13. Can you tell me when photosynthesis will occur this year?

14. I understand there’s a new spray for sweet gumball machines?

Do you have a pressing gardening question? Call MoBOT’s Horticultural Answer Service at 314.577.5143 to get one-on-one help from a Master Gardener.

Cinematographer Graham Meriwether talks ‘American Meat,’ screening Thursday at MoBOT

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013



“American Meat” is a documentary by Graham Meriwether that looks at contemporary chicken, hog and cattle production in the U.S. The film debuted in 2011 and premiered in St. Louis in October 2012. This Thursday, Sept. 12, Meriwether returns to St. Louis for a screening of the film at Missouri Botanical Garden.

Meriwether was inspired to make the documentary after reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. In particular, he was drawn to Joel Salatin, a pasture-based farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and a central subject in Pollan’s book. “He was jumping off the page with charisma,” said Meriwether. He initially  planned to focus the film on Salatin’s Polyface Farms. “In the end, we decided to cover the entire industry as a whole.”

“Our film has a journalistic nature in the way we portray all the different types of meat production in America,” he said. “We don’t vilify or make one as evil and one as good.” He added that moviegoers “really appreciate how balanced the film is.” And while “American Meat” attempts to give an even-handed look at animal husbandry as it moves from feedlot and confinement systems to pasture-based farming models, Meriwether accedes that “we certainly are advocating local, grass-fed meat production.”

Although Meriwether feels the average American “doesn’t have much of an idea where their [sic] meat is coming from,” he is optimistic that awareness levels are changing. “People are becoming more and more curious about production models. I think we will see a huge increase about food transparency and where food comes from in the coming years.

Meriwether’s next project, a documentary titled “Farmers of America,” should continue to shed light on food production. Still in the preproduction stage and with an anticipated release for fall 2015, “Farmers of America” will focus on beginning and young farmers around the country.

MoBOT, in partnership with Chipotle, is presenting a screening of “American Meat” Sept. 12 as part of its Savor Your Summer film series. The screening will take place at 7 p.m. at the Shoenberg Theater, with a reception beforehand outside the theater at 6:30 p.m. Following the film, there will be a question-and-answer session with Meriwether. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, go here.



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