MASTER GARDENER SPRING GARDEN EXPO 2011

By NANCY BAKER FAUL

Spring is fast upon us and those who love gardening are itching to get their hands dirty. Farmers are plowing their fields in anticipation of the first sweet crops. Rose bushes, dianthus and petunias are being trucked in daily to stores near you. Whether you are a first-time gardener or an old hand at growing flowers and veggies you will find the Master Gardener Spring Expo both informative and fun.
Ever wonder if that old moldy cheese or stack of newspapers should go in the compost pile or in the trash? And just how does your Aunt Bessie grow such huge red Beef Steak tomatoes? What’s difference can chicken manure possibly make in the flavor of my vegetables or the number of blooms on my rose bush? Questions like these are why Horticulturalists in Mississippi are converging on the Coast on March 19, 2011. The men and women with the answers will gather for a long-awaited event that will serve both community and mind.
Professionals from across the south will be on hand to offer tips, lecture on specific topics and answer your questions on gardening in all its forms. There will be seminars on “Adaptive Gardening”, “Square Foot Gardening” and “Cooking with Herbs” as well as opportunities to speak directly with the professionals who can answer your most asked questions. You can meet and hear from Dr. Wayne Porter, Dr. Gary Bachman and Dr. Wayne McLaurin as well as a host of other professionals throughout the day.
Let’s face it. We are all learning to live with less as the cost of everything rises around us. It can be a great feeling to grow your own tomatoes. Wouldn’t it be nice to save that $2.89 per pound that you spend every week on the ‘hot-house’ version of the red delights that usually taste far less fresh than you remember from childhood? With the tips you will learn from these Master Gardeners you too can grow fresh and tasteful fare that your family will love. Urban gardening has become quite popular over the past decade and guest speakers promise to lend their expertise to the discussion of just how a garden can work for your family no matter where you live.
“For many people here in the south, growing vegetables and flowers for the family table is simply a way of life” said Sharon Quigley, Vice President of the Harrison County Master Gardeners Association. “The Expo is the largest of its kind in Mississippi. Kids and adults will all be able to learn from the experts on hand. Specialists and Doctors in Horticulture will hold seminars geared toward feeding the thirst for knowledge that the gardeners here on the coast have. From raised flowerbeds and herb gardens to pestilence problems with large corn crops, the true masters in this field will be there to help all who ask.”
The Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center located at 1815 Popps Ferry Road in Biloxi will play host for the day-long events. A children’s area will feature a class on how to make a seed card and another where kids will learn to grow a “pizza garden”. The projects that the children make will be sent home for them to enjoy with their families.
Normally, it is not an inexpensive outing to attend a function so rich with experts who are willing to mix and mingle with attendees but the Harrison County Master Gardeners have made it VERY affordable. If you bring 5 nonperishable food items to the gate you get in for FREE. Let me reiterate: With just 5 items IT IS F-R-E-E!!! If you don’t want to bring the 5 items you can pay the extraordinarily low price of $5 for adults but wait there is more! Kids under 12, accompanied by an adult, get in FREE even without the donated food items. How great is that for a day of fun and information without costing you an arm and a leg?!
EXPO INFO
What: Master Gardener Spring Garden Expo
Date: Saturday, March 19, 2011   9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center
1815 Popps Ferry Road in Biloxi
Contact: 228-865-4227 or e-mail
Harrison@ext.msstate.edu
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