Press-Republican

Columns

August 12, 2012

Gardening, composting workshop offered

This is a busy time of year at Cooperative Extension. As many of you know, from mid-July to mid-August, time not spent answering backyard gardening, landscape and field-crop questions is dedicated to the county fair and to the success of our devoted 4-H youth. It’s the time when Extension offices across the region receive frequent inquiries from individuals with little or no gardening experience. We also hear from seasoned gardeners encountering problems that they have not seen before.

During my 12 years at Extension, I have gardened with schoolchildren, at-risk youth, the elderly and people with limited mobility. I have seen the potential that all people have for learning, for transformation, for shaping their environment and for success. I have also had the good fortune of knowing several devoted gardeners who have crafted remarkable home gardens for years. They remain a constant source of inspiration.

One such gardener is among our new group of first-year Master Gardener volunteers. He is graciously preparing to open his impressive gardens to the public, but only for a couple of hours at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25. On that day, he will be offering a lively, informative tour of the exceptional gardens that he tends at his home in Rainbow Lake. This includes a 400-foot-long landscaped border of succulent-covered rocks and his “Funny Farm” garden, a one-acre circular garden located within the shelter of a pine forest and comprised of all sorts of unusual flowers, ornamental grasses and garden vegetables (giving the term crop circle a whole new meaning). Everyone is welcome.

Like many gardeners, this Master Gardener is also an avid composter. He uses low-cost, money-saving, easy-to-make composting bins that anyone should be able to recreate at home. He’d like to show you how to make them or other types of simple composting bins. He’d also like to show you just how easy and rewarding it can be to compost successfully.

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