Master Garderners Plan A Grand Eastern Shore Party

Speakers, exhibits, demonstrations, plant clinics, story telling, games, and projects for kids are all on tap for the Second Annual Garden Affair, free to the public, scheduled for Saturday May 16 in Centreville. Building on the success and lessons learned in last year’s Garden Affair, a QAC Master Gardeners organizing committee, led by MG Coordinator Rachel Melvin, is being co-chaired by Jane B. Smith of Prospect Bay and Jack Doub of Queenstown. The goal for the event, themed “Think Green,” is a bigger and better event than last year come this May.

Some of the many favorites from last year will be back: Bonnie Dixon (Chester) charming children with her fanciful face painting, Michelle Schweikle (Chestertown) and Norah Carey (Rock Hall) taking listeners through a good humored guide to gardening with dogs. Various other Master Gardeners will take visitors through the award winning library rain garden illustrating the whys and wherefores of rain gardens, so important in minimizing surface run-off into the Bay. Carol Jelich (Queenstown) will lay out the beautiful advantages of landscaping with native plants. Butterfly gardens, Bay Wise landscaping, Beneficial Bugs, and Gardening for Beginners are also presentations on tap.

Major emphasis will be on the Master Gardener “Grow It, Eat It” campaign, a statewide education program that the Master Gardeners are focusing on this year. Given the realities of the economy, there is a huge advantage for all of us in learning how to grow vegetables and fruits and then how to prepare or preserve them for future use. Enormous also are the health benefits of enjoying fresh produce, especially from our own gardens, garden patches, or even containers. For children, the process opens a whole new world. Available at the Garden Affair will be information, exhibits, speakers, and ways for even beginners to get into growing for their table.

The Library and Wright’s Chance sit side by side in the heart of historic Centreville whose picturesque streets are lined with homes dating back to the 1700s, making it a choice visitors’ destination any time of year. Between 10AM and 2PM on Saturday, May 16, the grounds will be humming with activity, bedecked with balloons, enhanced with music and plant and Green Elephant sales.

The Queen Anne’s County Master Gardener program annually trains committed parties with courses and lectures sponsored by the University of Maryland Extension Department. Numbering now more than 100 active certified Master Gardeners in the County, each contributes, on average 60 hours of volunteer work every year in our communities.

For information regarding the Garden Affair and/or the Master Gardener program, contact Coordinator Rachel Melvin at the QAC Extension office, phone 410-758-0166

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