Master Gardener Plant Sale + EdFest
Join us for the 10th annual Master Gardener Plant Sale and EdFest on October 11! This FREE family-friendly fall gardening event features sustainable gardening tips, landscape problem diagnosis, and there will be thousands of plants for sale. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Master Gardeners’ educational projects throughout Sarasota County. Find out more about the 10th annual Master Gardener Plant Sale and EdFest today!
Master Gardener Applications Due 10/15
We are currently accepting applications for our 2015 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program. This year we will select 15 people to participate in the Master Gardener training program scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 21, 2014. Specific times each week may vary, but training classes will take place each Wednesday through April 8, generally from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In order to be considered for this year's program, you will need to:
- Study the Master Gardener Sprouting Kit
- Complete and submit the Master Gardener Application no later than October 15
If you are selected to begin training in January, we will ask you to submit a program fee of $150. This fee covers the materials you will use during training, and will only be due upon your conditional acceptance to the training program. Please do not send any money with your application materials.
2014 Sustainable Communities Workshop
On Oct. 29 you won’t want to miss the 9th annual Sustainable Communities Workshop. This year's theme for the popular, interactive workshop is "Growing Healthy, Resilient and Prosperous Communities." The Sustainable Communities workshop aims to cultivate innovative thinking and learning about better products, programs, and processes for improved health, local food, resiliency and prosperity. Visit the event page for more information.
Community Garden Open House
In conjunction with Eat Local Week, UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County is hosting open houses on October 30 from 4 - 6 p.m. at community gardens throughout Sarasota County. Visit your neighborhood community garden or take a drive to visit other locations throughout the county. Join us to learn how our community gardens work, sign-up for a garden waitlist and sample fresh, local produce! Check out the event details and register today.
Farm Bill Funding Deadline Approaching
Through the Farm Bill, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offers assistance and incentives to growers and ranchers. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) (link to flyer) is a voluntary conservation program that offers financial and technical assistance to participants to install or implement structural and management practices on agricultural land. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a program that encourages agricultural producers to maintain existing best management conservation activities and adopt additional enhancements on their operations. To be considered for 2015 funding, an application must be on file in the NRCS office by close of business on November 21, 2014. For more information on these programs, visit www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov/programs or http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ or call 941-907-0011 Joe Mustion, USDA-NRCS Acting District Conservationist (Ext. 102), or Kayla Milburn, Soil Conservationist at the Manasota Service Center (Ext. 108).
Register Now for 4-H School Enrichment!
Teachers, register your class by December 8 to participate in the 4-H Radish Growing Contest and Tropicana Public Speaking Contest. The Radish Growing Contest introduces young people to vegetable gardening and is design to work with 3rd grade plant science programs. The Tropicana Public Speaking Contest, now in it's 29th year, provides 4th, 5th, and 6th graders the opportunity to hone their public speaking skills in a safe, fun environment. Learn more about these and other 4-H School Enrichment opportunities
What's Growing in the Garden
Over the summer, things have been heating up at the Demonstration Center! There has been a lot of work done to clean up the existing landscape and we’ve broken ground on several garden features. Special thanks to the tremendous efforts of Master Gardeners and help from County staff and crews from the Sheriff’s Offender Work Program! If you haven’t visited the garden lately, come see the provisional areas for seed starting and propagation, edibles and composting. Get involved or stop by to join us for our Down and Dirty in the Garden classes, offered the first Wednesday and following Saturday of each month. For more information, check out the Demonstration Center webpage at sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/democenter or visit us on Facebook to see the latest photos from the garden.