Green thumbs will be plentiful on Saturday, March 29, when the West Virginia Division of Culture and History presents a Garden Festival from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. This year marks the Division’s 11th day-long celebration of the growing season with workshops, exhibitors and demonstrations. With one exception, all activities, located on the plaza deck and in the Great Hall of the Cultural Center, are free and open to the public.
Gardeners, agricultural experts, herbalists, organic gardeners, landscape designers, lawn and garden suppliers, and others will be on hand to answer questions and sell their wares, including plants native to West Virginia wheat weavings, stoneware pottery, bath and body products, homemade lye soap, candles, herbs, lip balm, garden signs and t-shirts. In addition, lunches provided by AAA Catering of Charleston will be available for purchase from all day.
Concurrent workshop topics include “Growing Various Tropical Epiphytic Plants,” “Going Green in the Garden,” “West Virginia Native Orchids; “Organic Gardening and Other Bits and Pieces to Protect Yourself from Toxins,” “The Fourth Dimension of Design: Time,” and “Building Your Own Rain Barrel” ($35 fee, registration required and supplies are limited).
Rain barrels collect and store rainwater from your rooftop to use for lawn and garden watering. Water collected in a rain barrel would normally flow through your downspout, onto a paved surface, and eventually into a storm drain. They help lower water and sewage bills by using free rainwater; reduce stormwater runoff and associated pollutants such as the sediment, chemicals and bacteria into local rivers and streams; conserve water during hot, dry summer months; and the soft, chlorine-free water provides greener gardens as plants prefer rain water. The $35 fee includes one 55-gallon food grade plastic barrel, parts kit, parts list, step-by-step, hands on assembly instruction, and care and maintenance instructions.
In addition, a special keynote session with Shepherd Ogden, executive director of SafeLawns Foundation, Inc. of Maine and Washington, D.C. will take place from 1 - 2 p.m. He will be speaking about Adventures in the Seed Trade. The talk is a travelogue as well as an introduction to the behind the scenes elements of seed production around the world. The talk will be complemented with slides of his travels. The talk and slides explain the background of the seed production process and just what goes into developing and producing the seeds, both vegetables and flowers, that are in the packets people plant each spring.
The SafeLawns Foundation, Inc. was formed for the purpose of developing and promoting the use of ecologically sustainable garden and landscape management methods through research and education. Among other pursuits, Ogden also was the managing director of Heritage Organics in Doylestown, Pa., founded to preserve the working landscape of the Mid-Atlantic region; an adjunct lecturer on sustainable agriculture with Shepherd University; a member farmer and mentor for the Intervale Foundation in Burlington, Vt.; and the founder and president of The Cook’s Garden in Londonderry, Vt. from 1980 - 2003. While there Ogden took an organic market gardening operation and turned it into one of the country’s most respected mail order seed companies.
Ogden has written five books: Straight Ahead Organic, The New American Kitchen Garden, Step by Step Organic Flower Gardening, Step by Step Organic Vegetable Gardening and The Cook’s Garden. He also has written numerous articles for magazines such as The American Gardener, National Gardening, Martha Stewart Living, Country Journal and New England Living to name a few.
For more information about the Garden Festival or to register for the Rain Barrel workshop, call Bethany Cline, cultural program specialist for the Division, at (304) 558-0220, ext. 171. A complete list of workshops and exhibitors is attached.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
Media Note: Shepherd Ogden can be reached at his desk at 1-800-251-1784, cell phone at 1-215-666-1032 or e-mail at email@example.com.
Saturday, March 29, from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
The Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston
Going Green in the Garden
La Paix Herb Farm
Growing Various Tropical Epiphytic Plants
Dr. Mike Beck, Conservatory Director
Huntington Museum of Art
Organic Gardening and Other Bits and Pieces to Protect
Yourself from Toxins
Dr. Linda Geronilla
West Virginia Native Orchids
West Virginia Master Gardener
The Fourth Dimension of Design: Time
George Longenecker, Executive Director
West Virginia Botanic Garden
Building Your Own Rain Barrel
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
$35 fee for barrel and supplies
1 – 2 p.m.
Special Keynote Session
Adventures in the Seed Trade
Shepherd Ogden, Executive Director
SafeLawns Foundation, Inc.
Maine / Washington, D.C.
Exhibitors: By the River Creations, Garden Treasures, La Paix Herb Farm, Patty’s Daylilies, Porterbrook Native Plants, Still Meadows Farm and Greenhouse, Sue Cosgrove, Sugar Creek Recipes/County Heart, Summer Kitchen Pottery, Sunshine Farm and Gardens, Valley Gardens, West Virginia Horticultural Association and Smoke Camp Crafts, West Virginia State University, Windbeam Way Nursery
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