Clatsop County Master Gardeners Association presents 2017 spring garden seminar and plant sale
By Marilyn Gilbaugh
For Coast Weekend
Whether they garden or not, many people on the North Coast seem to be going a little nuts thanks to the year’s record-setting rainfall.
But this weekend, rain or shine, they can enjoy a day of all things gardening when Clatsop County Master Gardeners Association offers a taste of the growth to come when the sun finally warms the local mood — and the region’s soils.
From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds, beginning gardeners and seasoned green thumbs, adults and kids, can drop in and enjoy themselves at the association’s 2017 spring garden seminar and plant sale.
The event is free, though donations to the Clatsop County Food Bank are encouraged.
Rick Bigness, director of the Spring Garden Seminar, and a team of Master Gardener volunteers are offering a full day’s lineup.
Members will sell plants from their own gardens: Edibles, perennials, herbs, ferns, trees, native plants and shrubs have been cultivated, doted on and potted for this purpose.
“The closer to home a plant begins its life, the better its chance of success,” Bigness said.
More than 25 vendors will have garden-related gifts and goods on display. (Remember: The following day is Mother’s Day.) Commercial growers will offer a wide variety of indoor and outdoor plants, from starts to stalks. Master Gardeners will be around to share advice and answer gardening questions.
In addition, there will be a kid’s garden where young people can get their hands in the soil and adopt a strawberry plant. And — one of the most sought-after items of the day — at 3:30 p.m., the Tongue Point Job Corps Landscaping Students will raffle off eight hours of labor to one lucky ticket holder. (Bonus: The winner need not be present to collect.)
Listen in, learn lots
This year’s Master Gardener’s theme is “Climate Change — Gardening for the Future.” Three one-hour seminars will explore how the warming world is affecting gardens locally.
At 9 a.m. Chip Bubl, professor of horticulture at Oregon State University, will discuss implications of climate change in our North Coast gardens: which plants will thrive, which won’t, how soil conditions will change and more.
An 11 a.m. seminar features well-known Olney organic farmer Teresa Retzlaff, of 46 North Farm, who will share research from her involvement in the Dry Farming Collaborative project, part of the OSU Center for Small Farms. Attendees will learn more about climate change, dry farming and water conservation strategies for gardening resiliency.
And, at 1 p.m., Thom Trusewicz — a beekeeper, Clatsop Community College teacher and Oregon State Beekeepers Association member — will share his enthusiasm for chemical-free honey and wax products. Find out how climate change is interfering with bees and how certain gardening techniques can help save and attract bee colonies.
Clatsop County Master Gardeners have created a day packed with many things to see and do — literally from the ground up.