Plant sale supports Master Gardeners program
CENTREVILLE — The University of Maryland Extension Service held its annual plant sale and open house Saturday, May 20, at the office, 505 Railroad Avenue in Centreville. This year’s event marked the fourth plant sale, said Rachel Rhodes, Horticulture Associate Agent and Master Gardner Coordinator. The sale is the primary fundraiser for the Master Gardener program.
In addition to the best prices on native perennials, herbs and vegetable plants, those who attended were able to take advantage of the knowledgeable Master Gardeners advice, asking questions about landscape planting including flower, fruit, and vegetable beds, and plants to beautify a yard or provide friendly habitat for wildlife like songbirds, butterflies, bees, and humming birds. Master Gardeners are volunteers who are trained by the University of Maryland Extension.
One of the extension service’s most critical programs is the Bay Wise program, said Rhodes. A keystone to the other services they offer, Bay Wise focuses on water quality and comprises a comprehensive set of environmental topics that affect the quality and quantity of water in the area surrounding the Chesapeake Bay and its waterways. Although the primary focus centers around landscape management, other concerns such as hydrology, wells and septic systems, hazardous household products, and water conservation are also addressed through Bay Wise.
Information was also provided about Queen Anne’s County 4-H program, and a demonstration about healthy eating — including a sample of a freshly prepared cool, melon smoothie — was prepared by Food Supplement Nutrition Education coordinator Ashley McLauglin.
Master Gardeners will attend many local events throughout the summer, including the June 12 workshop at the library in Centreville, on how to build a bee house, the annual Tea Party re-enactment in Chestertown and second Thursdays at the Kent Island Farmers Market. Rhodes said they endeavor to host all programs free and open to the public.
Karen Iplenski, left and Laura Klinger, both Master Gardeners, volunteer during the annual plant sale and open house at the University of Maryland Extension Service.
Attendees talk to Master Gardeners about pollination, planting and the Bay Wise program.
Hunter Rhodes, 5, left and Luke Wolff, 7, participate in creating grain art. The boys learned that corn is used for feeding chickens and wheat is used in making pretzels and cookies.