Plant sale sup­ports Mas­ter Gar­den­ers pro­gram

Record Observer - - Community - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­

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.

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