Extension Master Gardeners host fall gardening events

EMBRACING CHANGE: Soil scientist Laura Lengnick will be the keynote speaker at the Extension Master Gardeners of Buncombe County's gardening symposium on Oct. 12. Photo by Jane Morell

Even as summer produce ripens and farmers gather their harvests, the indefatigable Extension Master Gardeners of Buncombe County continue their mission of educating the public on good gardening practices using research-based information provided by the North Carolina State University Extension Service throughout the fall.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, and again Saturday, Oct. 8, Master Gardeners will offer free instruction and advice in two locations at the WNC Farmers Market from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. At Jesse Israel and Sons Nursery and Garden Center at 570 Brevard Road, instructors will explain how to get started composting at home. Several compost systems will be on display, including a worm composting bin. Free samples of “black gold,” as well as printed instructional materials, will be available.

Across the way, in the area between the two retail buildings of the farmers market, Master Gardeners will answer gardening questions and diagnose plant problems. Area residents are encouraged to bring in good-sized plant samples for evaluation. Free soil test boxes will also be available. As Cooperative Extension community gardening coordinator Megan Gregory writes in the Master Gardeners’ fall newsletter, “Fall is an ideal time to test your garden soil.”

On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Master Gardeners will field gardening questions and weigh in on plant problems from 8 a.m. to noon at the Asheville City Market at 161 S. Charlotte St. At that event, the book A Gardening Guide for Our Mountains will be available for $10.

The Master Gardeners also offer assistance through their helpline at 255-5522, which operates from March through October. Hours for the service are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays. Gardeners with questions may also visit in person during those hours at 49 Mount Carmel Road.

Western North Carolina Gardening Symposium

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, the organization will host its Western North Carolina Gardening Symposium at the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville at 115 Hendersonville Road. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Our Gardens in a World of Change,” and informational sessions will focus on strategies for developing resiliency.

Soil scientist Laura Lengnick, who is known as a leader in sustainable agriculture and climate resilience planning, will be the keynote speaker. She will open the day with a talk titled “Cultivating Resilience in a World of Change” and close the program with “What Path to a Resilient Future?” More information about Lengnick, a Swannanoa resident, and her work is available at www.cultivatingresilience.com.

Tamara Houston, of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, will speak on climate and weather variations in WNC. Meghan Baker, small farms extension agent in Buncombe County, will discuss pollinators at risk, and Linda Alford, Buncombe Extension Master Gardener volunteer, will outline ways to thrive in the face of change.

This program offers five hours of continuing education credit for Extension Master Gardener volunteers. The fee is $55. All registrations must be received by Wednesday, Oct. 5, and the registration form is available at www.buncombemastergardener.org.



Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.