Garden Journal

Very berried bramble ramble: Those itching to cash in on brambles can get expert advice at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Fletcher on Thursday, July 20. SunnyRidge Farm Inc., a Florida-based grower of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, will meet with berry growers interested in becoming commercial suppliers. The program will also include bramble-production site selection, growing and post-harvest handling, market analysis and a field visit. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the workshop will adjourn by 5 p.m. The cost is $10, payable at the door (now that’s a berry good deal). Lunch and a notebook will be provided. For reservations and info, call 684-3562.

Grateful deadheads: Flowering plants aren’t as dumb as some might imagine. They “know” their function is to reproduce and that once they’ve set seed, their essential work is done, so many varieties then slow their efforts or quit blooming altogether. By deadheading your plants — that is, cutting off the spent blooms — you can con them into further reproductive efforts. Since some spent heads contain viable seeds, simply scattering the clippings can furnish new plants for this or next season.

Unpaved paradise: Land-preservation programs that provide financial benefits appear to offer a win-win scenario for farmers and landowners who are tempted by development schemes and pressed by rising taxes. A workshop titled “Keeping Farms Prosperous: Conservation Makes $ense” will present a range of options for the conservation-minded at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Fletcher. The session will be held on Wednesday, July 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is free, with lunch available for $5. For more info and reservations, call 684-3562, ext. 134.

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About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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