At play with DNA: Dr. Randy Gardner of the NC State University’s Department of Horticultural Science is conducting a study comparing the production of two heirloom tomatoes with two new heirloom-type hybrids he developed. The public is invited to have a look at his results on Monday, Aug. 27, from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at the Mountain Research Station, 265 Test Farm Road, in Waynesville. The tomatoes were grown in four production systems: A conventional system using synthetic fertilizers, fungicides, and insecticides; the Brandt ClawEl Organic System using their newest OMRI approved products; the Leek Organic System utilizing Serenade and Neem; and a control using no fungicides or insecticides. Need more temptation? The free event includes a tomato taste-test, a light dinner featuring tomatoes, and a presentation on how to grow trellised heirloom tomatoes and organic products. Contact Jeanine Davis or Laura Duffie at 684-3562 for more information.
All’s fair: The Asheville-Buncombe County Master Gardeners will host two Flower and Garden shows at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair, Sept. 7-16. The shows will feature entries in dozens of categories, including perennials, annuals, herbs, shrubs, cut foliage, flower arrangements and container water gardens. Entry dates are: Standard Flower show on Thursday, Sept. 6, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Tuesday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Cash prizes and ribbons are awarded to top winners. There are youth categories (ages 6-19) as well. For more information, contact Buncombe County Extension at 255-5522 or visit www.mountainfair.org and click on competitions, Department C, Flower and Garden.