Master Gardener Education Series Begins in March

Mahaska County Master Gardeners have hosted a speaker/education series since 2005 (now held in March) at the Mahaska County Extension office; 212 North I Street, Oskaloosa. These presentations are open to the public; there is no fee to attend. Prior registration is NOT required. Anyone who is interested in the topic is encouraged to attend.

The 2018 offerings include:

Unconventional Fruit and Nut Crops are grown by Tom Wahl and Kathy Dice of Red Fern Farms, a family owned nursery and farm. It is the site of ongoing research on a variety of tree crops and forest farming systems. They raise and sell a variety of container grown tree seedlings well suited for the Midwest. Tom will talk about the growing of fruit and nut producing trees, shrubs, and vines for commercial production, for use in backyard landscaping, or in public parks and open spaces. Topics will include chestnut, heartnut, persimmon, pawpaw, berry bushes, and a few others on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 pm.

Your Backyard is for the Birds. Learn from Devon Dietz, Linn County Master Gardener about the needs of birds and what attracts them to your yard on Tuesday, March 13 at 6:30 pm. The focus will be on the most popular birds for Iowans. The year round enjoyment of birds is the objective.

Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is part of a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members in over 150 countries, which links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. A group of like-minded farmers, chefs and artisans, educators and regular folks who love to garden, cook, and eat, working together to strengthen the connection between the food on our plates and the health of our planet. Come learn about Slow Food from member Treva Reimer on Saturday, March 17 at 10 am.

Produce Basics. Preparing fresh produce is easy; if you have the information you need and a few skills. Those attending will learn how to store, clean, prepare, and preserve various fresh fruits and vegetables (produce you grow or purchase this growing season) from Sarah Spouse, Human Science Specialist on Tuesday, March 27 at 7 pm.

Mahaska County Master Gardeners are celebrating their fourteenth year. The local program organized after the county held their first training. The educational volunteer program, sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, provides current, research based, home horticulture information and education to the citizens of Iowa through programs and projects. Master Gardeners receive horticulture training, and volunteer to promote a mission of education and service. The program is open to anyone 18 or older with an interest in gardening and a willingness to use their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to make a positive impact on their local community.

More information about this and other horticulture events can be found at the Mahaska County Extension Office; 212 North I Street; Oskaloosa Phone 641-673-5841; and


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