Craft Fair and Open House Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
(rain date Saturday, October 13)
Time:9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where: Fairfield County Extension Office and Grounds
67 Stony Hill Road (Route 6), Bethel, Connecticut
The UConn Extension Master Gardener Program is celebrating 40 years as the premier example of a Master Gardener Program in the United States with a craft fair and open house. This outdoor event is free and open to the public. Expert Master Gardeners will give tours and demonstrations, and answer gardening questions. Vendors, many showcasing the creative endeavors of our Master Gardeners, will be offering a variety of gardening and nongardening crafts and goods for sale to benefit the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program.
The day will feature:
Tours and demonstrations
Walking tour and talk at the Extension Demonstration Vegetable Garden.
An 80-ft. by 100 ft. Demonstration Vegetable Garden on the Fairfield County Agricultural Extension Center site, built and maintained by Master Gardener mentors and interns, is used to teach the importance of current best practices in gardening and horticulture, and also donates its weekly harvest to local food pantries.
Learn how you can make and maintain your own backyard compost with easy to build bins and a few simple steps.
Invasive Plant Guided Walk
Learn to spot the invasive plants trying to take over Connecticut’s gardens and natural areas. Find out which plants are considered invasive and why, and how they got here. Learn design alternatives for these aggressive invaders.
Meet our Master Gardeners! Get answers to your questions about your gardens, lawns, trees, plants and insects. Learn how you too can become a Master Gardener.
All About Composting
Master Composters answer questions about backyard and worm composting, explain why it is important to reduce the waste sent to landfills, and how individuals and communities benefit from making compost.
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station/UConn Forest Pest Education
Learn about the Asian Long-horned Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, and how Connecticut is battling these and other threats to our trees and forests.
As of this writing vendors will be offering for sale:
- Vintage costume jewelry
- Natural-dye yarns and scarves
- Alpaca wool and products
- Botanical stationery and notecards
- “White Elephant” table of gardening and other items
- Used gardening books
- A specialty rake
- Tillisandia’s glass globes and fairy gardens
- Painted rock art
- Hand-crafted wooden bowls and other items
- Floral design kits
- Meet the author of Success with Hydrangeas: A Gardener’s Guide Book(B&B Publications, 2017), Connecticut horticulturist, garden writer, speaker and Advance Master Gardener Lorraine Ballato.
- Bid on our Silent Auction gardening and specialty items.
And much more!
The UConn Extension Master Gardener Program is an Educational Outreach Program that is part of UConn Extension, College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, University of Connecticut. Started in 1978, the program consists of horticulture training and an outreach component that focus on the community at large. Master Gardeners are enthusiastic, willing to learn and share their knowledge and training with others. What sets them apart from other home gardeners is their special horticultural training. In exchange for this training, Master Gardeners commit time as volunteers working through their local UConn Extension Center and the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford to provide horticultural-related information to the community. The staff and volunteers of the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program and the UConn Home & Garden Education Center are informational resources for the residents of Connecticut and beyond, who are urged to contact us for accurate, thorough, and timely information on home and garden topics.
The cooperative extension system connected to land-grant universities was established in 1914. Before the 1970s, extension horticulture programs focused on crop production. In the early 1970s Washington State University Extension agents, responding to increased public demand for gardening information through an urban horticulture program, proposed recruiting and training volunteers to respond to gardeners’ questions as a way to serve the needs of home and community gardeners. Although initially met with skepticism, the first Master Gardener training classes were offered to about 200 people in 1973. Today, Master Gardener programs are active in all 50 states, nine Canadian provinces, and in South Korea. According to a 2009 survey, 94,865 Extension Master Gardener volunteers throughout the United States contributed 5,197,573 hours educating the public, providing youth programs, and facilitating produce donations to food banks, an estimated contribution of $101.4 million to the public.