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Centre County Master Gardener Plant Sale features thousands of options for green thumbs

Can you believe it? It’s that time of year again for the Penn State Extension Centre County Master Gardener Plant Sale. Molly Sturniolo, Master Gardener coordinator for Centre County, said that it is an event you do not want to miss.

The mission of the Penn State Master Gardener volunteer program is to support Penn State Cooperative Extension by utilizing research-based information to educate the public on best practices in consumer horticulture and environmental stewardship.

The Centre County Master Gardener Plant Sale is the only fundraiser for the group that is held each year. It will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Penn State Ag Progress Days Special Events Barn, Entrance K, off Route 45 outside of Pine Grove Mills. You can take West College Avenue to the flashing traffic light in Pine Grove Mills and then continue on Route 45 for approximately 5 miles where you will see Entrance K on your left. Turn in and I am sure you will have no trouble finding your way from there.

Admission and parking are free.

There will be over 5,000 plants for sale with a wide variety of plant material to choose from such as vegetables, annuals, herbs, perennials, native plants, pollinator friendly plants, ornamental grasses and notable and unique plants. For a list of the plants that will be available for sale, visit http://www.bit.ly/MGPlantSale.

There will also be tours of and children’s activities at the Pasto AG Museum. The Master Gardeners will have gardening learning stations set up so you can learn more about a particular gardening subject. Also, there will be garage sale of gardening items and a silent auction. If you get hungry, there will be food for purchase on site.

The Master Gardeners are very active in the local schools with projects at Mount Nittany Middle School, Easterly Parkway Elementary School, Park Forest Middle School and Radio Park Elementary School. They also have partnered with the Penn State Student Farm to collaborate in the Home Grown Project, which helps lower-income families grow their own food by distributing vegetable plants such as cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini squash and marigold flowers and numerous packets of seeds to clients at Centre County food banks and helping establish vegetable gardens at apartment complexes. The Master Gardeners provide the plants and information on how to grow and use these vegetables to the Food Bank for folks to take and grow in their own gardens.

As you can see, the Master Gardeners of Centre County are involved in many activities and the annual plant sale is certainly a big event where gardeners of all ages can find something that will appeal to their interests and hopefully you will find some new hard-to find plants to beautify your yards and home.

Maybe you will consider joining the Master Gardeners organization and be helping out at next year’s sale. Training for fall 2019 Master Gardener interns is limited. For information on the Master Gardener intern program, contact Sturniolo at 355-4897 or email mas79@psu.edu.

Bill Lamont is a professor emeritus in the Department of Plant Science at Penn State and can be reached by email at wlamont@psu.edu.