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Centre County Master Gardener Garden Fair and Plant Sale an opportunity to learn, shop

The Centre County Master Gardener’s Garden Fair and Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 21 at Penn State Ag Progress Days Special Events Barn, entrance K off of state Route 45 outside of Pine Grove Mills.
The Centre County Master Gardener’s Garden Fair and Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 21 at Penn State Ag Progress Days Special Events Barn, entrance K off of state Route 45 outside of Pine Grove Mills. Centre Daily Times, file

Wow, how time flies by — it is that time of year again for Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Centre County’s garden fair and plant sale. This annual event has really grown over the years, and this year’s fair, according to Larry Campbell, looks to be even bigger and better.

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 Garden Fair and Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. May 21 at Penn State Ag Progress Days Special Events Barn, entrance K off of state 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 not trouble finding your way from there.

The master gardeners have told me they will again have more than 5,000 plants for sale with a wide variety of plant material to choose from such as vegetables, perennials, annuals, herbs, house plants, native plants, pollinator-friendly plants, notable and unique plants and shrubs and trees. In addition there will be more than 25 garden and food vendors, with a wide array of interesting food, garden products and materials. In addition to the vendors of gardening supplies, the Pasto Museum is hosting free tours.

The master gardeners have also lined up some great presentations and demonstrations.

This year they have invited a celebrity speaker, George Weigel, a Pennsylvania garden writer, horticulturist and certified gardening nut, who is going to give two lectures that you won’t want to miss. The first is “Smart Gardening: When and What to do to Keep Your Yard Looking Great (or at Least Passable)” and is scheduled for 10 a.m., while the second one is “Amazing Space: Great Home Gardens and What Makes the Special,” which is scheduled for 12:30 p.m..

Also, Carla Hass, senior lecturer in Penn State’s Eberly College of Science and a master gardener is going to talk about “Good Bugs/Bad Bugs” at 11 a.m.. As you can see this is an 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.

For information on the master gardeners program please contact Molly Sturniolo, master gardener coordinator, by phone at 355-4897 or email mas79@psu.edu. For more information on the 2016 garden fair and plant sale, visit extension.psu.edu/garden-fair.

Remember admission and parking are free, so go out and enjoy a day of gardening fun.

Bill Lamont is a professor and extension vegetable specialist in the department of plant science at Penn State and can be reached by email at wlamont@psu.edu.

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