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Tree Fest, farmers market opening next weekend

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, March 30, 2013, at 7:18 a.m.

Tree Festival tours and seminars

Tree Fest will be 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 6 at the Extension Education Center, 21st Street and Ridge Road. Here are the times and topics of seminars and tours:

• 8:15 a.m.: “Protecting Your Trees From Drought,” by extension agent Bob Neier

• 9 a.m.: “Proper Planting Techniques,” by Gary Farris, arborist for the city of Wichita

• 9:30 a.m.: “Coffee, Compost & Chocolate” (including where chocolate comes from and using coffee grounds in the garden plus a composting demonstration)

• 10 a.m.: “Drought Tolerant Trees,” by Jason Griffin, director of the K-State John C. Pair Horticultural Center

• 10:45 a.m.: Tree-planting demonstration on the grounds

• 11 a.m.: “Pruning Trees,” by master gardener Danny Oliver

• 11:30 a.m.: Arboretum walking tour

• 12:15 a.m.: Walking tour of the Riparian Woodland Nature Trail on the grounds

Easter will be here Sunday, and new life is all around us. But we have a bit of a warm-up left before the tulips start busting out all over. Then – watch out! A lot is about to happen.

• On Monday, cue the beginning of April. No foolin’. Right now the forecast calls for a progression of rain chances – except for a sunny Easter Sunday. As much as I love the sun, a rainy forecast can only be a cause for rejoicing. May April showers bring May flowers.

• April 6 will bring the master gardeners’ annual Tree Festival at the Extension Center and the opening of the farmers market in the parking lot.

After two years of drought and exceptional heat, Wichita’s trees are in dire need of a shot in the arm. You can learn about what trees to plant and how to plant and maintain them as well as buy trees and get your garden tools sharpened at the 12th annual Tree Fest. It will be at 21st Street and Ridge Road from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is free.

Also that day, the Kansas Grown Farmers Market will open for the season from 7 a.m. to noon in the Extension Center parking lot. Vision cards are accepted by the market’s vendors, and there is ATM access at the information tent.

Tree Fest, sponsored by the Sedgwick County Extension Master Gardeners, will feature free seminars and demonstrations; vendors from around the region selling trees, plants, garden-related supplies and services; tours of the arboretum on the center’s grounds; and a pancake and sausage breakfast for $4. Sharpening of garden tools will be available for a fee. And Project Beauty will have 7-inch seedlings of the Kentucky coffee tree for sale for around $7.

See the accompanying box for the tour and seminar schedule for Tree Fest.

• Also that day, a new program of cooking and garden demonstrations will start in the Extension demonstration garden. Saturday Samplers will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. April 6, June 8, July 13, Aug. 17 and Sept. 21. Each sampler will focus on a different vegetable or herb and feature recipes and cooking, nutrition and gardening tips, along with a tour of the demo garden. The samplers are free, and no registration is required.

The subject of the first Saturday is “Grow Your Own Salad” and will cover salad-greens growing, as well as healthy toppings and vinaigrettes.

• Some tantalizing seminars also are on tap next weekend at the Harvey County Home and Garden Show in Newton. How does a seminar called “Plant Mafia!” grab you? And, of course, more seminars on gardening with less water. See the schedule in the Gardener’s Almanac on Page 2C.

• Landscape supervisor Pat McKernan expects tulip-bloom peak to be around April 7 at Botanica. But there will be tulips before, and there will be tulips after. Don’t fail to catch the peak, though.

In the meantime, Happy Easter!

Reach Annie Calovich at 316-268-6596 or acalovich@wichitaeagle.com.

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