Tree Fest, farmers market opening next weekend

03/30/2013 7:16 AM

03/30/2013 7:18 AM

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!

About Annie Calovich

Annie writes about home and garden, including her Bit of Earth column on Saturdays. She has been at The Eagle since 1985, working as a copy editor, a nation/world editor and a reporter. She’s a KU graduate who started out at The Coffeyville Journal.

Contact Annie at 316-268-6596 or

Follow Annie on Twitter: @AnnieCalovich

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