Information booths cover a variety of topics including beekeeping, wildflowers, annual/container gardening, composting, soil, vegetables, turf care, ferns, low-toxic gardening approaches as well as invasive plants and insects.
ASK THE MASTER GARDENER
Do you have a question on an insect in your yard or garden? Need to identify that plant growing in your garden? Having a problem with a prize tree or shrub in your landscape? Master Gardeners will be on hand to help solve these gardening mysteries and more. While at the booth, don’t forget to ask how to become a Master Gardener yourself.
BIRD GOURD BOOTH
Birds love a place to get out of the rain or cozy up during a snowfall. Houses for birds provide nesting sites for birds that require a cavity in which to nest. Primary cavity nesting species (such as woodpeckers) excavate their own sites. Secondary cavity nesters rely on pre-existing cavities. Secondary nesters lack the ability to create their own nesting sites and will readily accept secondary housing. Along with making a cute new house for birds, your child will learn more about the birds native to your neighborhood!
This booth will teach children about sunflowers. Children can color/paint sunflowers and have to opportunity to take a plant home.
Learn how you can help protect are water resources. This booth will cover lawn maintenance, wetlands and more.
Return carbon to the land, not the landfill! Master Composters at this booth will answer questions about composting, explain why it is important to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, how individuals and communities benefit from making compost, and how to create and maintain your own backyard composter.
Learn how to complement your garden design with vegetables! Our experts will be available to answer your questions about problems you’re having growing your favorite vegetables: whether it’s weeds, wildlife, insects, managing high yields, staking, the right kind of mulch, or whatever else is going on in your vegetable garden.
PREPARING GARDEN HERBS FOR CULINARY USE
Learn how to harvest, clean and dry herbs from your garden for culinary use throughout the winter months. A professionally trained chef certified in food safety will provide information on safe storage methods for vegetables, freezing tips, and recipes.
LOW TOXIC APPROACHES
The best design starts with a safe environment. Our experts will answer your questions about what works and what doesn’t across the broad spectrum of low-toxic and organic products without resorting to harsh and hazardous chemicals. We’ll help you to choose some of these products so you can take your collections of poisons to your town’s next hazardous waste disposal day.
NATIVE PLANTS AND WILDFLOWERS
Explore CT native plants/shrubs many of which are excellent alternatives to invasive shrubs like Japanese barberry and Winged euonymous (Burning Bush). These natives plants can be a beautiful addition to the home garden and support our native pollinators.
NATURAL DYEING DEMONSTRATION BOOTH
Drop-by and tie-dye a bandana using plant material. Master Gardener Jude Hsiang will show you how. There is also have a display of plant-dyed yarns and finished items as well as information on plant dye workshops.
PERENNIALS, PROPAGATION AND PRUNING HOW-TO
Learn the ins and outs of growing plants from seed, dividing your perennials, and more. You can add to your garden and keep your plants blooming by learning where and when to divide existing perennials. Growing from seed allows you to cultivate plants and vegetables that are not available in most nurseries or big box stores.
SOIL pH TESTING
FREE soil pH testing will be done at the fair. Bring a sample with you to learn the pH of your own soil and why it’s an important piece of information about your garden. A soil test is only as accurate as the sample collected! Click on Soil Test Fact Sheet to learn how to collect a proper sample.
HONEY BEES AND BEEKEEPING
Learn about the important role of bees in our gardens and the many challenges the bees
now face. Meet local backyard beekeepers, observe honeybees in a demonstration hive, and hear about the simple pleasures and many benefits of this fast-growing hobby.
Who likes a bully? If you don’t, then make a point to stop at this booth to find out about invasive plants, the ones that are trying to take over. Learn which plants are considered invasive and why, how they got here and why. Learn design alternatives for these aggressive invaders.
Neonicontinoid systemic insecticides are killing bees and other pollinators. Learn how you can help protect them by using native plants, planting pollinator garden, and avoiding pesticides.
Gone are the days when you have to use harsh chemicals and daily watering rituals to have a green, lustrous lawn. Learn about the various types of low maintenance
grasses you can use for your lawn and the ways you can keep it looking as good as the chemically treated one across the street.
The book booth will again have gently used gardening and natural history books, again tempting the curious gardener to build a library very economically.