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Going green' through gardening

KEENE With spring starting to make its presence felt, the Master Gardener Volunteers of Cornell Cooperative Extension are encouraging people to go green in more ways than one. Registration for the sixth annual Spring Garden Day is currently underway. The event, planned for Saturday, May 3 from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Keene Central School focuses on Sustainable Gardening. The day focuses on environmentally friendly and sustainable methods of gardening. Its a fun day, a chance to talk to people with like interests. We want people to come because of the chance to find out good information and not just myths - about good environmental and garden practices, said Master Gardener Martha Honeywell, of Elizabethtown. Amy Ivy, director of the Clinton County CCE, said the event is for people interested in backyard gardening and growing their own food. Theres a lot of interest now in eating locally grown food, eating healthier food, knowing what's gone into the food you eat, and growing it yourself is a good way to accomplish all this, said Ivy. Ivy said that even people who dont plan on having a large garden would find benefit in attending, since there will be tips for small-scale gardening as well as what to do with produce brought home from the farmers market. Our goal is to give practical tips and advice to help people enjoy their home gardening experience, said Ivy. The day features a keynote speech by Laurie Davis of Adirondack Harvest on local foods, before attendees break down into individual workshops. Each participant can attend three workshops. Workshops are: Home Grown Berries, Water and Energy Saving Gardening, Veg Garden - Layout and Strategy, Saving Seeds, Full-Circle Gardening, Gardening with the Seasons, Feeding Your Plants and Soil, Backyard Composting and Drying, Feeding and Storing Your Produce. The speakers include CCE educators Amy Ivy, Emily Selleck, Anne Lenox Barlow and master gardeners Deb DeSilva, Dana Fast, Bunny Goodwin, Martha Honeywell, Audrey Hyson, Nora Tetor and Tina Trombley. Gardening, Ivy said, can help people become more self-sufficient. There's something kind of reassuring during tough economic times like this to be able to grow at least some of the food you and your family eats, said Ivy. Fresh produce tastes better than week old produce that has to travel thousands of miles, she added. Kids are often more willing to try new vegetables that they grew or bought at a local market, it's a great way to introduce your kids to healthier eating habits, said Ivy. The event is being coordinated by the horticulture staff and master gardener volunteers of Essex and Clinton County Cornell Cooperative Extension. The master gardeners will be on hand to answer individual gardening question, along with presenting lots of displays and fact sheets on various aspects of home gardening. The cost of the seminar is $35 prior to April 15, and $40 after. The final deadline for registration is April 25. For information on the sessions, contact CCE at 962-4810 ext. 0.

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