Education Day gets gardeners ready for spring

Photos courtesy of Katie Oakes: Jena Buckwell from Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District demonstrates the effects of tillage on soil.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 28 March 2017 at 10:07 am

Master Gardener Alex Greene demonstrates how to make a bird/butterfly water bath using recycled materials.

KNOWLESVILLE – Gardeners from around Orleans County gathered this past Saturday at the Education Center on the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds to celebrate the start of spring and get prepared for the upcoming growing season.

Master Gardener volunteers hosted their annual Spring into Gardening Education Day and led several sessions on growing healthy plants.

“This fun-filled educational event featured presentations on eight different gardening topics taught by volunteers from Cornell Cooperative Extension programs as well as local non-profit organizations,” said Katie Oakes, Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator/Master Gardener coordinator.

Oakes said participation numbers this year were significantly higher than last year.

“Spring Ed Day is a fantastic start to our event season,” Oakes said. “We are really excited about what 2017 will bring for our volunteer group.”

Participants were able to select four sessions from the eight offered. Topics this year included gardening basics such as soil health led by Soil and Water Conservation District representative Jena Buckwell, Garden Composition with Master Gardener Karen Cavanaugh, Outdoor Mushroom Production with Wyoming County CCE Educator Don Gasiewiscz and pest management strategies with Master Gardener Michael Klepp.

“Everyone enjoyed the day,” Master Gardener president Barb Linhart said. “Many people had a hard time deciding which class to attend because all the topics were so interesting.”

Participant Susan Persia said she walked away with new and valuable information to start the gardening season.

“I think it was an excellent day,” she observed, “very well planned (and) something we can’t get every day.”

For more information on upcoming Master Gardener events for 2017, visit

Pat Bono from NY Bee Wellness poses with demonstration information following her presentation on honeybees.