Gardening workshop with hands-on activities APRIL 18

Looking for a way to garden or farm and grow food and flowers for yourself, or to provide some extra income? Interested in a small way, a big way? Head for the next Independence Farmers Market workshop on April 18th at the Grayson Bank Conference Center in downtown Independence, VA. It’s a two-part all day event geared to help you take your garden production to the next level: featuring practical information, all important hands on learning, and a network of other gardeners and farmers! And it’s only $10 now, or $12 at the door. Or free for students and season vendors of the market!

The morning session, starting at 8:30 am, looks at the basics, with the details of bed preparation, plant spacing, intercropping, succession planting, and crop yields per bed area. Michelle Pridgen, Market Manager for the Independence Farmers Market will walk you through these important plans. After a break, Rick Cavey of Wagon Wheel Farm will discuss his favorite tried and true garden tools and techniques for sustainable growing, such as seeders, broad fork, colonial hoes, flame weeders!, raised beds, laying plastic mulch, setting up drip irrigation, and season extension. But how do you figure out what to sell and grow? Caleb Crowell, owner of New Appalachia, and formerly New River Organic Growers, focuses on specialty crops, how to decide what’s best for you to grow and how much to grow to increase sales and profits.

Then comes a pot luck lunch — your contribution to the fun and informative day!

And then in the afternoon, we’ll head to the nearby Wagon Wheel Farm, just west of Independence. There, you’ll see the practical applications of what you learned in the morning session including growing transplants, intensive planting in the high tunnel, examples of raised beds and contour gardening, features of drip irrigation. If weather allows, we’ll bend a few hoops for a small tunnel, and watch a demonstration of a bedder/mulch layer.

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