The Homeowners Column

The Homeowners Column

Winter is the Time to Learn

Photo of Sandra Mason

Sandra Mason
Extension Educator, Horticulture
slmason@illinois.edu

Garden catalogs, garden books, garden TV shows, and garden workshops, gardeners are sponge blobs in the winter. We soak up every drop of information. Opportunities abound for the nubile novice or the accomplished agrarian to learn from a variety of experts in our region.

Are you destined to be outstanding in your field? Do you have visions of being a vintner? Or dreams of selling your plentiful produce? Winter meetings are your chance to explore and learn from growers and gurus.

Here is a list of many of the programs available. Keep in mind some programs are designed for commercial audiences and for those considering the farm life. Not all programs are available to walk-in participants, so phone ahead or pre-register. Unless designated otherwise, all programs have a registration fee.

January 6-8, 2010: Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference, Crowne Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, Springfield, IL, educational sessions on fruits, vegetables, herbs, irrigation, agritourism/marketing, organic production and business management with over 50 exhibitors in the trade show http://www.specialtygrowers.org/confagenda.htm Diane Handley PH: 309-557-2107 handley@ilfb.org

January 16, 2010: Herb Day 2010, Holiday Inn & Conference Center, Urbana, IL, home gardeners and growers can learn all about herbs in small spaces, attracting birds, bees and butterflies, Cajun herbs and herbal lore. Also shop among herbal vendors. Preregistration required by January 8, for further information Tracey Malkovich PH: 217-333-3420 malkovic@illinois.edu

January 20-22, 2010: Mid-America Horticultural Trade Show, McCormick Place West, Chicago, IL, http://www.midam.org/index.html PH: 800-223-8761 mail@midam.org

January 23, 2010: A Winter Day in the Garden, Robinson, IL Sponsored by the Crawford County Master Gardeners and Lincoln Trail College, home gardeners can learn about designing small gardens, cooking with herbs, selecting trees and entertaining. http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/crawford PH: 618-546-1549.

January 28, 2010: Illinois Horseradish Grower School, Gateway Convention Center, Collinsville, IL, for further information contact Elizabeth Wahle, wahle@illinois.edu

February 2, 2010: Southern Illinois Commercial Tree Fruit School, Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon, IL, for further information contact Elizabeth Wahle, wahle@illinois.edu

February 10, 2010: Southern Illinois Commercial Vegetable School, Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon, IL, for further information contact Elizabeth Wahle, wahle@illinois.edu

February 15, 2010: Illinois/Wisconsin (Stateline) Fruit & Vegetable Conference, Harvard, IL, for further information contact Maurice Ogutu, ogutu@illinois.edu

February 23, 2010: Ferns in the Landscape program at 1PM presented via UI Extension Telenet http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/champaign/ PH: 217-333-7672. Also check with your local county UI Extension office for availability. http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/state/

February 24, 2010: Kankakee Vegetable Growers School, University of Illinois Extension, Kankakee County Office, Bourbonnais, IL, for further information contact James Theuri, jtheu50@illinois.edu

February 25-27, 2010: Organic Farming Conference, La Crosse, WI coordinated by The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) http://www.mosesorganic.org PH: 715-778-5775.

February 25-27, 2010: Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association Annual Conference, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Springfield, IL http://www.illinoiswine.com/ PH: 217-782-6515.

March 2-3, 2010: Illinois Small Fruit and Strawberry Schools, Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon, IL, for further information contact Jeff Kindhart jkindhar@illinois.edu

March 6-14, 2010: Chicago Flower & Garden Show, Navy Pier, Chicago IL. Garden displays, plenty of shopping and educational sessions for home gardeners, http://chicagoflower.com/ PH: 773-868-3010 flowershow@chicagoevents.com

March 9, 2010: The Elusive Morel - Tips for Safe and Successful Hunting program at 1PM presented via UI Extension Telenet http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/champaign/ PH: 217-333-7672. Also check with your local county UI Extension office for availability. http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/state/

March 23, 2010: A Gardener's Guide to Plant Propagation program at 1PM presented via UI Extension Telenet http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/champaign/ PH: 217-333-7672. Also check with your local county UI Extension office for availability. http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/state/

March 26 and 27, 2010: Spring into Gardening with Garden Day 2010 at the I-Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign, IL. Discover tips about gardening from nationally known speakers. Get ready for spring as you shop among unique garden vendors and artisans. To register go to www.extension.uiuc.edu/champaign PH: 217-333-7672.

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