The Homeowners Column

The Homeowners Column

Learn to grow in 2007

Photo of Sandra Mason

Sandra Mason
State Master Gardener Coordinator

Perhaps your new year's resolution is to expand your horticulture knowledge, to explore commercial horticulture as a career or to start your own winery or orchard. Winter is the perfect time for conferences. Don't miss these opportunities to hob knob with horticulture experts and wannabes.

January-April 2007: various locations, Commercial Pesticide Training and Certification Clinics - When anyone sprays pesticides on someone else's property, public or private, they must be a licensed pesticide applicator or operator. As with many things once you step off your own property, the rules change. Even if the pesticides are available over-the-counter, the person applying the pesticides and making the decisions on what to spray must be licensed through the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Training is conducted by University of Illinois Extension. To see where training and testing is being held, check out the Commercial Pesticide Safety Education Program Training Schedule or PH: 800-644-2123. Pre-registration at clinics is required.

January 4, 2007: Southern Illinois Bedding Plant School, Southwestern Illinois College, Rt 161 & Green Mount Road, Belleville, IL, Marketing and growing of annuals. For information contact the Madison/St. Clair Extension Unit PH: 618-236-4172.

January 4, 2007: Illiana (Illinois/Indiana) Commercial Vegetable Grower School, Teibel's Restaurant, Schererville, IN, for more information contact Maurice Ogutu,

January 11-13, 2007: Illinois Specialty Crops and Agritourism Conference, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Springfield, IL, or PH: 309-557-2107. Conference includes trade show and many educational programs about growing and marketing fruits, vegetables and herbs.

January 17-19, 2007: Mid-America Horticultural Trade Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. Over 600 vendors representing what's new and what continues as the standard in horticulture. Show includes educational programs. PH: 800-223-8761

January 20, 2007: Herb Day 2007, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Holiday Inn, Urbana, IL, Herbal experts from around the world present five educational sessions to inspire herb gardening and use in the coming year. There will be a retail area selling a broad spectrum of herb, spice, and gardening products. Cost of registration, including lunch, is only $49 per person. Reservations must be received by January 12, 2007, to guarantee lunch. Mail checks, payable to the University of Illinois, to: Herb Day 2007, Attn: Carol Preston, S-406 Turner Hall, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, Illinois 61801 For more information PH: 217-333-7738 or

January 23-24, 2007: Southern Illinois Grounds Maintenance School & Trade Show, Gateway Convention Center, Collinsville, IL Key note speaker Rick Darke. If the care of flowers, trees and lawns are a part of your profession; this is the conference for you. Online registration PH: 618-650-7050

January 30, 2007: Kankakee County Vegetable Growers School, Kankakee County Extension Unit Office, 1650 Commerce Drive, Bourbonnais, IL, for further information contact the Kankakee County Extension Unit Office PH: 815-933-8337.

January 30, 2007: Western Illinois Fruit & Vegetable School, Quincy, IL, for further information contact Mike Roegge, PH: 217-223-8380,

February 6, 2007: Southern Illinois Tree Fruit School, Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon, IL,, for information contact Elizabeth Wahle,, Edwardsville Extension Center, PH: 618-692-9434.

February 7, 2007: Southwestern Illinois Tree Fruit School, Hardin, IL, for further information contact Elizabeth Wahle,, Edwardsville Extension Center, PH: 618-692-9434.

February 15, 2007: Southern Illinois Vegetable School, Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon, IL, for further information contact Elizabeth Wahle,, Edwardsville Extension Center, PH: 618-692-9434.

February 22-25, 2007: Illinois Grape Growers & Vintners Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Hotel, Springfield, IL, PH: 217-473-6845.

February 27-28 2007: Illinois Small Fruit and Strawberry Schools, Holiday Inn, Mt Vernon, IL, for further information contact Jeff Kindhart, or Bronwyn Aly,, PH: 618-695-2444.

March 2-3, 2007: Garden Day 2007:The Garden Journey at the Holiday Inn in Urbana, IL. Educational workshops by nationally known speakers and garden vendors for plenty of shopping. PH: 217-333-7672.

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