Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hands On Gardening Workshop

Last week, I participated in a hands-on class,
 sponsored by the NC Cooperative Extension Office 
in nearby Newton, NC.
Would you look at this amazing display of black-eyed susan?
Upon first sight, I think my heart actually skipped a beat.

 This class was all about a hands-on experience.
Four various aspects of creating a successful garden were stressed.
After a brief introduction by Anelle Ammons, a graduate student providing the workshop,
students were encouraged to dive in to the different displays.
The first, seen here, was all about vermicomposting.
This is a subject in which I am most interested.
Although we do have a large compost pile started on the property,
I'd like to give this worm composting technique a go.
I'll be sure to keep you posted on my progress.

Another important aspect of gardening that was presented
was soil composition.

Several materials were exhibited including
coir, peat moss, perlite, pine bark, sand and vermiculite.
It was great to be able to compare them side by side
and make note of their different properties.
Although we were encouraged to use whichever media
best suited our needs, Anelle shared that peat moss
is not a sustainable resource.
Thankfully, there are a slew of available options.

The information that probably helped me the most
was the table featuring the drip irrigation system.
This is something that I've considered using,
but somehow it always left me feeling a bit intimidated.
Just being able to play with the components
made it feel a little less daunting.

 Diagrams and the actual tools at the ready
aided in a better understanding of what it takes
to make the system work.
We were encouraged to put together and take apart
a length of hose and its corresponding apparatus.
There's nothing like firsthand experience with equipment
to increase one's comfort level with something new.

 Another aspect of gardening that was exhibited
was a collection of  the best tools for keeping the garden healthy and attractive.
This table showcased a hand saw, loppers, pruners 
and a host of other cutting and sharpening implements.

Tips on correct pruning techniques were displayed
and students were given free rein with the array of tools.

 Who wouldn't want to play work with these shiny new beauties?

The hour passed quickly,
but it was packed with good, solid information
to help us make discriminating decisions 
with regard to our personal style of growing.
I'm hoping to attend more of these hands-on classes.
After all,
the learning is in the doing.

"Success is a journey,
not a destination.
The doing is often more important
than the outcome."
~Arthur Ashe