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‘Gardening Primer’ Offered Here Saturday To Help Gardeners Trim Grocery Budgets

Home production of vegetables is a rewarding activity in many ways. Fresh, flavorful produce, healthful outdoor exercise, and the satisfaction of growing your own are several of the reasons why home gardening is a popular activity. But as most gardeners know, it is also a way to reap significant financial saving on the grocery bill, filling the refrigerator, freezer and pantry with both fresh and home-processed product.

In economic times when every dollar counts, home gardening and growing your own is resurging in interest as a viable means to trim the grocery budget.

On Saturday, March 31, Douglas County University of Missouri Extension will be offering the seminar “Spring Vegetable Gardening Primer”, for area gardeners.  The meeting will be held in the basement of the Ava Senior Center located at 109 NE Second in Ava, Missouri.

This two hour seminar will focus on techniques to maximize food production from the home garden, providing useful tips for both new and seasoned gardeners. Selection of the best vegetable varieties, growing perennial crops such as rhubarb and asparagus, site preparation, planting and growing methods, and utilization of special techniques such as season extension, will be the highlights of this informative gardening program.

“Consumers have an opportunity to significantly off-set the rising cost of feeding the family by growing their own vegetables” says Dr. Tony Bratsch, Horticulture Specialist, University of Missouri, who will be teaching the seminar. “This seminar will address the important aspects of gardening in our soils and climate, such as making good variety selections and dealing with pests and disease problems. Proper planning and methods to produce adequate quantities of produce for fresh eating, as well as plenty for preservation by freezing and canning will be emphasized.  Time will be reserved for garden-related questions you might want to ask”.

Cost for the program is $10 per person or $12 per couple (each couple will receive one set of handouts), payable at the door or at the Douglas County Extension Center. A minimum of 15 pre-registered participants is required for the seminar to be held. Participants are asked to pre-register by Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. To reserve a seat, come by the Douglas County Extension Center, located in the Douglas County Courthouse in Ava, MO or call at 417-683-4409.