Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It's that time again...for the Northern Lights Master Gardeners Spring Gardening Conference, held last weekend. Last year, I didn't get any pictures at the conference, just posted about the cool copper trellis that I made. This year I got lots of pictures! ;-)It was on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Marinette, and you can see it's rather wooded and scenic all by itself.As soon as I get in the door, I notice how nice their Norfolk Island pine is...I think mine needs more light!They have lots and lots of informative story boards set up, in two different buildings. This one is for the Master Gardeners themselves........see how desperate people can get for warm weather?Silent auction table...luckily nothing to tempt me!This board is for the "Haunted Arboretum" they have every year, I should try to go this fall.County extension info......I tend to forget what a good resource these folks are, and here in the states, we all have acess to their knowlege. This was nice, although I'm doing pretty well at this already.....

....and this too....
I like this board especially....

....here's Kermit selling used books for a good price (there were a couple tables like this)....
....but I came to learn, and here's my classroom. Both of these are the classes I took, so it's one room for me all day. First it's "Growing Mineral Dense Food", and the basic jist was how beneficial no-till, lasagna-type gardening can be for adding a much higher mineral content to your foods. Not only is it easy on your power tools (since you don't use them), it also conserves and even attracts water from the air! (Something about high carbon content attracting water molecules). Plus you build tiny networks of beneficial micro-fungi that deliver water and nutrients to your plants, which get damaged if you till. (Hey, he had me at less maintenance! :) There's lots of good info on this in GardenWeb forums, too. During the lunch break, I take in the "garden art display". Interesting stuff...this is made from burnt paper! Huh!




Nice display of photography.....
.....now this is my kind of planter!
Pretty paintings, tooo

...this one's my favorite!Here's some of these cast leaves, made from concrete I think. I'd love to try this sometime....
...more story boards, this one about "invasive plants". Regardless of the many smart people who enthusiastically embrace this concept and seek to eradicate the "thugs" on this list, I just don't know...



.....lots of info here.....
.....they even have what looks like "most-wanted" cards!
But there are a few that I don't agree with in particular, like this one.... ...and this one. I mean, since when are roses considered invasive? But like I said, there are plenty of people who are smarter than I am who choose to fight in this war, so to each his own.

These are the people I bought some of my water garden plants from last year, and they do lots of good things to help restore wetlands and such.

Biomass as an energy source...can they convert my truck to run on it yet? I'm ready any time!

Even a board of interest to livestock owners....
.....they have a nice little greenhouse here at the college, too....

...with a cute little tree frog inside!
Okay, time for my second class-Bonsai! This is a two-parter, but we didn't get to "make our own". (The instructor said there wouldn't be enough time.) She has some really nice trees set up for display..........nice conifer (Some kind of juniper, I think)........someday I'd like to have bonsai trees half as nice as these! Especially the "root over rock" specimen, which is a ficus of some kind.... ....she was very knowlegeable, and the time really flew! I got lots of very good information, and I even feel brave enough to try one of my own again!
We got some hands-on training wiring these branches, anyway. I may just take this gals' 4 week class, too.
I got home and looked through the folder of info they gave me, and found this local guide to organic farms of produce and livestock...cool! I want to do a lot more grocery shopping from local farmers this year, as well as canning and freezing for winter. I can't do anything about gas prices, but I can cut expenses this way, as well as eating healthier and supporting the local farmers...winning proposition all the way around!And inside the book, I see a website, also! I bet there's a directory like this where the rest of you folks live, too. And they sure had me in mind when they put this in the folder! Now instead of just whining about these things, maybe I can learn how to keep them out of the house!
Well that was fun! Is it spring yet?

7 comments:

Rurality said...

Wow the classes at yours seem more intense than ours were! I wish I'd taken more pics at mine.

vonne said...

Wow! That looks like a blast. I love learning new stuff. I didn't know you were into Bonsai. I have a pic I need to send you to drool over. :)
I do Lasagna beds, and it works, even on my clay soil! It should be renamed - Lazy gardening. :)

lisa said...

Karen-This was my 3rd year attending, and I really enjoyed it. There's another one coming up later this month in a different county that I may "need" to attend also...it's almost like a gardening "pep rally" for me!

Vonne-Considering your mad cactus skills, I'll bet your bonsai is off the hook! Please DO share pics!I tried some lasagna technique a few years ago under some trees, and it's working great. I enjoyed more detailed info, though.

OldRoses said...

I LOVE the annual Master Gardener conference here in NJ. Lucky for me it's held at the Rutgers University campus which is only 20 minutes from my house. Thanks for sharing your conference. I definitely "get" your excitement.

lisa said...

Oldroses-Sounds like your conference is fun, too. They have this at the right time of year to "thaw" and awaken my enthusiasm after the long winter, and this year it was VERY long!

chuck b. said...

Someone had a full day! Mineral dense foods--very interesting. Sounds like you picked good classes. I never do any tilling or digging in, unless it happens when I'm planting something. All I do is pile it on.

You do not want to see kudzu invade Wisconsin. Ugh. Just the thought of it in the South gives me shivers.

lisa said...

Chuck-Good to hear you are in the no-till mode...seems to work the best for me, too. I'd heard about kudzu...likely even more obnoxious than poison ivy already is here.