While winter does its very best to hang on, spring hovers just around the corner. The Heritage Park Garden Committee is here to welcome the change of season with their annual Spring Forum & Expo, 10 a.m.-noon March 18 at Gardnerville Station, 1395 Main St.
Event co-chair Donna Werner said the forum’s featured speakers will explore a variety of topics that include best practices, plant species that thrive in Carson Valley’s climate, ideal times to plant, and other issues related to gardening.
UNR Extension Horticulture Outreach Coordinator Jessica Gardner will provide information about the Extension’s upcoming and ongoing programs and HPG’s growing bed rental plots. Regenerative agriculture consultant and environmental scientist Chuck Schembre brings 18 years of experience managing farms, vineyards, and orchards throughout California and Nevada to the table; his talk is titled, “Understanding Ag.”
Heritage Park Gardens volunteer Sharon Wentz will speak about “Mama’s Motivation,” an engaging cooperative education class for children that she leads at the gardens.
Farmer Craig Witt is a fourth generation Nevada dairyman, who holds degrees in agriculture and soil microbiology. Through his Full Circle Soils & Compost business, Witt has developed, produced, and offered environmentally friendly soil compost for more than 20 years.
The expo includes a pot swap table, where attendees can trade one of their existing planting containers for a different one (donations to the table are also welcome), and garden goodie giveaways that include artfully painted garden rocks. Refreshments will be served, and attendees can enter a raffle for a chance to win one of three great prizes.
Werner said the gardens committee started the forum as a way to help new residents understand growing challenges in the local area and learn how to have success in their gardens. Anyone interested in cultivating a robust garden is welcome to attend.
“We are all passionate about getting gardens growing…we’ve had such wonderful water this year,” Werner said. “[This event is about] helping people understand how to grow vegetables and flowers, use less water, and have good soil to maintain the health of their plants.”
Heritage Park Gardens is part of the Main Street Gardnerville organization, and Werner expressed appreciation to the business organization for hosting the event.
Gardnerville was the first community in Nevada to receive a Main Street designation as part of the accredited Main Street America program. It partners with local stakeholders “to revitalize downtown Gardnerville utilizing design, organization, promotion, and district vitality to develop the unique identity and preserve the historic nature of our community.”
Volunteers are an integral part of the success of the program. Learn more about their events and ways to get involved at mainstreetgardnerville.org/ or by calling 775-782-8027.
Equinox marks the change of season
Speaking of spring, the vernal equinox takes place on March 20 this year. Vernal is Latin for “pertaining to spring,” while equinox means “equal night.”
The National Weather Service says that during the equinox, Earth’s axis is tilted “neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in ‘nearly equal’ amounts of daylight and darkness at all latitudes.”
At 2:24 p.m. on March 20, the sun will be positioned vertically above the equator, marking the vernal equinox and the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
Learn more about equinoxes and solstices and how they relate to different seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at weather.gov/dvn/Climate_Astronomical_Seasons. The page also provides a detailed listing of the days and times of equinoxes and solstices through 2030.
Amy Roby can be reached at email@example.com.