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{Disarmed} Largo, Florida: Community Gardeners Reap More ThanVegetables

  • Subject: [cg] {Disarmed} Largo, Florida: Community Gardeners Reap More ThanVegetables
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 11:31:06 -0500

Garden Clippings
Community gardeners reap more than vegetables
By RUTH DAVIES






Garden Clippings previously described plant-ing vegetables in October. Now it
is January and those plants are producing, and it's time to harvest and
replant for one more garden with winter produce.

Some of the best vegetable gardens I've seen are at the Chester Ochs 4-H
Education Center in Largo.

Ochs' will had stated that the property was to be used for youth education and
was opened in 1990 to 4-H kids. Today, the children and families garden is on
10- by 10-foot plots. Extension agents and master gardeners teach the children
about each plant, how to grow it and its food value. Other supporters of 4-H,
gardens are on 40- by 40-square-foot plots.

When I entered the garden area, a 2-year-old boy greeted me munching on a
carrot; he and his mother had just pulled out a dozen beautiful carrots. His
5-year-old sister carried a passion vine cutting with a gulf fritillary
caterpillar on it. They had already harvested broccoli, lettuce and were
watching the pea pods fatten.

Another young man was cleaning out his garden and discovered a well-disguised
nest of three baby rabbits. Other 4-H members were preparing their plots for
the next crop by hauling wheelbarrows of compost to mix into the soil.

Chester Ochs raised fruit trees and had beehives to house those busy
pollinators. Many of the trees remain - some are 30 years old. They have been
rejuvenated and some new trees have been planted, being cared for by Extension
horticulturists and volunteers. Soon, an area on the nearly 10-acre property
will be planted to replicate "old Florida."

Take a hint from these happy gardeners and plant your second vegetable garden
of the season. Sets are available at nurseries for eggplant, peppers,
tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and greens and sow seeds for lettuce, beans
and peas.

Events for garden enthusiasts:

. Redington Beach Garden Club will meet on Thursday, Jan. 19, 9:30 a.m., at
Town Hall, 105 164th Ave. Lynne Hawthorne of Contract Design Group will speak
on home decorating. Refreshments will be served. Guests are welcome. Call
Marilyn Barber at 398-5096.

. The Bay Bouquet Garden Club will celebrate Arbor Day on Saturday, Jan. 21,
10 a.m., at St. Andrews Links, Palm Boulevard and Alt. U.S. 19. The club has
an ongoing Adopt-A-Tree-Program where citizens for $10 can donate toward a
tree or reserve their own for $100. Call 669-7873 regarding a tree; Leisure
Services at 298-3260; or Julie Easterday of the club at 734-2058.

. Ikebana International, St. Petersburg - Chapter No. 65, will have its 44th
annual Exhibition on Saturday, Jan. 21, and Sunday, Jan. 22, at Pinellas
County Extension, 12520 Ulmerton Road. Members will display around 90
arrangements and will interpret the various styles. Saturday hours are 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m. Demonstration times are 11 a.m., 2 and 3:30 p.m. Classes will be
taught at 1 and 3 p.m. for $15 a person. Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.,
with a demonstration at noon. A class is at 2 p.m. for $15 a person. Class
attendees should register and bring garden shears. Call 510-2490. A display of
arrangements, books and posters will be in the Extension lobby during
January.

Visitors can register for day classes or Ikebana workshops that will take
place during the month of February.

. The Florida Native Plant Society, Pinellas County Chapter, will have a work
day on Saturday, Jan. 21, 9 a.m. to noon, at Moccasin Lake Nature Park, 2750
Park Trail Lane, Clearwater.

. The Pinellas Park Garden Club will meet on Monday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m., at Park
Station, 5851 Park Blvd. The program is about roses, presented by Sam Skemp,
Master Gardener. Members are reminded that a sign up sheet for a field trip to
Willow Tree Nursery will be available and to bring a plant for the monthly
raffle. Call Lee at 563-9145.

. The Rare Plant Network will meet Tuesday, Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m., at the Church
of Christ in the Annex Building, 6045 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park. The program
is on protecting your plants from cold weather. Call Cheryl at 541-4082.

. The Clearwater Garden Club, 405 Seminole St., will offer its last Floral
Design Study 2006 class. Creativity, Abstract Design will be taught by
national garden clubs' master flower show judges on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 9 a.m.
to 3 p.m. The cost is $15. Bring a bag lunch; beverages will be provided. Call
Belen Brown at 796-7125.

On Friday, Jan. 27, the meeting at 10 a.m. will be about Florida friendly
yards and how to save on water bills. A rainbarrel will be offered as a prize.
Refreshments will be served.

. The Pinellas Rose Society will meet Wednesday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m., at
Clearwater East Library, 2251 Drew St. Consulting rosarians will demonstrate
proper pruning techniques and explain how to prepare a midwinter smorgasbord
for the rose garden. Call 784-1284.

. The Tampa Bay Fern Club will meet Thursday, Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m., at the
Seminole Garden Center, 5800 N. Central Ave., Tampa. Michael Ferrero, curator
at Nong Nooch Tropical Garden and Resort in Pattaya, Thailand, will speak. He
is an expert on flowering tropical trees and is an expert on palms.

. Pinellas County Extension will offer a series of classes on Florida Style
Gardening Tuesdays, Jan. 31 through March 14, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The fee is
$60. A notebook of information will be distributed as well as a gardening
goody bag. To register, call 582-2100.

Ruth Davies is a Pinellas County Master Gardener. Questions can be sent to her
at editorial@TBNweekly.com.


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