Delaware County Master Gardener’s Hold Annual Mondays in March Gardening Series

Each year the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Delaware County Master Gardener’s hold an educational lecture series called “Monday’s in March”.  These presentations are designed to both educate and entertain anyone interested in gardening and growing.  All programs are held at 7:00 p.m. at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 116 Guetzko Court, in Manchester. 
 
The series this year will celebrate the twenty-fifth year of the project and promises to be filled with a lot of great information, instruction, and fun.  The first lecture will be held on Monday, March 4, and will continue each Monday evening throughout the month with a different topic and speaker each night.  The public is invited to attend, with a $2 donation taken at the door.   Weather related cancellations will be announced on KMCH radio.
 
Dates, presenters and topics include:
 
-Monday, March 4,“Native Plants for the Gardener: Sustainable Choices for Iowa” presented by Judy Nauseef, Landscape designer and writer.
Judy Nauseef is a landscape designer and writer working in Eastern Iowa. She is a certified fellow of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and an Iowa Certified Nursery Professional. Her recent book, “Gardening with Native Plants in the Upper Midwest: Bringing the Tallgrass Prairie Home”, provides a guide for Iowans wanting to add native plants to the residential landscape. If you are interested in learning about native plants or restoring habitat and diversity in your backyard, this talk is for you. Come learn how to make native plants part of your garden.
 
-Monday, March 11, “Herbs from Garden to Table”  with Betty Kruse, former owner of Betty's Breadbasket.
 
Betty Kruse began her love of cooking at a young age by watching and learning from her mother and grandmother. A lifelong resident of Delaware County, Betty traveled to Europe where she visited tea rooms and coffee shops. In Europe, she found her inspiration for Betty’s Breadbasket which she owned and operated in downtown Manchester for 16 years. Betty is an avid gardener and was a charter member of the Delaware County Master Gardeners.  She has also published a cookbook.  In her presentation, Betty will discuss growing, harvesting, and preparing herbs. Come share your love of gardening and cooking with us!
 
-Monday, March 18, “Growing Blueberries-What a Challenge" by Keith Ashline of Blueberry Hill Farm
 
Keith Ashline, along with his wife Sandy, own and operate Blueberry Hill, a u-pick blueberry farm in Littleport, Iowa. Keith said his quest for growing blueberries started with "a curiosity to see if I could grow a blueberry plant. I always see them in seed catalogs and in stores so I thought, how hard can it be?” Every summer, Keith bought at least one blueberry plant sometimes with little luck in keeping them alive. But Keith never stopped tying. “Once I learned more detailed instructions for how to care for the plants including how to amend the soil with the right nutrients, growing blueberries became much easier.” Keith and Sandy now grow 13 varieties of blueberries and have over 700 blueberry plants. Their business has 250 pickers each season and is growing. In his presentation, Keith will explain the way he plants blueberries and will talk about the long road of difficulties that Mother Nature can throw at the blueberry grower.     
 
-Monday, March 25, “Windbreaks and Trees for Conservation" presented by Ken Klein, State Technician with Natural Resources Conservation Service of Iowa and Chris Hiher, Farm Bill Biologist with Pheasants Forever
Chris Hiher is a Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist for Delaware, Dubuque, and Jackson counties. In his position, Chris helps landowners achieve their conservation goals.  As a wildlife biologist, Chris provides technical expertise to landowners such as how to establish and manage wildlife habitat on their land. Chris graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point in 2009 with a degree in wildlife management.
 
Ken Klein has been a State Technician with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality since 1990. He works with Delaware County landowners in developing conservation plans and designing conservation practices to help reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, improve soil health and maintain productivity. He also assists landowners in developing windbreak and shelterbelt plans for their property to control snow drifting, reduce energy costs, provide privacy and improve aesthetic value. Come learn how planting trees on your land is helpful not only the landowner, but the wildlife in your area.
 
 
For more information about the “Mondays in March” educational lecture series contact the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Delaware County Office at 563-927-4201. 

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