In the garden

Get a jump on berry season

A seminar on growing strawberries, blackberries and raspberries will be offered 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Jackson County Extension Center in Sylva.

The session will cover all the basic cultural needs of these three berry types. Topics will include site selection and preparation, soil conditions, fertility needs, spacing, trellising, weed control, cultivar selection, pruning, training, harvesting and pest control options. 

Free, with registration required by contacting Christine Bredenkamp, 828.488.3848 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


Shiitake workshop offered

A class on growing shiitake mushrooms will be offered 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the Macon County Environmental Resource Center. 

The day will begin with a classroom session, explaining how shiitake growing works. Participants will then create their own shiitake logs by drilling them and inoculating them with mushroom spores. Most of the program will be outdoors, so participants should dress for the weather. 

Participants should bring two hardwood logs — 4 to 6 inches in diameter and 3 to 4 feet long — to the workshop. $10 materials fee, with pre-registration required at the Macon County Cooperative Extension Center on Thomas Heights Road. 828.349.2046. 


Farmers market conference planned

A workshop for farmers market managers and vendors will come to Rocky Mount on Thursday, March 8. 

The event will offer a chance for market managers and vendors from across the state to gather and exchange ideas that can be used on the local level. Sessions will focus on recruiting and retaining shoppers; developing a board of directors; food safety and funding opportunities. There also will be lunch and networking opportunities.

Cost is $20 with a Feb. 26 registration deadline. Full agenda and registration form are online at Kevin Hardison, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 919.707.3123.

Funded by an N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission grant and organized by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


Haywood plant sale kicks off

The annual plant sale sponsored by the Haywood County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association is underway, with all manner of edible and native plants available by advance order. 

Offerings include berries, asparagus, fruit trees, nut trees and native plants including perennials to attract pollinators, sold at prices the association describes as “exceptional.” Due to popular demand, perennial plants will be significantly larger than in previous sales, with most in one-gallon containers.

Order forms are available at the Haywood Extension office on Raccoon Road in Waynesville, by calling 828.456.3575 or via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Orders are pre-paid and due by March 16. Edibles will be available for pickup April 7 and native plants will arrive May 19. 

Proceeds will fund education-related horticulture projects in Haywood County. 

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