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Master Gardeners at the Jefferson County Fair! July 18th to 24th

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Master Gardeners at the Jefferson County Fair!

-- Cheryl J. Shenkle


This year, look for new ideas, educational activities and fun for the kids at the Penn State Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens and under the grandstands at the Penn State Master Gardener Exhibit Booth near the Ice Cream Stand. Dates are Sunday, July 18 to Saturday, July 24.

There will be games, soil testing, displays to learn from, and a Master Gardener on duty at scheduled times for tours and to answer questions.  It’s all free and geared to both children and adults.  Want to pan for gold?  Then let the kids get wet while looking.

Find Hand-Outs at the Booth.  If what you want to learn about isn’t there, leave a message with your e-mail on the clipboard. Have a garden problem?  Just write it down and we’ll get back to you with a researched answer.

Check out our wormery…or Vermicomposting Tub which is crawling with beautiful shiny composting worms that eat our veggie scraps and turn it into clean fertilizer for our gardens. 

Gardeners are welcome to bring a 1 cup raw soil sample (minus rocks and sticks) to the booth for a timed test of the soil contents.  Return before you leave for the results.  Each test will include a printed sheet to take home and do the same test there overnight. You may also purchase Soil Test Kits at the same time.

Take home a sample of our own homemade Bio Char with directions on how to build your soil to last almost forever if no chemicals are ever added!  Find out how Brookville History matches the Amazon. How can a simple campfire yield forever amendments for your garden, and larger amounts if you wish?

There are huge hand-made barrel containers with plants you normally don’t see.  Learn how to rotate your garden crops to avoid diseases, fertilizer problems and destructive insects without chemicals.  Potatoes are planted in containers also.

Learn how we have grown our garden soil from rock hard yellow clay to soft, water retentive, black nutritious soil which we rarely have to fertilize in just a few years.  No plowing or tilling is ever involved. We’ll introduce you to a Broadfork that even a smaller person can use.

Think you can’t garden because you’re older, stiff, handicapped?  We have a beautiful Raised Garden and a Knee Garden to work in if you would like to try it.  Special tools can also be tried out.

Check out our trellising and square foot gardening.  There’s an exotic herb garden, a native pollinator garden, and a pollinator garden with ONLY Pennsylvania Natives. 

Meet Miss Rosalita Mandevilla who is spending her third summer in our gardens. We’ve added more flowers and decorative plants this year.  New demonstration areas with other plants are in development all the time.  The plant life is constantly changing.

What is Hugelkulture?  Come and find out.  Check out that project next year and see it grow.  Want to try a successful Straw Bale Garden that works in amazing ways?  Check us out next year.  We’re planning to grow using techniques designed for the home gardener at little to no cost.  Our rain garden will be built this fall.  Our Bramble bed is fruiting right now, and did you know that you can grow your own fertilizer?

Check out how we’re rebuilding the flora in the creek bed for the health of the water and for the pollinators who visit.

See how we took very inexpensive seedling trees and turned them into a perfect size to plant.

Visit the gardens regularly to watch the growth.  You may even catch us working on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday evenings if you visit then.

Concerned about Poison Hemlock, we can answer your question son that also.  We have tons of information to share with you.

In the future, we will again begin to offer classes on all aspects of gardening.  Sign up to receive a notice of our events. There will be clipboards at the booth and the gardens.

Penn State Extension is a service of the federal, state and your county government, dedicated to helping county residents with home life and health.  The Master Gardener program exists to encourage families to grow their own healthy food, and to grow healthy easily-managed gardens in the process.  The Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Jefferson County are volunteers who give of their own assets, talents and time to learn how to teach Penn State University researched garden information.  Because of this, it’s free to the public.  Call the Garden Hot Line, 814-849-7361, at any time and leave a message on the Master Gardener location.  You can e-mail us at cjs5618@psu.edu.

Special classes will be held when possible due to COVID restrictions.  There is a fee for these classes because they must be reserved.

Master Gardeners are available for group presentations.  Contact the office for specifics.

Certified Master Gardeners are local volunteers trained by Penn State to answer Horticulture questions with properly researched information. For a “best practices” answer to your question, call Penn State Jefferson County Extension at 849-7361, Ext 508, e-mail JeffersonMG@psu.edu, or mail your question to 186 Main Street, Suite 3, Brookville, PA 15825. 

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.


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