This is the time of year to decide on summer plans. If you would like to learn more about gardening, make plans to attend Organic Gardening 101, July 30th through August 2nd, 9:00 until 12:30 each day. This workshop is designed for beginning gardeners or those who would like to switch to organic methods. Classes are held next to a red barn in a beautiful setting in Valle Crucis, at the previous ASU sustainable development farm. Several inspiring garden tours in the area are planned. Topics include garden planning, seed starting, companion planting, how to attract beneficial insects, pest management, soil testing and amendments, composting and vermi-composting, and dealing with common plant problems. Cost is $20 for all four days.
To learn how to put up produce for the winter, hands-on canning classes are offered July 14 and August 18th, 1 until 4 each day at the Agricultural Conference Center. Participants will can tomatoes in a boiling water bath and a pressure canner. Cost is $10 for each session.
These workshops are offered by NC Cooperative Extension. Register by paying in advance at 971 West King St., 264-3061. http://watauga.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=events
Some of us would rather let the professionals do the work, and support them by shopping at farmers’ markets. Discover where and how your food is grown by participating in the High Country Farm Tour August 4th and 5th from 2 until 6 each day. Around 24 farms will be on the tour, which is self-guided. The farms are located throughout Watauga, Ashe, and Caldwell counties, although Caldwell farms are only accepting visitors on Sunday, Aug 5th. For affordable weekend entertainment, load up a car with your friends and family. Choose the farms that you'd like to visit by looking through the farm tour guide, or on-line. Be sure to bring a cooler as most farms are selling fresh products on the day of the tour! Organized by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, check their website for more information: www.brwia.org