Written by Rhonda Ferree, retired horticulture educator
In 2017, 167 Master Gardener volunteers contributed over 10,000 hours in the Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell Counties. The value of their volunteer service is $263,000 (as calculated by Independent Sector).
Master Gardeners have several large events scheduled in our four-county Extension Unit.
Stop by their informational booth at the Peoria Home Show on February 23-25 in the Peoria Civic Center. They will answer general gardening questions, provide information to those interested in being a Master Gardener, and distribute informational brochures and bookmarks.
The Annual Gardeners' BIG Day is Saturday, April 14 at Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown. Once again the Fulton and Mason County Master Gardener has a full day planned. Attendees will hear speakers, visit vendors, see gardening displays, and tour the campus grounds and gardens. Register early because this fills very quickly. Back by popular demand, the keynote speaker is Fr. Domonic Garramone. The Bread Monk will show how to incorporate herbs and garden produce into delicious breads.
Another event that fills very quickly is Tazewell County's Plant Bingo, scheduled for June 7 at 6:30 p.m. in a new venue - the Festival Building in East Peoria. This is a fun evening spent socializing with gardening enthusiasts, sharing stories, and learning about all kinds of plants - all while playing bingo. Space is limited, and this event is very popular.
Peoria Master Gardeners invite you to join them for a free informational garden program. Held on the third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 for social time and speaker at 1:00 p.m. Programs are held at the University of Illinois Extension office in Peoria at 4810 North Sheridan unless otherwise indicated.
Some events are still in the planning stage. Each year Master Gardeners have information booths at various Farmers Markets. In 2018 those included the Peoria Riverfront Market, Canton market on the square, and E. Peoria market.
The Peoria Master Gardeners educate about specific plants each year during their Plant Sale at the Metro Center. Usually held in May, this sale includes many herbs, vegetables, and flowers grown by the Master Gardeners. Plants go very quickly, so watch for the date and arrive early!
Join us at a program near you. More information about all of our University of Illinois Extension programs is available at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/fmpt or by calling 309-543-3308.
MEET THE AUTHOR
As horticulture educator, Rhonda Ferree inspired citizens in local communities to grow their own food and improve their home landscapes. She focused on high quality, impactful programs that taught homeowners how to create energy-efficient landscapes using sustainable practices that increase property values and help the environment.
After 30 years with University of Illinois Extension, Rhonda retired in 2018. She continues to share her passion for horticulture related topics as “Retro Rhonda” on social media.
ABOUT THE BLOG
ILRiverHort is a blog that helps people connect to nature and grow.