University of Maryland Extension

Landreth opens lecture series with the Love Story of Tomato and an Heirloom Seed Sale

Katie Dott

This year’s spring lecture series, featuring some perennial favorites and some new topics, will be held evenings on April 1, 8, 22 and 29 from 7-9 p.m. at the Baltimore County Agriculture Center at 1114 Shawan Road. The price is $15 per evening for the general public. Master Gardeners can attend for $10 per ticket. Email for a brochure. Credit card payment and registration can be completed at www.bmcg.eventbrite.

Each night there will be plants, seeds, bee, or garden items available for sale. Door prizes, drawn each night, include a basket of Landreth seeds and gifts, selections of arts and crafts, a basket of herbs and herb creations, and a mini indoor conservatory. Raffle tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. Prizes and sale items are subject to change.

For the kickoff on April 1, Barbara Melera will recount the history of the tomato in a presentation entitled The Tomato – History’s Original Love Story of Adventure, Passion, Commitment, and Nonsense. As president and owner of Landreth Seeds, she is a recognized authority on heirloom, vintage and openpollinated seeds.

D. Landreth Seed Co. is the oldest seed company in America, dating back to 1784. The company sells more than 900 heirloom (not genetically modified) seeds. The movement to preserve seeds has grown in the past few years as farmers and gardeners are beginning to understand what the loss of varieties means to the environment. Melera will also bring an assortment of items to sell to audience members that evening. Choose from 50 different heirloom tomato seed varieties, other hard-to-find vegetable and flower seed varieties, Landreth’s collectible 2013 catalog, German vegetable harvest baskets and other tools.

Two presenters will give the program The Well-Dressed Container & Plants with “Wow” for 2013 on April 8: Leigh Barnes of Companion Plantings will share design tips and create a container with animals and long lasting perennials. She will be followed by Patricia Sherman of Valley View Farms, who will show us the newest annuals and perennials for the garden.

Bees 101 – A Primer & Enticing Plants for Native Pollinators on April 22 will bring beekeepers Roger Williams, president of the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association, and Barbara Gruver, a recognized authority on bees and pollinators. Both are expert beekeepers who will teach us how to invite bees into our gardens

Designing with Edibles & Native Fruit for Maryland Backyards on April 29 will show ornamental landscape plants, food-producing plants offer a wide variety of colors, forms, and textures for creating attractive designs. However, since we’re stealing from food plants throughout the season, keeping beds full and attractive presents unique design challenges.
Chrissa Carlson provides strategies and plant combinations that will keep your food garden beautiful and productive all season long. Chrissa Carlson owns and operates Urban Farmhouse, a business dedicated to the cultivation of a local diet through edible landscaping and food education services. Chrissa is a native Baltimorean with years of experience in garden design, nutrition education, seasonal cooking, and food advocacy. 

We’ve been hearing a lot about vegetables lately- but what about the super edible fruit? It’s fun, nutritious and often easy to grow here. Learn about figs, paw-paws, pomegranates, berries, cherries and other fruit plants and how to grow them successfully- even in small spaces. We are excited to have Scott Smith, a professor in the JHU Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science.  He  is the proud keeper of a backyard orchard of 650 varieties of fruit, including apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums, and quinces—all on a quarter acre of land.   Listening to Smith talk, it’s easy to understand the allure of homegrown fruit and to find ways to successfully grow fruit in your own backyard

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