Saturday, March 24, 2012

SC Sun-News Article on 2012 Home and Garden Expo

By Aaron West / awest@scsun-news.com

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Home and Garden Expo attendees browse through the seed selection at the... (AARON WEST/SUN-NEWS)
SILVER CITY --- If April showers bring May flowers, what comes after a mid-March snow? The second annual Home and Garden Expo, of course (it even rhymes if you say it in the right order).

The Home and Garden Expo, which kicked off at 10 a.m. at the Grant County Business and Conference Center, brought hundreds of gardeners and garden-enthusiasts out of hiding after a long winter for a Saturday afternoon of food, music, seed-swapping, booth-browsing and a dozen garden workshops.

"I think it's great," said Catherine Holt, a vendor at the event. "We should have more of them. It brings the whole community together after winter ---- everyone just pops out."

Funds raised at the event, which was made possible by a recent Freeport McMoRan grant for $10,500, will go toward supporting the Silver City Farmers' Market, which opens on May 12, as well as other area farmers' markets and various special events. The Freeport grant will be used to fund the Home and Garden Expo for the next 5 years, according to Peter Day, who is on the Silver City Farmers' Market Board.

There were 45 vendors at the Conference Center on Saturday ---- more than double the vendors present at last year s event ---- selling liquid compost, solar-powered grills, gardening supplies, handcrafted jewelry, flowers and more.

"(The Expo) is so informative," said Amy Hart, who was inspecting the liquid compost at a vendor's booth. "I just moved here in the fall from Tucson so I want to learn some gardening tips from people in the area."

There were also kids activities, organized by Martha Egnal, who supervises the gardening program at the Guadalupe Montessori School, a silent auction and 12 workshops that took place alongside the spring-inspired chatter of browsing gardeners. They offered information on a variety of subjects, including "Getting Started With Honey Bees," "Getting Your Home Kitchen Certified," "Vegetable Varieties for Southwest New Mexico," and more.

Also there was the "Seed Share," where gardeners could swap packages of seeds with other gardeners as well as browse through the hundreds of free seeds that organizers had on hand. Margaret Hadderman, who helped organize the seed sharing event, said that not only is it a great way for beginner gardeners to get some seeds for free, it's also a good chance to meet fellow gardeners.

"It's a great way to get out and see each other after the winter," said Hadderman. "Everyone can just get to know each, other basically."

Aaron West can be reached at (575) 538-5893 ext. 5803