Oriskany, NY (WIBX) - Want to learn about growing a rain garden this summer, or how about foraging for wild foods? Then head over to the 15th Annual Herb and Flower Festival taking place this Saturday! Master Gardeners with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County are hosted the event at the Oneida County Farm & Home Center in Oriskany.

Master Gardener Paul Sears says the program has steadily grown through the years. "We started out with about six or seven folks and now we have over 100 volunteers that work on a regular basis," he said. He says all the proceeds from the $3 donation request goes back into the community. "It goes into the gardens to help us to build the garden and put on new exhibits, to expand them. We are totally unfunded except through the different projects that we put on ourselves, so we would love to see the people--they help us, and we help them in return," Sears said.

The workshops being provided are as follows:

  • 10:00 a.m. - Around the World with Heirloom Tomatoes: Learn the history of tomatoes, especially the Heirloom varieties, with this look at our garden favorite. Presenters will also explore common tomato disease problems and discuss management methods. Room B-C.
  • 10:00 a.m. - Creating a Shade Garden: Learn about the hundreds of beautiful plants that thrive in shady nooks. Presenters will define the different types of shade, proved gardening tips and design ideas, and suggest different plants, trees and shrubs suitable for shade. Room D.
  • 11:00 a.m. - Buzzing Around the Bees: Get an inside look at beekeeping and learn the significance of pollination in our area. Room B-C.
  • 11:00 a.m. - Organic Lawn & Garden Practices: This presentation will focus on the organic approach to gardening. Room D.
  • 1:30 p.m. - Foraging Wild Plants ... Eat This, Don't Eat That: This presentation will touch on the populatity of foraging for wild food, but concentrate on some pitfalls to avoid such as poisonous plants, protected species and unpalatable look-a-likes. Room B-C.
  • 1:30 p.m. - Rain Gardens: How to Make Water Quality a Beautiful Landscape Amenity - Discover what you need to know to safely and effectively construct a rain garden to promote water quality. Also learn how to select plants appropriate for rain gardents while adding beauty to you landscape. Room D.

The Hern & Flower Festival is happening on Saturday, June 25, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Oneida County Farm & Home Center located on 121 Second Street, Oriskany, NY. For more information contact organizers at (315) 736-3394 or visit, www.cceoneida.com.