Evenings in the Garden is a series of classes on a wide variety of topics for the home gardener, taught by local and regional experts in their field.
All classes are held at the beautiful, historical MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center 28115 Meadowbrook Road Novi, MI 48377
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. $25 each class Refreshments will be served
Classes begin in our Conference Center and continue outdoors - weather permitting - to enjoy and learn from our extensive gardens and grounds. Please dress for the weather. Arrive early for best seating.
Sign up for one or more classes. Advance registration is required. Space is limited - register early! If cancellation is needed, please be prompt. Cancellations fewer than 10 business days to the start date of the class will result in a $10 cancellation fee. ~
2016 Evenings in the Garden Class Descriptions
Thursday, June 9
Sustainable Vegetable Gardening 101
This inaugural lecture of the Evenings in the Garden 2016 season is taught by MSU Tollgate’s Sustainable Agriculture Instructor and CSA Coordinator, Will Jaquinde (http://tollgate.msu.edu/csa). We will find out how to build fertile soil, and provide vegetable plants with the growing conditions they need in order to produce bumper crops in our garden. Topics covered will include building organic matter in our soils, reading a soil test and amending accordingly, strategies to maximize soil health and fertility, making the most out of the growing season, along with other key techniques for success. Will Jaquinde is a Southeastern Michigan native who studied Environmental Studies and Biology at Denison University. Since then, he has worked at a number of small organic farms in the Midwest. He has an avid interest in growing and preparing (and eating) local, sustainable food, with a focus on crops and techniques that conserve and improve the soil.
Tuesday, June 28
Gardening Made Easy
Gardens are meant to be enjoyed. The work is fun and satisfying, but the best part is sitting back and relishing the view. This class will offer some plant choices, garden tips, and ideas to help make the labor easier, giving us more time to enjoy the results (or perhaps more time to pick up more plants)! Kim Roth comes to us from Christensen’s Plant Center www.christensensplantcenter.com. We will take advantage of Kim’s extensive knowledge of the plant world to make our home the oasis that it can be.
Tuesday, July 19 Pollinator Preservation Strategies for the Home Garden: Native Plants and Their Unique Relationships with Beneficial Insects Cheryl English
Want to help out our native pollinators and other beneficial insects? Through plant selection, garden design and maintenance protocols, we can provide a haven not only for our beautiful butterflies and moths but also other critical beneficial species, from bees to beetles. Cheryl English is an Advanced Master Gardener of Wayne County, Michigan; a Master Composter of Macomb County; the owner/operator of Black Cat Pottery/The English Landscape www.blackcatpottery.com; a contributing writer to Michigan Gardener Magazine; a board member of the Wildflower Association of Michigan; she’s on the planning committee of the Detroit Garden Center; and is President Emeritus of the Master Gardeners of Greater Detroit.
Thursday, August 4
Trees are the backbone of our landscapes. Properly planted and cared for, they can cool our home in the summer and help block winter winds. Because of this energy-saving service, and their inherent beauty, trees add value to our home. Identifying trees and knowing their individual characteristics allows us to better care for them, and helps us to choose more wisely when it is time to plant. Tollgate is a wonderful classroom for learning more about the trees in our yard, our neighborhood, and our favorite wild area. Bob will share his extensive tree identification skills, and we will walk away with an even greater appreciation for these woody giants. Robert (Bob) Bricault is the Washtenaw County Extension Educator of Horticulture and Natural Resources. He is a graduate of Urban Forestry, with 25 years’ experience as a horticulture educator for MSU Extension, Washtenaw and Jackson counties. He also oversees the state-wide MSU Extension State Garden Hotline. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/experts/robert_bricault
Tuesday, August 16
Bringing Conservation to Cities
Dr. John Hartig
This evening, we have a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the watery world around us and our relationship to it. Dr. John Hartig’s most recent book, Bringing Conservation to Cities: Lessons from Building the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management Society, 2014), is the story of how the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is making nature part of everyday urban life. It focuses on inspiring and developing the next generation of conservationists in cities, since 80% of U.S. and Canadian citizens live in urban areas. John is a limnologist with 30 years of experience in environmental science and natural resource management. He is the Refuge Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, North America’s only international wildlife refuge. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/detroit_river/
He is also a board member of Detroit River Front Conservancy. He wrote Burning Rivers: Revival of Four Urban-Industrial Rivers that Caught on Fire, as well as authoring or co-authoring over 100 publications on the Great Lakes. John has received a number of awards for his work, including the 2003 Anderson-Everett Award from the International Association for Great Lakes Research and the 1993 Sustainable Development Award for Civic Leadership from Global Tomorrow Coalition.
Thursday September 8
Native Shrubs &Trees
Mary Wilson Come discover the usefulness of native woody plants in the landscape. Gardeners wishing to include more natives in their plantings have lots of beautiful options. Natives look good, often require less care, and can be more beneficial to native insects and other creatures than are non-native ornamentals. A component of this class will be a walk around the Tollgate grounds to view some of the plants discussed in the lecture. Mary has been an MSU Horticulture Educator for 30 years with a focus on environmental horticulture. She has worked with green industry and consumers in her roles as County Horticulture Educator, Emerald Ash Borer Education Coordinator, Southeast Regional Consumer Horticulture Educator, and State Coordinator for the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program. Her Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture is from MSU with an emphasis on landscape plants, and her Master of Science degree in horticulture is from University of Wisconsin with a specialization in woody ornamentals. She is also a member of the MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Team working to meet the increasing statewide demand for gardening information through technology and highly-trained volunteers.
Thursday September 22 Basics of Honey Bees and Beekeeping Clay E. Ottoni Bees have been in the spotlight lately – for good reason. So many food crops depend on bees and other pollinators for production – including our vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Clay Ottoni will introduce us to the fascinating world of honey bees and beekeeping. We will also learn what we can grow in our yard to support and encourage these industrious insects. One lucky attendee will win a bottle of honey! In addition to being an attorney, beekeeper, and farmer, Clay is current president of SEMBA (Southeast Michigan Beekeepers Association) http://www.sembabees.org/ and a long time beekeeper. He has been a long-time volunteer at Tollgate, winning Tollgate’s Ginger Meyer Award and Golden Shovel Award. He has also been a Master Gardener, Advanced Master Gardener, and Master Gardener of the Year. He is Tollgate’s own beekeeper, and for eight years has been teaching the beekeeping course at Tollgate. He speaks about beekeeping to several community groups and such beekeeping organizations as the Michigan Beekeepers Association, Michigan Honey Festival, Monroe Bee Club, Oakland Bee Club, Pine River Bee Club, and SEMBA. He also volunteers with, and has been a speaker/presenter for, several local wildlife and habitat groups including the Bower’s Farm, Michigan Nut Growers Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, and Quality Deer Management Association.