Evenings in the Garden - Fall 2017 Series

Date: October 26, 2017
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm
Location: MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center 28115 Meadowbrook Road - Novi, MI
Contact: S. K. Rosina Newton, newtons5@msu.edu, 248-347-0269 ext. 229

Tollgate Farm and Education Center

A series of classes on a wide variety of topics for novice and seasoned gardeners, taught by local and regional experts in their field. 
Classes are held in the Conference Center, except as noted.
Cost: $20 per class

Advance registration is required.
See registration below class descriptions.
Space is limited to 60 people per class- please register early.


Thursday, September 28, 2017
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Amanda Meier - The Secret World of Plants: 
Exploring the invisible among microbes, plants, and insects in your garden

Through a series of examples and hands-on activities, we’ll explore the unseen interactions taking place in our gardens every day. We will look at the soil microbes, learning how they help plants grow and defend themselves. We’ll investigate how plants defend themselves against enemies and how they respond to attack. We will even examine how plants communicate with each other and with insects using smells. Along the way, we’ll learn how to optimize these interactions to improve the success of our gardens. Amanda Meier is a PhD Candidate in the lab of Dr. Mark Hunter, and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. Amanda earned her B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science at Muhlenberg College, PA. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Dr. George Bird – Smart Soils - Keys to Building a High Quality, Sustainable Garden

Soil health is the key to gardening success. A truly high quality soil is a complex of living and material ingredients connected within a “soil food web.” Come learn how to employ “smart” gardening practices for soil – in vegetable gardens, orchards, and ornamental gardens and landscapes. Find out how our management decisions impact soil microbes, and how we can nurture our soil to become healthier season after season. Dr. George W. Bird, Michigan State University Entomology Professor, is a recipient of the MSU Distinguished Faculty Award, a 19-year member of the Rodale Institute Board of Directors, and the first National Director of the U.S. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. Dr. Bird teaches and does research and Extension outreach on agricultural systems related to sustainable and equitable development.

Thursday, October 26, 2017
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Mary Gerstenberger – Water: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Mary Gerstenberger’s fun and popular program will cover all the basics of water - including what we have, where it’s going, what we have done to it, and what we can do to help. Mary brings a groundwater model and a watershed model, and through activities (with volunteer help from the audience!) we learn about groundwater, surface water, the water cycle, water quality, and water conservation. Mary Gerstenberger earned her bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University. She began working with MSU Extension in 1997 as a Program Assistant in 4-H and Natural Resources, then as Environmental Education Programs Coordinator. She worked on youth programs for water conservation, groundwater, and the Great Lakes Education program, and adult programs for water quality, wetlands, conservation, and the Master Composter program. Now she is the Consumer Horticulture Coordinator, handling plant and insect diagnostics, the garden hotline, the Master Gardener program, and other garden-related educational programming.

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status.


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