Learn to grow at ‘Great Gardens’ conference

TAYLOR — Anyone who’s frustrated by the increasing cost of fresh produce or looking to stretch their food budget dollars is invited to attend the Growing Great Gardens conference March 21 at the Wayne County Community College, 21000 North Line Road.


Organizers tout the event as a chance to learn how to easily grow veggies without hours of backbreaking work or spending a fortune.


Hosted by The Taylor Garden Club, Taylor Conservatory Foundation and Wayne County Community College District, the event is designed to help people with little or no gardening experience learn easy, low-cost ways to grow fresh, healthy produce, as well how to beautify a home and the community.


“Growing your own food is empowering in many ways. It puts you in control of providing fresh healthy produce for you and your family,” said Patty Donahue, executive director of the Taylor Conservatory and a co-chair of the event. “It saves precious household budget dollars, and provides you with a great way to relieve stress.


“Nothing beats taking out your frustrations on a few weeds in the garden. In light of these trying economic times, we felt it was a good time to re-introduce people to the pleasures of vegetable gardening, and to do it in a way that it didn’t break the bank.”


Janice Foltin, president of the Taylor Garden Club, agrees. When club member Ken Hughes suggested that the club host the event, she strongly encouraged its participation. Hughes is an advanced master gardener and a co-chair of the event.


“The classes available at the conference are focused on easy, practical ways to grow food, beautify your yard, and have fun, too,” Hughes said.


The conference features two prominent experts in the garden community. Janet Macunovich, professional gardener, author, teacher and owner of Perennial Favorites; and Amanda Edmonds, founder of Growing Hope, an Ypsilantip-based nonprofit that focuses on how to improve people’s lives through gardening.


In addition, organizers say, there will be classes on the ABCs of gardening, interesting ways to beautify a home, a presentation by a local beekeeper and tips on how bring butterflies to a yard. Many well-known garden experts will round out the class offerings.


Admission to the conference costs $20 and includes two keynote presentations, two additional classes, a box lunch and a chance to win many garden-related door prizes. It is expected to sell out very quickly, so registration is required; advance registration is highly recommended. Walk-ins will be accepted on a space-available basis.


Registration forms are available online at www.taylorconservatory.org and www.taylorgardenclub.org; at D&L Garden Center, the Taylor Public Library and the Taylor Parks and Recreation Office; or by calling Patti Kehr at (313) 292-8316.