Gardening symposium deadline Feb. 9


By Emeline Rodenas

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County Master Gardeners will host their fifth gardening symposium Saturday, Feb. 24, at Indian Springs Middle School, 1692 S.R. 9, Columbia City.

The event is open to the public as well as Master Gardeners from the surrounding counties. It will run from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The cost is $35 per person and includes lunch, morning and afternoon snacks, and hand materials. Payment can mailed to Whitley County Master Gardeners Extension Office, 115 S. Line St., Columbia City, by Feb. 9. A $10 late fee will be added if registration is received by mail after Feb. 9.

The schedule of speakers includes: Patricia Knott, who has extensive experience growing and using heirloom tomatoes from garden to table; Cynthia Ruich, a physical therapist at Parkview Whitley Hospital, who will speak on gardening and exercise; Cliff Sadof, a Purdue entomology professor and ornamental pest management expert, who will speak on treatments for common bug pests such as the emerald ash borer; and John Woodmansee, the Purdue Extension Education agent for Whitley County, who will speak about finding a balanced approach to fertilizers and pesticides.

Registration will take place at 8:30 a.m. Speakers will each speak for an hour, with short breaks in between. Lunch will be provided and event wrapup will take place at 3:15 p.m.

The goals of the symposium are to increase participants’ knowledge of sound gardening practices, providing participants with information on current gardening techniques and with options to improve landscape and suggesting things to do to make gardening healthier.

The symposium will feature several area garden supplies and crafters, along with informational booths. There will be significant written material available including catalogs, periodicals and books.

The symposium counts as five educational hours for those in the Master Gardener program. People who require auxiliary aids and services due to a disability or have special food needs are asked to contact John Woodmansee by email at or by phone at (260) 244-7615 before Feb. 9.