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K-State Today

June 3, 2013

Kansas Community Garden Conference July 8-9

Submitted by Nancy B. Peterson

A new Kansas Community Garden Conference is all about growing — in the garden and the community.

The conference will be July 8-9 on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan.

"This is a chance to learn from experts and share ideas with community gardeners from other parts of the state," said Evelyn Neier, K-State Research and Extension youth gardening specialist,and grant coordinator for the Kansas Health Foundation's Kansas Community Garden Grant program.

"The conference is being planned to answer everyday questions about gardening; provide practical tips for planning and managing community gardens successfully; encourage gardening as an educational opportunity about the relationship between food, nutrition and health, and to improve community health," said Neier, a horticulturalist.

Sessions are scheduled in the K-State Student Union and will include a morning tour of local community gardens.

The educational opportunity is sponsored by Kansas State University and K-State Research and Extension, and the $30 registration includes sessions, conference materials, refreshment breaks and a noon meal on July 9 with a panel discussion about community garden management.

Neier will present the opening session, "Welcome to the World of Community Gardening," at 1 p.m. July 8.

Conference participants will have four opportunities to choose concurrent sessions:

1. "Pest Management," by Frannie Miller, pesticide safety and integrated pest management coordinator in K-State's entomology department, who is based in McPherson;
"Garden Soils/Fertilizer," by Ward Upham, director, Rapid Response Center in the horticulture, forestry and recreation resources department, and "School Gardens," by Candace Shoemaker, professor of horticulture.

2. "Organic or Not?" by Ray Cloyd, professor of entomology;
"Raised Beds," by Ward Upham, and "Water Wise Water Conservation," by Cary Rivard, extension fruit and vegetable specialist based in Olathe.

3. "Weed Control," by Chuck Marr, retired horticulture extension specialist;
"Garden Management and Financial Stability," by Linda Teener, director of the UFM Community Learning Center, which oversees the Manhattan Community Gardens and treasurer for the gardens, and "Fruit in the Community Garden," by Larry Crouse, Extension horticulture agent based in El Dorado.

4. "Donation Gardens," Maribeth Kieffer, executive director, Flint Hills Breadbasket;
"Applying for Kansas Community Garden Grants," by Cheryl Boyer, assistant professor and extension specialist in horticulture, and Evelyn Neier, and "Education and Mentoring," by Susan Schoneweis, extension agent for family and consumer sciences and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Family Nutrition Program based at Fort Riley.

The conference will adjourn at 4 p.m. July 9.

Deadline for registration is June 24. For registration and more information, go to: www.kansascommunitygardens.org or contact Christy Dipman at 785-532-6173 or cdipman@k-state.edu.

For more information about the conference and whether it might be a good fit for you and your community in establishing or managing a community garden successfully, contact Evelyn Neier at 785-410-3760 or eneier@ksu.edu.