Fair enough?

Published 6:42 pm Friday, August 26, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Mark C. Carroll

The Isle of Wight County Fair is coming soon. Since social restrictions hopefully remain only in our memories, we will be attending again this year from Sept. 15-18 at the Heritage Park & Joel C. Bradshaw Fairgrounds. We are a small organization with limited volunteers, so we will maximize our coverage throughout the fair days as best we can. So how do we add value to this event?

We will host a plant clinic to answer your home gardening questions. Please bring plants you have questions about. If you can’t bring the plant, bring pictures. We will try our best to help you determine things like, what it is, is it healthy, why not, and if it is a weed, how to control it. Obviously, this could take some time, especially during high demand.

We will have some books, while supplies last, for young readers. We also facilitate a book exchange for gardeners of all ages; bring a gardening-related book to exchange with other available books or to contribute.

We will have some type of kid-related activities when time permits — still sorting out what activities, so stop by and check.

As always, we will have soil sample boxes and instructions on how to collect soil and process it for submission to the Virginia Cooperative Extension soil lab for analysis. The fall is a particularly good time of year to do this since the lab is not as busy as it is in the spring.

You could, of course, get more information about the Western Tidewater Master Gardeners. Meet our new interns and sign up to be contacted to join our next Extension Master Gardener training class in 2023.

Free plants — I have some irises, which were recently removed and separated; if you would like some, stop by and grab one. Perhaps we might have other plants as well.

So far this year we have conducted numerous plant clinics at the Smithfield Farmers Market, maintained the demonstration and learning garden at the Carrollton library, conducted a plant sale, hosted training and regularly provided articles to help inform public home gardeners and more. While the year and the growing season are not over, the Isle of Wight County Fair will be a nice capstone to a challenging but productive year, growing stronger as a community than we were the year prior.

We would really like opportunities to answer your gardening questions, so whether you have a challenging question that will require some research or you simply want to say “Hi,” stop by, wave and enjoy our special growing community.