Illustrated Guide to Open House Events This Weekend

Our ‘Cherish the Chesapeake’- themed Spring Open House starts this Friday nite, with our Preview Party, and continues in full gale force Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 4 each day.  (The following weekend, too.)

Here’s the line-up of events this weekend, all at our Davidsonville store.  Hope to see you there.  (Pre-registration is required for workshops – click here for links to the workshops for availability and registration info.)

Homestead Barnyard Debut! 10:00 to 4:00

Our Spring Open House will be the debut of new animal friends at Homestead Gardens. This spring we are unveiling our Homestead Barnyard–home to donkeys and goats, rabbits and chickens. Children of all ages will be able to get up close to see the sights and smells and hear the voices that make up a real-live barnyard.

50 chicks will be at Open House to delight the children and kick-off our new backyard chicken program!

SATURDAY, MARCH 16th

10:00 Fruit Tree Care

Fruit can be grown almost anywhere, but that said, fruit is picky. Particular varieties prefer particular regions. Terry Freed,  a pomologist from Eastern Shore Nursery will be here to teach us how to successfully grow fruit trees in our region!

11:00 Organic Lawn Care.

Grow beautiful lawns…Naturally!  We  all want the beauty and satisfaction that comes with a lush, dark green lawn. But is it worth using potentially harmful chemicals? Well, now you don’t have to, with an all natural solution. Shawn Shockey, from Espoma, will be here to discuss the ins and outs of organic lawn care.

Espoma’s new All Natural Lawn Program helps prevents unsightly weeds from popping up in your lawn while nourishing your grass to build its resistance to heat, drought and other stresses. The products’ 100% organic ingredients are safe for your family, your pets, and the environment!

11:00 EarthBox Workshop

Grow tomatoes and other robust vegetables and aromatic herbs in any small space—a balcony, patio, or even rooftops! This revolutionary SIP (Sub-Irrigated Planter) is ideal for urban garden settings since it’s compact size allows you to grow healthy, fresh (even organic!) food where it never grew before!

Cost of workshop includes: Earthbox®, soil, and your choice of cool weather veggies or herbs. Get a voucher for 2 free veggie plants, too!

12:00  Avian Treasures of the Chesapeake Bay

Elizabeth Owens, of Raptor’s Eye, will be providing educational talks about the Chesapeake’s birds of prey.  The owl in the photo above made a visit to Homestead from Raptor’s Eye last year.

12:00 Pizza Oven Demonstration

Learn how easy it is to use one of the newest products in our Grill Zone–the FORNETTO wood fire oven and smoker! 

A representative will be here to demo the oven and give you a taste of what it can do. With its simple traditional appearance, coupled with modern ingenuity, a FORNETTO oven is the ultimate social cooking experience. The uniqueness of this product in the marketplace, the FORNETTO design and performance exemplifies what Homestead Gardens is all about–enhancing your outdoor living experience!

1:00 Luck ‘O the Irish Kids Container Planting

Plant your own luck! Bring your kids out to plant a themed container planting…because gardening makes kids smile!

White or yellow primrose, oxalis, and irish moss planted in a spring green pot may not be as exciting as finding a pot of gold, but it sure is cute and will be a great way to get your kids ready for spring. Pre-registration required.

1:00 Features and Benefits of Patio Furniture 

2:00  Sally Fallon:  Doing Things the “Old Fashioned” Way

Join journalist, chef, nutrition researcher and now farmer, Sally Fallon Morrell, as she discusses “Doing Things the Old Fashioned Way at P.A. Bowen Farmstead” (photo left above).

Raw cheese in the centerpiece of the P.A. Bowen Farmstead–an old fashioned, mix species farm that raises whey-fed pigs, pastured meats and pastured poultry and eggs. Find out how it all fits together in her fascinating presentation!

3:00  Sustainable Agriculture & Its Importance

Rita Calvert (photo right above) will be here to address the concept of “sustainability” in agriculture. Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  Not only does sustainable agriculture address many environmental and social concerns, but it offers innovative and economically viable opportunities for growers, laborers, consumers, policymakers and many others in the entire food system.

With close to three decades in the food, media production, marketing and public relations fields, Rita Calvert has created myriad programs, events, cooking sessions on national television, the stage and The Annapolis School of Cooking. She has partnered in writing cookbooks and product lines to showcase the inspiration, art and nourishment of food. Her work has always embodied the naturally wholesome and satisfying.

SUNDAY, MARCH 17TH

Homestead Barnyard Debut! 10:00 to 4:00

Our Spring Open House will be the debut of new animal friends at Homestead Gardens. This spring we are unveiling our Homestead Barnyard–home to donkeys and goats, rabbits and chickens. Children of all ages will be able to get up close to see the sights and smells and hear the voices that make up a real-live barnyard.

50 chicks will be at Open House to delight the children and kick-off our new backyard chicken program!

10:00 Creating a Backyard Birding Habitat

Kerry Wixted,  an education and outreach specialist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, will show us how to create a backyard paradise for our feathered friends.  Kerry runs several education programs such as Growing Up WILD, Project WILD and Wild Acres as well as oversees the wildlife education section of the Maryland State Envirothon. She has a keen interest in native plant conservation

11:00 Tempting Tropicals

Come get a preview of the new unique varieties of tropical plants we will have available here in late April.  Tropicals, like the Mandevilla vine shown above, are some of the best bloomers for summer containers and bedding! They tolerate the heat and humidity of hot, sunny sites, are low maintenance, and have fabulous flowers and foliage!

11:00 Hypertufa Workshop
Our most popular workshop, year after year, and it fills up quickly! Create a stone-like planter that looks like it would be at home nestled in the Victorian gardens of an old English estate. They are lightweight and provide great drainage.  Dress in clothes you don’t particularly care about, because this is dirty work!  Pre-registration required.

12:00 Rain Gardening 101

Rain gardens soak up rain from your roof, driveway, sidewalk or yard. They are slightly different from your typical flower garden. Rain gardens are planted with wild flowers and deep-rooted native vegetation–which helps the ground soak up more water. They are typically placed near downspouts on a home to capture water, so the runoff can gradually soak into the ground.

Bob Murphy, president and director of Ecosystem Solutions, will be here to discuss how rain gardening can affect change in the effort to ‘Save the Bay’ and show you how to take the first steps in building an effective rain garden yourself…with suggestions on perennials, trees and more!  Ecosystem Solutions is a nonprofit ecological research organization, dedicated to progressive environmental science study and education. They provide a broad range of services including ecological research, habitat restoration, research and development, and habitat assessment.

1:00 Fishing on the Chesapeake

Chesapeake Bay fishing offers up some of the best bottom fishing the nation has to offer! With a wide variety of species that call the middle Chesapeake Bay home there is something for every anglers appetite. Captain Brian Mayer, from Marauder Charters, will share knowledge and techniques with you gained from professional fishing Offshore, on the Chesapeake, and in the Islands.

Captain Brian earned a Coast Guard 100 ton Master License at the age of 21. He also holds dual Bachelor degrees in Biology and Marine Science from Coastal Carolina University.  Captain Brian is also SCUBA certified. 

2:00 Problem-Solving for Lawn and Garden

Are you baffled by something happening in your garden? Homestead’s own Gene Sumi will answer some of the most commonly-asked garden and lawn questions. He will explain how and why these problems occur, how you can prevent them or give you the best available solution. He will cover specific questions concerning pruning, fertilizing and pest control and then open the floor to any questions relating to any other lawn/garden problems and solutions!

If you have questions, this is the perfect opportunity to get them answered and to learn from other attendee’s experiences!

2:00 Terrarium Workshop

Think of it as the tropics under glass! Create a stunning and lush terrarium garden with Leslie Clark as an elegant accent to any room. A fascinating project that is great for folks of all ages. All supplies and plants are included.  Pre-registration required.

3:00 Growing Citrus

We sell a lot of citrus here at Homestead Gardens…which leads to many inquiries on how to grow them properly.  Citrus plants have their special needs, but that does not necessarily mean that they are particularly difficult to grow at home!  

Gene Sumi will explain how citrus grow and how their needs can be easily met–just as long as you know what these needs are!  Bring your questions about excessive leaf drop, poor or no fruit production, pest problems or any other problem you are experiencing with your lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, calamondin or kumquat.

Photo credit:  chickens.

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