Utah State University Extension Cache Valley Master Gardeners will host the Utah State Master Gardener Conference Sept. 23 and 24 at the American West Heritage Center, 4089 South Highway 89/91, Wellsville. Bees, Bugs and a Healthy Garden is the theme for the 2011 conference where USU horticulture professors and Extension specialists will present an array of horticultural topics. Keynote speaker Bill Varga will discuss Historical and Contemporary Uses of Native Plants at dinner Friday evening, and an eco-agro walk is held Saturday morning before the 9 a.m. conference begins. A tour of the USU Greenville Experimental Farm is held at the conclusion of the conference Saturday afternoon. Session topics include bees and other beneficial landscape insects, creating a certified wildlife garden, designing a foothill garden and reducing carbon footprints through gardening. Additional topics include hoop houses for home gardeners, native water-wise gardening practices for a healthy environment and developing, marketing and improving home horticulture or small acreage businesses. Candace Berthrong, Cache Valley Master Gardeners president, said the conference is designed for beginning gardeners and professionals alike. We are pleased to host this conference and encourage all to practice sustainability for a healthy environment when gardening, said Berthrong. USU Extension Cache County horticulture agent Taun Beddes said that the USU Extension-trained Master Gardeners have put a lot of work into planning the event, and it will be useful for anyone interested in home gardening. Full conference registration cost is $80 for Master Gardeners and $90 for non-Master Gardeners and includes all events, dinner on Friday and a box lunch on Saturday. Saturday registration cost is $45 for Master Gardeners and $55 for non-Master Gardeners. For further registration and conference information, call the USU Extension Cache County office at 435-752-6263.
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