gardeningSustainable landscaping and edible gardening are the focus of a Garden Festival planned for the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley on Saturday, March 29, 2014. The festival, which will include presentations and resources from local organizations, is organized by the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Festival activities are included with paid museum admission; lunch will be offered for an additional fee of $10.

Keynote speaker Dona Jenkins, the UCCE San Bernardino County Master Gardener Program Coordinator, will kick off the program at 9 a.m. speaking on the topic of How to Become a Master Gardener. Presentations on “What’s Bugging Your Plants,” “Companion Gardening,” “Edible Landscaping/Drought Tolerant Gardening,” and “Container Gardening” will follow at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. respectively. The “Container Gardening” program will be offered in both English and Spanish.

Master Gardeners are community volunteers who join with the University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) with a mission “to extend research based knowledge and information on home horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices to the residents of California.” Master Gardeners have given over two million hours of volunteer time since the program’s inception in California in 1980.

University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) has been helping people solve their agricultural and horticultural problems since 1913 when Extension Agents (now Farm Advisors) supervised “Victory” gardens during World War I and II. They have helped agriculturalists and home and community gardeners ever since. In addition to serving the needs of agricultural industry, UCCE also supports research and education in the areas of youth development and family and consumer sciences, using thousands of volunteers to extend the research based information and knowledge to its California clientele. This is accomplished through partnerships with growers and others in the agriculture industry, with nutrition education programs, with 4-H Youth Development programs, and with the various “Master” programs such as Master Composter, Master Naturalist, and Master Gardener programs.

The San Bernardino County Master Gardeners also plan to hold a Garden Festival at the San Bernardino County Museum’s main facility in Redlands on May 31.

The Victor Valley Museum is a branch of the San Bernardino County Museum located at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 (adult), $4 (senior or military), and $2.50 (student). Children under 5 and San Bernardino County Museum Association members are free. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669.

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