PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

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Grow For It! Sign up for the Master Gardener Edible Landscape workshop

By From page B4 | December 12, 2012

Ruiz_Kathy

KATHY RUIZ

Have you seen those beautiful green and purple cabbages planted as a border in a flower bed or noticed the glorious red that blueberry bush leaves are turning this time of year?

Interest in having edible plants as design features in an otherwise all ornamental landscape is gaining in popularity.

The practice of incorporating edible plants into the ornamental landscapes is all part of a renewed interest in growing more of our own food and making the best use of our soil and water resources.

Saturday, Jan. 26 marks the date for the Master Gardener Edible Landscape Workshop.

Read on to learn more about this educational program and what the workshop has to offer.

To register visit the El Dorado County Master Gardener workshop registration Website at ucanr.edu/edmg-reg. Interested participants can also sign up in person at the Delfino-Bethell Agricultural Building, 311 Fair Lane in Placerville, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The office is closed between noon and 1 p.m.

The workshop will be held in the El Dorado Hills Fire Station, 150 Wilson Blvd. in El Dorado Hills from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A charge of $15 covers a light breakfast and a box lunch.

Edible landscaping is an exciting way to have your landscape pull double duty. By including edible plants among ornamentals you have an opportunity to grow a landscape that’s good enough to eat.

You’ll have healthy food, save on your grocery bill and support sustainable gardening practices.

From a historical perspective, edible landscaping is not new.

In fact, some garden styles that are recognized from European landscapes were initially designed for food production. Large park-like lawns were actually communal livestock grazing areas and borders of tightly clipped hedges encircling planting beds were designed to keep out small farm animals.

Over time, the food production aspect of these gardens was replaced with ornamentals and mowing equipment replaced grazing cattle and sheep.

So while the concept of edible landscaping is not new, modern gardening practices based on University of California science-based research and information can make it easier for the home gardener to have a productive and beautiful edible landscape.

The workshop starts off with an Introduction to Edible Landscaping, setting the stage for the remainder of the discussion topics. This section will touch on the history of edible landscaping practices and cover the benefits and ways to accomplish landscaping with edibles.

At the heart of landscaping with edibles is a good plan and design.

Master Gardeners will discuss concepts, analysis techniques and approaches for planning and designing an edible landscape. They will talk about special considerations when interplanting edibles with ornamentals and provide ideas and examples of combination and companion plantings.

Once the garden or landscape is planned, you’ll want to hear all about planting techniques and maintenance tips.

Master Gardeners will discuss special considerations and horticultural practices for raising edibles. The discussion also includes using fruit trees and berries in the landscape and their care.

How will you handle all the produce that you will grow?

Learn all about harvesting and storing produce for optimal nutritional value, freshness and taste. You’ll also get information and tips on food safety concepts.

This is most important for avoiding the introduction of food-borne pathogens at any point in the plant and crop life cycle.

The Edible Landscaping workshop promises to be an effective and informative venue to assist the home gardener on the way to develop, plant and maintain a landscape that is not only attractive but food productive and reinforces sustainable practices that make the best use of land and water resources.

Master Gardeners are available to answer home gardening questions Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon by calling 530-621-5512. Walk-ins are welcome. The office is located at 311 Fair Lane in Placerville.

For more information about the public education classes and activities, go to the Master Gardener Website at ucanr.edu/sites/EDC_Master_Gardeners/. Sign up to receive our online notices and e-newsletter at ucanr.edu/mgenews/. You can also find Master Gardeners on Facebook.

Do you have plant containers to recycle? Master Gardeners will gladly take them at the Master Gardener office. Call before dropping them off and thank you for the donation.

Note: The UCCE and Master Gardener office will be closed Christmas week, Dec. 24 through Jan. 1.

Kathy Ruiz

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