Porter County Master Gardeners Prepare 10,000 Packets of Seeds for Gardening Show Attendees

In preparation for the {valpo}11th Annual Gardening Show {/valpo}{portage}11th Annual Gardening Show {/portage} at the Porter County Expo Center, Porter County Master Gardeners and interns volunteered their time at the Chesterton Library Service Center to prepare up to 10,000 packets of seeds for Gardening Show attendees.

Porter County Master Gardener Gloria Fancher said, “People bring us dried seed heads. We identify them, place them in envelopes and label all the seeds. Each ticketed guest that attends the Gardening Show will receive 5 free packets of seeds from a variety of plants.”

The Gardening Show keeps on growing each year. Last year we had around 1,600 attendees and we anticipate 2,000 this year,” said Porter County Master Gardener Sharon Fitzsimmons.

All proceeds from the Gardening Show will go towards philanthropic grants in the Porter County community. Past grants have included community gardens such as the garden located at Butterfly Meadow Park in Valparaiso. At the community garden there, master gardeners donate their time to raise fresh produce which is then donated to local food banks. Past grants have also gone to the {valpo}Independent Cat Society {/valpo}{portage}Independent Cat Society {/portage} and the Discovery Charter School.

Porter County Master Gardener Jackie Fenchak had her hands full harvesting seeds from daisy-like wildflowers.

She said, “We are harvesting seeds from the dried flowers. It is not to be confused with dead-heading which is snipping off the dead flowers after blooming with some pruning scissors. We are actually taking the seeds out of the dried flowers.”

Some of the seeds being harvested included wildflowers, herbs, perennials and annuals such as an eye-catching green border flower called “The Bells of Ireland” and Cleome that blooms in pink, purple and white.

Preparing the seeds along with Fancher, Fitzsimmons and Fenchak were Porter County Master Gardeners Terry Marsch, Beverly Thevenin, Dawn McLaughlin, Kathy Ruble and “Maggie,” and interns Annette Young, Jerry Waszkowski and John Tiedeman.

To get your seeds, save the date for the 11th Annual Gardening Show on January 25th, 2014 at the Porter County Expo Center.