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Agriculture and Extension Service offers workshops, classes, other events
Agriculture and Extension Service offers workshops, classes, other events

The Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service is offering a variety of free educational classes for January 2013.  

The Extension Service is an educational program within county government which brings the resources of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) to Manatee County to: 

  • solve local problems,
  • provide educational opportunities,
  • promote economic enhancement and development
  • improve the quality of life for all of our citizens

REGISTRATION INSTRUCTIONS

Unless otherwise noted, all classes are free and are held at the Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service, 1303 17th Street West, Palmetto, Florida 34221.  Minimum workshop size is required; workshop size is limited.  Register in advance online via our website at http://manatee.ifas.ufl.edu or call 941-722-4524 for all workshops.

MANATEE COUNTY FAIR – “MANATEE GOES HOLLYWOOD”

This year's fair features exciting exhibits and vendors, livestock shows and auctions, competitions, a thrill-packed midway, a variety of great entertainment and, of course, fair food — all packed into eleven days and nights. Come celebrate Manatee County and the warmth of the community.  Visit the many showmanship programs such as swine, dairy, dogs, and goats.  Steer sale will be Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. and Youth Livestock Awards Program at 7 p.m.  Fair dates are Jan. 17 through Jan. 27.  For further fair information, visit http://www.manateecountyfair.com/.

JANUARY 9 - THE GREAT INDOORS – AN INDOOR PLANT WORKSHOP:  9-11 a.m.

Learn how to keep your house plants healthy and happy.  This workshop introduces the basic necessities and placement of house plants around the home as well as choosing the right plant containers, watering, pruning, fertilizing, pest and disease control, and propagation techniques.  Presented by Robert Alexander, Master Gardener.  Call the Extension Master Gardeners to register.

JANUARY 12 - EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER PLANT ID TOUR:  9-11 a.m.

Stroll through De Soto National Memorial and Riverview Point Preserve to learn more about Florida’s native plants and inhabitants of a coastal habitat.  Suitable for all ages.  The hike begins in the parking area of the De Soto National Memorial Park at 8250 DeSoto Memorial Highway, Bradenton and enters into the Riverview Preserve.  Call the Extension Master Gardeners to register.

JANUARY 19 - EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER PLANT ID TOUR:  9-11 a.m.

Stroll through Emerson Point Preserve to learn more about Florida’s native plants and inhabitants of a coastal habitat.  Suitable for all ages.  Tour begins at tower parking area at 5801 17th Street West, Palmetto.  Call the Extension Master Gardeners to register.

JANUARY 20 – EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER PLANT ID TOUR:  9-11 a.m.

Stroll through Robinson Preserve’s salt marshes to learn more about Florida’s native plants and inhabitants of a coastal habitat.  Suitable for all ages.  Tour begins at parking area near main entrance at 1704 99th Street Northwest, Bradenton.  Call the Extension Master Gardeners to register.

JANUARY 23 – DAZZLING FLORIDA-FRIENDLY LANDSCAPE (FFL) DESIGNS:  1-3 p.m.; This interactive, hands-on class will demonstrate how to implement the nine principles of a Florida-Friendly landscape.  We will highlight dazzling landscape designs by Manatee County homeowners.  Presented by Michelle Atkinson, Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Coordinator.  Location:  South Manatee Library, 6081 26th Street West, Bradenton

JANUARY 30 – SMART LANDSCAPING – PLANNING & CARE:  1-4 p.m. 

This class satisfies the landscape portion of the Manatee County Outdoor Water Conservation Rebate Program.  Learn practical design tips, landscape pitfalls, garden chores, hardscape choices, texture combinations and remedies for difficult areas.  Should you need identification of a plant, bring a branch with leaves (and ideally with flower or seed).  Presented by Michelle Atkinson, Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Coordinator.  Location:  South Manatee Library, 6081 26th Street West, Bradenton.

STARTING FEBRUARY 20 – FLORIDA MASTER NATURAL PROGRAM – COASTAL MODULE:  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service is pleased to offer the Florida Master Naturalist Program-Coastal Systems module in February 2013.  The Florida Naturalist Program (FMNP) is an adult-education program for persons interested in learning more about Florida’s ecosystems or wishing to increase their knowledge for use in educational programs as volunteers, employees, and ecotourism guides.  Through classroom instructions, field trips, and practical experience, this six-day module will provide instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation, wildlife, and conservation issues of Coastal Systems in Florida.  The class will address naturalist interpretation skills, environmental ethics, and the role of humankind in shaping our past and determining our future. 

Classes begin February 20 (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and continue on February 27, March 6, March 20, March 27 and April 3.

On April 9 (9 a.m.) in the Manatee County Commission Chambers, the class will be presented with a UF-IFAS certificate of completion, embroidered FMNP patch, and an FMNP Coastal lapel pin.  The cost for the course is $225.00, which includes all field trips, 40 contact hours of instruction, and a comprehensive student reference workbook.  The only requirements of students are enthusiasm, attendance, and completion of group final projects.  If interested in registering for the Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Module, please e-mail Lisa Hickey at lisa.hickey@ufl.edu.

MANATEE COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS OPEN EDUCATIONAL GARDENS:

Located on the Extension Service grounds at 1303 17th Street West in Palmetto, the educational gardens are designed to showcase the different ways Manatee County residents can be more successful gardeners and make their yards more Florida-Friendly. The different gardens feature growing vegetables in small spaces and salad tables, recycling fountains for herbs, bird and butterfly attractors, backyard fruit trees, conserving water with native plants, low-volume irrigation, rain barrels, and various composting bins display how to recycle yard waste. The Master Gardeners invite you for a tour! To ensure that a Master Gardener can walk you through the gardens, please make an appointment by calling 941-722-4524. Staff may not be available for impromptu visits.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In addition to the workshops identified above, several other opportunities are offered to receive free gardening information:

1. The Manatee County Master Gardener monthly E-newsletter, The Master Gardening Bench, is available to download at http://bit.ly/ManateeMGnewsletter -- look for The Master Gardening Bench on the right of the page and click on “Monthly E-newsletter.”

2. Can’t make it to the Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Service office to get advice or to solve your gardening problems?  E-mail us at manateemg@gmail.com.  Be sure to include as much information as you can in your e-mail and include your telephone number in case additional information is needed.  Attach photos if possible.  Remember, a photo can be worth a thousand words!

3. Get FYI from FFL (Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Program). Visit the Manatee County Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Program page on Facebook and “like” us to stay current on workshops and classes, events, publications, tips for your landscape, plant information, and more.

4. Interested in having a beautiful landscape while saving water?  Manatee County Agriculture and Extension Services offer a Mobile Irrigation Lab with a FREE evaluation of your landscape and irrigation system.  Call Bob at 941-722-4524 today to schedule your free evaluation.

5. Ask an Extension Master Gardener! - Every 2nd Saturday (10am-1pm) Visit the Extension Master Gardener information table and get answers to your gardening questions.  Location:  South Manatee Library, 6081 26th Street West, Bradenton.

6. Ask an Extension Master Gardener! – Every 2nd and 4th Saturday (10am-1pm), come visit the Extension Master Gardener information table and get answers to your gardening questions.  Location:  Rocky Bluff Library, 6750 U.S. Highway 301N, Ellenton.

Release courtesy Manatee County Government.

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