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It’s a wrap! and at least some of us dodged a bullet!

February 26, 2017

It was 30 degrees when I got up but it warmed up rapidly.  By the time I left for the show at 8:30 it was 42 degrees. I did walk the garden this morning and everything looked fine–no frost or curled leaves and the blueberry flowers are intact and look fine.  I am thankful my garden did not get hit, but I heard from others that they had what appeared like a good frost on some of their plants.  Time will tell.  Give plants a chance to rebound before you begin to pull them.

For those of you who purchased tomatoes, peppers or basil and actually planted them outside, need to consider replanting in APRIL!  It is way too early to plant now and regardless of what they are selling know what to plant when.  Cool season vegetables should be planted now–lettuce, onions, potatoes, radishes, broccoli, and cabbage, but don’t plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, or squash until April.

We had a slow but steady crowd today at the show and I had many vendors tell me this was one of their best, if not the best they have done in sales.  I think many gardeners are chomping at the bit to plant and get their garden started.  But it wasn’t just plants selling out–there were garden tools, garden gadgets and food products that went like crazy. Some booths were bare by the end of the day. afgs-sat-17-27 afgs-sunday-17-18

The Florist competition was smaller than normal, but the displays were outstanding. afgs-sunday-17-6 afgs-sunday-17-7 afgs-sunday-17-9 and they also gave us a unique twist on a dozen roses: afgs-sunday-17-10 afgs-sunday-17-11 afgs-sunday-17-12

Again, I got to see so many gardeners from across the state. Some brought plant samples for us to identify or questions were asked.  The most common concerned crape myrtle bark scale and what to do about it.

The How-To stage had another full day of speakers and the topics were quite diverse, including Randy talking chickens. afgs-sunday-17-15 afgs-sunday-17-17

Our Master Gardeners were also present doing everything from selling and taking tickets to kitchen duty for the food demos to clean-up crews at the end, afgs-sunday-17-28 and they always do their job with a smile on their face!

I did get to get to play surrogate grandma today to baby Aurin.  He was enamored with the rabbit and so excited he shook all over when he first saw it. I was holding him up so I didn’t get a picture but it was too cute!aurin-afgs-17-1 aurin-afgs-17-2  I think a rabbit is in his future!  He had a big time seeing all the gardens and people.

The day flew by and it was 4:00 before we knew it.  While set-up takes time, take-down seems to fly. We had our extension exhibit deconstructed and piled together to await pick-up tomorrow.  We took a wagon load out and will get the rest tomorrow.  Cars and trucks were pulling in and loading up and moving out.  A sight to see!  afgs-sunday-17-20 afgs-sunday-17-22  I made it to the parking lot and one vendor had locked her keys in the trunk, but I found a release inside her car so she was set. Then one of our agents car wouldn’t start and my jumper cables weren’t enough to get the battery going, so they had to go get a new battery.  Not the way they wanted the day to end, but she did text that she got a new battery and made it home safe and sound.

Another successful show in the books, and now the planning begins for 2018 and a new lay-out for the fair grounds.  Exciting times.

Tomorrow I will be back to finish taking things down, then a quick trip to the office before heading to Mena to speak tomorrow night.



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