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Educational programs set to begin in March

The Heart of Virginia Master Gardeners (HOVMG) welcomes you to participate in the Prince Edward Lunch and Learn program March 5 and Buckingham Garden Tips and Topics March 14.

“Buy Fresh Buy Local” will be the topic of the March 5 Lunch and Learn program. It will be held at the Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library at noon. Allison Crews, the Local Foods Program Assistant at the Prince Edward Extension Office, will be the speaker.

She will cover the current status of the Heart of Virginia Buy Fresh Buy Local Guide, including the new branding for the state and national Buy Fresh Buy Local organizations, share sponsorship opportunities, and give a peek at the 2020 Guide.

Crews, who was raised in Amelia County, is a 1997 graduate of Randolph-Macon College. Her passions include natural health, local food and networking. In 2012 she created a space in the basement of the Farm Credit Building at 1700 South Main Street called natural pHuel, dedicated to how we feed ourselves.

There are weekly deliveries of cow milk herd shares from Elim Springs Farm and online orders from Local Roots Food Coop to their members, with other wellness opportunities available. The Piedmont Soil and Water Conservation District recently welcomed Crews as a director from Amelia for a four-year term. Her newest role is with the Prince Edward County Extension as the local foods program assistant whose focus is to compile the 2020 Heart of Virginia buy Fresh Buy Local Guide.

In Buckingham, the first Garden Tips and Topics for 2020 will be held Saturday, March 14 at 10 a.m. at the extension office in Buckingham Courthouse (54 Administrative Lane, Buckingham).

Harry Poulter from the Central Piedmont Master Naturalists (CPVMN) will be presenting on the fascinating topic of mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae are soil fungi that connect to the roots of flowering plants, providing them with additional nutrients and water in exchange for sugars and other substances.

At least 80% of all plant species can benefit from this association. The talk will cover the basic biology and history of mycorrhizal fungi, their importance to the global environment, and discuss how gardeners can learn more about growing more vigorous plants with the help of these amazing fungi.

As always, this event is free to the public and all are welcome.

Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. In addition, there will be a hands-on demonstration of soil blocking available before and after the presentation. Anyone who would like to start some seeds may bring them along to the Buckingham program March 14th.

Persons with disabilities and those who desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in these activities, please contact the Buckingham Extension Office at (434) 969-4261, for the Lunch and Learn program contact the Prince Edward Extension Office at (434) 392-4226. Please contact both offices during the business hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

Both the Lunch and Learn program in Prince Edward and Garden Tips and Topics program in Buckingham are free and open to the public.