Master Gardeners to present Spring Garden Expo

Reprinted with permission from The Mineral Daily News-Tribune

KEYSER - Melissa Merritt, West Virginia conservation agent based in Moorefield, will be conducting a session titled "Rain Barrels: Don't Let Your Rain Go Down the Drain"at the Mineral County Master Gardeners' Spring Gardening Expo.

Garden Expo
Melissa Merritt

The expo is set for Saturday, April 11, at the Mineral County Technical Center.

Merritt, who is among 12 presenters at the event, will have 15 rain barrels available, including faucet hardware and drain plug, for free distribution to the home gardener on a first-come, first-served basis. She will install the hardware at the expo upon request.

The expo is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Participants will have the opportunity to attend three classes of their choosing from a list of 12 available sessions:

  • - Blooming Containers: Taught by Donna Brooke-Alt, Mineral County Master Gardener and greenhouse owner/operator.
  • - Living Off the Grid: Taught by Regan and Dennis O'Bryan, Mineral County Master Gardners.
  • - Backyard Birding: Taught by Sheldon Owen, WVU Extension specialist.
  • - Basic Fruit Trees: Taught by Donna Ballard, professor at Potomac State College.
  • - Basic Backyard Gardening: Taught by Donna Ballard, horticulture professor at Potomac State College.
  • - Food Preservation: Taught by Shannon Ritchie, nutritional outreach instructor with WVU Extension.
  • - Rain Barrels: Taught by Melissa Merritt, WVU conservation agent.
  • - Upcycling the Garden: Taught by Patty Leasure, Mineral County Master Gardener.
  • - Bees in the Backyard: Taught by Steven Starcher, Hampshire County Extension agent.
  • - Square-Foot Gardening: Taught by Ed Urich and Dave Conrad, Mineral County Master Gardeners.
  • - Pruning: Taught by Steve Starcher, Hampshire County Extension agent.
  • - Composting/Soils: Taught by Betsy Cox and Elspeth Odbert, Mineral County Master Gardeners.

In addition, a silent auction, used book sale, displays, demonstrations, and complimentary refreshments will be available.

The cost to participate is $10.

Registration brochures are now available at county libraries, Wayne's Meats, Tractor Supply, Country Classics, Burgess Farm Service, Boggs Supply, and others.

It can also be downloaded at by clicking on the Master Gardener link.

For further information, call 304-788-0873