Wild West Gardening Conference
Taking Gardeners and Specialty Crop Growers to the next level of success.
The Laramie County Master Gardeners and the University of Wyoming, Laramie County Extension office are pleased to host a two day multi track gardening program to challenge, inspire, motivate and take you to the next level of gardening success. The conference will be held at the Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, 2017.
Everyone is welcome: From beginners to advanced, backyard gardeners, Master Gardeners, community gardeners, small acreage growers, to farmer’s market specialty crop gardeners. There is something for everyone to help you be better at what you do.
Registration is $90. This includes two lunches, Saturday evening dinner with keynote speaker Neil Diboll, snacks, coffee and tea during breaks. There will also be vendors for networking and shopping.
We will be offering 5 workshop classes where you can let your creative side out or learn new craft ideas for what you grow or sell. There will be a modest materials fee for each class payable directly to the instructor. You will need to sign up for the workshops when you register. Each workshop is limited to 25 students. Exact cash is required.
A Garden Hat Contest will be held Saturday evening after the dinner but before the Evening Presentation. One prize for each category will be given. The categories are: Prettiest, Funniest, and Most Unusual.
Farthest Distance Traveled Contest: A gas card will be awarded to the person who has traveled the farthest distance, from their home to the conference.
For more details and a schedule go to: http://www.wyoextension.org/wildwestgardening
Our current and outstanding lineup of speakers:
- Cheryl Moore-Gough, writer and gardener for Rocky Mountain Gardening on Collection and Storing Vegetable Seeds, and Growing Great Vegetables.
- Kathy Hatfield, owner operator of Raspberry Hill Farm, on growing high quality long lasting specialty cut flowers. Her farm is north of Fort Collins where she grows over 150 different varieties of flowers. Http://raspberryhill.farm/
- Neil Diboll, Prairie Nursery is our Saturday evening speaker, dinner is included in the registration fee. Come hear what Neil is doing with Native Plants to help restore everything from prairies to your backyard and how this helps native bees to the Monarch butterfly, along with the importance of genetic diversity in plant breeding stock and preserving it’s integrity.
- Whitney Cranshaw, now retired Colorado State University Entomologist, author of numerous books including the must haves in your library: The Ultimate Guide To Backyard Bugs, Garden Insects of North America and Pest of the West. Whitney will talk about managing common regional pests of vegetables.
- Jessica Morgan is an Herbalist and Horticultural Therapist specializing in herbal education for wellness, horticultural therapy and therapeutic garden design. Jessica will talk about creating your own herbal teas and talk about the value of medicinal herbs. Check out her website at http://www.morganbotanicals.com/
- Dorothy Tuthill PhD, Associate Director and Educational Coordinator at UW’s Biodiversity Institute, president of the Wyoming Native Plant Society, and also serves on the Board of the American Penstemon Society. Dorothy will talk about creating a colorful garden to attract birds, bees, and butterflies. http://www.wyomingbiodiversity.org/
- Andy Grant, President of Grant Family Farms. Grant Farms is nestled in the Rocky Mountain foothills near Wellington, CO. For over 60 years the family has had a commitment to organic growing practices, and we have built our livelihood on the responsible stewardship of the environment while growing the highest quality produce on organic gardening methods. Learn organic gardening methods from one of the early pioneers or organic farming. For more information on Grant Family Farms, http://www.localharvest.org/grant-farms-csa-M16609
- Debi Fowler, A family run business growing organic garlic and creating value added garlic products for the body or the mind. Debi will talk about her favorite member of the lily family and how you can also grow great garlic.
- Ron Godin PhD, Delta Colorado Extension Agronomist who has worked on everything from soil, sweet corn, selenium, hops production to sweet cherry rootstock. Ron will talk about that fine product Hops; how to select and grow hops, their flavors and aromas. On Sunday, April 23, 2017 Ron will give a presentation on soil fertility and crop nutrition for successful specialty crops.
- Michelle Heronena, Straight from the High Hops Hop Farm & Brewery and the Windsor Gardener, located in Windsor, Colorado. Michelle will guide you through how to harvest, market and sell those in demand hops.
- Patrick Zimmerer, Table Mountain Vineyard, Huntley, Wyoming. In 2001, the vineyard was established as part of a research project with a small planting of 300 + vines. After finding the vines survived Wyoming's challenging climate, TMV went full speed ahead. TMV's vineyard now spans nearly 10 acres and 10,000 vines. The vineyard is composed of cold hardy hybrid grapes that can withstand all the growing challenges Wyoming has to offer. Patrick will talk about the best varieties of grapes for the region; how to grow them, pruning techniques, and when to expect the first harvest.
- Julie Balzan, University of Wyoming Extension expert on food preservation and food safety. With the Food Freedom and Cottage Food Laws you can sell what you grow. Teaching basic food preservation methods of hot water bath canning, pressure canning and steam bath canning.
- Michael Lambert, Manager at the Wyoming Market Research Center/Wyoming Small Business Development Center. Michael will discuss the fine art of marketing for what you grow and how to do it successfully.
- Thomas Montoya, Wyoming Liquor Commissioner. If you are interested in the fermented end product (think beer, wine, whiskey) and would like to sell what you create, learn the ins and outs of what it takes to sell in-state and cross the state line.
- Mark Uchanski Phd, Assistant Professor of Horticulture and Specialty Crops of Colorado State University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Mark will share some of the ins and outs of High Tunnel Technology and Hoop Houses for extending the growing season.
- Matt Douglas, Manager of High County Roses, located in Denver, Colorado. It is a high quality, family owned and operated business that offers species, old garden and modern roses since 1970. Matt will guide you through selecting, planting, growing, and pruning techniques that will make your roses go from barely surviving to thriving.Check out their website at http://www.highcountryroses.com
- James Klett Phd, Professor of Landscape Horticulture, Ornamentals, and Nursery Management in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University. Dr. Klett also serves on the Board of Directors of Plant Select. He will tell us about the latest and greatest outstanding annuals and perennials for the Rocky Mountain Region.
- Daniel Tekiela Phd, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist of Invasive Plant Ecology, Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Wyoming, will discuss those wiley and wicked weeds that invade our gardens and specialty crops, and whether you should pull or spray them.
- Michael Hirakata, A Rocky Ford family melon grower will discuss varieties and successful growing techniques for melons, cantaloupes, and watermelons.
- Carl Wilson, a retired Colorado State Extension Horticulturist will talk about tomatoes and the tantrums they can give us; from heirlooms to hybrids and the latest varieties to hit the market.
- Pete Pontillo, owner of the local Jo-Ed Produce. Pete will discuss the basics of selling your crops to a wholesale distributor and what you need to know beforehand.
Plus a Saturday afternoon tour of the newly remodeled Cheyenne Botanic Gardens