Master Gardener plant sale celebrates 30th anniversary
From left, Heather Brenner, Joyce Tomaselli and Philomena Kiernan hold some of the colorful plants that were on sale on Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, at the Master Gardeners plant sale at the County Home & Garden Center in Millbrook. 
Photo by Judith O’Hara Balfe

Master Gardener plant sale celebrates 30th anniversary

MILLBROOK —  The Master Gardener plant sale at the Dutchess County Farm & Home Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County (CCE), was held on Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20.

This was the 30th year of the sale, which has become a place where people not only buy plants, but share information, growing tips and gardening stories. They also talk about perennials bought years ago that are still thriving, and brag about the colors and heights of their plants  and how they have propagated.

The sale was rain or shine, and there was traffic congestion when it opened at 10 a.m. on Friday; the heavy flow of customers lasted until closing time at 4 p.m.

According to Joyce Tomaselli, community horticulture resource educator at CCE, the Master Gardeners grew about 11,000 plants, many from plugs. Vegetables were grown from seeds. Items remaining after the sale are given to churches or community gardens.

The Master Gardeners are all volunteers, and work with the county CCE office to provide information and  answer questions about gardening and soil.

They also will test soil when dropped off at the Home and Garden Center. They can identify plant and insect samples, diagnose plant samples and perform soil pH testing in their horticulture diagnostic lab.

Dutchess County was the first county in New York state to train volunteers in the Master Gardeners program. There are 1,100 of them in New York state, 80 in Dutchess County.

All funding for CCE’s community horticulture program was cut by the county in 2011, so the program depends on the success of the plant sale to fund its educational programming. For questions about the program or delivering samples for diagnosis, call 845-677-8223 ext. 115.

Latest News

Robert J. Pallone

NORFOLK — Robert J. Pallone, 69, of Perkins St. passed away April 12, 2024, at St. Vincent Medical Center. He was a loving, eccentric CPA. He was kind and compassionate. If you ever needed anything, Bob would be right there. He touched many lives and even saved one.

Bob was born Feb. 5, 1955 in Torrington, the son of the late Joesph and Elizabeth Pallone.

Keep ReadingShow less
The artistic life of Joelle Sander

"Flowers" by the late artist and writer Joelle Sander.

Cornwall Library

The Cornwall Library unveiled its latest art exhibition, “Live It Up!,” showcasing the work of the late West Cornwall resident Joelle Sander on Saturday, April 13. The twenty works on canvas on display were curated in partnership with the library with the help of her son, Jason Sander, from the collection of paintings she left behind to him. Clearly enamored with nature in all its seasons, Sander, who split time between her home in New York City and her country house in Litchfield County, took inspiration from the distinctive white bark trunks of the area’s many birch trees, the swirling snow of Connecticut’s wintery woods, and even the scenic view of the Audubon in Sharon. The sole painting to depict fauna is a melancholy near-abstract outline of a cow, rootless in a miasma haze of plum and Persian blue paint. Her most prominently displayed painting, “Flowers,” effectively builds up layers of paint so that her flurry of petals takes on a three-dimensional texture in their rough application, reminiscent of another Cornwall artist, Don Bracken.

Keep ReadingShow less
A Seder to savor in Sheffield

Rabbi Zach Fredman

Zivar Amrami

On April 23, Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield will host “Feast of Mystics,” a Passover Seder that promises to provide ecstasy for the senses.

“’The Feast of Mystics’ was a title we used for events back when I was running The New Shul,” said Rabbi Zach Fredman of his time at the independent creative community in the West Village in New York City.

Keep ReadingShow less