The Gardening in the Valley Educational Symposium offers a full day of continuing education both for Extension Master Gardeners and members of the public.
Ecology in the Garden, Dr. Karin Burghardt, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, Department of Entomology and Research Associate, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center—Karin received her B.S from the University of Maryland in 2007 working with Douglas Tallamy on the role of non-native plants in ecosystems and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University.
Trained as a community ecologist, she specializes in understanding plant-insect interactions in human-modified landscapes ranging from street trees and suburban yards to abandoned agricultural fields to managed forests. By examining how human management practices alter the support of biodiversity in these spaces, the lab’s research program helps determine best practices for how humans can share space with a variety of flora and fauna.
Our Journey from the Vineyard to the Tasting Room, Loretta and Paul Briedé, Briedé Vinyards—A family owned and operated farm winery in Frederick County, Virginia, since 2013, Loretta and Paul Briede after retiring from careers in the airline and equestrian fields, have channeled their love for wine and food into an award winning winery. Both are self-taught on the general aspects of viticulture, maintaining an organic environment in accordance with USDA standards, and have attended Virginia Tech Grape Growers Education Series, Eastern Grape Growers Conferences and classes, and have attended the Josephine Porter Institute of Applied Biodynamics weekend clinics.
Based on their own educational and experiential journey, Loretta and Paul will address resource material and ‘tips’ for the beginner vintner, their implementation of a biodynamic environment in their vineyards, and the challenges of maintaining an organic vineyard during the onslaught of invasive pests like the Spotted Lanternfly.
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
The Best Flowers for a Better Life, Jessica Hall, Harmony Harvest Farm—Jessica Hall is the horticultural mastermind and visionary behind Harmony Harvest Farm, a 20-acre cut flower farm in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Jessica studied horticulture at Virginia Tech. She is certified by the American-Grown Flowers and foliage organization, is an active member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, and was a representative for the North American Horticulture Supply Association where she helped draft sustainable standards that the United States presented to NATO. Jessica runs the farm alongside her husband Brian, mother Chris, and sister Stephanie.
A creative at heart, Jessica’s unique approach to flower farming and floral design had piloted her journey of creating one of the only flower farms in the country that ships American -grown flowers directly from the fields to doorsteps nationwide.
Fungi of Appalachia and Home-Grown Mushrooms, Sharon Briggs, Peasant’s Parcel—Sharon Briggs is a West Virginia native who grew up foraging wild mushrooms and plants in the hills surrounding her family home. Sharon graduated from Davis and Elkins College and currently lives only 17 miles from her ‘homeplace.’ In 2020, Sharon and her partner started Peasant’s Parcel a farm specializing in culinary and medicinal fresh mushrooms and products for the home mushroom grower. In her spare time, Sharon enjoys volunteering with a recycling cooperative and as a Hampshire County Master Gardener.
Sharon will discuss many culinary and medicinal wild mushrooms one can forage for in Appalachia and the Mid-Atlantic. She will speak about the varieties of mushrooms (fungi), how to grow them at home, foraging, and the nutritional value of enjoying mushrooms in your diet.
Intentional Garden Design, Ginger Anderson, Education and Outreach Specialist, Oak Springs Garden Foundation—Ginger Anderson focuses on children ages K-12. She has 14 years of teaching experience as an agriculture education teacher in Frederick County, Virginia. She has owned and operated a retail florist business in the city of Winchester for 15 years. Her passion for educating others about plants and animals has been prompted by her years of being involved in the vast aspects of agriculture.
Ginger’s presentation will focus on the intentional design of ‘your’ garden space. She will feature the purpose, planning and plants found in the Wildlife Garden, Food Production Garden and Walled Garden at Oak Spring Garden Foundation as examples and inspiration.
Contact us with any questions.