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Outdoors

Growing and Showing

Of flowers, farming and food

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

If the somewhat balmy afternoon I spent weeding my garden last weekend wasn’t enough to assure me that spring might be on its way, the roster of agriculture-related events happening this coming weekend cements the premise that it’s never too early to start planning what to plant—whether it’s in a big, a small way or somewhere in between. Read on for more details.

Since 1989, the Northwest Flower & Garden Show has been getting people excited about bidding adieu to old man winter and saying “What’s up, beautiful?” to his fun-loving sister, spring. This year is no different. From Wednesday to Sunday, Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center will be transformed into a verdant wonderland, with more than 300 exhibitors showcasing everything from plants to the latest and greatest tools and accessories for your home and garden. A resource center designed to help connect fellow gardeners will also be part of the gathering, as will a variety of show gardens, small space showcases and a floral competition. But that’s not all—not by a long shot. More than 100 seminars and demos will take place during the five-day event, and the lineup of speakers sharing their various talents will have attendees scrambling to make sure they don’t miss anything. Whether it’s the managing editor of Organic Gardening magazine focusing on “Women in the Garden,” bestselling author Amy Stewart taking “An Intoxicating Look at the World of Plants,” garden designer and blogger Amanda Thomsen talking about “What do you Really Want (in a Garden)?,” or radio host and author Charlie Nardozzi honing in on “Urban Gardening for Dummies,” the options to learn something new abound. When: 9am-8pm Feb. 20-23 and 9am-6pm Sun., Feb. 24. Where: Washington State Convention Center, Seattle. Cost: $20 per day or $65 for all five days. Info: http://www.gardenshow.com

What if there was one place you could go to meet local farmers, fishers, food producers and regional buyers and find out more about what they do and how to make connections with them? Thanks to the well-organized folks at Sustainable Connections, you can. The NW Washington Farm to Table Trade Meeting, happening Feb. 22 in Bellingham, fosters direct connections with those working behind the scenes to ensure food choices in the Pacific Northwest are as fresh and local as possible. If you’re interested in sourcing local ingredients or finding out how to sell your own food products, this is the place to be. From a panel discussion focusing on “What’s Working with Procurement of Local Foods?” to roundtable discussions, one-on-one consultations with grocery, restaurant and food and agriculture experts, and a variety of workshops, attendees can expect to encounter a networking paradise. When: 9am-3pm Fri., Feb. 22. Where: St. Luke’s Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Pkwy. Cost: $20. Info: http://www.sustainableconnections.org

When Riverdog Farm’s Trini Campbell gives a keynote speech at Bellewood Acres focusing on “Lettuce Turnip the Beet: A Women’s Guide to Growing Her Own Farm,” she’ll be part of the Women in Agriculture Conference happening at more than 20 locations Feb. 23 throughout Washington State. In addition to gleaning valuable knowledge from the longtime California-based farmer, those attending Saturday’s event will learn a whole lot more about “Growing Your Successful Farm Business,” which is the overall theme of the event. Group discussions, a workshop on the financial side of farming, discussions with local producers and more will be part of the daylong event. When: 8am-4pm Sat., Feb. 23. Where: Bellewood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian Dr. Cost: $20-$35. Info: (509) 745-8531 or http://www.womeninag.wsu.edu

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