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Marin IJ Articles

Meet us at the Fair!

  • Dot Zanotti Ingels
  • Getting ready for the fair. Photo: Marie Narlock
    Getting ready for the fair. Photo: Marie Narlock
    Yipppeeeeee!  The Marin County Fair is back!  No folks are more thrilled to be back than your Marin Master Gardeners.  Our team has been very busy making plans for an engaging exhibit to support our theme of learning how to create Earth-friendly gardens.  We know you want to have a happy and healthy garden that you can share with families, friends, and contented bees, birds, butterflies, hummers, and lizards. So stop by our tent, and we will show and tell you how it’s done.  Our goal is to show you that every action in your garden that uses Earth-friendly gardening principles leads us closer to a healthy environment, one gardener and one garden at a time.  Enjoy the garden itself and the two 30-minute talks on the “How To’s” of Earth-friendly gardening each day.  We are sure you will be inspired to bring your new knowledge home to your garden.

    Our visitors can expect to see:

    • How to grow a healthy, Earth-friendly garden that looks great, uses sustainable techniques, and benefits the broader environment
    • California natives and other low-water plants that welcome pollinators and other beneficial insects
    • How to remove a lawn and walkable alternatives to plant there instead
    • Fire-smart strategies
    • A vegetable garden brimming with fresh, yummy produce
    • An excellent and enthusiastic line-up of speakers who will cover a broad range of topics, including habitat gardening, managing rats, inviting beneficial insects, irrigation, fire-smart strategies, container gardening, native plants, composting, and succulents

    Get ready for loads of fun on Children’s Day. We will be encouraging the kids to fully experience special sensory plants brought in for the day, guide them as they dig through a worm bin, and give hints for an Earth-friendly scavenger hunt.

    We will be at the fair from June 30 to July 4 from 11 am to 7 pm.  On July 5, you will find us there from 9 to 11 am for a plant sale where you can snag some great deals. You can find us in the barnyard.  Look for the big white and yellow tent and smiling Master Gardeners.

    Check out this amazing speaker schedule:

    Friday, July 1, 11:30 am

    Fire-Smart Landscaping Strategies 

    Speaker: UCCE Marin Fire-Smart Landscape Science Coordinator Sophia Porter 

    Overwhelmed by the recent fire events? Want to make your property more resilient to fire? Learn the latest science-based techniques for planning and maintaining your landscape for maximum defense when a wildfire threatens. 

    Friday, July 1, 1:30 pm

    Growing Edibles in Containers 

    Speaker: UC Marin Master Gardener Raoul Stepakoff 

    Do you want to grow some of your own food but don’t have the garden space? Grow edibles in containers instead! Come learn which plants do best, what containers work, and the soil, water, and care they need to provide a bounty of fresh, delicious herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Raoul will demonstrate how to plant a small edible garden. Yes, you CAN build your own patio produce market! 

    Saturday, July 2, 11:30 am

    Vermicomposting or Composting with Worms

    Speaker: UC Marin Master Gardener Joan Irwin

    Want to compost yard litter and food scraps but don’t have the space (or inclination) for a large compost setup? Vermicomposting (worm composting) is a great solution! It's easy, Earth-friendly, and it provides nutritious plant food. Learn how to make a worm bin from recycled materials, how to manage a bin you've purchased, what can and shouldn’t go into a bin, and what conditions worms need to be happy and productive. 

    Saturday, July 2, 1:30 pm

    Introduction to California Native Plants 

    Speaker: UC Marin Master Gardener Karen Holleran 

    Join the growing movement to bring California’s iconic landscape into your garden. Learn what California native plants are, the beauty and benefits of growing them, which to grow and how to care for them, and why they are a popular, Earth-friendly choice. 

    Sunday, July 3, 11:30 am 

    Creating a Succulent Garden 

    Speaker: UC Marin Master Gardener Gary Bartl

    Learn how to design, install, and care for a succulent garden. Discover the soil, irrigation, and sun/shade exposure they need to grow and thrive. Succulents come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and hail from all over the world. Adding these low-water beauties to your garden creates instant texture and interest. 

    Sunday, July 3, 1:30 pm

    Growing California Native Plants in Containers 

    Speaker: UC Marin Master Gardener Bonnie Marks 

    Even with limited garden space, you can enjoy the presence of birds, butterflies, and other pollinators while adding beauty and interest to your patio or deck. Learn the many benefits of California native plants, which containers and potting mixes are best, and how to care for them.