Family Fun: A Garden Education Faire for all

By Mary Fran McClure
WSU Chelan/Douglas County Master Gardener

Master Gardener discussing topics with visitors to the Garden Faire.
WSU Master Gardener Jan Clark discusses growing herbs with a visitor during last year’s Garden Faire. This year’s Garden Faire on June 15 will be scaled down a bit from a year ago but will provide plenty of opportunities for attendees to engage one-on-one with Master Gardeners on a variety of gardening topics. There will also be an area designated for youth activities. – Provided photo/Mary Fran McClure
Mary Fran McClure
Mary Fran McClure – WSU Extension Chelan/Douglas County Master Gardener – photo by Don Seabrook, Wenatchee World

A free, green-thumb adventure for the whole family is planned for 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 15 at WSU Chelan-Douglas Master Gardeners’ Community Education Garden on the northwest corner of Western and Springwater avenues.

This event features learning stations and demonstrations throughout the popular garden for all ages and interests. It’s patterned after the WSU Master Gardener 50th anniversary celebration our program hosted last June that attracted more than 200 visitors. Don’t worry, there are 15 different theme gardens here!

This gives you a flavor of some of the stations planned for the June 15 event:

  • Landscaping for wildfire resilience
  • Waterwise landscaping with drip- and micro-irrigation systems
  • Drought-tolerant landscape plants
  • Mason and leafcutter pollinator bees
  • Using native plants in the home landscape
  • Veggie gardening in small spaces
  • Home composting
  • Worm composting
  • Community composting
  • Yard waste composting
  • Disposal services
  • How to become a Master Gardener
  • Good bugs, bad bugs

These subjects and more will attract visitors who seek helpful information and can talk with experts on a one-on-one basis, rather than being part of an audience.

It’s not just the adults who will be engaged during the family event.

“We’ve dedicated a whole area to youth activities, ensuring that kids of all ages can have fun while learning about the wonders of gardening,” explains WSU Master Gardener Debra Benbow, event chair.

Youth activities will include:

  • Vegetable printing on a muslin swag bag to take home
  • A book circle: reading large format books about gardens, bugs and assorted fun subjects
  • Discover the intriguing life of worms and compost
  • Learn about edible ornamental flowers that are good to eat (no, you don’t get to eat them there, but know what flowers are edible)
  • Take home a nasturtium seedling or marigold seeds to grow at home
  • Local 4-Hers will host a small-animal petting zoo.

If you’re looking for answers to your gardening problems, bring your questions to our on-site Plant Clinic. Photos, a stem or plant that shows your problem helps the diagnosticians, and if you’re wondering about an insect problem, bring them in a jar.

A Master Gardener Foundation sales table offers an interesting array of helpful garden-related tools, books and other items at reasonable prices. Proceeds from the sale of gloves, tools and other items helps support the WSU Chelan-Douglas Master Gardener Program’s activities.

Sponsors of this two-hour event are Winton Mfg. Compost Works, Stemilt Organic Recycling Center and Vamanos Junk Haulers.

For more information, contact WSU Extension at (509) 667-6540 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays.

A WSU Chelan and Douglas County Master Gardener column appears weekly in The Wenatchee World. To learn more, visit or call (509) 667-6540.