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Gardening and More: Learn about gardening at Dairy/Ag Festival

Talks for gardeners and farmers will be presented during the Western New York Dairy/Agricultural Festival on June 7 and 8.

HAMBURG — A new feature—a series of talks for backyard gardeners as well as farmers— is being added to the Western New York Dairy/Agricultural Festival, this year.

The talks will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8 in Concord Town Hall, located at 86 Franklin St. in Springville.

I’ll kick off the talks at 1 p.m. on Saturday with “45 Gardening Tips in 45 Minutes.” I’ll share some of the best tips I’ve encountered while interviewing home gardeners and gardening experts. Even beginning gardeners should come away with one or two things they can use in their own garden.

If you’re a gardener who wants to try something more ambitious, you should check out the talk by Kate Johnson, a young woman who lives just outside the village of Springville. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, she will talk about how her family grows food and raises chickens. Holly Haddad, treasurer for the festival, was telling me about everything Johnson produces. They may call it gardening, but I think it borders on farming.

Since this is an agricultural festival, some of the talks are indeed geared to farmers, Haddad said. Many of the farmers in this area were dairy farmers but have had to diversify. One farmer will present at 1 p.m. on Saturday about how she connected with a Buffalo chef to bring fresh organic produce to the table.

Yet another group that organizers hope to reach in these talks are those who might be interested in starting a community garden, Haddad explained. She noted that a Springville new senior center is planned, and it has space available that could be used for a community garden. That talk will be at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

When you come in for the talks, make sure you stop by the information tables, too, to learn more about various gardening topics.

Here’s the entire list of talks:

Saturday, June 7:

1-2 p.m. – Connie Oswald Stofko, author of Gardening & More, “45 Gardening Tips in 45 Minutes.”

2-3 p.m. – Kate Johnson, private farmer in Springville, “Backyard Food Production: A Personal Account.” This is one family’s experience gardening, canning and raising chickens.

3-4 p.m. – Mary J. Bolo of The Lord’s Garden & Tea Room in Eden, “Garden Design & Curb Appeal” and “Three Principles for Good Design.”

4-5 p.m. – Daniel Roeloss of the Arden Farm in East Aurora, “Community Gardening” and “Soil Preparation.”

Sunday, June 8:

1-2 p.m. – Margaret Kraupp and Jody Alsbrook, “The Farm to Table Experiment: How a Buffalo Chef & Local Farmer Partnered to Bring Fresh Organic Produce to the Table.” This will be an informative and sometimes hilarious look at their two-year experiment.

2-3 p.m. – Jack Mann of Brant Apple Farm, “From Dairy to Diversity.”

3-4 p.m. – Stew Ritchie of Native Offerings Farm, LLC in Little Valley, “Plants that Work Here.”

4-5 p.m. – Bruce Robinson, forester and master gardener, “Wood Lot Development/Improvement” and “Birds, Bugs & Butterflies.”

You can find more information about the festival at

Connie Oswald Stofko is publisher of, the gardening magazine. Email


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