Peppers, tomatoes and lettuce were among the vegetables grown by Master Gardeners up for tasting Tuesday.
The vegetables were free to try through Cornell Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener Program, which hosted its second Evening in the Garden event. The tasting was held at Cornell's demonstration site at the Frank Bratt Ag Center, 3542 Turner Road. The evening included a tour of the garden, a tasting of the vegetable varieties that have been grown and seed saving and lasagna gardening demonstrations.
Betsy Burgeson, Cornell's Master Gardener coordinator, said during the two Evening in the Garden programs, with a third in the near future, a lot of people have attended to see the demonstration garden.
People are shown trying the different varieties of vegetables from the demonstration garden at the county’s Cornell Cooperative Extension office through the Master Gardener program. The demonstration garden is located at the Frank Bratt Ag Center, 3542 Turner Road, Jamestown.
P-J photos by Dennis Phillips
''So far, we've had a great turnout. Because of the great turnouts, we're going to hopefully do it monthly next year,'' she said. ''We wanted to have a way to show what we've done. It is a nice relaxing time to come here in the evening and enjoy the garden.''
In the garden, nine beds were planted to inform the public about vegetable varieties. Burgeson said Cornell officials told the Master Gardeners what and where to plant each vegetable variety. From there, the gardeners planted and maintained the garden. As part of the program, the gardeners tested how vegetables would grow in either synthetic or organic fertilizer.
Since the Master Gardeners program started back up in 2009 after a 20-year absence, volunteers have donated more than 5,900 hours to the community. In the spring of 2009, 17 people graduated from the first training session. In 2010, 23 more graduated and 19 became master gardeners in 2011.
Burgeson said about 50 master gardeners volunteer their time to give advice. The program has a hotline from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday where people can call 664-9502, ext., 224, and ask for gardening advice. Also, people can send their questions through email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
''We saw a real need for gardening advice,'' Burgeson said. ''The hotline has been invaluable, along with the volunteers, in helping people.''