Promoting gardening and landscaping as a way to build stronger neighborhoods and to encourage a healthier lifestyle is the mission behind the GROW Jamestown initiative.
GROW Jamestown began in 2011 as a collaboration between numerous organizations and businesses in the Jamestown area. As part of the program, a garden fair is now held each year which includes exhibits from local landscapers and garden centers, garden decoration artisans and organizations with information on gardening as a community boosting activity.
This is the third year for the garden fair that will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney Renaissance Center at the corner of Washington and West Third streets in downtown Jamestown. This year's event is sponsored by Mike's Nursery, which is located at 199 E. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, and will feature exhibits and workshops useful for new gardeners as well as for veteran green thumbs. The event is free to attend, with free Saturday parking available throughout the downtown area.
''Gardening and landscaping are great ways to make Jamestown a healthier and more attractive community,'' said Mary Maxwell, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation neighborhood project associate. ''This event is designed to provide the public with useful information, but also to connect the individuals, organizations and businesses that have an active interest in promoting a more verdant Jamestown.''
A series of workshops will begin at 10:30 a.m. that includes presentations from Chautauqua County Master Gardeners on garden planning; seed collection and starting; composting; herb container gardening; and food preservation. Architect Steven Sandberg will be offering a workshop on front yard design. There will also be a workshop on how to start a community garden. Seating for workshops will be limited, with registration occurring on-site during the fair.
The workshop scheduled from 10:30-11:15 a.m. will be on garden planning, which will be presented by Diane Frederes. From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:15-3:15 p.m. there will be mini-sessions lasting 15 minutes each. The first is on seed selection, which will be presented by Peggy Fitzgibbon; the second is on seed starting that will be given by Judy Thies; the third will be a composting presentation by Jim Cowan and Steve Rees; and the fourth program will be on herb container gardening that will be lead by Jamestown Community College officials.
From 1:15-2 p.m. there will be a presentation on preserving the harvest: freezing, dehydrating and canning that will be given by the Chautauqua County Master Food Preservers. For children, The Home Depot and Jamestown Community College will be offering a special exhibit on gardening, including hands-on demonstrations for ages 5-12.
Businesses scheduled to attend include Mike's Nursery; Marlinski Landscape and Stonework; Troyer's Greenhouse; The Home Depot; the Secret Garden Flower Shop; Paula Coats Pottery; Fences and Stuff; and Bruce J. Robinson Photography. Gypsy Moon Cake Company, Dalahast Coffee Roasters and Busti Cider Mill will be selling food and refreshments.
Local organizations participating in the event include the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation; Chautauqua County Master Gardeners and Master Food Preservers; Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play; Jamestown Audubon Society; the Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market; James Prendergast Library; JCC's Community Garden; the city of Jamestown's Parks Department; BOCES; Second Chances; Chautauqua Opportunities Inc.; Warren County Master Gardeners; The Resource Center; Jamestown High School's Gardeners of Weedn'; and the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy.
For more information on GROW Jamestown and the garden fair, visit growjamestown.com or contact Maxwell at the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation at 664-2477, ext. 224.