Green Thumbs Keynote speakers coming March 24
The Delaware County Master Gardeners will be hosting the 12th annual Green Thumbs Gardeners’ Fair on March 24.
Marilou Suszko from Vermillion, Ohio will be one of the keynote speakers. Marilou will be speaking about local food based on her first book, Farms and Foods of Ohio: From Garden Gate to Dinner Plate. I recently interviewed Marilou to discover how she came up with the idea for her book.
Marilou said she was part of the local food movement before it actually became fashionable. She welcomes the return to learning to cook, feeding ourselves, enjoying home gardening and supporting local farmers. She was motivated to write her books about seasonal eating and local food because of the farmers. They are hard working, interesting and willing to share their stories. She hopes that by reading her books, people will be motivated to develop better practices for homegrown, seasonal and local foods.
She had wonderful experiences and stories about her travels around the state meeting more than 30 farmers featured in her first book. One of her favorites was David Kline of Larksong Farm in Fredericksburg. She enjoyed a lunch of fresh corn off the stalk with nothing on it, right in the field, and said it was the best corn she had ever had. She has other stories she will share with the attendees on March 24.
She developed her wonderful recipes in her second book, The Locavore’s Kitchen, by using seasonal cooking ideas. Cooking and using what is in season just comes naturally. Every recipe was tested numerous times by herself and other recipe testers.
Marilou’s schedule is filling up quickly with talks scheduled around the state. She will be at the Laurel Run Cooking School, The Gervasi Winery, Dorothy Lane Cooking School and many more.
I asked Marilou how and where she gets her local products in the winter. She does a lot of preserving through the season, and relies on her own resources to fill in all year round. She is lucky there are local sources for eggs, dairy, meats, grains and dried beans in her area. She has also had the same fortune of a warm winter, and is still picking turnips and kale out of her own garden. “Winter is a challenge, but then I like being challenged,” she said.
She has a very exciting new project coming up that involves the fabulous West Side Market in Cleveland. She is teaming up with another Cleveland local author, Laura Taxel, on a book regarding the 100-year history of the market. If you have not been there, it’s a true treat and a must for this year’s travel plans. This gem is only a two-hour drive from Delaware.
Our second keynote speaker is Jennifer Radcliffe of William Natorp Nursery in Mason, Ohio. She will speak on container gardening. Jennifer works as the container manager for the nursery, where they produce 350,000 containers of shrubs and perennials anually.
She currently offers programs in the Cincinnati area to garden organizations, the garden center, and works as a volunteer at the Cincinnati Flower Show.
Jennifer has been involved in the horticulture industry for more than 25 years since she attended the Ohio State University. She still maintains a fascination and curiosity about the art and science of Horticulture.
Join the Delaware County Master Gardeners from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 24 for the two keynotes, in addition to other classes and speakers throughout the day. Jennifer will speak at 10:45 a.m. and Marilou will speak at 1:30 p.m.
Upcoming garden workshop
Join the Delaware County Master Gardeners and the Grow and Share Community Garden Committee, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, for an instructional program on how to start your vegetable garden. Connie Zuga and Norma Lind will walk you through, step by step, on how to start seeds at home. The program will be held in the community room of the new YMCA at 1121 S. Houk Road, Delaware. This class is part of the Community Garden program series scheduled for the third Thursday of every month. Programs are free of charge and open to the public. Call the Extension office at 740–833-2030 with any questions.
Susan Liechty is a Delaware County OSU Extension Master Gardener.