Burlington--Gardeners of all abilities are invited to participate in a virtual statewide gardening conference, Nov. 5-6, to hear from horticultural, soil and composting experts from Vermont and Massachusetts.

The theme for the conference, which is sponsored by the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Community Horticulture Program, is Gardening for Resilience: Feeding our Soil, Seeds, Habitats and Communities. Sessions will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on both days via Zoom.

The $40 fee provides access to the live sessions and archived recordings of the conference. Partial scholarships are available for Vermonters.

For information about the conference and financial aid or to register, visit http://go.uvm.edu/mastergardenerstateconference. To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact Beret Halverson at (802) 656-1777 or beret.halverson@uvm.edu by Oct. 13. Registrations will be accepted until Nov. 3 at 11:45 p.m.

The conference opens with a presentation by Sylvia Davatz, an organic gardener from Hartland, who will describe her research, including trials on seed varieties suitable for Northeast climates, and explain the steps to saving seeds from home gardens. Davatz is the founder of Solstice Seeds and a member of the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, and ProSpecieRara, the Swiss seed savers' organization.

Gardeners also will hear from Cat Buxton, a UVM Extension Master Composter from Sharon, and Natasha Duarte, director of the Composting Association of Vermont, on soil health and composting.

The second day includes talks by Dan Jaffe Wilder, a horticulturalist, propagator and staff photographer for the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary in Monson, Massachusetts, and award-winning novelist and Harvard professor Jamaica Kincaid. Wilder will describe how to build a resilient landscape. Kincaid, a North Bennington resident, will draw from personal experience to explore how gardening can sustain the body and soul.

All sessions will allow time for questions.


Beret Halverson