Category Archives: Upcoming Events

Saturday Samplers

I know I’ve teased you and hinted at the Saturday Samplers programs a couple of different times and I keep forgetting to write a blog post about them.

This series is a way for you to come get a free “sample” of our gardening and cooking programs this summer! One Saturday a month we will be meeting at 9 a.m. in the Demonstration Garden at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center (21st St N & Ridge Rd) to feature growing and cooking a different vegetable or herb. Participants will learn cooking and nutrition tips, timely gardening tips, and get a tour of the demonstration garden.

All Saturday Samplers are free and no registration is required. The Kansas Grown! Farmers’ Market will be going on in the parking lot, so participants are encouraged to  plan accordingly.


April 6 – Grow Your Own Salad

May 4 – Herb Day

June 8 – Garlic & Shallots

July 13 – Beyond Basic Basil

July 27 – Tomato Day

August 17 – Eggplant

September 21 – Fall Root Vegetables

Topics may be subject to change due to what is happening in the garden, so watch the blog for updates as we get going!

Handouts from the 2013 Grow Good Food Workshop

If you missed out on the Grow Good Food Workshop this past Saturday (or if you had to leave early), here are the handouts for you to download. They are all PDFs, and some of the files are pretty larges, so be warned!

Vegetable Gardening from the Ground Up 2013 Revised

Growing a Garden in Heat and Drought

Organic Pest Control

Grow Your Own Salad

Starting Seeds Under Lights

Fruit Trees for Small Spaces

Cooking with Fresh Vegetables & Herbs

Food Preservation 2013

Winter Storm Aftermath & Upcoming Events

Unfortunately, due to the amount of snow that piled up last week and the beginning of this week, I didn’t get more pictures of the garden until yesterday.

You can see that the snow on the beds nearest the building has already started melting significantly, but that the far end is still piled and drifted with snow. It should be a good amount of moisture (and protection) for the garlic and shallots for the time being. It’s kind of nice having a winter that looks like winter for a change.

Normally I would have a few teaser pictures from the Outdoor Living & Landscape Show to share, but again, I didn’t get my camera down there yet. I’ll probably have a few pictures next week. Meanwhile, you can find out anything pertinent about the show here: Outdoor Living & Landscape Show. The list of seminars is there as well.

The 3rd annual Grow Good Food Workshop is fast approaching! It will be on Saturday, March 23rd here at the Extension Office. You can see the schedule and register online at

Waiting out the Blizzard

With all the winter weather that we’ve had (and are still having for at least another day), thoughts of the garden for this summer are a little bit on hold. Later this week, I should have a couple posts and pictures from the 2nd Outdoor Living and Landscape Show (Mar. 1-3 at Century II). So what to do while waiting out the storm? Think about what to cook with all the vegetables we haven’t even planted yet, of course!

I’ll be partnering with our Foods & Nutrition Agent, Denise, to have some new classes, called “Saturday Samplers” one Saturday each month this spring through fall. These will be short classes out in the Demonstration Garden, somewhat similar to the Friday Lunch in the Garden events I did a few years ago. More information on those will be coming later. For now, I’m amusing myself by looking for interesting recipes featuring things we’ll have in the garden this year.

If you’ve been following the blog long (or attended any of my gardening classes), you’ve probably heard me joke about how I don’t consider eggplant edible. I’ve really only ever found a couple recipes that make it palatable. So I’m definitely looking for some good eggplant recipes. (Yes, I know all about eggplant parmesan.)

Here are some other veggies and herbs we might feature at some point:

  • Thyme (regional herb of the year!)
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Tomatoes (of course!)
  • Root Vegetables (radishes, fall radishes, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips)
  • Brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage)

Do you have any interesting recipes that feature any of these vegetables or herbs? Healthy is always good, but we aren’t specifically locked into recipes that are “low-everything.” (At least I’m not! You have to like a vegetable first, in my opinion. Then we’ll talk about how you are cooking it. Except battered and fried. I drawn the line there. Sorry.)

You get extra points if you can fit multiple of the things listed above into one recipe! I found this one: Cold Tomato-Thyme Soup with Garlic Croutons.

Tomato Day this Saturday, July 28th!

Tomato Day  – July 28th from 7 am—12 pm

Do you love everything tomato? Have you struggled to grow great tomatoes? The 23rd Annual Tomato Day is for you! The event will be held at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center at 21st and Ridge in Wichita on Saturday, July 28th from 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. This event features information on selecting, planting, maintaining, cooking with tomatoes.  Admission is free.

Enter a Tomato Day Contest!

Gardeners, bring your home grown tomatoes and enter them in a contest to win a gift certificate to the Kansas Grown! Farmers Market.

Contest Categories:

  • Largest (by weight, single tomato)
  • Ugliest (single tomato, please no rotten tomatoes)
  • Best Heirloom Specimen (single tomato)
  • Standard Tomatoes (Plate of 3)
  • Roma or Plum Tomatoes (Plate of 3)
  • Cherry or Pear Tomatoes (Plate of 6)
  • Cluster of Grape Tomatoes (Still on the cluster)
  • Fresh Salsa (please bring recipe)
  • Preserved Salsa (must meet USDA standards, please include recipe)

For more information on contests, please visit

Stuff the Truck for Plant a Row for the Hungry

Help us fill a truck with fresh produce for the Kansas Food Bank. Donate at least 1 lb. of fresh produce at the Plant a Row for the Hungry tent outside 4-H Hall during Tomato Day and you will be entered into a door prize drawing. You can donate produce from your garden or that you purchase, but we do ask that it be fresh produce.

Gardening and Cooking Seminars at Tomato Day

Seminars in Demonstration Garden:

8:00   Composting Demonstration

8:30   Demonstration Garden Tour

9:15   Shade Tree Tour in the Arboretum (meet in the Meadowlark Room)

9:15   Grilling Pizza: Beyond Cheese & Pepperoni

10:30   Raised Bed Gardening

11:00   Beyond Tomatoes – Gardening in the Fall

11:30   Savor the Season, Eating Seasonally in Kansas – Natalie Fullerton, Our Local Food Program

Seminars in the Sunflower Room:

8:30  Cooking with Tomatoes – Damian Lehman, executive chef of Wichita Country Club

10:30   Canning Q & A

11:00  Preserving Tomatoes Beyond Canning