Garden Day 2023 Logo

2023 Garden Day-Garden Solutions For A Green Planet


2023 Garden Day-Garden Solutions For A Green Planet-SOLD OUT

  • Saturday, April 22, 2023, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

This one-day gardening extravaganza is a community educational program presented by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County Master Gardener Program.

Everyone will gather in the Quimby Theater at 9am to begin the day with our Keynote Speaker, Carolyn Keogh, Director of Education & Public Programs at The Olana Partnership who will present “Olana: Place as Inspiration”, an informative talk about the vision of Frederick Church during the emergence of the 19th century ecological movement.

Learn more about 19th century artist Frederic Church’s masterwork which will examine Church and his artist-designed house and landscape through the lenses of art, ecology, and place. Carolyn will discuss how deeply rooted Olana and Church’s practice is in the idea of “place as inspiration,” discussing Church’s engagements with the emerging field of ecology in the 19th century and exploring his four-decade-long development of Olana as a work of three dimensional landscape design.


THE MARKETPLACE, with many local garden vendors, will be open during the lunch break. Please note, some vendors aren’t able to accept credit cards at Garden Day (cash or checks OK). Master Gardener volunteers will also be on hand to answer gardening questions, perform free soil tests and plant diagnosis. 


You may bring your own lunch or a box lunch can be pre-purchased for $10. Be sure to indicate your preference on the online registration form. Lunch is prepared by Stone Soup, Kingston, and contains one ½ wrap, a side salad and dessert. One-half wrap filling choices are: portobello, tomato, spinach and fresh mozzarella, or curried chicken salad, or turkey, cheddar cheese and cranberry chutney. All lunches come with a small green salad and cookie. We cannot accommodate special dietary needs. You must PRE-ORDER AND PREPAY with your online registration.

PRE-REGISTRATION is $55.00 per person and closes April 14.

When you register please select your first and second choice for each workshop. We do our best to accommodate everyone but classes do fill up fast.

16 Classes to choose from:

Vermiculture: Turn Food Scraps into Worm Castings – Sue Trager, MGV

The mighty worm! Learn the basics of vermicomposting and the power of “poop”. Worms, bins, and what to “feed” your composting critters will get you started on reducing kitchen waste and having an endless supply of vermicompost for your plants.

Susan Trager has a passion for “all things gardening”, it led her to become a Master Gardener Volunteer in 2015. She is an accredited Flower Show Judge as well as Gardening and Landscape Consultant through National Garden Clubs. Susan has worked for Westchester County Parks as well as a volunteer for The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College.

Mastering the Shady Vegetable Garden – Katherine Chansky, MGV

We know vegetables love full sun, but many do well with less light. Discover the wide variety of popular vegetables you can grow in a shaded garden with the same or less effort as a full-sun vegetable plot. This presentation will cover home sun studies; introduce the best vegetables for shady gardens and show the benefits of extended season gardening.

Katherine Chansky has worked in a perennial nursery and on a family fruit orchard. Over the years she has created gardens to feed her family in the lower Adirondack region, the Hudson Valley and in Rhode Island. She completed the training for Master Gardener certification in Saratoga County in the 1990s and returned to CCE in 2022 to update her knowledge base by completing the training with CCE Ulster County.

Attracting Hummingbirds, Butterflies and Bees to your Garden– George Volpe, MGV

Pollinators face a number of challenges, with habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change at the top of the list. What’s wonderful is, our gardens make a difference. Together we can invite pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to come calling and to even set up shop and stay a while with the right planting techniques.

George Volpe started gardening on the roof of his Queens apartment over 40 years ago, and increased his garden space and knowledge every time he moved. Today he tends more than a half-acre of gardens on land that once grew little more than poison ivy. George spent many years teaching a plant care education program to people with disabilities. He is a Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Growing a Cutting Garden for Seasonal Bouquets – Dawn Hubbell, MGV

In this class, we will delve into the topic of cut flowers! Learn which flowers to grow in your cutting garden, how to harvest them, the components of a beautiful bouquet, and how to get the longest vase life out of your blooms. If you enjoy fresh bouquets and would love to have them come from your garden, this class is for you!

Dawn Hubbell has been a CCE Master Gardener Volunteer since 2020. She has lovingly tended her edible and ornamental gardens at her current home for over 20 years. Dawn is also an author and currently writes a garden blog called Thistle Be the Day. In 2022, she turned her passion for growing into a career and became a Farmer-Florist, opening her cut flower business, Whistling Bee Farm & Florals.

No-Mow May - Do It Your Way – Sara Holsted, MGV

May, yay! Or, no-mow, oh no?! Learn about the science behind this popular gardening idea and how to make it work for you, your neighbors, the birds, and the bees. Get tips and design ideas for yards of all sizes and a suggested list of activities for before, during, and after that may - or may not - include mowing.

Sarah Holsted has been a Master Gardener Volunteer since 2018. She grew up in the South chopping weeds in her grandfather’s vegetable garden and watering her mother’s gardenias. She believes that every yard has the potential to nurture an ecosystem and that we can all be good stewards of the food web.

Onions, Garlic and Shallots for the Home Gardener – Jean Lerner, MGV- CLOSED This class has reached capacity please select another class for this time slot.

Garlic, onions and shallots are easy to grow and very rewarding for the home gardener. Why buy garlic and shallots when you can propagate your own? These bulbs share many characteristics, not the least of which is deliciousness, but each has its own requirements to grow well. This talk is filled with the little hints and tricks that will take the stress out of growing these vegetables and give you a successful, bountiful harvest.

Jean Lerner started gardening in a flower bed in the middle of busy Broadway in New York City. She moved on to vegetables at a community garden in the city, then graduated to a full garden when she became a home owner in Ulster County. Through the Master Gardener program she discovered hard neck garlic that is grown in this area, and immediately began propagating her own. She has been encouraging people to grow shallots for years, and is happy to see this easy and interesting bulb becoming more available at the Garlic Festival. She loves to cook, and is always trying new recipes for her crops.

Spring Cleaning - Preparing for the season ahead – Nancy Taylor, MGV, Nordica Holochuck, MGV, Ellen DeLong, MGV, Valerie Vincelette, MGV.

You’ve left your fall garden a bit on the wild-side to help shelter pollinators and other insects over winter. What should you do now? This demo class will use the Master Gardeners’ Xeriscape gardens to demonstrate some of the reasons and methods for removal of the winter mulch layer, perennials that need pruning or cutting back, division of early growing perennial grasses and cutting back grasses left standing.

Nancy Taylor has been a CCEUC Master Gardener for 20 years, spending most of her volunteer time on the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden maintenance team. She has relied on the MG Program, and her fellow Master Gardeners, to keep up with research and recommendations on good garden maintenance, now focusing on methods that help shelter pollinators, insects and provide for other beneficial wildlife.

Ellen DeLong. “I consider myself a second generation Master Gardener Volunteer, following my father's lead of joining the program after retirement. I've been a gardener my whole life, first, at my father's knee, second as a forestry student and finally as a MGV tutored by an amazing array of knowledgeable, passionate experts for the past 10 years.”

Nordica Holochuck enjoys gardening in her rocky backyard in Ulster County. A fan of flowers, vegetables, berries, herbs and most anything that can successfully grow in shade, she believes gardening is our birthright and anybody who is interested should go for it! She holds a Master of Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College and is an experienced environmental educator.

Valerie Vincelette, who loves playing in the dirt, is a Master Gardener Volunteer who fulfilled her goal of completing the training course in 2020. Her interests are mainly in the maintenance and upkeep of gardens. She especially enjoys working at the Xeriscape Demo Garden at SUNY Stone Ridge.

The Magic of Moss– Diane Goetz, MGV

A review of basic types of moss that might be found locally, how to encourage it as a ground cover and how to use it ornamentally in Kokedama and miniature moss gardens.

Diane Goetz splits her time between Brooklyn and Milan, NY, where each has its gardening challenges and rewards. Her small yard in Brooklyn allows her to plant bulbs and perennials without worrying about providing deer dessert and her garden in the Hudson Valley gives her space for vegetables and wildflowers as well as lots of moss to enjoy.

Made for the Shade – Barbara Bravo, MGV

If you live in a wooded area or where buildings cast lots of shade, this class is for you. We will explore the best plants to meet these conditions with a focus on one of the most vexing gardening challenges – dry shade. Discover what you can do to improve the conditions and which plants to choose to brighten up the shady garden bed.

Barbara Bravo is a dedicated gardener with more than 30 years’ experience reclaiming neglected gardens as well as establishing new beds and an enclosed vegetable garden at her home in Quarryville, Saugerties. She has been a Master Gardener Volunteer since 2005 and has lectured on many gardening topics.

Herbs - Getting the most out of your herb garden. – Diane Carlson, MGV CLOSED This class has reached capacity please select another class for this time slot.

Herb gardens can be tiny, large, scattered amongst the rest of your garden plants or planted in containers on your deck. In addition, to adding beauty to your garden and attracting pollinators, we’ll discuss easy ways to use herbs in our everyday lives, the easiest herbs to grow, and how to preserve them.

Diane Carlson was raised in the south, with grandmothers who had large gardens to feed their families. She and her husband, Skip, have had gardens and have canned food every place they lived since 1979! At fifty years of age, they started a market farm sharing their bounty at the Saugerties Farmers Market. Nothing gives Diane more pleasure than clipping fresh chives or grabbing a handful or thyme from the herb garden to add to supper!

Learn How to Turn Insects into Allies, not Enemies - Cecily Frazier, MGV

Understanding how Nature works can make her a very helpful partner in your garden. This class will teach you how best to lure beneficial insects that will eat the destructive ones. Learn about techniques including intercropping, cover crops, insectary strips, and plant associations that really work. All are useful techniques that you can use to turn insects into helpers, not a hindrance!

Cecily Frazier has been an organic gardener for more than 50 years. As she became more and more focused on helping to restore a renewed balance in our gardens, she learned about using beneficial insect’s to help control pest insects, and how she could establish and maintain them. Insects don’t have too many boosters, but she’s one! Let her show you how helpful —and fascinating—they really can be!

Heirloom Tomatoes Knowhow– Skip Carlson, MGV

What makes an heirloom tomato? What is the difference between an heirloom and a hybrid? What’s the difference between an “open pollinated” tomato and an heirloom? Why grow heirloom tomatoes? Learn how to save seeds from heirloom tomatoes and tips for growing some of the most famous ones – Mortgage Lifter, Rutgers, and Cherokee Purple.

Skip Carlson. Skip and his wife Diane own a small market farm in Palenville, NY. They grow berries, vegetables, shitake mushrooms and, of course, heirloom tomatoes. They are also a supplier of tomato seeds for Fedco-Seeds. Skip has been an avid tomato grower most of his life.

Aging Gracefully with Your Garden Edibles – Peggy Berk, MGV, and Courtney Churchill, MGV Coordinator

As much as we enjoy filling our tables with the bounty of our gardens, as we age, the labor and expense of an annual garden can become burdensome. Join us as we explore, from the familiar to the exotic, the myriad ways you and your garden can age gracefully together using edible perennials, reliable self-seeders and container plants you can overwinter indoors.

Peggy Berk got hooked on culinary gardening 25 years ago, growing a panoply of herbs and other edibles in and around her New York City apartment. After relocating to Catskill Park, she expanded her interest in home grown food and how it can sustainably address food insecurity including homestead-based perennial food forests and guilds, and forest farming.

Courtney Churchill has worked for CCE Ulster since 2019 and is the Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator. Courtney is lifelong gardener who grew up in Ulster County and she is passionate about tomatoes, heirloom vegetables and recently developed an interest in perennial edibles.

Pruning Shrubs & Trees – John McCormick, MGV CLOSED This class has reached capacity please select another class for this time slot.

This class will start in the classroom with a presentation of information on what to prune, when to prune, how to prune and what tools to use. We will then venture outdoors to needy shrubs to apply pruning techniques discussed in class.

John McCormick has been a CCE Master Gardener since 2008. He is a retired high school Social Studies teacher and has recently retired as an adjunct at Marist College in the Education Dept. As a boy, his informal education in gardening and landscaping started on a small Westchester farm market and later working summers for Accocella’s Landscaping while attending SUNY New Paltz. John currently has his own business, H&R McCormick Tax Preparation.

Understanding Your Home Lawn – Frank Almquist, MGV

This class will help you to understand what makes a good lawn, soil, how to recover if it gets out of control, and how to build a new one, if needed. Types of turf grasses will be covered, how to identify the grass type(s) you have, and how to buy seed for your needs. Also covered will be weed and invasive grass control.

Frank Almquist retired from IBM, has been a MG for 20 years, he has taught many garden day classes as well as training classes for new MG trainees. He specializes in soil science and lawns. Along with a Koi pond, he and his wife Peggy grow about 200 varieties of daylilies as well as a large collection of Hosta.

Amazing Annuals - Diane Backus, MGV CLOSED This class has reached capacity please select another class for this time slot.

A colorful presentation with plenty of gardeners’ “eye candy” and tips about what to choose and how to care for your seasonal annuals including watering, dead heading, when to fertilize, and propagation.

Diane Backus. “Gardening has been a passion of mine for over 30 years. After admiring a friend’s garden I started one of my own and the addiction began. Visiting Botanical gardens every place I go has inspired me to expand my garden and start new ones. I have been a Master Gardener Volunteer for seven years. Perennials are a passion of mine. My garden has 12 varieties of cone flower and 24 varieties of hosta, along with hundreds of other plants.”


$55, lunch is an additional $10, no refunds



SUNY Ulster
491 Cottekill Road
Stone Ridge, New York 12484

Last updated April 10, 2023