A free festival this Saturday on Back Road in Middletown will offer fall planting tips as well as music and family activities.
Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association Fall 2021 will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Richard’s Fruit Market on Middle Road.
This is the organization’s third FallFest, organizer Jennifer Adams said. Last year’s festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and another year she said a hurricane canceled the festivities.
Saturday’s event will be rain or shine, she said, but since it’s outside, heavy enough rains could affect the schedule.
“It depends on the intensity of the rain,” she said.
Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will be giving educational lectures starting at 10:00 am Lectures will cover Putting the Garden to Bed at 10:00 am with Rodney Dowty, Bulbs & Woody Propagation at 10:30 am with Lynn Hoffman and Spotted Lantern Fly at 1:00 pm 30 with Joanne Royalty and Kate Reed.
Workshops and demonstrations will cover Seed Saving at 10:30 am with Kerry Higdon, Perennial Division at 11:00 am with Pat Burselem, Dried Flowers Pressed at 11:30 am with Helen Lake and Debbie Alverson, Pumpkin Carving at 12:30 pm with Tricia Boyd, Sharpening Winter Maintenance & Tools at 1:00 p.m. with Glenn Martin, and Monarch Butterfly Marker Demonstration / Crossing Stations at 1:30 p.m. with Glenn Martin.
There will be gifts of roots and tubers for the guests and their gardens.
Music will be provided by the Shenandoah Strummers at 11 a.m., the West Can Jug Band at 11:30 a.m., the Village at Orchard Ridge Dulcimer Ensemble at noon, the Stormy Weather Band at 12:45 p.m. and dulcimer and flute at 2 p.m.
Cooking with Apples by Vanessa Santiago will take place at noon, and guests can also snuggle up around the fireplaces to make s’mores (with supervision) from 11:30 am to 1 pm.
“This educational event aims to help homeowners maintain their gardens and grow plants with research-based information,” says a press release from the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association.
The festival will also include information on how to become a master gardener, and Richard’s Fruit Market is ready to offer farm tours. Look for a sign-up sheet on site.
Free parking will be available. Food will be available for purchase.
Although in recent years the festival has been held in Belle Grove, Adams said she can’t wait to take in Richard’s beautiful surroundings.
“It’s lovely, it’s really lovely,” she said.
In recent years, FallFest has hosted guests in September as well, but she said it can often get too hot.
“Our goal was to make it look like fall,” she said.