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Family Horticulture Day at West Madison – May 9

Gather family and friends or grab a neighbor and join us on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Family Horticulture Day at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station. Learn all about square-foot, raised-bed, and container gardening. See the rainbow of vegetables displayed and find out what a purple carrot tastes like – you may really like the taste.

A variety of indoor and outdoor exhibits staffed by Master Gardener volunteers, the staff of the UW-West Madison Agricultural Research Station and Science Alliance will give visitors hands-on experience with horticultural science. Purple carrots, along with their red, pink, yellow, blue and white brethren, will be part of the Rainbow of Carrots. Potatoes in purple, red and yellow will feature the “Eyes of Potatoes.” The red popcorn program is back and (along with white, yellow, purple and black) is part of the Popcorn Challenge. Take the challenge to figure out which makes the best popcorn. And enjoy tasting and comparing three types of ice cream – all flavored with plant extracts, of course!

Still interested in more amazing science projects? Check out the Cabbage Chemistry Challenge and join in the amazing color change. Squeeze a few strawberries and extract the DNA from the berries and from wheat. Want to learn more? Learn how to plant, maintain and harvest a square foot garden – take home tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, basil, parsley plants, and squash seed to “grow” your own garden. Learn how to make a container garden and to grow vegetables in the containers. Containers, potting media, and stabilizers will be available for a small donation – plants for all gardens will be provided free of charge (donations to support the program are appreciated).

The UW Soils Lab will offer information on how to manage the soil in your garden to grow the best plants ever!

Family Horticulture Day is the finale of Science Expeditions 2009, a month-long series of public science events at the UW-Madison. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 9. The West Madison Agricultural Research Station is located at 8502 Mineral Point Road, about a mile west of the beltline. More information and directions to the gardens at http://www.cals.wisc.edu/westmad/garden/.

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