West Madison’s May 15 Family Horticulture Day brings the color of gardening to life

Just as the weather improves and the urge to get back into the garden hits, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s West Agricultural Station is hosting Family Horticulture Day on Saturday, May 15.

The free event, which allows participants to see a rainbow of produce from red popcorn, purple potatoes and white carrots, runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the station, 8502 Mineral Point Road, about a mile west of the Beltline.

Visitors won’t leave Family Horticulture Day empty-handed or short on ideas for gardening. A variety of indoor and outdoor exhibits staffed by garden experts and researchers will provide a hands-on experience with horticultural science.

For those interested in starting a vegetable garden, experts will be on hand to demonstrate how to plant, maintain and harvest a kitchen garden, even in a small space. Vegetable seedlings will be provided, along with instructions for growing, harvesting and storing.  Vegetable seeds will also be available. Participants can also learn how to grow purple, red and yellow potatoes in a pot or garbage can and can learn about native pollinators and square-foot gardening.

Late blight-resistant tomatoes seedlings will be for sale – as well as a book written by the West Madison, Master Gardener Volunteers: “Garden to Table, Recipes & Resources for Gardeners.”  The authors will be on hand to answer questions.

Those in attendance can take the Cabbage Juice Chemistry Challenge, see how celery and flowers work for bioremediation, extract “DNA Glop” from wheat, piece together a chromosome to determine flower color,  or make a “living plant necklace” using Fast Plants.

Parking is free.  A small donation will be requested for plants and seeds to help with covering the cost of materials.

More information and directions to the gardens can be found at: