12th Annual Arizona Highlands Garden Conference - August 31, 2011
Jeff Schalau, Agent, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Yavapai County

Each year, the Master Gardeners of Gila, Coconino, and Yavapai Counties organize and present the Arizona Highlands Garden Conference (AHGC). The AHGC location rotates between the three counties and this year it will be held at the Prescott Resort in on Saturday October 22. This year, our conference will feature two nationally recognized speaker/authors and several regional experts. The dedicated Master Gardeners of Yavapai County have assembled another first-rate conference.

The conference will open with a keynote presentation titled Gardening for Insects, Or Not! by Whitney Cranshaw. Dr. Cranshaw is an Extension Entomologist with Colorado State University and has authored several definitive books on garden insects for the western United States. My favorite of these is Garden Insects of North America: the Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs. I usually refer to this book first when I am trying to identify insects and make management suggestions for clients coming to our offices. This book will be available for purchase at the conference and Dr. Cranshaw will be signing them too. He will also be giving an additional presentation titled Recognizing Natural Enemies of Insect Pests: Lifestyles of the Swift and Vicious. Dr. Cranshaw is an engaging and passionate speaker – attendees will certainly enjoy and learn a lot!

In addition, Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott will be providing a keynote presentation titled Garden Myths: Practices and Products. Dr. Chalker-Scott is an Extension Horticulture Specialist at Washington State University and has authored several books, among them are The Informed Gardener and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again. Dr Chalker-Scott specializes in debunking horticultural myths such as the merits of vitamin B1 and biodynamic gardening. She also has an excellent website that contains factsheets and case studies at www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20chalker-scott/.

Several other well-known regional speakers will also be presenting. Some of them include: Ursula Schuch, University of Arizona Extension Horticulture Specialist; Ed Martin, University of Arizona Irrigation Specialist; Bryan Hughes, reptile specialist; Gene Twaronite, cold-hardy cactophile; Rachel Bess, backyard chicken expert; Janet Rademacher, Director of Business Development at Mountain State Wholesale Nursery; Beneficial Insect Specialists from Arbico; and Zen Mocarski from Arizona Game and Fish.

The cost of the conference is $75 per person if you register by September 23rd. Light breakfast, lunch and afternoon refreshments are included with registration. Vendors and non-profit organizations will also have displays and items for sale. Rooms are also available at a special conference rate. The conference agenda, tour information, and registration materials are available on our web site (cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/ahgc/) or can be mailed by request (928.445.6590 ext. 248).

We will also host two pre-conference tours on Friday October 21. One tour will travel to the Verde River headwaters near Paulden to explore this diverse riparian area and learn about the aquatic and streamside ecosystems. The other tour will go to two small farms, Chino Valley Farms operated by Mike and Kate O’Connor-Masse and Gary Beverly’s Farm. Chino Valley Farms grows vegetables hydroponically in greenhouses and row crops in the soil. They also harvest rainwater and conduct educational programs. Gary Beverly’s farm uses organic methods to produce sweet corn, sweet potatoes, squash, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. Each tour costs $25, begins at 8:30 am, ends at 1:30 pm, and includes lunch.

The special conference room rate is $69.00 (plus 10.85% privilege surcharge) for either a single or double. For Group Rate call 1-800-967-4637 before September 21 and request the Arizona Highlands Garden Conference room block. The conference and tours both require preregistration. I hope you can join us!

Follow the Backyard Gardener on Twitter – use the link on the BYG website. If you have other gardening questions, call the Master Gardener line in the Camp Verde office at 928-554-8999 Ext. 3 or e-mail us at cottonwoodmg@yahoo.com and be sure to include your name, address and phone number. Find past Backyard Gardener columns or provide feedback at the Backyard Gardener web site: http://cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/.

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Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr. #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Last Updated: November 21, 2011
Content Questions/CNovember 21, 2011g.arizona.edu

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