Marion County

4-H students building a robot

Spring Garden Clinic

February 21, 2018
Redbud TN Pink





The topics and speakers for the 2018 Purdue Extension-Marion County Spring Garden Clinic are:

9:30—10:30 am

“Expand Your Vegetable Palette: Grow Something Different” by Jim Barbour

Topic: Try it. You’ll like it. That is what many gardeners say after growing some of the less commonly planted vegetables such as sweet potatoes, garlic, kale, rhubarb and asparagus. In this session, you will learn about how to grow and harvest some of these less common vegetable crops.

Speaker: Jim Barbour grew up in Lawrence Township and worked with his father in the orchard and vegetable business. He was the Commercial Horticulture Educator with Purdue Extension-Marion County for over 25 years and his responsibilities included education for commercial clientele involved in greenhouse production, nursery, flower production, ground maintenance, and fruit production. He presently provides horticultural assistance and training through his business JMB Consulting.

“Eating Local is as Easy as Apple Pie!” by Christina Ferroli

Topic: Join me as we learn about different varieties and characteristics, along with the allure of apples. You will learn which are good for eating, baking and making cider. Discover for yourself why there are many, many more apples than just Granny Smith, Fuji, Red and Golden Delicious varieties that we find in the grocers. Is the way to explore the apple mystic by buying local and baking a pie? Join me and find out!

Speaker: Christina Ferroli, PhD, RDN, FAND, has been with Purdue Extension-Marion County for 20 years as an Extension Educator. Dr. Ferroli is a registered dietitian nutritionist, a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and a member of the Public Health Community Nutrition and the Food and Culinary practice groups. She is the past editor of the Public Health Community Nutrition Dietary Practice Group newsletter, The Digest. Dr. Ferroli is past chair of the Public Health Community Nutrition Practice Group and past-chair of the Indiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Ferroli is a certified food safety trainer and proctor with The National Restaurant Association. She has taught ServSafe in Marion County for 21 years with the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association. She also teaches nutrition, healthy eating, and food safety skills to youth, consumers, and food retail professionals. Dr. Ferroli is an advocate for preventive health care and for raising public awareness of nutrition, health, physical activity and weight management issues in adults and youth. Target programs that Dr. Ferroli manages include Dining with Diabetes, Purdue Extension-Marion County’s Summer Camp Enhancement Program, and Master Food Volunteers. She is an advocate for eating healthy, eating locally. Dr. Ferroli received her PhD in Nutrition Sciences from Purdue University researching the bioavailability of vitamin B-6 in aging in humans and rats.

“Genetically Modified Plants: Marvel or Malady” by Peter Goldsbrough

Topic: Genetically modified organisms have been one of the most controversial topics in food and agriculture over the last twenty years. This presentation will discuss how GMOs are made and used, compare these methods to others that are used to develop new varieties, and present the case for why these and other new methods of genetic modification are important for the future.

Speaker: Peter Goldsbrough has been a professor of plant biology at Purdue University for more than 30 years. During his time at Purdue GMOs have developed from a scientific breakthrough to an important tool for crop improvement. He has taught an undergraduate class on agricultural biotechnology for more than 20 years.


“Secrets to Happiness in Your Vegetable Garden” by Carol Michel

Topic: Are you envious of your neighbor's vegetable garden and homegrown produce? Do you lose your vegetable garden in the weeds by mid-summer? Does the thought of growing vegetables make you sad? Or maybe you are just flat-out bored with growing vegetables and need a boost to revive the excitement of homegrown produce. Join Carol as she shares her Secrets to Happiness in Your Vegetable Garden. You'll learn both new and old ways of happily growing vegetables in and out of your garden.

Speaker: Carol Michel is a lifelong gardener with a degree in horticulture from Purdue University and a passion for all things gardening. She is the author of Potted and Pruned: Living a Gardening Life and currently writes for the magazine, Indiana Gardening. She also regularly posts on her garden blog, An award winning writer, she draws inspiration and humor from old gardening books, old hoes, and her own adventures in and out of her garden.

“What’s Killing our Trees? The Top 5 Revealed” by Lindsey Purcell

Topic: Why aren't trees living longer in the built environment? Too often it is the results of environmental extremes, poor planning, design or management. This presentation will discuss the top 5 issues considered most detrimental to sustainable tree plantings and how to develop longer-lived trees in the urban forest.

Speaker: Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist and Instructor in the Forestry and Natural Resources Department at Purdue University, has been involved in the community landscape and urban forestry industry for over 30 years.  As an ISA Certified Arborist and Tree Risk Assessment Qualified Instructor, he has served Indiana communities as a landscape and tree professional in state and municipal government, non-profit organizations and private enterprise.  His educational background includes an A.S. degree from Vincennes University, a B.S. degree from Purdue University and a Master’s degree from Indiana State University. Additionally, Lindsey serves as the Executive Director of the Indiana Arborist Association, a chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.

“Great Indoor Plants” by Colletta Kosiba

Topic: You would love a lush green plant on your desk or in the corner by the window. If you are like most of us, you do not have a clue what to buy and how to keep it alive when you get it home. All plants need food, water and sunlight to survive, but different plants require different amounts of each. Learn about the hardiest plants, low-light plants, air plants, succulents, those that clean the air and colorful plants. Learn when & how to water and what soil to use.

Speaker: Colletta Kosiba, a popular garden speaker, teaches statewide at libraries, garden clubs, Master Gardener seminars, Indianapolis Flower & Patio show and other civic organizations. She is a winner of the Honeywell Award for excellence in horticulture presented by the Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Department at Purdue University and the National Garden Crusader Award Winner in Education from the State Garden Club of Indiana. Colletta is a Gold 2500 Level Advanced Master Gardener with 21 years of experience.


“Improving Your Garden Soil with Soil Health Practices” by Kevin Allison

Topic: Kevin will present a visual guide on how to use cover crops, mulching, and reduced tillage to improve soil health and productivity in the vegetable garden.

Speaker: Kevin Allison is Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Urban Soil Health Specialist. He is focused on applying the principles of soil health to gardens and small farms for the benefit of soil function and the environment. His background includes 6 years advancing conservation cropping systems in both large-scale agriculture and gardens as well as 3 years of service in the Peace Corps Dominican Republic’s Community Environmental Development sector. Kevin holds a BS in Environmental Science from Indiana University and serves on the Southwest Indiana Soil Health Team.

“Identifying and Controlling Invasive Plants in Indiana” by Lenny Farlee

Topic: This program will cover identification characteristics and control recommendations for several common and emerging invasive plant species threatening Indiana forests and other natural areas.

Speaker: Lenny Farlee is an Extension Forester with the Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. Lenny has provided numerous forest management presentations and publications to a variety of audiences since arriving at Purdue in 2007. Previously Lenny worked as an Indiana DNR District Forester assisting private landowners with forest management advice and assistance in a ten county area near Lafayette. Lenny started his career growing tree and shrub seedlings at the Vallonia State Tree Nursery in Southern Indiana.

“A Deer Can Cost You a Lot of Doe: Deer Proofing Your Garden Without Breaking the Bank” by Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Topic: Explore a sampler of deer resistant plants and pick up a few techniques to keep these four-legged critters from devouring your garden.

Speaker: Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, the Hoosier Gardener (, is a popular speaker on various garden topics and sustainable living. She is an Advanced Master Gardener who is author of The Visitor's Guide to American Gardens and co-author of the Indiana Gardener's Guide. Jo Ellen is editor of Iowa Gardener, Michigan Gardening, Minnesota Gardener and Wisconsin Gardening magazines, and writes regularly for Indiana Gardening. She is a weekly garden columnist in The Indianapolis Star, and occasionally writes about food for Edible Indy. She is vice president of the Garden Writers Association, a director of the Horticultural Society of Newfields, and member of Indiana Landmark’s Cultural Landscape Committee. She and Steve Mayer teach the City Gardener Program.


“Maximizing Vegetable Production” by Daniel Garcia

Topic:  Learn how an urban farm utilizes garden space and time to boost vegetable production. This talk will cover site layout considerations, planting, and inexpensive season extension.

Speaker: Daniel Garcia and his wife live in Indianapolis raising vegetables as well as two children. Dan has a BS in Molecular Biology from Purdue University and manages Garcia's Gardens, a small but mighty market garden providing healthy chemical free produce to the Indianapolis area. As a young lad, he first learned about growing food from his father and worked on farms in Wayne County, Indiana.

“Vertical Trees for the Landscape” by Steve Mayer

Topic: What do you do when you want to plant a large tree but have limited space for it to spread? One possible solution is to plant a tree with an upright growth habit. This presentation will focus on a variety of deciduous trees to consider. It will also briefly highlight ways to use vertical trees in the landscape.

Speaker: Steve Mayer is the Purdue Extension-Marion County Educator who directs the Consumer Horticulture program. He is coordinator and instructor for the Master Gardener program in Marion County. Steve has been employed as a horticulture educator with the Cooperative Extension Service for over 30 years and has worked with Purdue Extension since 1997. He is a regular contributor to Indiana Gardening magazine and the Senior Life (Indianapolis edition) newspaper. Steve has a B.S. and M.S. in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

“Is There such a Thing as Before and After Gardens?” by Jamie Gibbs

Topic: Whether you are starting from scratch or renovating a garden, is there really an after? All gardens evolve. The successful garden achieves many goals. This lecture will focus on a series of good designs, plant choices, and features to spur on your ideas and innovations.

Speaker: Jamie Gibbs’ horticultural achievements include a bachelor's degree from the Purdue School of Agriculture. He double majored in horticulture and landscape architecture. He has extensive continuing academic credits in horticulture from The New York Botanic Gardens, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New York Horticulture Society and, of course, is a graduate Master Gardener. In addition to designing and maintaining his own extensive gardens in IN, FL, NY and Puerto Rico, Mr. Gibbs has designed 100's of residential gardens, many of which have been photographed and published. Mr. Gibbs is the author of Landscape It Yourself [Harper Collins] and All about Roses [AARS]. He is a Garden Guide at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Treasurer of the Horticultural Society at Newfields. Since 1988, Mr. Gibbs has been the Principal Designer at Jamie Gibbs Associates with offices in New York City, Indianapolis, and Amsterdam, NL. Mr. Gibbs Indianapolis garden was part of the national American Hosta Society garden tour in 2017 and he will be chairing “A Garden Affair” for the Horticultural Society at Newfields on June 10.


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