Shiitake Mushrooms, Pot up a Plant for Mother & Tool Sharpening at the Farmers Market

Mushrooms, Pot up a Plant for Mother and Tool Sharpening at the Halifax Farmers Market

                We can tell spring is in the air when the Second Saturdays at the Halifax Farmer’s Market start on May 12. There will a lot happening at the market that day.  The Southside Master Gardeners will clean and sharpen gardening tools and help kids pot up a plant for Mother’s Day.  Bring your kids and grandkids to the market, along with your dirty garden tools and go home with a flower for Mom and clean and sharp tools for your garden chores, now that it finally looks like frost is past.  These activities will be from 8 to 11 a.m.

                A shiitake mushroom workshop will be held at Halifax Farmers Market at 9:30 a.m. on the same day  The class will consist of a Powerpoint presentation about the health benefits of shiitake inside the market and then a hands on log inoculation outside.  The cost is $15/log, not per person.  So it is ok to bring a friend along to help out.  Since part of the class will be outside, be sure to dress for the weather.  It will be held rain or shine.  To register for the class, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147, option 0.  Class size is limited so make your reservations early.  Old clothes are suggested.

                Join us from 8 to 11 am on Saturday, May 12th for a fun morning with your children free tool sharpening and to ask any questions you may have about your yard or garden. While there visit all the vendors inside and out for fresh produce, organic meats, arts and collectibles, baked goods and homemade soaps and lotions.  For more information about the Master Gardener program, please call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147 or visit their website at or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Master Gardener Tommy Conner helps some kids pot up a plant for Mother at the Halifax Farmers Market.  Bring your kids and grandkids out for this event along with your gardening tools for sharpening on May 12th between 8 and 11 a.m.

Barn Quilt Trail Kick Off - April 28th

Master Gardener Plant Sale - May 5th

The annual Southside Master Gardener Association Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, May 5th from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. in the parking lot in front of the Halifax County Extension Office, 171 S. Main Street, Halifax.  All types of plants will be available including annuals, herbs, perennials, vegetables, shrubs and trees.  The sale will also offer handmade garden art.

            Using old metal car parts and other found treasures to make garden art is a great way to go green.  How creative to use horseshoes to make an owl’s eyes and an old garden rake for the wings.  With some horseshoes, a hammer, a couple washers and some rebar you have a dog that will never bite.  A cat was made with horseshoes, washers, locknuts, welding rods and rebar that will look lovely in the garden and will scare the mice and voles.  This is just a sampling of the garden art for sale at the Plant Sale.

            Hypertufa is the name of a process of making garden containers, ornaments, sculptures or stepping-stones using Portland cement, perlite and peat.  The process was developed as a substitute for volcanic rock called Tufa that was traditionally used to make Alpine troughs.  This

year, there will be draped and basket hypertufa as well as traditional hypertufa containers.  Some hypertufa was shaped to resemble stones and dressed up as beneficial insects, another great addition to your garden.  New this year is papercrete, a process of making containers similar to hypertufa but more lightweight.  The process involves making a pulp from shredded paper and mixing with Portland cement.

            Tool sharpening will be offered.  Bring your gardening hand tools for a spring cleanup and sharpening.  There will also be an herbal demonstration and herbal vinegars for sale.  Stop by the Bake Sale table to purchase something to nibble on while walking through the sale

            Naturally, there will be lots of plants, priced to sell and locally grown.  Master Gardeners will be available to answer your gardening questions throughout the sale.  If you want more information or are interested in the Master Gardener program visit, like on Facebook, contact the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147 or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Caption for picture:  Wouldn’t you love to have this wise old owl overlooking your garden?  Stop by the Southside Master Gardeners Plant Sale on May 5th for this owl and other garden treasures plus lots and lots of plants priced to sell.

Adopt-A-Highway Program

Plans Set to Celebrate the Planet in the Town of Halifax

Plans set to celebrate the planet in Town of Halifax

By Olivia Epps

Winter weather may be trying to linger, but it’s not dampening the spring spirit behind this year’s Earth Day celebration in the Town of Halifax.

Preparation is well underway for the 10th Annual Earth Day Extravaganza set for Saturday, April 21 at the Halifax Farmer’s Market. The event, set to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., brings together organizations from throughout Halifax County to educate the community on caring for our planet. There will be hands-on activities to help visitors learn and interact, as well as a healthy dose of fun with music and a petting zoo.

An exciting change for this year’s event is the pairing of the Earth Day Extravaganza with the 5K Fun Run & Walk being hosted by the Halifax, VA Family Nutrition Program, under the direction of Virginia Cooperative Extension. The 5K, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 9 a.m., allowing runners and walkers to get a first-hand look at Earth Day Extravaganza activities when they cross the finish line at Halifax Farmer’s Market.

“Having these events back-to-back is a great way to bring together two family-friendly opportunities at one time and place,” said Olivia Epps, event planner for the Earth Day affair and owner of Mix & Ripple, LLC. “Getting outside for exercise first thing on a Saturday morning is a fantastic way of celebrating our planet.”

Earth Day Extravaganza visitors seeking to sign up for the 5K can do so by stopping by the Virginia Cooperative Extension office in Halifax or by visiting They can read about all the Earth Day Extravaganza events as well as download the 5K registration information or get the link to register online.

According to Epps, another activity sure to be popular is the rain barrel workshop being offered by Halifax Soil and Water Conservation District working in conjunction with Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Southside Master Gardeners Association.

The workshop will start at 9 a.m. on April 21 at the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office located at 171 South Main Street in Halifax and will finish at the Earth Day Extravaganza at the Farmer’s Market. Registration information for the rain barrel workshop is available on the Halifax Soil and Water Conservation District’s website,, or by visiting their office located at 171 South Main Street in Halifax.

Another activity, designed to get the youngest visitors engaged, is the Recycling Scavenger Hunt.  Children 12 and younger can visit the Earth Day website ( or the Facebook page (@HalifaxEarthDay) and download the list of items to find and bring to the event for recycling. Participants will receive a prize bag for their recycling efforts.

Thanks to the Halifax Village Association, the Town of Halifax will have Earth Day decorations in storefronts and there will be live musicians outside Town Hall. Visitors will be encouraged to make their way up Main Street to see the petting zoo from Rocking B Farm and go enjoy the music and more Earth Day fun. The Packhouse will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a full menu from which to satiate appetites. Additional food vendors will be set up at the Farmers Market.

“We’ve been fortunate this year to have numerous monetary sponsors as well as participating organizations,” Epps said. “There will be lots of chances for visitors to learn and have fun. Our goal is to educate people by bringing together some of the best resources in our county. There’s no better place to do that, and celebrate the Earth, than at the Halifax Farmer’s Market.”

Finally, Epps said, the planning has come together to offer document shredding services, which was a request that was unable to be filled last year.

“We are very excited to offer document shredding via Commonwealth Document Management thanks to sponsorship help from First Piedmont Services,” Epps said. “Document shredding services will be available at the Halifax Farmer’s Market on the Thursday prior to the Earth Day Extravaganza. It will be April 19 from 4 to 7 p.m.”

The current list of monetary sponsors for this year’s Earth Day Extravaganza includes Dominion-Clover Power Station, Molasses Grill, Huber Engineered Woods, Sentara, Bridgeview Express Tire & Auto and Staunton River State Park.

Participating organizations include Southside Master Gardeners Association, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Halifax Soil & Water Conservation District, Dan River Basin Association, Staunton River State Park, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Halifax County-South Boston Public Library, Southern Virginia Botanical Garden, Halifax Improvement Council, Rocking B Farm, Halifax Volunteer Fire Department and Halifax County’s Sheriff’s Department.

Additional organizations, activities and vendors continue to be added to the event. For the most up-to-date information about the Earth Day Extravaganza, visit and click on Earth Day or find the event on Facebook @HalifaxEarthDay


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