Paint Party July 23rd at Town of Halifax Farmers Market
July 9th – Second Saturday at the Halifax Farmers Market
By Laverne Fuller
Join the Southside Master Gardener Association and the Southside Virginia Herb Society from 8 to 11 AM on Saturday July 9th at the Halifax Farmers Market for fun activities for adults and kids. The Master Gardeners will lead you through the process of making a hypertufa container to take home. Cost is $5 for each container. Supplies will be provided. Hypertufa – does the word conjure up images of a microscopic fungus or maybe an overactive body part? Hypertufa is the name of a process of making garden containers, ornaments, sculptures or stepping stones using Portland cement, perlite and peat moss. The process is easy and fun! The process was developed to substitute for volcanic rock called Tufa used to make Alpine troughs.
The first step of the process is selecting a mold. Most any type of container such as a bowl, box or even a glass torchiere lamp shade will work. Step two is making the mix. Don a dust mask and plastic gloves for protection. In a 5 gallon container mix two parts Portland cement, three parts perlite and three parts peat moss. Masonry stain can be added for more color. Make sure all is well blended with no lumps. Slowly add water to moisten the mix until it is the consistency of oatmeal.
Fill the mold by lining the container with plastic bag. Pour mixture into the bottom of the outer mold 1” deep. And continue to add mixture to build up the sides of the pot. Use a dowel to make a drainage hole in the bottom of the container. the outer pot removed on the following day.
The final step is finishing the pot. Remove the plastic and the mold after a couple of days. Smooth any rough edges with a file. Gather your patience to allow curing outside for the rest of the summer and winter. If allowed to dry in the sun the container will take on a lighter color than if cured in the shade. It will be ready to use next spring.
Because most hypertufa containers are shallow, it is more suited for succulents like sedum and hens and chicks. These are sturdy containers that can take the winter weather so no need to bring inside when things turn cold.
The Herb Society will be offering an Liberty tea tasting. Liberty teas are what the colonists substituted for the common black tea that England had taxed. The Herb Society will be selling herbal booklets on herbal crafts and culinary and Biblical herbs.
Caption for picture: These containers and statuary are just a sampling of what can be made with hypertufa. Come to the Halifax Farmers Market on Saturday, July 9th from 8 – 11 AM to make and take your own hypertufa container and taste some Liberty Teas.
FAIRY GARDEN CONTEST AT THE HALIFAX FARMER’S MARKET
By Andrea Burke
The Southside Master Gardener Association will hold a Fairy Garden Contest on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Halifax Farmer’s Market from 8 to 11:30 a.m. This contest is free to the public and prizes will be awarded. A miniature container garden may be submitted by an individual of any age, a group, such as a Sunday School Class or a Garden Club or a family, a Grandmother and Grandchild for example. There is no size limit, but the gardens must be able to be carried to the display tables. Please bring your gardens between 8 and 9:45 a.m.
The basic idea of fairy gardens is to create a space where it appears that little creatures have taken up residence in your garden. There is a little artist in all of us – and an even bigger artist in children! It doesn’t have to be expensive. The more items you personally make, the more fun it is. As you take a walk and notice gumballs from “Sweetgum Trees” (Liquidambar styraciflua), you may think that if you sprayed it with green paint it would make a perfect bush in your fairy garden! Or a pine cone – makes a great tree! Branches and twigs can be sliced up to make stepping stones, or become parts of little furniture. We have a lot of moss growing wild around our neighborhood and it makes a lovely “grass” for your fairy garden.
A modeling and sculpting clay such as Sculpey™ clay is really fun to work with – you can create just about anything from rolling a long worm to rolling a ball and turn it into mushrooms, tables, beach towel, umbrella – just use your imagination! Bake it according to package directions, then paint it with Acrylic paint and spray it with Krylon if using indoors, or Polyurethane if using outdoors. There are wonderful books on how to paint rocks to look like a house fairies would love to live in, or to paint rocks that look like animals and bugs! Pinterest is a wonderful sight to get ideas for creating your special fairy garden. You will be amazed at just how much information is out there! Or if you are so inclined, you can find accessories galore on the internet for sale from websites such as www.myfairygardens.com. A fairy garden is a chance to rediscover the fun and wonder of gardening.
The Fairy Gardens will be judged by a panel of independent judges based on the overall design, creativity, imaginative use of live plant material (must have at least 2 live plants) and other components used. NO artificial plants or live animals can be used. Judges will determine the first and second place winners. Visitors may vote for one entry for the People’s Choice category between 10 and 11 a.m. Winners will be announced at 11:30 a.m and receive their prizes. During judging you will be able to enjoy all the market has to offer, fresh produce, organic meats and eggs, homemade breads and sweets, fresh flowers and lots of arts and crafts. The Halifax Farmer’s Market is located at 209 S Main St, Halifax. Entry forms and rules may be picked up at the Halifax Extension Office, 171 S Main St, Halifax, Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or at the market during regular market hours. For more information, visit www.ssmga.org or call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147 option 0. Please put the Fairy Garden Contest on your list of the most fun things to do this summer.
Caption for picture: This little red wagon made a whimsical container for this Fairy Garden created by Shirley Womack. Use your inner magical skills to make a Fairy Garden to enter in the Fairy Garden Contest on June 11 at the Halifax Farmers Market.