Washington State University Extension is preparing to host the Garden Education Faire.

This event, which bills itself as an example of "consumer horticulture education," is free to attend. It takes place in the Community Education Garden on the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center campus.

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The Extension Master Gardener program, which on this date a year ago celebrated its semicentennial, was pretty modest at first - a small but devoted band of green thumbs and horticulture wonks led by Dr. David Gibby. Since then the program has blossomed immeasurably. It has a presence in the U.S., Canada and even South Korea.

According to a press release, the Garden Education Faire is a "scaled-down" version of last year's semicentennial bash. There will be demonstrations and workshops on everything from backyard vegetable gardening, to indoor gardening, to composting, to "firewise landscaping." As anyone in North Central Washington can tell you, wildfire season is upon us.

"Thankfully we have some retired Forest Service people," says Marco Martinez. "One of them is Al Murphy. He knows this forwards and backwards and is happy to share this information about what you can do to minimize the impact of wildfires."

Martinez is head coordinator of the Master Gardener program. He says the program is overseen by a coterie of passionate and qualified volunteers.

"They received formal education on gardening through WSU," Martinez says of his volunteers. "Their mission is to share that information with the public."

The Garden Education Faire takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 15.

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