Our ‘Cherish the Chesapeake’ Spring Open House continues this weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 4 each day at our Davidsonville store.  Hope to see you there. 

Homestead Barnyard Debut! Saturday and Sunday 10-4

This spring we are unveiling our Homestead Barnyard–home to donkeys and goats, rabbits and chickens. Children of all ages will be able to get up close to see the sights and smells and hear the voices that make up a real-live barnyard.  And 50 chicks will be at Open House to delight the children and kick-off our new backyard chicken program!

Saturday, March 23rd

11:00  Orchids!  Learn all getting started with orchids, plus time for all your questions.

11:00  Kids Workshop:  Little Bunny Garden.  A veggie garden, perfect for little bunny gardeners!  Using a recycled egg carton, kids can plant and grow everything from baby carrots to baby watermelons! Kids will learn responsibility and have plenty to look forward to as they track their veggies in the included growing journal.  Includes seeds: green beans, yellow summer squash, sweet baby carrots, crunchy red radishes, baby watermelons and little leaf cucumbers.  Pre-registration required.

12:00 Creating a Backyard Water Feature.  Water can have a soothing, magical effect along with the added benefit of being an enormous asset to any landscaping…Learn how to create the water feature of your dreams with Homestead’s own water gardening specialist–Dave Kemon! With  over fifteen years of water gardening experience, Dave is ready to assist you with your water gardening needs. 

12:00 Weber Grill Demo.  Get ready for summer with you a new grill! Check out our complete line of Weber grills to find out which model fits your grilling needs. A Weber rep will be here to answer all your questions and best of all . . . grill!

1:00  Growing Grass from Seed.  Starting grass from seed is trickier than it looks, so find out how to ensure your new lawn's success.

1:00  Kids Easter Planting Workshop.  Bring your kids out during our second weekend of Open House to plant an Easter themed container planting…They’ll get their hands dirty and bring home a planting bursting with spring color–2.5″ purple Campanula, Dracaena ‘Colorama’, and pink polka-dot plant in a lavender pot!  Sorry - this event is sold out!

2:00 Nesting Habits and Appetites of Birds.  Colin Rees, Environmental Specialist at the World Bank and President of the Anne Arundel Bird Club, will share his expertise on birds and their nesting and habitat needs. 

The Anne Arundel Bird Club, organized in 1954, is one of 15 chapters of the Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS) which is dedicated to the protection and conservation of birdlife and other natural resources. AABC hosts monthly meetings, numerous field trips, lectures and other activities throughout the year.

3:00  Nuts and B0lts of Outdoor Entertaining. Outdoor Entertaining can be the best entertaining…Rita Calvert will be here to give you a game plan on creating the most exciting (and, surprisingly simple) Al Fresco event!  She’ll help set the theme with the newest Homestead Gardens furniture ideas and table top settings, give you pointers on getting organized, and, of course, provide delicious menu planning ideas!

Sunday, March 24th

10:00  Repellents.  Got deer?  How about small burrowing rodents?  The list goes on.  Find out what works to protect your garden.

11:00  Chesapeake Oyster Restoration.  Oysters are the Chesapeake Bay’s best natural filters. They also provide essential habitat for fish and other Bay creatures. Unfortunately, though, today’s oyster population is estimated at only two percent of its original level. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Oyster Gardening Program gives people the opportunity to help bring back this vital species by growing oysters alongside their docks. Once grown, the adult oysters are returned to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for planting on sanctuary reefs.

Interested in the program? Want to become an oyster gardener yourself? Meghan Hoffman, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s oyster restoration expert will give you a run-down on oyster gardening and when/where/how it is done!

12:00  Earthbox Gardening System Workshop. Grow tomatoes and other robust vegetables and aromatic herbs in any small space—a balcony, patio, or even rooftops! This revolutionary SIP (Sub-Irrigated Planter) is ideal for urban garden settings since it’s compact size allows you to grow healthy, fresh (even organic!) food where it never grew before!  Cost of workshop includes: Earthbox®, soil, and your choice of cool weather veggies or herbs. Get a voucher for 2 free veggie plants, too!

12:00  Living Shorelines:  Native Plants.  Native plants are an important part of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and can actually have an impact on the health of the Chesapeake Bay. However, finding sources of native plants can be tricky, as most commercial nurseries carry only a few varieties. Homestead Gardens is looking to change that and is dedicated to educating and making it easier for homeowners to make the switch to natives!

Kody Cario, from Environmental Concerns Nursery–the nation’s first wholesale wetland plant nursery–will be here to discuss natives and the ways in which you can make small steps to help the bay!  Currently, EC cultivates approximately 120 wetland plant species that are native to the Northeast US and has the ability to propagate over 200 species. Research at the facility concentrates on horticultural questions, and the benefits of certain horticultural activities.

1:00 Organic Cleaning.  Environmentally conscious products backed by proven science to achieve the results today’s consumers demand. Wet & Forget® products are your key to simplifying your life and providing solutions that are easy and definitely work. Wet & Forget is the only product you’ll need to solve all your outdoor moss, mold, mildew and algae issues. Not only is it non-caustic and non-acidic, it’s also safe for all outdoor surfaces. Wet & Forget is easy to use. Simply apply with a garden sprayer, then sit back and let Mother Nature do the rest. Wet & Forget’s Adam Smith will be here to talk about the benefits of using Wet & Forget and to give you some application tips!

1:00 Build a Fairy Garden Workshop.  The housing market is tough for everybody. So how about creating the perfect home for fairies? An ethereal container garden for both inside or out is the ideal home for fairies, pixies and sprites. For believers of all ages.  Sorry, this event is sold out!

1:00  Oyster Roast. We’ll learn more about the oyster comeback in our area when the Chesapeake Bay Foundation gives their workshop earlier in the day…but in this demo, we’ll TASTE them!  When Rita Calvert lived in North Carolina the Oyster Roast was the event of the cool season. Now, join her to experience how southerners showcase this favored mollusk as she grills up a delicious feast!

2:00 Backyard Chickens:  Set-up and Prep. Chickens give you pest control, fertilizer, and, of course, eggs! Chickens are also weed eaters, slug slayers, and tomato worm squishers. In short, they’re your best garden companion. But…Do you have what it takes to raise backyard chickens?  Homestead’s chicken expert, Mary Sells, will discuss the ins and outs of setting up your own backyard chicken coop–from space and time requirements, to the supplies you will need to start.

3:00  Lawn Care Basics.  If your lawn needs help - and whose lawn doesn't? - learn about best practices in lawn care - for the health of your lawn, and the Bay, too.

Photo credits:  Robin's nest,  donkeygoat. 

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