Shiitake Mushroom Workshop

Join the Shiitake Mushroom Workshop on April 18 at the Halifax Farmers Market to learn to grow these nutritious and delicious mushrooms as shown by Master Gardener Joe Foster.

The Southside Master Gardener Association will hold two gardening programs and a shiitake mushroom workshop this spring.

The events are open to the public, but reservations are required. Call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147, option 0 or email www.ssmga.org.

As the seed catalogs starting piling up, what to grow in vegetable gardens is a question on minds of local gardeners. On Friday, March 6, Bill McCaleb, Master Gardener coordinator, will discuss “The Best of the Best Vegetables.”

Some varieties have more disease resistance than others but still have good taste. Attendees will learn what varieties of different types of vegetables work best here in Southside.

The class will be held at the South Boston Halifax County Museum at 11 a.m. The class is free and open to everyone with an interest in vegetables. Call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147, option 0 or email www.ssmga.org to make a reservation.

On Friday, March 20, Gale Washburn, retired from the Department of Forestry, will discuss native edible plants. These are plants that were here when the colonists arrived and currently grow in Southside. These plants are useful in the kitchen but yet many do not use them because they don’t know about them.

Washburn will introduce attendees to these plants and show how to grow them. Natives by their nature grow well generally not requiring much in the way of fertilizing or irrigating. The class will be held at the South Boston Halifax County Museum at 11 a.m. The class is free and open to everyone with an interest in vegetables. Call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147, option 0 or email www.ssmga.org to make a reservation.

The Southside Master Gardeners will hold a shiitake mushroom workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 18, at the Halifax Farmers Market, 209 S. Main St, Halifax. The class will consist of a presentation about the health benefits of shiitake inside the market and then a hands on log inoculation outside. The cost is $20 per log, not per person, so it is OK to bring a friend along to help out.

Earliest records of shiitake go back to 199 A.D. in Japan where Emperor Chuai praised the shiitake given to him by the Kyushu. Shiitakes are loaded with proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Since the region’s climate is similar to Japan’s, shiitake produce well in Southside.

Since part of the class will be outside, be sure to dress for the weather. It will be held rain or shine. Old clothes and work gloves are suggested. To register for the class, email ask@ssmga.org or call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147, option 0. Class size is limited so make your reservations early. March 31 is the cut off date for reservations. If one cannot attend the class after making a reservation, they are asked to call or email since there will probably be a waiting list.