Grand Opening Celebration this Saturday, April 29th at BOOK CLUB

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Good Spring Morning Everyone,

Just a heads-up, the BOOK CLUB Bookstore, 869 Sullivan Avenue (United Bank Plaza), South Windsor, CT is holding their grand opening celebration this Saturday, April 29th, 2017 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

We hope you will swing by to say hello, visit my showcase at the bookstore, and learn about the store’s many offerings.

I will be there to answer any questions you may have regarding my workshops, plant gifts, and container garden installations.

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A Happy Customer with New Bert’s Birdhouse for her garden!

Available Today

Seeds by Hudson Valley – 100% Certified Organic

Houseplant Gifts of Small Carry Sizes

Succulents and Cacti

Bert’s Birdhouses – Now on Stakes!

Terrarium Showcases

Terrarium DIY Kits (underway – hope to have at the Grand Opening)

Workshop Flyers

Micro-greens Starter Kits

Workshop Gift Cards – Perfect for Mother’s Day

Seed Sowing Kits (underway – hope to have at the Grand Opening)

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Beautiful single Soft Succulents in Stock today!

WORKSHOPS Coming Up

I plan to hold a lunch time hour soon to repeat my free Cathy T’s 5 Must Do’s for Container Gardening demonstration for those who missed it last weekend on Earth Day – please stay tuned for available dates and locations.

May 4 – Micro-greens demonstration at the bookstore

May 13, 17, 20 – Container Gardening Workshops (3 venues this season for you to choose from). Registrations are now open.

May 25 – Basic Seed Starting at the bookstore (and I plan to offer this demonstration during a lunch hour earlier this month as well – location TBD.)

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WORKSHOP INFORMATION AT

Be sure to visit www.WORKSHOPSCT.com to learn of this year’s plant theme and all the details of our upcoming May Container Gardening Workshops. I’m very excited to continue offering this annual hands-on workshop for all my attendees and new friends.

Thank you for supporting small businesses in our local areas!

We couldn’t make it without you – I appreciate everyone’s recent visits and hope you will be visiting on Saturday, 4/29, 10:30 am-12:30 pm, if you haven’t popped in yet.

Thank you,

Cathy Testa
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

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Hudson Valley Seeds 100% Organic Seeds are in stock – Kits are Coming!

 

 

 

 

 

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Strong Family Farm Hosts Today’s Workshop

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How much fun can a gal have?! I have the wonderful opportunity to teach at Strong Family Farm in Vernon, CT today and I would like to thank Nancy Strong in advance for her support of local businesses such as myself.

“Strong Family Farm provides a historic agricultural education center where children, individuals, families, and community groups can experience an authentic family farm environment.”

This above statement is from their website. I have to say, I couldn’t agree more. It is an “authentic family farm” and historic. It reminds me of my childhood. Seeing the cow barn, where today’s Container Gardening Workshop will be held, brought back memories of being in my father’s barn and the scents, sounds, as well as the sun streaming through the cracks of the barn’s wall are all reminiscent of experiences I had growing up on a farm.

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Today’s Container Gardening Workshop

May 21, 2016 – Saturday
9:00 am to Noon
274 West St, Vernon, CT 06066

Lecture from 9:00-10:30 followed by potting up your containers.
Pre-registered attendees get first dibs on plants.
Walk-in’s for Plant Sales Welcome at 11:30 am.

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The Plants

Where do I begin? We have beautiful “Chick Charm” Hens and Chicks (Sempervivums), Cucumber plants, various Pepper plants, Tomatoes, Oregano, Thyme, Fennel, Stevia, Strawberry, Rhubarb, etc. We also have specialty shrubs perfect for containers, such as Blueberry and Goji Berry. And others for the fun of it – such as Sambucas (Elderberry). And of course, hot tropicals such as red banana plants (Ensete), Elephant Ears (Colocasia), and Cynara (Cardoon). Then there’s the annuals from beautiful Begonias to a mix of Coleus and much more.

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The Timing

I think this weekend is absolutely perfect timing too – We had a cool spring but looks like the warm up and sun is officially here! These plants are going to take off in the container gardens or in your gardens should you grab a few today at Strong Family Farm.

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The Prep

I wish I could video tape myself setting up and then do one of those speed up versions. Running from here to there to get hand-selected plants from “local CT growers only!” And running around setting up workshops – lifting tables, lifting big bags of potting mix, pushing a wheel barrel, bending up and down constantly – phew, but the exercise is great – cause you know, Gardening is GREAT for the body and soul.

The Fretting

They call me Container “Crazy” for a reason. The highs are high and the lows can be low – like when I lost two trays of basil – Why? – even with my grow room, our cool spring fluxes didn’t make them happy. But then a high again – a tree frog watching me work one day and chirping, or when the birds swoops overhead as I walk by, or seeing my first butterfly of the season visiting my honeysuckle shrub.

The Dedication is for Attendees

I do this all for my attendee and because I have a strong passion for dressing up outdoor spaces with mixed container garden plantings and patio pots. Caring for the plants, nurturing them – and yes, even talking to them – all takes place behind the scenes. Yup, crazy alright.

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After the Workshop – Attendees Get Details

After my workshops, I email each attendee individually to give them tips about the plants they selected. It may be information about how to prune a plant, its bloom cycle, habit or care. Anything I think will be useful to them. I am here to answer their questions after my workshops on plants in their container gardens or in their gardens at home too. It is one of the benefits of being on the NEWBIE or NON-NEWBIE Cathy T’s Workshops. I’ve been hosting these workshops for over 8 years – so there’s a lot to share.

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Upcoming – Ellington Farmer’s Market (5/28)

So, today will be another fun filled busy day. Then the following weekend, you will find me at the Ellington Farmer’s Market at their square gazebo (there are two gazebos on the site) where I will be offering a free talk and of course, offering more plants for sale. Pop in to say hello. The market is excellent. We bring a cooler and my husband walks around to fill it with fresh veggies, fruits, and fish while there – then we have a feast when we get home. Yumm. Taking clippings from my herbs for the grill cooking tops it off.

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Hope to See You

After today, the hammock in my backyard has my name written on it. You can find me there. But I hope to see you before, after, or later – Keep Checking In.

Cathy Testa
860-977-9473 – Feel Free to Text Me
containercathy@gmail.com
http://www.WORKSHOPSCT.com

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General Updates for Upcoming Items!

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Hi Everyone!

I thought it is a good day to provide some general updates on upcoming activity!

Thank you:

First – special thank you to the friends and family, as well as new faces, visiting my booth at the Spring Bazaar at Holy Family Church in Enfield, CT last Saturday. Wow, 17 of my friends came by – that made me feel so special and thank you for purchasing items. Imagine my Father’s face when I told him lots of his birdhouses sold. He’s getting popular. My special terrarium themed “Faith” was purchased as well, and it kind of got me into this groove of doing “custom” terrariums in large glass globes. If interested, holler!

May 7th – Bookstore Visit

Next on the list is a visit with the local bookstore in Broad Brook, CT on May 7th. The store’s owner has invited me back and I plan to have special Mother’s Day items on this date for sale. See Book Club Bookstore and More on 100 Main Street. I hope you will be able to pop by. They were recently featured on Better CT television and have a wonderful selection of books and hold regular book discussions, including kid’s book discussion sessions. How sweet.

May 14 and May 21st – Container Gardening Workshops

These are the two dates for the Container Gardening Workshops. All the details may be found on www.WORKSHOPSCT.com. The first one, May 14th, is being held in Broad Brook, CT and the 2nd one at Strong Family Farm in Vernon, CT on West Street on May 21st. There is still plenty of time to register if you are interested.

Once registered, attendees are emailed complete Workshop Details. Here’s a sneak peek of the agenda and two of the fruiting plants planned, along with many more tropicals, annuals, herbs, veggies! We hope you will join us.

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Bluberry Jelly Bean

May 28th – Ellington Farmers Market

I will be at the gazebo again offering a free talk and selling plants. I love attending this market – everyone there – is super friendly and well, happy! Who wouldn’t be as you browse the selection of the market’s offerings and enjoy a beautiful day?

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East Windsor Farmers Market

On July 10th, I will be offering a slide presentation on Container Gardening at the East Windsor Farmers Market held at the Trolley Museum on Rt. 140. Look for me in the main building. This market is growing – don’t overlook it this summer!

East Windsor Market Open

Look for me in the Main Building for a Free Presentation this year.

Later in Summer and Into Fall

After the May rush, we are offering several more workshops – One is on Floral Design with JEM’s Horticulture and Floral Design (featuring a 4th of July theme) in June, another is a Glass Garden Art Workshop with Timefliesbylauralie on September 10th, and then we have a workshop on Succulent Arranging in the Fall. Check out WORSKHOPSCT.com for all the information on each. Registration is easy with Eventbrite on the site.

New Topic- Soil Sprouts!

I’m been obsessed with growing soil sprouts which are full of vitamins and soooo tasty. My favorite so far in my trials are radish sprouts – spicy and wonderful in sandwiches, soups, salads, or just fresh pop in the mouth snack. I also like mung bean sprouts and broccoli sprouts but I am doing trials with many types right now, seeing how they grow and taste.

Soil sprouts are not like micro-greens. Soil sprouts take a lot less time to grow – between 4 and 7 days, so with the routine set up – you are eating them EVERY day. Micro-greens take a lot longer, something like 21 days.

Anyhow, the other beauty about these are they can be done in any space, without special equipment or lights, and ALL year round. They fit the container gardening scenario indoors perfectly. Indoor gardening is another trend on the rise, but that is not exactly why I started growing sprouts. I’ve always loved eating them and now I can daily.

There is a simple process with specific steps and things needed but it is not complicated. I will be offering a workshop on this and I’m also thinking of offering a kit if you prefer to read and do it yourself. What do you think? Do you enjoy fresh sprouts too?

GoLocal Magazine

A new mag on the scene contacted me as a feature for their May issue – and I am flattered to be featured in a magazine that is hip, new and in tune with today’s local movement.

To top it off, this will be their first issue for the East Windsor, CT region. They are currently issuing in Agawam, Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, and Hampden in Massachusetts, and in Suffield, Enfield, Somers, and Stafford Springs in Connecticut too.

I read their January 2016 issue and spotted some local artist people I see on Facebook from time to time – and also spotted new businesses and restaurants I didn’t know about yet.

I really like the VIBE of this mag – and if you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to look for it at local establishments. Many of their advertisers receive copies for distribution. Or go to www.golocalmagazines.com for their online issues – where you will find me in May!

That’s all for now for some General Updates. Enjoy the rest of your week and the beautiful weather we have been having, well, except today is a bit cloudy – but wow, last weekend and the days before were so summer like out there – I hope you can catch some of those rays.

Cathy Testa
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com