The Cass County Master Gardener’s group is inviting local gardeners to “Hop on the Bus” June 20th, for a tour of area businesses that grow and produce from their flowers, vineyards, and nurseries, a wide variety of products. Loess Hills Lavender Farm is the first stop on a bus trip to the Missouri Valley area. The trip is scheduled for June 20, 8 AM to 5:45 PM. It is sponsored by the Cass County Master Gardeners but is open to everyone. Numerous people have expressed their interest in visiting the lavender gardens and they should be at their peak in bloom. Lavender is used to make many healthful products and lavender cookies are on the snack list. Participants will be able to purchase live lavender to plant at home, dried lavender and other products.
A visit to Sawmill Hollow will include tasting samples of wine, jelly, barbeque sauce and many other gourmet aronia berry foods. Aronia berries are promoted as providing more health benefits than blueberries. They are native to this area and Sawmill Hollow was the first aronia farm in the United States. Lunch will be served here.
Other stops include nurseries. One sells homemade pies, jams and jellies made from their orchard produce. They also provide garden bedding plants. Another nursery will demonstrate landscape planning starting with layouts on the computer. A variety of plants are available in their greenhouse. The final stop is at the Harrison County Historical Village and Iowa Welcome Center showing Iowa life, prairie and a celebration of the Lincoln Highway. Fresh locally grown produce will be available at the Farmers Market.
LaVon Eblen, President of Cass County Master Gardeners, encourages you to get your registrations made now to save your spot on the bus. The cost is $47.00 which includes transportation, entrance fees and a meal and snack. Contact LaVon for a registration form or find a copy on the Cass County Extension website, at www.exension.iastate.edu/cass. The form and payment are due by May 31st.