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New Master Gardners series beginning focuses on selling at farmers markets and restaurants

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A new Master Gardners series will be kicking off in January that will teach students how to grow and sell their vegetables. According to Bladen County Cooperative Extension’s Horticulture agent Nancy Olson, the class will begin on January 24.

“We are targeting homeowners who want to grow trees and maybe they have a few extra vegetables,” said Olson. She said the goal is to teach homeowners how they can grow and market their homegrown vegetables at their local farmers market or sell their products to local restaurants.

Olson said a new trend in restaurants is serving what are called “ugly” vegetables. She said these are vegetables that are considered to be “ugly” or have some type of blemish or strange shape to them. Olson said these types of vegetables are usually sold at a discount but restaurants are beginning to add them to their menus as a novelty. They still have great flavor and offer nutrition, they just look a little different.

She said that Bruce McLean will be working with the county’s commercial growers while Olson will work with homeowners. She said they will be working with both types of growers teaching them how to plan their crops, how to market their crops, and introduce them to heirloom and heritage crops/animals. The class will meet January 24, February 14 with lunch, February 27, and March 9. To register for the class or to learn more, call 910-862-4591.

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