A free festival this Saturday will offer fall planting tips as well as music and family activities.

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association 2021 FallFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Richard’s Fruit Market on Middle Road.

This is the organization’s third FallFest, said organizer Jennifer Adams. Last year’s festival was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in another year she said a hurricane canceled festivities.

Saturday’s event will go on rain or shine, she said, but since it’s outdoors, strong enough rains could affect the schedule.

“It depends on how heavy the rain is,” she said.

Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will give educational talks starting at 10 a.m. Talks will cover Putting the Garden to Bed at 10 a.m. with Rodney Dowty,  Bulbs & Woody Propagation at 10:30 a.m. with Lynn Hoffman, and Spotted Lantern Fly at 1:30 p.m. with Joanne Royalty and Kate Reed.

Workshops and demonstrations will cover Seed Saving at 10:30 a.m. with Kerry Higdon, Dividing Perennials at 11 a.m. with Pat Burslem, Dried Pressed Flowers at 11:30 a.m. with Helen Lake and Debbie Alverson, Pumpkin Carving at 12:30 a.m. with Tricia Boyd, Tool Sharpening and Winter Care at 1 p.m. with Glenn Martin, and Monarch Butterfly Tagging Demo/Way Stations at 1:30 p.m. with Glenn Martin.

There will be root and tuber giveaways for guests and their gardens.

Music will be provided by the Shenandoah Strummers at 11 a.m., the West Can Jug Band at 11:30 a.m., the Village at Orchard Ridge Dulcimer Ensemble at noon, singer Stormy Weather at 12:45 p.m. and dulcimer and flute music at 2 p.m.

Cooking with Apples by Vanessa Santiago will take place at noon, and guests can also huddle around the fire pits to make s’mores (with supervision) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“This educational event is directed toward helping homeowners tend their gardens and grow plants with research-based information,” a news release from the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association states.

The festival will also include information on how to become a Master Gardener, and Richard’s Fruit Market is willing to provide farm tours. Look for an onsite signup sheet.

Free parking will be available. Food will be available for purchase.

Though in past years, the festival has taken place at Belle Grove, Adams said she’s looking forward to taking advantage of the beautiful setting at Richard’s.

“It’s lovely, it’s really charming,” she said.

Past years have also found FallFest greeting guests in September, but she said that often risks the weather being too warm.

“Our goal was to actually have it feel like fall,” she said.

For more information, visit nsvmga.org/events/fallfest or facebook.com/NSVMGA.

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