It was not quite a year ago the Highlands County Master Gardeners had their inaugural Garden Festival and Plant Sale. They themed it, “Let It Grow!” And grow it did; from a great plant sale to a fantastic festival.

The festival had vendors, music, food, classes and of course that signature plant sale. The success of the festival gave the group something to build on. This year’s Garden Festival is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. and promises to be a larger and even more entertaining extravaganza.

With over 65 vendors it has more than doubled from last year’s festival, which topped out at 27 vendors.

Music in the air

Local musicians will be entertaining at the 2nd annual Master Gardener Garden Festival & Plant Sale. The festivities will start with the Star Spangle Banner at 9 a.m. sung by local vocalist Shannon Reed. Guitar soloist and singer Jamie Tremps will play four 30-minute sets in the auditorium starting at 10 a.m. while alternating with Shannon Reed and guitar/piano accompanist Scot Mullins. Shannon and Scot will play three sets starting at 10:30.

Outside on the grounds of the Agricultural Civic Center, Okeechobee-based country music entertainer Junior Velez, otherwise known as Belle Glade Boy, will be singing and playing guitar.

Plants for all tastes

Master Gardeners will be selling lots of different types of plants. Many of the plants the Master Gardeners have been growing themselves and others are donated by local nurseries. Butterfly gardeners will be thrilled at the choices of host and nectar plants. Succulent fanatics will love our new selection of succulents and have an opportunity to take a course on how to propagate and care for them. There will be lots of interesting edible plants in our incredible edible sections both inside and outside of the auditorium. Those University of Florida flavor-able tomatoes will be on hand as well as other heirloom tomato plants, edible ginger, turmeric, muscadine grapes, blackberry and raspberry plants. There will be some limited numbers of more unusual edibles such Vanilla Bean Orchids, Cassava, Rosselle, and Katuk.

Vendors, classes, food and more

With 65 vendors including more arts and crafts, more food choices, local honey and lots of great plant deals, the festival should have something to please everyone. Food such as pulled pork, hot dogs, Italian sausage, street tacos, and ice cream will make sure no one goes hungry.

Master Gardeners will be selling succulents, orchids, dried herbs, rusty gold garden tools, and worm farms. Among the items for sale the Master Gardeners will have their signature help desk to answer all your plant question.

Four informative classes will be offered in Conference room 2 starting at 11 a.m.: “Growing Orchids,” “Creating hypertufa containers,” “Growing Hippeastrums,” and “Succulent propagation and care.”

For information and to register for class, call the UF/IFAS Extension office at 863-402-6540.