Linda Geist

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The second annual Mid-Mo Expo for backyard gardeners and small farmers offers presentations and demonstrations to improve productivity and profits.

The event will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Battle High School, 7575 E. St. Charles Road, Columbia. University of Missouri Extension in Boone County hosts the event.

MU Extension agricultural engineer Kent Shannon says four concurrent sessions occur throughout the day. Attendees can drop in only for sessions that appeal to them or for the whole day. There will be vendors, food, demonstrations and other events to make the day educational and fun, he says.

Presenters include MU Extension state wildlife specialist Robert Pierce, who speaks on managing nuisance wildlife. MU Extension specialists Charles Holland and Tish Johnson give tips for marketing produce.

Carrie Hargrove of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture speaks about the new agricultural park planned in Columbia. She also offers a session on organic vegetable production for personal use. MU Extension agronomist Todd Lorenz gives gardeners more than 50 tips on how to safely garden in their senior years. In separate sessions, he also tells how to prune trees properly, why you should test your soil and how to read the results, and how to care for your lawn.

MU Extension horticulturist David Trinklein gives tips for growing tomatoes. Horticulturist Patrick Byers talks about growing and marketing elderberries.

Conservation for small farms will be discussed by Ethan Miller of the Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District, Kim Reitz of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ryan Lueckenhoff of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

MU Extension natural resources engineer Charlie Ellis offers help on choosing small equipment for small acreages.

MU Extension forester Hank Stelzer talks about the Missouri Managed Woods program. Michael Gold of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource’s Center for Agroforestry tells about chestnut production. Gregory Ormsby Mori, also with the Center for Agroforestry, shows the basics of growing mushrooms on logs.

Veterinarian Charlotte Clifford-Rathert of Lincoln University tells why goats and sheep are good choices for small farms.