Wild West Gardening helps gardeners, sellers gain ground

Stylish advertisement for event shows the words Wild West Gardening surrounded by roses in a caligraphy-like design. All is white on a dark blue background.

The Wild West Gardening Conference Saturday and Sunday April 22-23 at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne is for anyone who wants to be a better gardener or sell what they grow.


“This conference is meant to challenge, inspire, motivate and take participants to the next level of gardening success,” said Catherine Wissner, UW Extension horticulturist. It is for everyone from beginners and backyard and community gardeners to small acreage growers and farmers market gardeners, she said.


The $90 conference fee includes dinner, breaks and two lunches. To learn more about Wild West Gardening, special hotel rates and registration, go to bit.ly/wildwest-gardening.


The event features local, regional and national presenters in concurrent sessions and is hosted by the Laramie County Master Gardeners and the University of Wyoming Laramie County Extension office.


Keynote speaker Neil Diboll of Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin champions prairie plants, trees and shrubs and wetland plants in contemporary landscapes. He emphasizes their value to native bees and Monarch butterflies and advocates for genetic diversity of plant breeding stock.


Five hands-on workshops get participants started with specialty crops and culinary, decorative and craft products. Workshops are Get Your Lavender On; Garlic Gourmet; Microgreens; Medicinal Teas and Tonics; and Flower Projects. An additional $25 materials fee is payable directly to workshop leaders.


Demonstrations of hot water bath canning, pressure canning and steam bath canning are aimed at helping gardeners take advantage of recent food freedom and cottage food laws that make it easier to sell their products.


For those wishing to produce fermented products such as beer, wine and whiskey, the Wyoming liquor commissioner reveals the ins and outs of in-state and out-of-state sales.


Conference activities include a Saturday afternoon tour of the Paul Smith Children’s Garden at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens.


For more information, contact Wissner at 307-63­3-4383 or cwissner@uwyo.edu.