CORVALLIS, Ore.— Amateur and professional gardeners, as well as trained Master Gardener volunteers, are invited to attend the 26th annual Gardener's Mini College Aug. 5-8 at Oregon State University. Early registration is due June 19 and can be made online.

The theme for the 2009 conference is "Backyard Food Solutions: Local, Sustainable, Secure."

More than 30 classes, tours and workshops on a wide variety of topics will be presented at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on campus. Topics include cover crops, compost, mulch methods and other gardening advice on small-space gardening, basic pruning, invasive species, season extenders and fertilizers.

Discussion also will cover home winemaking, growing healthy kids, permaculture design, preserving produce, backyard chickens and much more.

Registration is $238 until June 26 and $245 until July 15 and includes all classes, three nights lodging and all meals. Rates also are available for single-day classes and single meals. Register online at: or contact Patty Driscoll at 541-737-3439 or

Other events are a silent auction, seed exchange, barbecue, awards banquet and OSU Master Gardener chapter sales and displays.

The Gardener's Mini College is presented by the OSU Extension Service Master Gardener program and the Oregon Master Gardener Association, in cooperation with the OSU Extension Service.

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Patty Driscoll, 541-737-3439