The Conservatory is transformed into nine gardens Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Phil Brodhecker shows one of his pullets Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Professional assistance is readily available at Erik's garden Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Suzanne Romania, third generation cut flower farmer Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Hautau's garden showed the beauty of textured greens Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Arthur & Friends hydroponics supplies Andre's in Newton. One can purchase a hydroponic table to grow vegetables at home Credits: Jennifer Murphy
One of the Brodhecker sheds that could be yours Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Lisa Southway shows some of the handmade cheeses from Springhouse Dairy & Creamery Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Beautiful spring tablecloths available at the show Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Brass weathervanes and decorations Credits: Jennifer Murphy
Springfest Garden Show: Inviting and Inspiring - Through Sunday
Saturday, March 16, 2013 • 10:04am
AUGUSTA, NJ – The 17th Annual Sussex County Springfest Flower and Garden Show at the Sussex County Fairgrounds is running from March 14 through 17 from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. daily.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, and children under 12 are free.
Immediately, upon entering, you will feel as though you have entered a very beautiful and special place. Sussex County landscape artists, contractors and nurseries have transformed the conservatory at the Fairgrounds into a living testimonial of creativity, imagination and nature.
“This is a spectacular event,” said visitor Tina Mattar."I’m coming back tomorrow.”
Color and fragrance both excite and soothe the senses. The best of Sussex County farmers and agricultural experts are available and eager to answer questions, share tools and techniques, and collaborate in an amazing display of horticulture, carpentry and art.
Entering the main show, visitors will be awed by the nine large gardens which have been built by the following exhibitors: Hautau Landscaping, Farmside Landscape & Design, New Image Landscape Services, Erik Enterprises Landscaping, LLC, Garden State Koi & Aquatic Center, All in One Contracting, Anthony Group Installers, LLC, David Wright Landscape Architect, LLC, and Three Seasons, LLC. Visitors can enter their vote with the People’s Choice Award Ballot.
Between these displays are educational exhibits by Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Sussex County, Sussex County Birding and Nature, Sussex County Technical School-Horticulture Program, Tri State Hosta Society, Friends of Waterloo Village, Arthur & Friends, and the 4-H Club.
Service vendors include arborists, lighting specialists, pool installers, irrigation specialists, and fencing companies.
Retailed products include art, photography, tablecloths, hats, gloves, and garage organizers.
Master Gardeners, trained by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Program on Morris Turnpike, serve as guides.
“It’s a wonderful program. We attended classes once a week for a year,” said Marcia Samuel, Master Gardener. “Then we volunteer at various locations around the county and at county-run events like this.”
Visitors have an opportunity to win one of the three custom built sheds by Brodhecker Farm, Hampton Township.
“I will be giving away one of the sheds at the end of the show,” said Phil Brodhecker. "People vote for the one they like the best, and from that pile, we draw a winner.”
The sheds have been transformed into magnificent outdoor living spaces by local designers. Tracy Gibbons Interior Designs created a “Garden Guesthouse/Home Office” space, LoHo Living created a “Mancave,” and Maxwell & Molly’s Closet Pet Boutiques created a “Pooch’s Poolside Palace.”
Phil Brodhecker described the importance of reacquainting people with nature. “The neatest thing we see is when people reconnect and realize what it takes to bring food to their table.”
Brodhecker Farm is one of the excellent examples of Agrotourism in the county.
“We have a fully operational farm, we raise crops and livestock. We began a few years ago to plant sunflowers which we harvest and sell as Black Oil Sunflower Seeds. You may have seen our fields around the county. If you buy a bird feeder here at the show, we are giving away a 10 pound bag of our seeds.”
Brodhecker also plants corn, oats, hay and straw which they harvest and grind into animal feed. They raise sheep, horses, goats, cows, alpacas and chickens which they sell live for people to raise and use as food, or they sell their meat directly to the customer.
In their display, one could also purchase electric fencing for their garden or large acreage field, muck boots for gardeners or weather, chicken coops, and 17 week-old pullet chickens, ready to begin laying eggs in a week or so.
“We don’t do farmer’s markets, we try to get people to come to us.”
There were many at the show, however, who are regulars at the Sussex County Fairgrounds Farmer’s Market, set to open June 1. Suzanne Romania, from Everlasting Garden in Branchville is a third generation cut flower farmer. Liz Southway, of Springhouse Dairy & Creamery sells ten flavors of handmade cheese at the market. There were displays of wine, honey, soap, and candles by farmers who sell at the market.
Every day at Springfest, from 10 to 5, there are free lectures, included in the price of the show ticket. Topics offered on Saturday and Sunday include: "Living Walls-Verticulture,” “Stihl Power Equipment Safety Seminar,” “Freezing, Canning and Dehydration,” and famed speakers, such as Margaret Roach and Produce Pete.
Guide Barbara Abita explained, “The comments I’ve been getting are that it’s the best show yet. People are saying it’s the most charming flower/garden show in the northeast, better than Philly."
Follow The Alternative Press for Sussex County News and information, as well as news and information on The Alternative Press of Sussex County's Facebook Page.