According to Lloyd Wessels, longtime volunteer with the annual Home and Garden Seminar and Show, more than 1,000 Jefferson County schoolchildren benefited from the 2011 event.

According to Lloyd Wessels, longtime volunteer with the annual Home and Garden Seminar and Show, more than 1,000 Jefferson County schoolchildren benefited from the 2011 event.

This year’s edition, the 24th annual Home and Garden Seminar and Show, is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The event is sponsored by the Master Gardeners of Jefferson County, Jefferson County Extension Service and the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Clean & Beautiful Commission. Admission is free of charge.

The proceeds from the annual show – mainly vendor’s fees and sponsorships – provide funds for the Youth Garden, a project of the Master Gardeners of Jefferson County, said Wessels, who is chairman of the gardening project.

“The Youth Garden provides youngsters the experience of planting and harvesting produce under the supervision of volunteer Master Gardeners,” he said. “They also learn about preparing the soil for planting, fertilizing and watering. In one week last year, the Master Gardeners spent $1,000 on plants used with the youngsters in the demonstration garden.”

Some days, there are as many as 200 children visiting the garden. During the past year, the garden also provided more than 2,000 pounds of produce given to the Salvation Army, Neighbor to Neighbor and senior citizens.

Activities at the daylong event will include two educational seminars, four how-to sessions and activities for children and teens, door prizes and concessions by Jenkins Industries. There will be about 100 booths, providing information, product displays and sales and literature.

New this year will be Meet the Masters. Master Gardeners will share their expertise on various lawn and gardening subjects at predetermined times in the Master Gardeners booth.

Booth space is still available for vendors for $50 for one booth and $25 for each additional adjoining booth. Sponsorships are also available: Platinum, $500; Gold, $300; Silver, $200; and Bronze, $100. Sponsors receive complimentary booths to display products or literature and will be included in any printed brochures, newspaper ads and radio coverage. Information on booth and sponsorship packages is available by contacting Anthony Whittington, agriculture agent with the Jefferson County Extension Service, at 870-534-1033 or awhittington@uaex.edu.

This activity is open to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (large print, audiotapes, etc.) should notify the county Extension office as soon as possible prior to the activity.