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Master Gardener Teaches Tool Sharpening Skills

Written by Elizabeth Gabriel — 

MARIPOSA — There will be much more than hundreds of plants at the annual Mariposa Master Gardener Plant and Garden Art Sale on Saturday, May 7, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Amigo Picnic Area at the Mariposa County fairgrounds.

Master Gardener Jay Higbee will teach you how to hone your tool-sharpening skills while he skillfully sharpens one of your tools for you. While he’s working, he’ll share tool smarts with you.

Jay Higbee - photo courtesy Mariposa Master GardenersSome of his “tool rules:” A properly sharpened tool does a better and safer job; a dull ax can bounce off the wood; a sharpened shovel makes digging go more smoothly; flat files are good for flat surfaces such as axes, hatchets and knives; triangle files are best for sharpening teeth.

He is also a wealth of knowledge about Mariposa history – strike up a conversation.

The county Environmental Health Services will have its tank of mosquito fish available. They recommend people bring a small ice chest with a lid to carry the fish home, which should be done immediately – the fish can die quickly. Open buckets will work, but please, no plastic bags.

In the art corner, you’ll find some “plants” that never take any water, EVER, plus painted tools, trivets and garden signs.

Master Gardeners will staff an information booth with an extensive library of books, brochures, laminated handouts and piles of information on the bark beetle and the continuing drought.

There will be demonstrations of the square-foot approach to gardening, planting in straw bales, information on using gray water on your plants, and what plants to grow together.

For the plants, the emphasis is on veggies and fruit, but you’ll also find favorites such as lavender, bee balm, ajuga (a spreading ground cover with purple flowers), sage varieties, jasmine, cactus, succulents, house plants and some sweet-smelling heritage roses. There are herbs galore, some house plants and even fig trees.

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