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Orange County farmer is opening speaker for Piedmont Master Gardeners spring series

Piedmont Master Gardeners will open its online 2023 Spring Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on Thursday with fifth-generation Orange County farmer Michael Carter Jr. speaking on “Africulture and Unique Organic Vegetables You’ll Want in Your Home Garden.”

“Gardening for a Healthy Planet” is the theme for this year’s series, which will be presented online at 7 p.m. on four Thursdays in March. Admission is $10 for each lecture; register for the webinars at

Carter is managing director of Carter Farms and Africulture, a nonprofit group focused on educating the public about the contributions that people of African descent have made to U.S. agriculture. He will speak about plants he grows organically at his family’s certified Virginia Century Farm in Orange County, where he is the fifth generation of his family to farm.

Coming up in the series:

• 7 p.m. on March 9: Bob Schamerhorn will speak on “Attracting Birds and Other Wildlife to Your Garden with Easy-to-Create Water Features.”

Schamerhorn’s multimedia program will demonstrate water’s attraction to birds and other wildlife in every season and suggest ways to bring water into backyards. Schamerhorn, based in Richmond, is an award-winning nature photographer and a lifelong bird and nature enthusiast whose work has appeared in numerous exhibitions and publications.

• 7 p.m. on March 16: Kim Eierman will speak on “Designing a Pollinator Victory Garden for a Changing Climate.”

Eierman, an ecological landscape designer specializing in native plants, is the author of “The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening.” She will discuss the dramatic decline of pollinators and offer simple strategies gardeners can use to support bees and other pollinator species.

• 7 p.m. on March 30: Elisa Meara and Alex Thompson will present “Attractive, Functional, Sustainable Solutions to Managing Stormwater Runoff in the Home Yard and Garden.”

The landscape designers will show how smart planting practices and rain gardens can reduce stormwater runoff and filter pollutants that threaten rivers and streams feeding the Chesapeake Bay. A graduate of London’s Inchbald School of Design, Meara is owner of the Native Plant Landscape Design Corp. in Falls Church. Thompson has a master’s degree in landscape design from the George Washington University.


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