Workshop on developing healthy soil

Soil health starts with developing an active biological ecosystem for delivering nutrients to the roots. A workshop March 8 at Harmony Farm Supply & Nursery in Sebastopol will explore the the science of the process, including appropriate nutrient levels, good irrigation practices and problems that arise when the system is out of balance.

Rick Williams of Harmony will lead the free workshop. 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 3244 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol. 823-9125, harmonyfarm.com or email Phamilton@harmonyfarm.com.

In this drought year, everyone is thinking about how to save every drop. One way is through drip irrigation, a more efficient way to deliver water to your garden. It will lead to higher crop yields and healthier ornamentals.

Expert Robert Kourik will lead a free workshop March 1 at the Cavanagh Community Center in Petaluma on Roots and Drip Irrigation. He is a leader in low water use design and has written several books, including "Roots Demystified: Change your Gardening Habits To Help Roots Thrive."

Kourik will explain where to put water, fertilizer and mulch around your plants as well as discuss how root growth indicates where to place drip lines.

To help participants gain confidence and skills, they will be enlisted to help install a drip irrigation system at the newly planted rain garden at Petaluma City Hall. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Put on by Daily Acts. 426 8th St. and at Petaluma City Hall, 11 English St. For information call 789-9664 or email shea@dailyacts.org.

Tulips are a harbinger of spring in Central Asia. As they push through the receding snow, they herald warmer days to come and signal that it is time for nomads to move with their flocks and families to summer pastures, something they have done for 1,000 years.

With high passes free of snow, merchants set out along the Silk Road, that ancient network of trails that once linked the Imperial empires of Rome and China. And it was along the Silk Road that tulips traveled west, through ancient Persia, Constantinople and eventually to Holland where they became a multi-million dollar business.

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