Penn State Master Gardeners of Allegheny County will hold the annual Garden in the Parks Field Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in the North and South Park demonstration gardens.
The free event features guided tours of the annual flower trials, pollinator gardens and herb gardens, children's activities and information on native pollinators, herbs, composting and rain barrels. Stations will be set up where visitors can sample different varieties of garlic, basil, tomatoes and vinegars and vote on their favorites. Visitors will have a chance to talk with local beekeepers and learn about raising bees and harvesting honey. Also, master gardeners will be on hand to discuss preserving fruits and vegetables, answer questions, diagnose problems and identify plants.
Master gardeners will be selling their own fresh produce and an assortment of perennials, fresh cut flowers and gardening items at the garden market. Soil Tests kits will be available for $9 each.
The North Park demonstration garden is at the intersection of Wildwood Road and Babcock Boulevard. The South Park garden is at Corrigan Drive and McConkey Road. Information: 412-473-2540.
The second Italian Garden Dinner begins at 6 p.m. Friday at Fern Hollow Nature Center in Sewickley. The menu includes bruschetta with gorgonzola and Fern Hollow honey, chicken with lemon and rosemary, pasta station, homemade gelato, limoncello, and fruit and vegetables from St. James Farmers Market in Sewickley. It's BYOB. Cost is $75 for Fern Hollow members/ $100 nonmembers. Proceeds benefit Fern Hollow's educational programs, including science presentations for local schools. Information or reservations: 412-741-6136 or www.fhnc.org.
Red, Ripe and Roasted, the eighth annual tomato and garlic festival, will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 26 at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Oakland.
There will be cooking demonstrations and tastings, a garlic roast, a tomato contest, a farmers market, fun activities for kids and more. Dishes will be prepared by Cafe Phipps. Post-Gazette garden columnist Doug Oster will be on hand to sell and sign copies of his book, "Tomatoes Garlic Basil." A roasting station will feature Phipps-grown garlic and a farmers' market will offer organic and certified naturally grown produce from regional farms. Also, Trina Clickner, author of "A Miscellany of Garlic," will speak.
Admission is a bag of fresh produce, which also allows entry to Phipps summer flower show, "Fountains of Youth." Proceeds benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Information: http://phipps.conservatory.org or 412-622-6914.