Penn State Cooperative Extension master gardener Judy Brenneman of Spring Grove weeds an iris bed in the Rudy Park Gardens outside the York County Parks
Penn State Cooperative Extension master gardener Judy Brenneman of Spring Grove weeds an iris bed in the Rudy Park Gardens outside the York County Parks York County Parks Administration Headquarters in 2012. ( YORK DISPATCH FILE)

Bring your questions — and your soil — for an open house from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, in the gardens at John Rudy County Park.

York County Penn State master gardeners will be available to answer questions at an "Ask the Expert" table, event organizer Frank Reed said.

Attendees can bring a soil sample to check the pH, attend a lecture, or simply stroll through the park's flower and vegetable gardens, he said.

"There's signage on each bed, so people can walk around and if they see something they like maybe they can grow it next year," Reed said.

The master gardeners will also be presenting a series of five talks every half-hour: composting, tomatoes, hummingbirds, bee keeping, and growning and using herbs.

"The talks are popular," he said.

Over the course of a season, the master gardeners grow more than 50 different varieties of vegetables. The produce is harvested and distributed to two different food banks.

The group works with the York County Juvenile Probation Department to give youth an opportunity to work off their community service in the gardens and delivering the food to the food banks.

Saturday, however, will allow guests to purchase some of the recent harvest at a farmers market. This one-day event offers open house guests the opportunity to taste the fruits of the master gardeners' labors.

Reed said he has been busy harvesting a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including lettuce, beans, kale, sweet corn, blackberries, blueberries, squash, zucchini and more.

A tomato tasting stand will also be available. Currently, there are 17 varieties of tomatoes growing at the park, Reed said.

Different varieties will be sliced for tasting, as well as available for purchase in the market.

The event is held rain or shine, Reed said. However, he added, he's looking forward to the forecast.

"It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day," he said. "Sunny skies."

— Reach Amy Peiffer at apeiffer@yorkdispatch.com.