Tour to cultivate green thumbs


Gardening enthusiasts can enjoy walking through more than an acre of different species of flowers and plants on Saturday, Aug. 8, when John Rudy County Park hosts its annual open house.

The free event, held 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 400 Mundis Race Road in East Manchester Township, is open to the public and will be held rain or shine.

The York County Master Gardeners are holding the open house with the York County Juvenile Probation and the county Parks and Recreation Department to teach York residents tips and tricks for gardening.

Activities: Master gardeners will be giving demonstrations on composting, growing tomatoes, insects and other topics.

Visitors are encouraged to bring in plant or insect samples for master gardeners to identify. The gardeners will perform free pH testing on soil people bring from home.

"It's a fun day, making many of our educational resources available," said Connie Schmotzer, consumer horticulture educator for Penn State's York campus.

She said a free tomato tasting will be offered for people to try new varieties of the vegetable.

For a more hands-on activity, there will be a chance to create and take home a personalized flower and herb tussie mussie, or bouquet.

The event gets steady traffic from year to year, she said, bringing about 270 people per year and growing.

For sale: Books, gardening tools and stepping stones are among the variety of items being sold at the event.

Produce — harvested by youth at the detention center — also will be on sale to benefit the center and a food bank.

For more information, visit or call (717) 840-7408.