SIOUX CITY | The theme for the annual Siouxland Garden Show this weekend was planted by the uptick in locally grown food consumption, organizer Molly Hewitt said.
"This year the theme is 'Grow With Us' to promote people to do their own gardening," Hewitt, Woodbury County director of the Iowa State University Extension office, said. "The local foods concept is growing and families are starting to grow their own gardens and are getting away from serving all that processed foods to their kids that can sometimes be unhealthy."
The show will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. It's sponsored by Hewitt's office and Dakota County's University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension office.
The event features a variety of educational sessions, how-to sessions and hands-on "make and take" projects led by regional gardening experts. Attendees will also have the opportunity to check out over 50 lawn- and garden-based vendors and a winter farmer's market. Some classes that will be offered will be focused on how to prune fruit trees, seed indoors, cook with herbs and do proper care for turfgrass.
"It's the type of thing where you can watch somebody do it and then take the confidence back to do it yourself," Hewitt said, adding each class will be 45 minutes to an hour long.
The 11th annual show is expected to bring 4,000 people, she said. This year, the organizing committee added 11 new vendors and additional expert instructors from the two hosting universities.
The featured speaker is Minnesota author, horticulturist and biologist Heather Holm. At 4:30 p.m. Friday, she will talk about choosing trees and shrubs that support birds and pollinators. The second will be at noon Saturday on the life cycles of bees and butterflies.
Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. there will be a session on wine pairings with wine from two local wineries.
The $5 tickets will be available for purchase at the door of the convention center, 801 Fourth St. Children 12 years old or younger get in free.
A full list of activities can be found at siouxlandgardenshow.org