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It was a full day for the Arkansas Master Gardeners and hosting volunteers in Hempstead County today. The kickoff event was a pre-conference Homesteading Workshop at Old Washington State Park.

100 MG's from across the state were in attendance learning everything from animal husbandry, to weaving, print making, herbs, soap making, cheese making, blacksmithing and more.

From all accounts it was a fabulous way to kick off the 2019 conference.

While those 100 were learning, another 100 host volunteers were busy back at Hempstead Hall at the UA Hope campus setting up for the rest of the activities. Everything from setting up registration to goody bags, garden fair and decorations, it was a buzz of activity making sure everything was in its place.

Gallery: state mg conference 2019

By 2:30 we had folks coming in to prepare for an opening papercrete workshop.

Not long after more MG's began arriving for the evening festivities which included the gardeners market with loads of plants and items to buy,

a silent auction to bid on,

and a great catfish and chicken dinner. There were also a slew of hands on art projects to work on outside,

an historic dance demonstration

and a trivia game.

In between events, Hempstead County Master Gardeners and students were at their award winning project, Happs Garden at one of the local schools.

They were there to showcase their project, answer questions and let people see how to incorporate gardens at a school.

It was an impressive project,

and amazing to us were the number of caterpillars busily feeding on the milkweed already.

My plants are barely growing at home.

It was a very full day and I am sure many will sleep well tonight. Tomorrow is the main day with a line up of great speakers, the final bidding on the silent auction and the gardeners market, which is open to the public. The educational part is open only to registered attendees. It was good to see so many friends from across the state.

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