Weekend event celebrates all things outdoorsy, artful

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By Cheri Harris

Part plant sale, part art class, and all a great reason to get outdoors, the Art and Garden event this past Saturday drew plenty of visitors to Quincy.

They wandered the campus of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences campus in Gadsden County.

Visitors had the opportunity to learn about topics such as floral arranging, sustainable gardening and combating pests and take a tour of the North Florida Research and Education Center demonstration gardens.

Deborah Van Stratum came from Tallahassee and she brought her 7-year-old poodle, Sadie, with her. She said she and her husband actually came to the Gadsden Art Center to see the Florida Craftsmen exhibit but staffers there told them about the IFAS event.

Sadie seemed to enjoy an organic carrot Van Stratum gave her.

“I buy her a bag of organic carrots every time I go to the store,” she aid. “That’s her favorite treat — over a bag of jerky. She’s truly a vegan puppy.”

Dawn McMillan, president of the Gadsden Arts Center board, spent time manning a doodling booth for kids. The reward for artistic endeavors — a free organic vegetable.

Cliff and Aaron Kinch of Hardaway visited the pumpkin decorating station. They worked on transforming a tiny pumpkin into a big orange spider — with eight long, creepy black pipe cleaner legs.

Jeannette Grantham of the Havana Garden Club said they had offered a class on creating decorative cement leaves using real leaves as a model. The cured leaves could be painted with acrylic paint. She said one trick is to use non-stick spray to make it easier to get the leaf off the wet cement.

Times Executive 

Editor Cheri Harris can be reached at 850-627-7649 or