The first program of the 2011-12 Master Gardner Lecture Series (the 53rd program) will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 3 at the Sanibel Public Library.
The speaker will be Karl Rodman, a resident of Sanibel, who volunteered to take over and expand the Heritage Garden in the Sanibel Historical Village and Museum approximately one-and-half years ago.
There are actually two gardens divided by a shell path lined with horse conchs. He has planted a variety of vegetables and herbs similar to those grown by the pioneer families for daily consumption. Karl's organic methods, including producing his compost on site and supplementing with horse manure from the Churchill family horse farm located on Sanibel, produce healthy nutritious vegetables.
He donates the freshly harvested produce to the F.I.S.H. food pantry for its clients. In addition, Karl has installed a drip irrigation system to conserve water and to direct it more accurately to his crops.
Many full time residents and seasonal guests have a small plot of land or a sunny patio or lanai where they could easily raise their favorite vegetable or herbs in containers. According to the University of Florida and Stephen Brown at the University Extension this is the prime time to start your vegetables and herbs. An extensive hand out will be available for free of charge to those attending the program.
Karl Rodman has been a longtime volunteer and docent at the Historical Village and Museum and is currently on the board of directors of the village and museum. Karl and his wife Ann operated a summer farm camp on approximately 300 acres in upstate New York with enrollment of up to 90 campers for four to eight weeks. These campers connected with nature, learned responsibilities to the many domestic animals and participated in many other outdoor activities.
The program is free and open to the public with limited seating.