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Penn State Master Gardeners offer free online workshops for Earth Day

April 22, 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020, is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day.

If you need an incentive to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors on this Earth Day, Newswatch 16 offered up some ideas that involve free gardening resources.

Newswatch 16 wanted to help you celebrate by offering up several free resources being launched by Penn State's Master Gardeners.

Normally, people used to have to pay for the live webinars, but due to COVID-19, Penn State wanted to give back by offering people free virtual resources. They tackle everything from taking care of several acres of land to starting a garden, much like many Americans did when our country faced another crisis decades ago.

Back when our brave military men were fighting in World War I and II, many folks back home did their part for the war effort by planting what was called a Victory Garden. It consists of a plot in their backyards where Americans grew their own fruits and vegetables. Now, as our country faces a major health crisis, the idea of planting a Victory Garden is back.

"We've got a series of programs going on right now. One is the Victory Garden Reinvented," Vinnie Cotrone said.

Cotrone is an Urban Forester with the Penn State Cooperative Extension in West Pittston.

He's encouraging people to get out of the house during this pandemic and do some gardening.

"Today, we're all cooped up inside. Get outside and exercise, get some fresh air, and convert just a small piece of your yard. This can really be done anywhere," Cotrone said.

Penn State has plenty of FREE resources right now, like online webinars, hosted by volunteer expert gardeners. They're all to help you get your garden started, even if you know practically nothing about planting.

"What the webinars are doing are providing that information and again, lots of downloadable resources. Should we go out and plant our tomatoes right now? How do we prepare that soil? What about fertility?" Cotrone said.

Cotrone adds now is the perfect time to start your garden. He said, "You have plenty of time right now. Some things have to be started indoors."

Free gardening webinar resources

Here's how Penn State's Extension website works: it is designed to have people create an account and put stuff in their carts (even though they are free webinars, an online account gets created). Then, the links to each live webinar are emailed to the participants.

While on the site, you can search for the following: Victory Garden Reinvented. If the live webinars fill up, the recordings will be available for free as well.

You can also sign up for the webinar, "Living on a Few Acres." There are several of these types of webinars.

People can also call the Penn State Extension Registration Office by phone at 1-877-345-0691 and get registered for the program.

If you experience any other issues while trying to sign up, contact Vinnie Cotrone via email at vjc1@psu.edu.