Show-Me Gourd Art Festival, MDC Native Plant Sales Return to Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Plant enthusiasts around the Ozarks had the chance to pick up new crops and enjoy two Springfield events on Saturday.

The Show-Me Gourd Art Festival at the Ozarks Empire Fairgrounds has returned after taking the past two years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you wanted to learn more about squashes, this two-day event is for you. In addition to gourds, vendors sell art supplies that can be used to create art with gourds as a canvas. The vendors also offer courses with lessons on all the things that can be done with the fruit.

“What we’re trying to do is get people interested in the arts,” said Madonna Waterman of the Show-Me Gourd Society of Missouri. “We show the work we do on squashes. There are so many things you can do on a gourd, you can carve them and paint them.

Gourd experts say you can even make it into instruments or a container to hold food, but if you do, be sure to line it up properly to avoid contamination.

Sunday is the last day to discover the Show-Me Gourd Festival. It runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and costs $5 to attend. For more information, click here.

Also in Springfield, the Missouri Department of Conservation launched the first of eight opportunities to purchase native plants this year.

Organizers of the native plant sales say the goal is simply to get people out and enjoy nature.

Native plants can be a serious help to the local environment. For example, they provide food for our local pollinators and support our local wildlife.

A naturalist says it’s important to have these native plants in our area because they’re already used to the climate and soils, which means you might do less gardening.

“We really want to help people get out and have fun, but also to make sure that we protect our forests, our fish and our wildlife,” said naturalist Jordi Raos. “Adding native plants to our landscapes, whether in your garden, on your farm or in the wild, really helps wildlife. So we want to make sure we help the public do that too.

If you missed Saturday, CLICK HERE to find out how you can buy native plants in Springfield.

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Reggie S. Williams