With spring weather making more frequent appearances, those who love to garden are earnestly tamping seeds into the rich soil while eagerly awaiting the harvest of fruits and vegetables for the table.

“Good gardeners cook and good cooks garden” says Jeff Ross, Farmstead Educator at Blackberry Farms.

With more than twenty years of experience producing fresh-from-the-garden foods, Ross will give a presentation, “Blackberry Farms Homestead Education,” at Blount County Public Library on Saturday, March 19, at 2 p.m.

The program will include an introduction of Blackberry Farms, who they are, what they do and what guests can expect during their visit. Ross will also talk about the East Tennessee foodways.

He says he will also talk about “using wild gathered ingredients as well as organically cultivated ones to link farming and food in a very unique and visceral way.”

With a degree in history, he has found a way to combine his study of cultural history and foodways of people around the world. With a passion for food and growing things, he constantly seeks to find new ways to use food and to use parts of plants that aren’t customarily utilized for food.

Past speaking engagements have been at the Dallas Women’s Club, the Magnolia Garden Club in Beaumont, TX, the University of Tennessee Organic Field Day, the Ontario [Canada] Culinary Tourism Summit, Local Foods Summit in Berea, KY, Complementary Health Education Organization workshop in Vonore, TN, Beardsley Community Farm Skill Share workshops in Knoxville, TN, Blount County Master Gardeners – Instructor of Organics, TN, Callaway Gardens Market and Field Day, Pine Mountain, GA, Greater East Tennessee Master Gardeners Summit, Knoxville, TN, University of Tennessee Arboretum Gathering, Oak Ridge, TN, various church groups, local clubs and schools.

Open to the public, this program is hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville, where services are an example of your tax dollars at work for you.