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A yard sale with a twist

Stored under In the News on November 16, 2006 at 11:12 AM
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. It's a morning meant for party-style shopping at Liz Bly's home in Yorktown, Va.

About 15 friends and neighbors sit on folding chairs and sofas, catalogs in hand, pencils poised to write notes -- maybe fill in an order form.

The women are not looking for stylish food storage containers or fancy cookware. Instead, they are there to learn how to use a "soil blocker" to get their garden seeds off to a good start.

Lisa Ziegler stands in front of them to explain and demonstrate several little-known gardening tools and products. For instance, there's the dibber, a T-shaped aluminum planting hand tool that's perfect for small bulbs, she says. There's also a multiuse trowel that digs planting holes, removes weeds and smoothes soil.

She also peppers her program with educational tidbits. She advises the women to consult their local Virginia Cooperative Extension office when they have plant questions, and encourages them to adopt gardening habits that benefit the environment and health of the Chesapeake Bay.

"This is 'edu-tainment,' " she tells the women at Bly's gathering. "Whether you buy or not, you take something away from this workshop."

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