Have you always wanted to plant a backyard fruit orchard? Build your own compost bin? Be able to identify native plants? Or learn the basics of pruning fruit trees? If so, you are in luck: the UC Butte County Master Gardeners are here for you!

A new workshop this year will be offered on two dates: Saturday April 29, 10:00–11:30 a.m. and Thursday May 4, 10:00–11:30 a.m. All About Backyard Fruit Orchards will be held at the home of a Master Gardener in Paradise. His orchard of over 50 fruit trees is one of the most varied home fruit orchards in our area. Almost all of these trees were planted in the last four years. The orchard is pruned and maintained as a small tree design for a backyard orchard. A new tree will be planted as part of the workshop, and pruning of the new and old fruit trees will be demonstrated. Fertilizing and pest problems will also be discussed. (Limited to 10 participants.)

On Saturday, May 6, join the Master Gardeners for a Native Plant Walk at Chico State. Meet the experts on the patio in front of Laxson Auditorium on campus at 1 p.m. for a 90-minute tour of the native and water-wise gardens Chico State has installed around the campus as a part of its move towards landscaping suitable for our California climate.

A double feature on Composting and Building Compost Bins is happening at the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at Patrick Ranch on Tuesday, May 9. From 9:00 to 10:00 a.m., learn to compost using leaves, garden waste, and kitchen scraps to create wonderful soil-enriching compost. And from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., you can build your own compost bin to take home with you. There will be a $30 materials fee, payable only by cash or check, on the day of the event. (Limited to 12 participants.)

Come out to Patrick Ranch for the first of three 2017 workshops on Pruning the Demonstration Garden Orchard on Wednesday, May 10, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

The focus here will be pruning fruit trees to maintain an ideal size for a backyard garden; these trees are pruned in the shape of a shrub. (Limited to 15 participants.)

Registration is required for all workshops at http://ucanr.edu/sites/bcmg/events/Workshops/     The Demonstration Garden is located at the Patrick Ranch Museum at 10381 Midway, south of Chico. See you there!