Get free advice on gardens, plants, trees and weeds at event

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) will host its annual Plant Science Day 2013 for the public on Wednesday, Aug. 7 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Lockwood Farm, 890 Evergreen Ave., Hamden.

Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. at the CAES’ 75-acre research farm. The event is free and open to all, and takes place rain or shine.

Attendees can discuss plant science topics on an informal basis with CAES scientists at their research plots. Barn displays will highlight current research programs at CAES.

Experts will be available to answer questions on plant identification and disease diagnosis, soil testing, and weed and insect identification.

There will be opportunities to visit more than 60 field plots and exhibits, as well as to participate in walking and riding tours. Activities for children include the “Passport for Kids.”

Superstorms and tree disease

CAES scientists will give short presentations on:

— “Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, and Superstorms: Their Impact and Influence on Tree Diseases”

— “The New Crops Program: Helping Connecticut’s Vegetable Growers”

— “Spotted Wing Drosophila Biology and Management”

— “Food Safety Research in the Department of Analytical Chemistry: Surveillance of Fresh and Manufactured Foods for Chemical Contamination”

This year’s technical demonstrations are “Beekeeping Basics” and “Soil Testing to Improve Plant Growth.”

Award to a farm plus main lecture

Among the highlights of the day are the Century Farm Award and the Samuel W. Johnson Memorial Lecture.

The Century Farm Award is presented to a farm in the state that has been in family operation for more than 100 years.

This year’s lecture, “The Food Emergency Response Network: FERN 101 and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station,” will be presented by Capt. Michael A. McLaughlin, Ph.D., acting director of food and feed scientific staff at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Samuel W. Johnson Memorial Lecture series is named for the director of CAES from 1877 to 1900.

For more information on Plant Science Day, call CAES at 877-855-2237 or go to