Iowa State University is offering novice gardeners and veterans with a green thumb the chance to learn more about the latest gardening trends. Horticulturist Cynthia Haynes is the coordinator for nine demonstration gardens across the state that’re being featured this week and next in “field days.” She says they showcase some new and unusual vegetables and flowers and horticultural techniques. She says the field days allow the public to see how they did. Haynes says the field day demonstrations begin in the evenings. There’s a tour of the gardens and people can see the themes. She says they plant the same thing in the nine different areas and then talk about how the gardens did in each area of the state. They try to highlight new things each year. She says summer squash is one of the themes this year, and they talk about different types of summer squash. Haynes says there are more people living in the city and the suburbs now in Iowa, but she says Iowans haven’t lost their desire to cultivate and grow things. She says gardening is still considered the number one leisure time activity and she says it’s still popular with Iowans. The next field day is tonight (Wednesday) at 6:30 at the Armstrong Research and Demonstration Farm, 11 miles southwest of Atlantic. For a complete list of the field days, check