If you are thinking about starting a community garden, or one for you and your family, a series of free classes being offered beginning Monday, February 24 will help you get the information you need to get your garden off to a good start.
The Independence Health Department and Independence Community Garden Association are sponsoring the four gardening classes. Staff from the Kansas City Community Garden will present the classes at 6 p.m. at either the Health Department, 515 S. Liberty, or St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 3601 S. Sterling. The classes are:
Monday, February 24 – Early Spring Crops at St. Paul’s Methodist Church
Monday, March 10 – Vegetable Gardening Basics at the Health Department
Monday, April 7 – Growing Tomatoes and Peppers at the Health Department
Monday, June 16 – Insects and pesticides at the Health Department
“A lot of people enjoy working with the soil and coaxing plants and seeds into food they can share with their family and friends,” said Joanie Shover, Independence Community Garden Coordinator and Health Educator.
“And there are many ways to start a community garden, but this spring before you dig into the spot you have chosen for those peppers and tomatoes make sure you have all the information you need,” Shover added. “These basic gardening classes are the perfect place to start. They are designed for the back-yard gardener and especially the beginner.”
Shover said the Kansas City Community Garden staff are expert gardeners and have been instrumental in the development of the community gardens in Independence. The Independence Community Garden project, approaching its ninth gardening season, started in 2005 with 10 raised beds at Hawthorne Place Apartments. It now includes 16 community gardens.
“In addition to providing fresh fruits and vegetables that are key to a healthy lifestyle, community gardens offer an opportunity to build neighborhood identity and a sense of ownership and stewardship,” Shover said.
The Kansas City Community Garden and Independence Health Department also continue to work together to distribute seeds and plants. Membership is required to participate in this part of the program. Membership is $2 for those who qualify for low or no income. Membership for all others is $10.
Members are entitled to receive 10 packets of seeds (your choice), a five-pound bag of fertilizer, a community gardening newsletter, discount on additional seeds and fertilizer, a discount on vegetable plants and tiller loan privileges.
Seeds and plants will be available for pickup from 3 to 6 p.m. on the following Thursdays at the Health Department.
Early spring crops - March 27.
Summer seeds and plants - May 1 and 15.
For more information call Shover at (816) 325-7185.