INDEPENDENCE – The first day of spring is Monday. Even though it’s still wet and muddy outside, now is the perfect time to start planning your garden.
It’s also a great time to start seeds indoors, said Heather McPherson, marketing and communications manager for the Marion-Polk Food Share.
The food share will begin hosting gardening classes, “Seed to Supper,” on Saturday at Independence’s Inspiration Garden at Mt. Fir Park, 756 G St. Classes will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through April 8. A meal and children’s activities will be provided.
A second workshop will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays beginning April 1 through May 6 at Colonia Amistad, 30 S. Gun Club Road. This workshop will be taught in Spanish. A meal will be provided.
The classes are taught by Marion County Master Gardeners and are free.
“We think that everybody should have access to healthy, fresh food,” McPherson said. “One of the ways of doing that is to grow your own food in your own garden. It’s a great way to stretch your food budget, give yourself access to healthy food, and grow the kind of food that you like.”
The process of tackling a garden can be intimidating for some, she said.
“The Seed to Supper class is easy, fun, and taught by volunteers,” McPherson said. “It’s a great way for people to get interested in growing food and get excited to grow their own food.”
The class is a lot about the planning process of a garden, she said.
“When the class is over in April and May, that’s the perfect time to start planting,” McPherson said. “They can start seeds indoors or planting cool weather crops, like peas, now.”
Afterward, participants will receive free seeds and starter plants.
It doesn’t take much space to grow your own food, but McPherson said you need access to direct sunlight and well-drained soil.
“If people don’t have that where they live, we’ll find them a community garden that does have that,” she said.
The classes are open to all, but registration priority will be given to families living on $1,945 a month or less.
The 12-hour course is offered in partnership with Marion-Polk Food Share, Salem-Keizer Education Foundation and Marion County Master Gardeners. Materials and supplies were paid for in part through a grant from Tomberg Family Philanthropies.
To register or for more information: www.MarionPolkFoodShare.org.