Get growing! Community support for your backyard gardens

gardeningBy Miriam Limov
Sierra Harvest
Published in the Spring 2018 Issue of the PRG

Spring is the time to get your garden growing! As the days lengthen and flowers boom, it’s hard not to get excited about planting a garden right where you live. There are so many great reasons to plant a garden. You’ll love getting to harvest the freshest, most nutritious food. Your children will learn where their food comes from which is vital. Studies show that when kids are involved in growing and harvesting fresh veggies, they’re more likely to eat them. And, spending time outside is good for everyone!

Luckily, our community supports backyard gardening in a number of ways. Local non-profit Sierra Harvest offers the Sierra Gardens program, where they help you get a thriving garden started in your yard. Services run the gamut from rehabbing an old garden that needs help to starting a brand new site with fencing and irrigation. They provide starts and seeds at the right time for success, as well as mentorship and quarterly gardening and cooking classes to help you make the most of your harvest. The program also provides mentorship for two years to ensure your success. Many of the Sierra Gardens participants receive scholarship assistance to help with the cost. For more information, visit sierraharvest.org/what-we-do-2/sierra-gardens/

More of a DIY sort of family? There are many free and low-cost classes available to help your garden succeed. Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply hosts free workshops most Saturdays on a variety of topics – ranging from irrigation and cheese making to planting calendars and native species. Check out their full schedule at groworganic.com/nursery#workshop-stop

Short on time and not able to get out to a workshop? Peaceful Valley also has a huge library of short “how to” videos that you can watch while the kids are asleep: groworganic.com/organic-gardening/videos/

If you’re looking to get your questions answered by a “Master” (or to become one yourself), look no further than the Master Gardeners of Nevada County! They also offer free workshops and they even have a hotline you can call to ask your questions. The hotline number is 530.273.0919 and their website is: ncmg.ucanr.org/

A to Z Supply also offers monthly workshops, and they are particularly knowledgeable about beekeeping and the supplies needed to support this sweet habit! Check out atozsupply.com/events/ for their workshop schedule.

No garden? No problem! Check out CSAs (weekly produce boxes), farmer’s markets, or Upick Farms in the area. To tune into the local farm scene, visit Nevada County Grown for more information at nevadacountygrown.org/

There are many knowledgeable people in this community who want to help your garden flourish. There’s no such thing as a brown thumb, so get out there and get planting. The time is now!

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