By Meg McDonald for The Columbian
Published: June 1, 2017, 6:05 AM
Four Vancouver families living in homes built in partnership with Evergreen Habitat for Humanity have already experienced the community’s enthusiastic willingness to help. They will have another taste of that neighborly spirit this summer. They are the people who will work with Clark County Master Gardeners and community volunteers to design and install garden spaces on their properties.
For the second consecutive year, the WSU Extension Clark County Master Gardener program is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to offer a series of workshops on gardening topics, which will educate the homeowners and volunteers, and end with newly installed and planted garden beds and containers.
A grant from the Master Gardener Foundation of Clark County helps to pay for materials, and donations of labor and some plants meet most of the remaining needs.
Master Gardener Jane Johnson worked closely with one of two participating homeowners in 2016 to design his low-maintenance garden, which includes mulched surfaces, a raised garden bed that the grandfather can easily access, and two fruit trees. The trees were selected using the Master Gardener motto “right plant, right place” to be appropriate for the small and rather shady yard. The workshop during which the garden was built attracted twenty volunteers. Jane has continued to follow up with him since then, and is happy to see how attractive the space still looks and how much the garden is producing.
The first of this year’s events will be held on Saturday, June 10, from 10 am to noon. Registration is online at http://bpt.me/2940284. Master Gardener Laura Heldreth will discuss how the homeowner can use the space in her sunny front yard to grow vegetables. The steps of planning, planting, tending and harvesting will all be included in the discussion. Those who don’t have the space for beds can learn how to create a vegetable garden with containers. After the presentation, the participants will work together to plant vegetable starts.
The second 2017 workshop will be held on Saturday, June 17, from 10 am to noon. In accordance with the homeowner’s request, it too will focus on vegetable gardening. Registration is online at http://bpt.me/2949136. The workshop will center on how to design a vegetable garden to fit a small space, and which vegetables are best for a new gardener. After the presentation, participants will install a raised bed for the family.
Each workshop is limited to a maximum of 20 participants. Location is provided upon online registration (both homes are located in central/east Vancouver). Children are welcome to join in the fun. To register or for more information call 360-397-6060, ext. 5738, or email [email protected] You may also check the Clark County Master Gardener website at http://extension.wsu.edu/clark/gardening/workshops-events for more details