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Crook County On The Move hosts Mother's Day Weekend Community Garden Family Day this Saturday

HOLLY SCHOLZ/CENTRAL OREGONIAN 
 - The Mother's Day Weekend Community Garden Family Day happens this Saturday, May 12 at the Prineville Community Garden, located at Prineville Presbyterian Church. Pictured, Pastor Mike Wilson and Crook County On The Move member Carol Benkosky work the ground at the community garden.

Designed to encourage folks to grow their own veggies, a free Mother's Day Weekend Family Gardening Event is set for this Saturday, May 12.

"It will be a fun way to spend time with Mom and learn about growing your own food," said Kristi Hiaasen, FEAST Project Team member.

The event will have activities for all ages, free vegetable seeds and plant starts while supplies last, as well as free games and prizes.

FEAST (Food Education Agriculture Solutions Together) is a program of Oregon Food Bank that helps local communities come up with their own ideas on how to improve access to healthy foods. 

The event happens at the Prineville Community Garden, which is at Prineville Presbyterian Church, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

"It is basically going to be an opportunity for people to come out to the garden and see what it's like," said Carol Benkosky, of Crook County On The Move.

The Prineville Presbyterian Church rents garden plots to members of the public, and they want to showcase the 1-acre community garden. Twelve of the 30 300- to 400-square-feet plots are still available to rent for $30 for the season.

The event will feature activity and information stations as well as a drawing for prizes such as a basket of garden supplies and tools. People will be given a tour of the garden plots, have a chance to talk to the people growing vegetables in them, and learn about honey bees and other pollinators.

OSU Master Gardeners and the OSU Small Farms Program will be on hand to answer gardening-related questions. Kids will have the opportunity to get a free planter box, fill it with soil and plant a salad container garden with lettuce and other vegetable seeds that they can then take home.

This community garden event is the first of four projects funded by a $4,000 FEAST Community Grant from the Oregon Food Bank that has been awarded to Crook County On The Move.

The grant funds this Mother's Day weekend event as well as a newsletter, a public awareness campaign to encourage all home gardeners to donate excess garden production to the local food pantries, and a community garden event during the harvest season.

These projects center on strengthening the local food system by encouraging residents to plant a garden this summer, gaining skills and learning about resources to be successful at gardening.

Crook County On The Move, Oregon Food Bank, NeighborImpact and Crook County OSU Extension Service partnered to offer the free community event.

"Gardening, whether at home or in one of the community gardens, really supports all the key elements of Crook County On The Move," Hiaasen said. "The nourishment from the produce, the physical activity involved in growing the garden, and the social connections over the back fence, at the community garden or around the dinner table provide opportunities for health in our community."

Free Mother's Day Weekend Family Gardening Event

Date: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 12

Location: Prineville Presbyterian Church Community Garden, 1771 NW Madras Highway

For more information about the FEAST Food System Projects or Crook County On The Move, contact Crook County Foundation at 541-362-1210.

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