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The vegetable gardening program has moved to a local church and expanded to six weeks

After making a successful Yamhill County debut with a class in Newberg last spring, the Oregon Food Bank and Oregon State University Extension Service are bringing back it’s Seed to Supper program this fall. PMG FILE - Seed to Supper, the free vegetable gardening class, has expanded to McMinnville and Willamina and now offers classes in both English and Spanish.

The free vegetable gardening class, held at Newberg Head Start, was the first in Yamhill County, but organizers are expanding to McMinnville and Willamina, will offer classes in both English and Spanish and have added to the curriculum.

“We did have quite a bit of success with this last year and we were able to bring in more instructors,” OSU Yamhill County Extension horticulturalist Heather Stoven said. “That’s part of the reason that we’re able to expand. There was a training program for instructors that our Master Gardeners have gone through and now we’re able to expand our outreach and have more classes this fall.”

St. Michael’s/San Miguel’s Episcopal Church will host concurrent but separate classes in English and Spanish from 10 a.m. to noon beginning this weekend and running through Dec. 3.

“They have a wonderful community garden on site, so it’s going to be a great place to have the course because they’ll have demonstration areas outside for people to use,” Stoven said. “If they are members of the church, after the course they could take advantage of the garden space that’s there to continue to grow their own food.”

The idea behind the program is to give novice adult gardeners the tools they need to grow a portion of their own food on a limited budget, boosting their food literacy and self-reliance and hopefully sharing their knowledge with others.

Stoven said the fall is a great time for the class because participants will be fully prepared to plan their gardens for spring.

“The benefit of living out here in western Oregon is our climate is so mild that you can really start gardening in March or April,” Stoven said. “This way, people will have all the information they need to start gardening as soon as they’re able in the spring when the weather cooperates.”

Participants in last spring’s course were surveyed following the course, but Stoven said the program is in the process of performing a follow-up survey to see how their gardening efforts progressed over the summer.

Course topics include garden site and soil development, garden planning, planting, garden care and harvesting. A class solely focused on container gardening was added this fall, which pushed the course to six weeks.

“That’s great because there are a lot of individuals who may not have a yard or great place to put a garden, but large-size containers or wine barrels that are cut in half can be a great place to grow food,” Stoven said.

For more information about the program or to enroll in the class, call the Yamhill County Extension Office at 503-434-7517 or email [email protected]

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