Free garden workshop series begins tonight

The Coon Rapids Sustainability Commission presents a series of garden workshops that begins tonight (May 12).

N1404P47005CN1404P47005CLocal gardener Marcia Baudino will facilitate the three free sessions, offered 6:30-7:30 p.m. May 12, 19 and 21 in the council chambers at the Coon Rapids Civic Center.

Baudino, a longtime featured speaker at Green Expo events, “has an amazing knowledge of gardening … with a goal of producing enough food to feed her family,” said Coon Rapids communications and marketing coordinator Stephanie Ring.

Ring then described the commission’s motivation in offering the free workshop series.

“(We) try to bring education and options to the community that have a sustainability or ‘green’ focus,” she said, adding that the goal is “getting the community to think about small changes can make a big difference to help improve the environment.”

The May 12 workshop, titled How to Turn Your Yard into a Food Producing Paradise, aims to help backyard gardeners grow their own vegetables, berries and more.

Baudino has transformed her residential yard into a “food producing paradise,” growing vegetables and berries in permanent raised beds every year.

Using food she grows and some purchased at local farmers markets, Baudino is able to prepare food to feed her family all year round.  During the May 12 workshop, she will share her story, present photos of her yard and send attendees home with tips and resources to get started in their own yards.

The May 19 workshop will offer paricipants tips for saving time and money, ways to find a variety of local sources for food, and more. Local Food for Dinner 365 Days a Year will also show attendees how to make the fruits and vegetables from summer farmers markets last year-round and how to join CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

The final workshop, Permanent Raised Beds the Permaculture Way, is set for May 21 and will give attendees ideas about how to “enjoy huge yields of food, do almost no weeding and never till again.” Also, participants can learn how to build, mulch, plant, and maintain raised beds using Permaculture Principles – no lumber or hammers needed. Companion and succession planting and crop rotation will also be discussed.

Coon Rapdis Civic Center is located at 11155 Robinson Drive, Coon Rapids.There is no registration required to attend these free garden workshops, and Rice promises “plenty of room for everyone.”

Sue Austreng is at
[email protected]