Community

Classes for the littlest gardeners

We’re never too young to learn about gardening. This summer you’ll find garden learning experiences for youngsters at the Anna Smith Park located at the intersection of Tracyton Boulevard and Fairgrounds Road in Bremerton. Join WSU Kitsap County Master Gardeners in the garden this year with hands-on explorations of seeds, herbs and worms.

Classes are from 11-11:45 a.m. Classes are for children up to 6 years old, accompanied by adults. Please feel free to bring a sack lunch for your children and enjoy the garden after class. The schedule is June 18, Seeds and Leaves; July 16, Busy Worms in the Garden; and August 20, What are Herbs?

In the North end of the county at the Raab Park Youth Garden at the far south end of Caldart Street in Poulsbo another team of WSU Kitsap County Master Gardeners will be onsite every Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with learning experiences beginning June 30 and continuing every Monday through Aug. 25. The dates and experiences are June 30, Stepping Stone Day; July 7, Everyday Herbs and Plant a Row for the Hungry; July 14, Backyard Habitats and Native Plants; July 21, Worms to Go and Vegetables in the Garden (ID and Taste); July 28, Insects and Snails in the Garden; Aug. 4, Plantzilla and Create Your Own Bog Garden; Aug. 11, Art in the Garden; Aug. 18, As We Were - Fishers, Gatherers, Hunters; and Aug. 25 - Old Shoe Day. These classes are for children of all ages, but most of the children who attend range in age from toddlers through third grade. All groups of children must be accompanied by an adult. If you’re planning on bringing more than five children please contact Poulsbo Parks and Rec at (360) 779-9898 so the Master Gardeners can prepare enough material. Dress for the weather and bring a sack lunch.

For more detailed descriptions of these youth gardening experiences visit http://kitsap.wsu.edu/events/pdf/anna_smith_calendar.pdf for Anna Smith and http://kitsap.wsu.edu/events/pdf/raab_park_calendar.pdf for Raab Park.

Summer seems to be starting late this year. Or at least that’s how many of us feel. The bright side of this coin is we can still plant peas, lettuces and radishes which are easy to grow even in cooler weather. Kids love to plant these tasty veggies and when they grow their own food it’s an added enticement to eat what they’ve grown. Radishes and lettuces germinate quite quickly so kids don’t get discouraged waiting for the plants to pop out of the ground. These veggies grow easily in containers too, if gardening space is limited.

Veggies can also easily mix in with regular garden plantings. Choose seeds that have short harvesting times. For instance if the plant takes 90 days until harvest and another variety takes only 60 days until harvest, choose the 60 day variety.

Our growing season this year may end up being even shorter than usual, so you’ll have time to grow something, don’t worry.

You’ll find numerous wonderful gardening books for inspiration and ideas for growing plants with the youth in your life. Here are a few suggestions: “Sunflower Houses” by Sharon Lovejoy (Workman Publishing); “Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots” by Sharon Lovejoy (Workman Publishing); “EcoArt - Earth Friendly Art & Craft Experiences for 3- to 9-year-olds” by Laurie Carlson (Williamson Publishing); “Kids Garden - the Anytime, Anyplace Guide to Sowing & Growing Fun” by Avery Hart and Paul Mantell (Williamson Publishing) and “The Kids Nature Book - 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities & Experiences” by Susan Milord (Williamson Publishing).

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