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Dig This | Announcements for gardeners are in full bloom

Today’s column is a small bouquet of announcements of upcoming events and activities you won’t want to miss.

First in line is Bainbridge in Bloom. This year marks the 20th year of the Bainbridge in Bloom scheduled for July 12 and 13 with Patron’s Day on July 11. To kick off the 20-year celebration, the Bloom will begin selling tickets at the Home and Garden Show at Woodward Middle School on March 22, hosted by the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce. BIB Tickets will be sold for the Bloom’s original 1988 price of $10 to the first 20 people at the booth (limit two per household).

Continuing the Bloom’s anniversary spirit, special $20 tour tickets will be on sale for 20 days — from March 22 through April 10. Beginning April 11, general weekend tickets will be sold for $25 (in previous years tickets have cost $30). Tickets are available by contacting www.gardentour.info or (206) 842-7901 and at various retail nurseries and locations after Memorial Day.

Last week I wrote about Nathaniel Hattrick’s Eagle Scout Project at Raab Park in Poulsbo. But I also want to mention and thank these Eagle Scouts, all from Poulsbo’s Troop 1570, for their past Eagle Scout Projects: Kyle Rencher (picnic tables in 2002); Garth Donald (arbor in 2002); Michael Purser (gazebo in 2003) and Tyler Rencher (raised garden beds 2005). All these projects are still being enjoyed by everyone who comes to visit the Youth Garden and P-Patch at Raab Park.

It’s time to start planting vegetables. If you don’t have a sunny spot to garden, why not try a P-Patch plot at the Raab Park Community Garden in Poulsbo. Spaces are available at $30 for a 10-foot by 10-foot plot for a year and $40 for a 10-foot by 20-foot plot for a year. Contact Poulsbo Parks and Recreation at (360) 779-9898 to sign up for your plot.

People often think P-patch is spelled pea-patch but the term actually came from a family in Seattle who donated their land for P-patch plots so gardeners could grow their own healthy food for their families. The Picardo family began the P-Patch movement in the 1920s. Their farmland was 20 acres extending from 25th Avenue NE to 35th Avenue NE and from NE 82nd Street all the way to NE 75th in Seattle. It was a truck farm. The farm slowly was sold off as the city grew and developed.

The Picardo family continued to farm on the remaining 2.5 acres into the 1960s. In the 1970s a young University of Washington student, Darlyn Rundberg Del Boca, wanted children to learn to grow food. The students grew food for Neighbors in Need. Darlyn received permission from the Picardo family to start a community garden on the remaining land. And the P-patch movement in Seattle blossomed. This and the preceding paragraph are paraphrased from the book “The City Gardener’s Cook Book,” by Donna Pierce, which is available at local bookstores.

The P-Patches in Seattle were an inspiration to the WSU Master Gardeners at Raab Park who planned and created the P-Patches at Raab Park. This year marks year six of the Raab Park P-Patch and the Master Gardeners still coordinate the program for Poulsbo Parks and Recreation.

Peg Tillery can be contacted at gardenmentor@yahoo.com or ptillery@co.kitsap.wa.us.

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