• First two classes set for 2015 Sitka Local Foods Network garden mentor program

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The first two classes for the 2015 Sitka Local Foods Network garden mentor program have been set for each of our four participating first-year families, and the classes will be open to the public. The classes will be similar at each location, except one where we will be planting a container garden instead of our usual raised garden beds.

For three of the four families, the first class will focus on site selection, garden preparation, building planter beds, simple vegetables and soil preparation. The second class will be about simple vegetables and planting. For our first-year gardener families, we teach them how to grow four hardy crops for Sitka — kale, lettuce, potatoes and rhubarb. These classes are essentially the same, so feel free to attend the Class 1 and Class 2 that best fits your schedule.

The class schedule and location for these three families is:

  • A.J. Bastian, 207 Brady St. — CLASS 1: 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7; CLASS 2: 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 30.
  • Rebecca Kubacki, 1202 Halibut Point Rd. — CLASS 1: 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 11; CLASS 2: 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6.
  • Breezy, 616 Sawmill Creek Rd. — CLASS 1: 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 11; CLASS 2: 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5.

Our fourth family — Josephine Dasalla, 1709 Halibut Point Rd., No. 31 (green trailer) — will feature a combined Class 1 and Class 2 at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15. In this combined class, we will teach the family about containers, soil for containers, plant needs, and we will plant lettuce, kale, potatoes and raspberries (rhubarb is our usual fourth crop, but it is not an option at this location).

This is the second year of the garden mentor program, and our two families from last year — Anna Bradley and Tami O’Neill — are back for a second year where they will learn how to grow a few more difficult crops for Sitka, such as carrots and onions. We will announce those classes when they become available.

Michelle Putz has been contracted to coordinate the program and design lesson plans, after the Sitka Local Foods Network received a community development grant from First Bank. We also have about a half-dozen experienced Sitka gardeners who serve as mentors for the program. For more information, please contact Michelle at 747-2708.

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