January is a month for promising to eat better, get healthier and exercise.
There is one activity to help with all those goals, and that is growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, and maybe even some backyard fruit. Gardening not only helps build physical strength, it increases flexibility and relieves stress.
Gardening also provides a connection to people that is important for personal happiness. It’s an activity for the whole family and helps builds neighborhood relationships while learning new skills and practicing patience.
Saturday January 30 from 9 to 12:30, Muskogee City Wellness Initiative is sponsoring a free event in the spirit of promoting healthier eating by building a community of gardeners growing food for themselves and their neighbors.
Here is a lineup of the topics that will be presented in 20-minute segments –
Garden Site Selection and Planning - Sue Gray, OSU Extension Tulsa
Keep your garden at its best, with the right amount of sun and closeness to a water source. A successful 10 feet by 20 feet garden will be more fun and productive than a quarter acre that is in the wrong place and takes too much work. Learn how to choose the best location, row width, and planting techniques as well as how to group plants together.
Earth Friendly Gardening - Doug Walton, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Muskogee Farmer’s Market
Doug Walton will teach you how to improve the health of your soil and your plants by using methods that will keep the garden productive for years. A garden that supports the environment preserves the soil’s living organisms, protecting your plants from disease and insects. A healthy garden costs less to grow because fewer chemicals are used.
Irrigation and Weed Control - Kim Walton, Waltons Farm
Kim grows plants, flowers and vegetables for the Muskogee Farmer’s Market and will share her best tips on how to maximize the smallest amount of water in your home vegetable garden. Controlling annual and perennial weeds can make the difference in the health of your garden and the amount of the harvest.
Selecting Vegetable Varieties - Matthew Weatherbee, Blossoms Garden Center
You have selected your site and prepped it for planting - but what to plant? Matthew will describe the differences among summer vegetable varieties in order to help you with your selection. He will explain the differences between a Celebrity and a Roma, a hybrid and an heirloom.
Seed Starting and Transplanting Tips - Martha Stoodley, Master Gardener
There is nothing like putting a seed into soil and producing healthy vegetables and herbs as well as flowers to enchant garden visitors. You will hear tips on how to grow seeds indoors to jump start the gardening season, as well as how to prepare plants for transplant to the garden in April.
Kitchen Garden Herbs - Sharon Owen, Moonshadow Herb Farm
Using kitchen herbs will make fresh vegetables into flavorful meals. Sharon will teach the basics of growing the 5 most popular cooking herbs for an Oklahoma kitchen garden. She is also providing a guide to cooking with herbs. Herbs are one of easiest ways to start growing for your dining pleasure.
Growing Backyard Fruit - Sue Gray, OSU Extension
Maximizing the amount of fruit you can harvest in a back yard is a result of planting the right varieties and giving them the correct help with mulch, spray, thinning, fertilizer, water and weed control. Learn whether to select dwarf or semi-dwarf trees, which berries to plant, and, the best pruning methods.
St. Paul’s Methodist Church provided the Activity Center and volunteers on the Muskogee Wellness Committee are providing a light snack. Daniels Plant Food, Fiskars Garden Tools and B. B. Mackey Books provided door prizes. Seed companies donated catalogs.
IF YOU GO
Gardening: Basic Training
Saturday January 30 - 9 am to 12:30
Call OSU Extension if you are coming 918-686-7200
St. Paul Methodist Church Activity Center
2130 West Okmulgee, Muskogee