FiveCAP will hold its annual garden workshop on Tuesday, June 2.
In Mason County, the workshop will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. at FiveCAP’s Johnson Road warehouse, in Scottville.
In Manistee County, the workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to noon at the FiveCAP office located at 265 First St., in Manistee.
In Lake County, the workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to noon at the FiveCAP office located at 2476 West 44th St., in Baldwin.
In Newaygo County, the workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to noon at the FiveCAP office located at 434 North Evergreen Drive, in White Cloud.
The workshop will be led by a master gardener, and each attendee will receive a variety of vegetable plants to start their own garden.
“Growing your own food is an incredibly empowering experience,” said FiveCAP Community Support Director Amy Jalocha. “One of the most important components of the services we provide to the community is teaching the tools for self sufficiency, and learning to garden is a basic skill that enables people to provide for their families in a very basic way.
“Many of our clients are enrolled in food assistance programs, or receive food stamps. Their need puts them at the mercy of outside forces. In the last several years, we’ve seen drastic cuts to food stamps. With other programs, people receive the food they are given either at food pantries or through the provisions provided through our Commodity Supplemental Food Program or The Emergency Food Assistance Program. By growing a garden, our clients are able to claim control over what food they put on the table. They plant their food, tend it all season, harvest it, and finally feed it to their family.”
Each attendee of the workshop will receive the following plants: green beans, tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, green peppers, yellow summer squash, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage and onions.
The master gardeners leading the workshops will provide advice about how to grow each of these plants, and provide tips on how to get the best harvest out of each. There will be time for questions, as well.
“The workshop is always helpful for new gardeners, as well as veterans who have been growing vegetables their whole lives,” Jalocha said. “The master gardeners have access to the most current research, so they are constantly teaching us new ways to get the most out of our gardens.”
The garden workshop will be followed by a food preservation workshop, which FiveCAP will hold in the fall. Being able to preserve the food families have grown all summer allows them to reap the benefits of their hard work well beyond the growing season.
For more information, or the sign up for the workshop, contact your local FiveCAP office:
Mason County: (231) 757-3785
Manistee County: (231) 723-8327
Lake County: (231) 745-4617
Newaygo County: (231) 689-6688