Rotary Gardens workshop to cover community gardens
If you go
What: Community Garden Workshop
When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21. Registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 13.
Where: Rotary Botanical Gardens, 1455 Palmer Drive, Janesville.
Cost: $25 includes lunch and materials. Participants can bring a treat to share at the break if they'd like.
8 a.m.: Registration.
8:30 a.m.: Mike Maddox, horticulture educator for Rock County UW Extension and Rotary Gardens will talk about the community gardens near the county jail, including the half-acre garden the jail inmates help maintain.
9 a.m.: Hunger in Wisconsin: Nick Heckman, UW Extension poverty and food insecurity program specialist, will present the group sobering data regarding hunger and families.
10 a.m.: Local foods: Jackie Gennett of Bushel & Peck's Local Market will share her ideas and experience with the local food movement.
11 a.m.: History of Community Gardens: Mary Reilly-Kliss will review the history of Urban and Community Gardens in the United States.
Noon: Lunch, catered by Bushel & Peck's Local Market, includes a buffet lunch with local food. Meatless option available.
1 p.m.: Vegetable Garden Primer with Brad Paulson
2 p.m.: Community Garden Round Table: Starting a Community Garden. Listen to the trials and tribulations from individuals who have tried to start a community garden. Panel members include Anna Kokity, Merrill Park Community Garden, Beloit; Beth Wheelock and Kay Dupree, Rockport Road Community Garden, Janesville; Andrea Breen of Jefferson.
4 p.m.: Adjourn
JANESVILLE During World War I, people planted vegetable gardens to help the war effort.
It was a community effort, with people working in their own backyards or joining together in communal gardens.
Today, people are thinking about gardens because they're concerned about the origin of their food, and they understand gardens are a tangible way to combat hunger in their own backyards.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, Rotary Gardens and UW Extension are hosting a "Community Garden Workshop" at Rotary Gardens, 1455 Palmer Drive, Janesville.
A community garden can takes lots of forms, said Mike Maddox, UW Extension and Rotary Gardens horticulture educator.
Janesville's Rockport Road Community Garden is a communal effort, with participants managing the plot themselves. The Merrill Park Community Garden is another such effort.
Sometimes people share the fruits of their labors. Other times, people rent their own plots within a garden.
"This workshop is for the individual who is thinking about some of these food issues or is thinking about participating in a community garden in the area," Maddox said.
Communal gardening is also a way to combat hunger by teaching people the basics of supporting themselves.
Many people wouldn't know where to start.
"I think they say that we are, on average, three generations removed from the farm," Maddox said.
That said, the workshop won't be so much about how to plant—although that will be a small part of it—but what you should know about community gardening.
Maddox will open the workshop with a discussion about the local community gardens.
He'll be followed by Nick Heckman, a UW Extension specialist who will present data about hunger and families.
Then, Jackie Gennett of Bushel & Peck's Local Market will talk about the local food movement.
After a discussion of the history of urban farming, Brad Paulson will give participants some practical hints for both community and personal gardens. Paulson, a farmer and seed salesman, will cover some of the basics such as using seeds or transplants and deciding on heirlooms or hybrids.
The day will end with a roundtable discussion about the trials and tribulations of individuals who have tried to start community gardens.