Spring Gardening Workshop March 9

Each Saturday morning, the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and community partners will be offering workshops for beginning gardeners at Parkade Center (the temporary home of the Farmers Market).* You can check out “Planning & Planting a Spring Garden” next Saturday, March 9 at 9 a.m. and again at 10:30 a.m.

See details and a full list of workshops here.

*Please note the location has been updated from the original posting.

Help Still Needed for Seed Packing Party

Our Seed Packing Party is being rescheduled to Feb. 21 due to weather!!!
We still need volunteers to help us prepare seeds for distribution to participating gardeners this spring. We’re gathering Thursday, February 21, 5:30 p.m. at Centro Latino (609 N. Garth Ave., Columbia).

In exchange for helping us repack bulk seed into smaller quantities, the CGC will feed you dinner! But you must RSVP to kathy@comogardens.org by Feb. 19 (tomorrow!). We’ll have limited meals available, so please RSVP!

Volunteers Needed, RSVP Today!

seed packetsCan you help us out Feb. 19?

We need a few more volunteers to help us prepare seeds for distribution to participating gardeners this spring. We’re gathering Tuesday, February 19, 5:30 p.m. at Centro Latino (609 N. Garth Ave., Columbia).

In exchange for helping us repack bulk seed into smaller quantities, the CGC will feed you dinner! But you must RSVP to kathy@comogardens.org by Feb. 12 (tomorrow!) Friday, February 15. We’ll have limited meals available, so please RSVP!

Spring Thaw Kick-Off Event February 23

mixed greens growing in a garden plot with decorative "spring" sign

Spring Thaw Community Gardening Kick-Off

Saturday, Feb. 23, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Activity & Recreation Center
Drop in anytime!

The Spring Thaw is the kick-off to the community gardening season. There will be representatives from all the gardens, so you can join a garden as a newcomer or confirm a plot assignment for previous gardeners. Plus, everyone can network and get gardening advice from other gardeners. We’ll have a limited quantity of free seeds available for gardeners at member gardens.

We’ll have some snacks and drinks to share also. Feel free to bring something to share yourself. Hope to see you there!

If you know someone who’d like to get a community garden plot this year, please share these event details!

The Boone County Buzz: Are you a gambler?

I am! No, you won’t ever find me at the casino. I’m talking about gardening! I think most of us who garden have a touch of the gambler in us. How else can you explain the leap of faith we take every year when we put our seeds or baby transplants out in the wild world dreaming of luscious produce to come? Sometimes things go well and some not so well. That’s just part of life.

Well, today I want to encourage the wildest gamblers out there to take a chance on REALLY early spring lettuce. You know how all the seed packages say to plant your lettuce from mid-March to mid-May? I think they’re missing the boat!

mixed baby lettuceI followed those recommendations for years and what always happened was that as my lettuce finally started to head up it became bitter! The bitterness used to start around mid-June but I’ve had it happen as early as mid-May when temperatures are unusually warm. As a crazed, baby lettuce aficionado this is most frustrating.

Then about 15 years ago I was reading some book (?) where an old woman from the Ozarks said to put your lettuce seed out as soon as the snow melted. This seemed like insanity, but, again, I’ve got a gambling streak. I tried it. Yes, I ran out with a cloth sheet to protect it a few times. But I was eating beautiful baby lettuce salads by the end of March! Needless to say, I’ve been doing this ever since.

When exactly do I take this risk? It varies with the weather and snow. Looking back in my garden diary (yes, you really should keep one) the first planting has been as early as January 5th but probably averages around January 25th. Have I lost my lettuce? Maybe once, but most varieties of lettuce can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Since lettuce seed is somewhat viable for up to 6 years I usually use old seed from a previous year, so if it is lost I won’t feel quite as bad. Sometimes, when the cravings are severe I’ve been known to start lettuce seeds inside in January and plunk the plants out in early February. Again, it’s a gamble but what an incredible payoff if you succeed! Take a chance!

Many Thanks and Upcoming Events

As we start to think about a fresh year of gardening, we want to call attention to the many many generous people who responded to our annual call for donations last month! We raised a total of $4,269.69!! And we have all of you to thank for donating or just spreading the word about what we do and why it matters. THANK YOU!!!

Mark Your Calendars
We’ve just set the dates for our season-opening events!

gardeners selecting seed packetsSeed Repacking Party
Tuesday, February 19, 5:30 p.m., Centro Latino
Help us get bulk seeds ready for distribution at our Spring Thaw. We’ll offer a meal in exchange for the assistance of a limited number of volunteers. RSVP will be required. Details to come!

Spring Thaw: Community Gardening Kick-Off
Saturday, February 23, 11 a.m.—1 p.m., ARC
Representatives from all the gardens attend, so new gardeners can join a garden and returning gardeners can get organized. Plus, everyone can network and get gardening advice. A limited quantity of free seeds will be available for gardeners at member gardens. Snacks and drinks provided!

Watch this site or our Facebook page for more details.

Support Diversity, Support Community Gardening

“The garden is the crossroads of our community. I can’t think of a better way to encourage diversity than a garden — it’s diversity in action!” – Johann Geyer, Unite 4 Health Garden

This is a good reminder that community gardens grow community as well as food! With only a few days left in 2018, the garden coalition needs donations large and small to continue our support of the diverse community gardens of Columbia next year.

There’s still time to help the Community Garden Coalition grow food and fellowship in 2019! Just visit our CoMoGives page to donate.

You can also help us by sending this message on to family, friends and neighbors. CoMo Gives will accept donations for us and 121 other great local groups through December 31.

We appreciate your support for community gardening!