4-H Family Gardening builds self-sufficiency

Playing in the dirt is something all kids have enjoyed at one time or another, but through 4-H Family Gardening it can be transformed into serious food production. On Sunday, March 1 from 1:30 pm to 3 pm at the Chimacum Grange Hall (across the street from the Chimacum School District), 4-H is providing a free 4-H Family Gardening workshop . The Grange and 4-H are collaborating on this initiative to encourage families in Jefferson County to grow their own food for fun, frugality and family self sufficiency. 4-H is the youth program of WSU Extension. It started in the early 1900’s, utilizing young people to learn through experimentation and then demonstrate that learning to their families and communities. As a partner to this learning process, the Grange has historically supported family self reliance and community involvement.

Linda Gately will lead the teaching team of 4-H volunteers, including her husband, Glenn Gately, from the Jefferson County Conservation District. Linda has been a 4-H leader for over 20 years in the gardening project and is also a Chimacum Grange member. She volunteers at the Cedarbrook Adventist Christian School and Daycare with the 4-H Gardening Project. With encouragement from Gately, youth at the school have explored somewhat exotic plants for the Pacific Northwest, growning everything from artichokes to watermelons. Smiling about the fun of it, she stated, “Brussels sprouts and Sheep Sorrel, a common edible weed, are favorite edibles in our garden. A fun garden for families might also include flowers, fruits and carnivorous plants."

The March 1 workshop will introduce 4-H Family Gardening through many "hands in the dirt" activities and experiments. Anyone can grow food - either in a small area of a yard, a larger community garden, or even in containers. It all starts with the soil. Jefferson County soil is unusual because of much variation over small areas. Participants should bring a quart of dried soil sample from their gardens or yards and an empty clear pint-sized container with a lid.

All families wanting to learn about backyard food production and how 4-H and Grange can help are welcome to attend. Call Linda if you have questions or need information at 385-5774.