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Master gardener give lessons

The Lake Superior Master Gardeners are lining up to help the Douglas County Hunger Coalition feed those in need.

The coalition has set a goal to get gardeners to plant an extra row to help area food shelves put fresh produce in the hands of those in need.

And the volunteer gardeners are planning to host classes for those who want to learn the skill or those who believe they have a black thumb.

Five classes are planned, said Sheila Fillmore, a AmeriCorp Vista volunteer working with University of Wisconsin-Extension on the gardening project. She said the classes will be taught in the community garden on North Sixth Street across from Solid Rock Mission. The garden provides food for the mission.

The classes will address a variety of issues to help make garden grows.

Classes begin April 24.

The series of five classes will cover issues such as preparing and testing soils, working with raised beds and determining whether seeds or starter plants are the way to go, Fillmore said. They will also address cold- and warm-weather crops, containerized and edible flower gardening, and maintenance of the garden, she said.

The idea for getting produce in the hands of those in need was developed during last year's hunger summit. In addition to the free gardening lessons, plans include teaching people preserve the produce. Donations of seeds and preservation supplies are also needed.

To donate supplies contact Stacey Johnson at (715) 392-5127 or e-mail sjohnson@csa.org. To volunteer for the gardening project, e-mail douglasco.hungercoalition@gmail.com.

Gardening classes include:

Preparing and testing soil and raised beds - with or without boxes: 9-11 a.m. April 24.

Starting seeds, timetables and varieties recommended for the area: 9-11 a.m. May 8.

Cold-weather crops, watering, fertilizing and mulching: 6-8 p.m. May 11.

Container, upright and edible flower gardens: 9-11 a.m. May 22.

Warm-weather crops and composting: 9-11 a.m. June 5.

All the classes will be taught outdoors unless it's raining heavily so people should dress for the weather, Fillmore said. She said the goal is to teach hands-on skills.

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