Free gardening classes: Washington State University/King County Extension is offering free classes in Lake Forest Park and Burien on preserving...

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Free gardening classes

Washington State University/King County Extension is offering free classes in Lake Forest Park and Burien on preserving garden-fresh food, vegetable gardening in small spaces, composting and rain gardens.

Here’s a schedule for classes this year. Registration is required. For more info: http://king.wsu.edu/enviro/events.htm; 206-205-3130.

Local Food Year-Round: Simple Methods for Preserving Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Description: “It’s not too early to start thinking about preserving food for next winter! Think now about options for food preservation so you can plan your garden for year-round eating. Come learn some safe, simple techniques for saving the flavors of summer to enjoy in the dark season of root vegetables! This class focuses on jam and jelly making, fruit canning and dehydrating fruits and vegetables. Preserving your own food saves money and provides delicious, satisfying tastes to bring back memories of summer bounty.”

This classes is given at two locations, on different dates:

• Third Place Commons, Lake Forest Park Towne Centre, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, on May 14, 6:30 — 8:30 p.m.; and

• Burien Community Center, 425 SW 144th St., Burien, on August 13, 6:30 — 8:30 p.m.

The following classes are all at Burien Community Center:

Productive Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces: Planning Raised Beds and Containers

Description: “Has a lack of garden space kept you from growing vegetables? Learn how to garden in containers or raised beds and enjoy the delicious freshness of home-grown veggies. Discover the advantages containers can offer over growing in the ground. Learn how raised beds improve fertility and drainage and allow you to garden in spots you wouldn’t otherwise have been able to use. We’ll discuss what makes a good container, how to make a raised bed, soil and fertilizers, insects, diseases, and weeds, and what to grow when. Join us, and don’t go another season without a harvest of fresh veggies you’ve grown yourself!”

Date: Wednesday, September 10, 6:30 p.m. — 8:30 p.m.

Composting 101: Turning Waste into a Resource

Description: “Are you interested in improving the quality of soil in your yard and garden? Have you been meaning to learn about composting, or improve the composting method you are currently using? Join WSU Extension to learn quick and easy ways to turn yard trimmings and kitchen scraps into rich soil amendments. This hands-on workshop will cover all you need to know to start building soil using yard and food waste. What you’ll learn:

“Why soil is important and simple techniques for identifying your soil type;

“Methods for making and using compost in your backyard;

“How to protect your soil and plants using mulch.”

Date: Wednesday, October 8, 6:30 — 8:30 p.m.

Rain Gardens: Learn to Design Your Landscape to Protect Our Waterways

Description: “Are you looking for ways to provide habitat for birds and beneficial insects? Would you like to improve the way rain water soaks into your landscape to recharge local groundwater? Are you concerned about automotive pollutants and garden chemicals reaching our streams, lakes and wetlands? Come and learn how to incorporate a rain garden in your landscape and address all these issues! A rain garden acts like a native forest by collecting, absorbing, and filtering stormwater runoff from surfaces that don’t allow water to soak in, while at the same time serving as an attractive garden to both people and wildlife. Learn the basics of rain garden construction and take home resources to help you build your own!”

Date: Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 — 8:30 p.m.

GREEN HOME AND GARDENS TALKS:

“The Northwest Green Home Primer” by Kathleen O’Brien and Kathleen Smith (Timber Press, 2008, $24.95), includes lots of information on sustainable gardening.

The authors are giving talks throughout the spring at area bookstores. Find the schedule at www.greenhomeprimer.com