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Growers learn to be mentors


Those experienced in growing food will learn how to share that knowledge with others during a series of Saturday workshops and hands-on sessions sponsored by Washington State University Extension.



Feb. 1 is the deadline to apply for the upcoming "Growing Groceries" program, which will begin Feb. 9, according to a news release. Sessions will be held in and around Everett, Wash.



Local and regional experts will talk about the latest research-based practices on such topics as choosing a site, building healthy soil, starting from seed, managing pests and more.



A featured speaker is Graham Kerr, known as television's "Galloping Gourmet" and now a prolific author and speaker.



"I simply could not imagine a more important Extension course than 'Growing Groceries,'" Kerr said. "The idea of training mentors to help backyard edible gardeners is a wonderful example of the great American ethic in operation. When our pioneer forefathers arrived they brought with them, not only their heirloom seeds from the 'old country,' but also a keen awareness that they would have to look out for one another, or fail."



The program began in 2009 in response to groups and families in the region who wanted to grow community and food bank gardens. To date it has trained more than 80 volunteer mentors.



Tuition is $135 for those able to volunteer at least 35 hours over the next year or $185 for those not able to make a volunteer commitment.



Applications: www.GrowingGroceries.wsu.edu



Information: Sharon Collman, 425-357-6025 or collmans@wsu.edu



Registration: Karie Christensen, 425-357-6039 or email christensen4@wsu.edu



-- Steve Brown



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