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Local gardeners welcome new learners as they prepare for growing season

An organic gardening class session from 2022 | Courtesy photo
IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls Community Garden Association is inviting aspiring green-thumbs and experienced gardeners to a free organic gardening class starting Wednesday.
Anyone looking for gardening information specific to the Idaho Falls area is welcome to attend.
“We want to encourage people to come. Anybody, regardless of their economic circumstances. And so we’ve made the classes free,” Kristi Appelhans, a member of the Idaho Falls Community Garden Association’s board of directors, told
The goal of the class is to help beginning gardeners know where to start with organic gardening, which can seem overwhelming. However, even seasoned gardeners will learn something new, Appelhans said.
“So, we try to build a base of knowledge that gives them a place to start,” Appelhans said. “And we also try to have enough depth to our classes that even an experienced gardener can come and learn something new.”
This year, students will learn about soil health, managing pests and weeds, native plants and what vegetables thrive in our area, among other things.

Courtesy photo
The association began in 1995 when the Development Workshop wanted to allow their clients to work in a garden, Appelhans explained. They built some wheelchair-accessible, raised beds and the community garden was born.
Eventually, organizers opened the garden up to the greater community, too.
“(It) was a link for clients at the Development Workshop to have some time … in a place where they could mix and mingle with other folks from the community,” Appelhans said.
The organization currently three community gardens in Idaho Falls. Low-cost plot rentals are offered at all three.
One of the association’s goals for 2024 is to reach out to the community and let people know the gardens are there and they can be part of them.
Since Idaho can be tricky to garden in unless you know the “tricks of the trade,” the less experienced growers learn alongside the more seasoned veterans.

One of the community gardens | Courtesy photo
“One of the beauties of community gardening is, if you’re a brand new gardener, you can look around and go, ‘Well, this person seems to be good at this. Maybe I’ll ask them a question,’ Appelhans explained. “So it’s a really good environment for beginners to learn how to garden.”
Garden plots will become available in April and cost $40 per season, Appelhans said. A discount is available for those who continue gardening after their first year. For more information, check out the Idaho Falls Community Garden Association’s Facebook page or email
The organic gardening class will be held on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. starting Jan. 10, in Room 211 of the CHE building at University Place (1770 Science Center Drive, Idaho Falls). It is free of charge, and all are welcome to attend.
The post Local gardeners welcome new learners as they prepare for growing season appeared first on East Idaho News.

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