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DIG THIS | While the weather's still frightful, learning is delightful

It’s still chilly outside. At least it is while I’m writing this column. Never fear though, even if we aren’t enticed to go out into our gardens very much, there are many classes and events to attend.

March 18 from 1-3 p.m. the Master Gardener Foundation of Kitsap County is featuring James Rodman, who will give a talk “Plant Names or Why is Douglas Fir Named After Archibald Menzies.” The class is free at the Eagle’s Nest, 1200 NW Fairgrounds Road across from the Fairgrounds Pavilion. Visit for a class list of third Wednesday seminars held April through July.

The Master Gardener Foundation of Kitsap County is also hosting a gala event to kick off sales of its 2010 calendar called “Gardeners at Play.” The gala features Ciscoe Morris and Meeghan Black of King 5’s Gardening with Ciscoe. Gala tickets are $25 per person which includes hors d’oeuvres, desserts, entertainment by the Dibble Boys comedy team and music by the Duncan String Quartet. The gala is from 3-6 p.m. April 19 in the historical building at Kitsap Memorial State Park. Tickets are selling fast. Proceeds of the calendar and auction will benefit the WSU Kitsap Extension Master Gardener Program.

This year’s WSU Kitsap Extension and Washington Sea Grant Kitsap Beach Naturalists course begins from 6:30-9:30 p.m. April 2 at the Poulsbo Marine Science Center. Classes are every Thursday during May with additional learning through beach walks on selected Saturdays in April and May.

Kitsap County Beach Naturalists learn about seaweed, fish and invertebrates, clams, crabs, anemones and other marine creatures. Classes also include information on marine habitat conservation, beach etiquette and beach walk coordination. Upon graduation, Beach Naturalist volunteers conduct beach walks and education throughout the county for adults and children. Class size is limited so contact me at (360) 337-7224 or e-mail to register. Total course fee is $35. Please register on or before March 30.

Gardeners who don’t have enough sun or space at their own places can register for a P-patch plot in the following locations: Raab Park in Poulsbo (360) 779-9898; Blueberry Park in Bremerton (360) 337-7224; and in Suquamish (360) 697-6817 or e-mail; and several locations on Bainbridge Island through Sustainable Bainbridge (206) 842-4439. Remember when planning your home garden or P-patch garden this year to plant extra rows of vegetables to donate to local food banks and soup kitchens.

Remember our local farmers markets start up this April. You’ll find WSU Extension Kitsap Master Gardeners there to answer your gardening questions.

While you’re waiting for your favorite farmers market opening day visit and click on horticulture for a wealth of gardening information and tips.

Don’t miss the Kitsap Dahlia Society tuber sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 3 and 4 at the Crystal Grange, 2160 Paulson Road, Poulsbo. For more information call Pat at (360) 698-8023 or go to

It’s not too early to begin registering for a booth or to volunteer at the Great Peninsula Future Festival, Aug. 1 and 2, in Port Gamble.

Register before the end of March to receive a discount on booth fees. Visit www.greatpeninsulafuture for more information on this community event or to apply for a booth. About 5,000 people attended the 2008 festival. The festival features food, fun, entertainment and crafts for all ages. The theme of sustainability is carried throughout with tons of hands on learning.

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