Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Workshop offers tips on gardening during cold weather

From the gardening novice to the natural green thumb, every gardener found a little something at CAC Beardsley Community Farm on Saturday.

The farm along with Knox Heritage held a workshop for gardeners looking for ways to keep their crops growing during the cold seasons.

"We are just trying to teach other gardeners how to extend their season," said Khann Chov, manager of CAC Beardsley Community Farm.

More than 20 gardeners of various skill levels attended the workshop. Liz Moniz, a volunteer at the farm and organizer of the workshop, detailed the methods for cold-weather gardening, ranging from cold frames to high tunnels.

"None of it is an exact science," said Moniz. "The main thing is to try to repurpose as many materials as you can."

Repurposing materials is the foundation of the relationship between the farm and Knox Heritage. Although the main goal of Knox Heritage is to save historic structures, the organization has been getting more involved with restoring natural spaces, said Beth Meadows, head of salvage sales for Knox Heritage.

The Knox Heritage program allows people to donate their unused or salvaged building materials, and then Knox Heritage is able to sell these items to be repurposed. CAC Beardsley Community Farm, located off Western Avenue, was able to find use in some old windows, creating cold frames that helped extend the season for their greens.

Although the event started as a lesson in cold-weather gardening, it turned into a question-and-answer session among the fellow gardeners. The more experienced gardeners were able to give the beginners tips on how to better maintain their gardens, while also exchanging general insight on their gardens.

"Gardening can be tricky," said Chov. "So we're just trying to help make it easier."

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