Growing your own food focus of Ramona workshop, open house on Saturday

Winter vegetables are the topic of discussion at this get-together at the Labyrinth Community Garden at St. Mary’s in the Valley Episcopal Church. From left are gardeners David Ortiz, Cindy Dodson, Elizabeth Ponce de Leon, Garden Coordinator Marisa Ponce de Leon and Master Gardener Jonnie Wilson.  Photo by Donna Mayton
Winter vegetables are the topic of discussion at this get-together at the Labyrinth Community Garden at St. Mary’s in the Valley Episcopal Church. From left are gardeners David Ortiz, Cindy Dodson, Elizabeth Ponce de Leon, Garden Coordinator Marisa Ponce de Leon and Master Gardener Jonnie Wilson. Photo by Donna Mayton

By Regina Elling

Community gardens, since the earliest times, have been based around the notion of people being able to grow their own food, in one area, with help and support from each other. The Labyrinth Community Garden, based in Ramona at St. Mary’s in the Valley Episcopal Church, has proudly carried on that tradition.

“The outreach portion of the garden is designed to reach out to anyone without a backyard, or anyone who cannot have a garden, especially apartment dwellers,” says the Rev. Gwynn Freund, pastor at St. Mary’s.

As part of the outreach program of the community garden, a full day of events will take place on Saturday, March 23. The day will begin with a workshop and conclude with a visit to the Labyrinth Community Garden.

The University of California Cooperative Extension and the Healthy Garden—Healthy Home Program will present a free workshop on growing food at home.

The workshop portion of the event will be held at the Ramona Community Library, 1275 Main Street, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.  Participants will receive tips on keeping plants healthy, preventing pests, identifying good and bad garden bugs, and more. The presenter is fluent in English and Spanish, and the information will be presented in Spanish. A free pest management gift will be given to the first 50 participants.

For more information about the workshop, contact the Healthy Garden—Healthy Home Program at 858-822-6932 or contact Scott Parker at 858-822-6932 or saparker@ucanr.edu.

Immediately following the workshop, the Labyrinth Community Garden will hold an Open House beginning at 11:30 a.m. for all workshop attendees and the general public.

“For low-income residents, many of the plots are sponsored and are free or available at low cost,” said Freund. “The plots allow residents to supplement their income with healthy, organic fruits and vegetables that they have grown themselves. All they have to provide is their own labor. Everything else is provided, including knowledgeable advice from master gardeners.”

Although owned by St. Mary’s, the garden is open to all local residents, regardless of religious affiliation. Light refreshments will be served at this bilingual event, which will highlight the importance of the garden. Applications for available plots will be available and UCCE Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions.

“There is a spiritual side to interacting with the earth,” said Freund.

For more information about the Open House or the Labyrinth Community Garden, contact Marisa Ponce de Leon, garden manager, at 619-246-3515.

   
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