Getting your gardening started at the library

The Jasper Municipal Library wants to help gardeners grow their learning by hosting a free upcoming speaker series for the next six weeks.

Each session will feature a community member sharing their expertise on gardening know-how, tips and tricks to make sure that Jasper’s short growing season is a bountiful one.

The series will augment the library’s already-existing seed library, a joint effort with the Jasper Local Food Society (JLFS).

“Last year, I knew a lot of new people that were coming to town when they saw that we had a seed library,” said library technician Holly Llewellyn.

“They were also hoping that we would have things to be able to start their seeds, but it’s just a seed library. We don’t have little pots; we don’t have soil.”

But the library does have meeting space and several speakers lined up. The programs run for six Wednesdays in a row beginning on March 8 with a talk focusing on seed starting. ryAn eSch (correct capitalization) of the Jasper Local Food Society will bring his ample experience to the crowd.

“We will be talking about why we should or shouldn’t start our seeds at home and what we need to start seeds indoors,” eSch said.

“We will then go through a few demonstrations and open the floor up to questions. All levels of experience are encouraged to come out.”

The rest of the series will unfold in sequence with Sue Young-Leslie talking tomatoes on March 15, followed by compost with Matthew Quiring on March 22.

Marci DeWandel and Annie Walker arrive on March 29 to discuss native plants, followed by Angie and Steve Blake talking about gardening in small spaces on April 5. The last session on April 12 featuring Ursula Winkler will focus on weather and wildlife.

Each weekly program starts at 6:30 p.m.

Every little bit of gardening help is a good thing, especially when it comes to trying to grow food in Jasper’s challenging environment. Llewellyn mentioned Jasper’s short growing seasons, unique climate and other natural concerns, the space constraints of Jasper’s gardeners and the regulations that also come with living in a national park.

“This speaker series invites the community into our comfortable gathering space, and it’s geared to help anyone that’s interested in gardens,” she said.

“The talks are just a starting point. We’ll have book displays to further their lifelong learning, and we hope people will make community connections to continue their interest in gardening.”

People should also watch out for the return of the Secret Garden Tour coming this summer.

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh