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Series of free garden workshops in Ripon
UC garden

The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources via the San Joaquin County UC Master Gardener Program will be conducting one free workshop per month this year in Ripon.

The first of those sessions will be held this Monday beginning at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 100 N. Acacia Ave.

This workshop is entitled "All About Roses & Preserving Citrus with the UC Master Food Preservers."

Spaces are limited. Call the University of California Cooperative Extension at 209.953.6100 to reserve a seat and class materials.

The Master Gardener Program has been around locally since 2007 after a 15 year or so hiatus in the county, and is now fully funded and supported by the SJC Solid Waste Division. Included are volunteers who go through 19 weeks of training followed by 50 hours of work in the program during that first year.

"We have 140 who are active in the program right now," said UC Master Gardener Program Coordinator Marcy Sousa.

She added: "We have many areas of outreach -- some of those are free gardening and home horticulture classes throughout the county."

Training for the Master Food Preserver Program is similar to the Master Gardener Program. Included are 26 active volunteers who have contributed over 7,300 hours while earning over 1,200 CE hours.

"Their main outreach is through public education classes," Sousa said.

The other free workshops (held the third Monday of each month) in Ripon are:

  • Feb. 17, "Growing Avocados in the Central Valley."
  • March 16, "Planning Your Summer Vegetable Garden."
  • April 20, "Weeds, Weeds, Weeds! Managing weeds in your Landscape."
  • May 18, "Composting and Worm Composting Made Easy."
  • June 15, "Growing Strawberries & Preserving Berries with the UC Master Food Preservers."
  • July 15, "Live After Lawn -- How to remove turf and alternatives that do well in the valley."
  • Aug. 20, "Planning Your Winter Vegetable Garden & Preserving Tomatoes with the UC Master Food Preservers."
  • Sept. 17, "Beneficial Insects -- More than Pollinators."
  • Oct. 21, "All about Camellias and Gardenias."
  • Nov. 19, "Tool Selection and Care & Knife Skills Demonstration with the UC Master Food Preservers."