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Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), Landmark Park and the Wiregrass Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) are partnering to launch a new Veteran’s Gardening Project at the park. This project will build and strengthen the local food system while providing veterans and their families the opportunity to come together for a hands-on, mission-driven, gardening project. From tomatoes to native pollinator beds, veterans from all age groups and backgrounds will be invited to utilize the raised bed gardens at Landmark Park. 

The program will host a series of workshops that will cover the basics of gardening for those who are just beginning their green thumb journey as well as other topics for those who are more experienced. All programs will be held at Landmark Park and a short workday will follow the educational aspect, weather dependent. The garden will be open during Landmark Park’s normal business hours to any veteran and their families (or friends) who wish to come out and work in the garden. You will be allowed free entry, but we ask that you sign in at the gate and that you record what you worked on in a binder that will be stationed near the garden. Tools will be available to use while at the park and seeds will be provided. We ask that you bring your own gardening gloves. Any additional produce not harvested for personal use will be sent to the local food bank as part of Alabama Extension’s Grow More Give More program. There will be workshops held every third Saturday and every third Wednesday on opposite schedules. Each workshop will begin at 9 a.m. and will last an hour with a two-hour workday following the educational event. Come by for a socially distanced in-person event. 

Our last session for the season will most likely end before all the produce has been harvested and we hope that participants will continue to come and take care of the beds so that the harvest will be bountiful! If you cannot make it to a certain workshop, feel free to reach out to Kerry Steedley at kes0150@auburn.edu for more information. We also encourage bringing any and all questions to each workshop no matter the relevancy to the workshop topic.

MARCH 13 Introduction to the garden and program

MARCH 27 Workshop and workday on raised bed preparation, tools, planting schedule, watering, and expectations

APRIL 7 Workshop on planting seed or transplants

APRIL 17 Workshop on weed control, common garden pests & diseases and review of planting strategies

APRIL 28 Workshop on composting 

MAY 8 Workshop on pollinators and what to plant for them

MAY 19 Workshop on more garden pests and diseases 

MAY 29 Workshop on fertilizing 

MAY 31 Special Memorial Day Event (details TBA)

JUNE 12 Last workshop for the season! Tips on wrapping up beds, saving seeds, and thinking about the next season.