Henrico Extension accepting applications for expanded gardens program

The Henrico County office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension is accepting applications for Gardens Growing Families, a community garden program for county residents.

For a nominal fee, individuals and families will receive expert help as they grow their own vegetables in plots at the Lakeside Garden, at Vale Street and Michael Avenue, near Lakeside Avenue; and at the Alma Avenue Island Garden, near Alma and Laburnum avenues. For the first time, a new garden on West Jerald Street in Highland Springs will be available.

Gardens Growing Families helps residents reduce their grocery bills by giving them a way to grow, prepare and store fresh vegetables. The program, established in 2008, includes free classes on such topics as the importance of fruit and vegetables to a healthy diet, organic insect and disease control, as well as freezing and canning. Henrico master gardeners are on site regularly to offer advice; tools and water for irrigation are provided. Participants must follow organic gardening practices, contribute time to community garden projects and meet other requirements.

Fees for Gardens Growing Families range from $5 to $65 per year, based on household income, the number of gardeners per family and garden plot size. A portion of the proceeds helps to establish new community gardens and make improvements to existing gardens. Residents living near the gardens receive priority consideration for plots. Registration fees will be refunded for cancellations before June 30.

Applications are available online at http://www.co.henrico.va.us/extension and at the Extension Office, 8600 Dixon Powers Dr. For information, call 501-5160.


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