Mattie Rhodes Center to host free, weekly gardening classes

Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:00 am

 By LESLIE COLLINS
Northeast News
January 16, 2013 

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For the first time, Mattie Rhodes Community Center, 148 N. Topping, will be offering a series of gardening classes to help area residents develop their own green thumbs and learn about operating a farmer’s market stand.

Classes will run for five weeks at the center beginning Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. and will be held every Tuesday. Classes don’t build upon each other, so each class will include all the information a resident needs, said Mattie Rhodes Community Services Specialist �Viannella Halsall.

Cultivate Kansas City, a non-profit organization that teaches residents how to grow and sustain gardens in an urban area, will lead the classes. There is no cost to attend.

One of the reasons Mattie Rhodes is offering the gardening classes is because when the organization launched its 22-bed community garden, a number of residents said they’d like to participate but didn’t know enough about gardening. The upcoming gardening classes will teach the basics and beyond, she said.

In addition to learning gardening techniques, attendees will be connected to resources regarding operating a farmer’s market stand and will learn how to operate a stand of their own.

“We want them to realize that is a very realistic avenue for them,” Halsall said of operating a farmer’s market stand. “We feel a lot of people don’t really understand or don’t really realize that you can go ahead – you don’t have to be a big farmer. You don’t have to have a big (gardening) space in order to be able to sell your produce.

“We want to provide them support in knowing what resources they have, how they can get started and how they can connect to neighborhood farmer’s markets.”

Each class will last about an hour and a half and refreshments and babysitting will be provided free of charge. A Spanish interpreter will also be available.

For more information, call Viannella Halsall, (816) 581-5677.