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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?


NURTURING GROWTH:Marge Addleman, a volunteer with the Master Gardener program, waters the organic tomatoes growing in a demonstration garden plot at the fairgrounds Friday. ().
NURTURING GROWTH:Marge Addleman, a volunteer with the Master Gardener program, waters the organic tomatoes growing in a demonstration garden plot at the fairgrounds Friday. ().

Peppers, tomatoes and herbs are growing at the Union County Fair.

Although all the vegetables were planted at the same time, some look good. Others need help.

It was intended that way, said Katie Long, who runs the Master Gardener program for the local Oregon State University Extension Service.

"It is designed as a demonstration garden," she said about the raised-frame beds, divided into two halves 3 feet, 6 inches by 8 feet each. "We are using this as a learning tool for the public," Long said.

"Half the garden is organic (heavily amended with compost), the other half just dirt," Long said.

The garden is one of many things to take in at the fair, which ends today.

Long pointed out how well the plants on the organic side are growing. She said the compost came from the Materials Recovery Facility operated by City Garbage Service on Highway 30.

Both sides had been watered during the daytime, and Long noted the ones in the plain-dirt side had leaf burn.

"We've planted different varieties of the plants to help us compare them and demonstrate what grows well in La Grande," Long said.

Helping with the garden were various Master Gardeners, some from the Garden Gate Club of La Grande and others from the garden club in Elgin, called the Dirt Diggers.

Marge Addleman, who became a master gardener two years ago, was watering the plants as Long talked about the project. Long mentioned some of the other people who helped with the garden, including making the frames and moving in the dirt and compost. They were Dave Gillis, Venessa Clements, Kathy Karlen and

Liz Alford.

One thing Long hoped to do at the fair was interest people in signing up for the Master Gardener classes that begin in January for becoming a Master Gardener. The classes, which total 44 hours, run for three months.

Master Gardener volunteers set up clinics at local garden centers, such as PGG, Bi-Mart and Wal-Mart. They will also have clinics Aug. 10 and Sept. 14 at the MRF site.

"We do demonstrations and presentations for clubs, for the library, things like that. We get hundreds of questions at the Extension Office, too," she said.

A volunteer works there to answer the phone and callers can record a message that will be answered later, she said.

The number at the Extension office is 963-1010.

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