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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Still Trying To Grow Your Own Food? Master Gardeners Offering Online Classes

Speaker 1: 00:00 This time, last year, some items on grocery store shelves were in short supply this and having fewer reasons to leave the house because of the stay at home order led to many people deciding to try their hand at gardens. I think what's happening is that this pandemic is forcing people to reassess their lifestyle and consumption choices. And a lot of people are realizing how dependent we are on others for just our basic food needs. And so I think what they're trying to do is reclaim some of that control. That was summer Cardi air, who we spoke to last April, when many San Diego ones were growing their own food for the first time. What were some of the challenges people encountered? Have they stuck with it? Well, joining us to answer these questions is master gardener, Maria Mada. Welcome Maria. Speaker 2: 00:44 Hello. Thank you for having me speak to your audience. This is great. Speaker 1: 00:48 So glad to have you, you know, at the start of the pandemic, what was the increased interest in gardening like for you as a master gardener, Speaker 2: 00:56 It was overwhelming people, as you stated, were desperate for information for our San Diego County area. San Diego County has a lot of different micro-climates and we were overwhelmed. We have a helpline at the master gardener website, and we were inundated to that. We responded by setting up a special website that people could actually go to. And, um, it's on our master gardener, uh, San diego.org website. Um, Speaker 1: 01:30 You respond to the increased interest in gardening. The master gardeners program created an online tool. As you mentioned to answer questions from newbie gardeners, how widely was that used Speaker 2: 01:41 The website let's grow together. San Diego had over 2000, uh, hits the day that we launched it. And it's only grown from there. We have master gardeners that take phone calls and answer questions. We've got email. So it's just been constant demand for information, and we just continue to see it growing. Speaker 1: 02:00 And what were some of the common challenges San Diego has had Speaker 2: 02:03 Actually learning what your specific micro climate will support? Uh, we have, you know, a vast number of microclimates within San Diego County, from the coast all the way inland and some plant material does better in some areas and other areas. So people are challenged with, you know, what do I plant when, where do I plant it? And, um, those are two of the main challenges that they have to overcome. So we teach people that and we teach them how to find out what their micro climate is and what plant material will be successful for them. Speaker 1: 02:42 And in your experience have San Diego ones who started gardening at the beginning of the pandemic, Speaker 2: 02:47 Stuck with it. I only see it growing. I think the demand, um, for people to continue is going to be long-term based on the number of questions and the number of hits that we're getting on our website. You have a program going Speaker 1: 03:00 On right now where San Diego ones can learn some new gardening skills. Can you tell me about that? Speaker 2: 03:05 Yes, it is the virtual spring seminar. So it's a series of 13 different classes that people can take from Saturday the 20th to the 28th of this month. It's 24 seven. They can launch any of the classes, uh, at any time to fit their schedule. It's $35 for the entire series of classes, and it goes from learning beginning vegetable gardening to, um, succulents, to, uh, ornamental plants. And it's just an incredible effort that we have put together. Speaker 1: 03:42 Right. I've been speaking to master gardener, Maria Mata. Thank you so much, Maria. I appreciate it. Speaker 2: 03:48 Oh, you're welcome. Thank you for the opportunity. Speaker 1: 03:50 The San Diego County master gardener program is holding its spring seminar. Virtually this year, there are 13 classes and three workshops available online for $35 registration ends on Wednesday. And of course, for more information, you can check that out@kpbs.org. Speaker 2: 04:07 Okay.

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What were some of the challenges people encountered? Have they stuck with it? Master Gardener Maria Mata joined Midday Edition on Monday to answer those questions and talk about the organization's Spring Seminar.
KPBS Midday Edition Segments