by: COURTESY PHOTO - The free gardening classes starting this Saturday at the Forest Grove Library are perfect for beginners and experienced gardeners looking to learn something new. Many gardeners spent last week’s snow days flipping through seed catalogs and dreaming of not-so-far-away days when they’ll be able to dig their hands into the warm earth and start their spring planting.

Hopefully, all the snow will be melted by the time the first-in-a-series of gardening classes comes to the Forest Grove Library, putting green thumbs in the mood for digging, planting and weeding once again.

The free classes are offered by the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardeners, Dairy Creek Community Food Web (DCCFW) and Forest Grove Community Gardens.

The first class, “Quick and Easy Plant Propagation,” will be held this Saturday, Feb. 15, at the library, 2114 Pacific Ave., from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

A “Starting Your Own Vegetable Garden” class will be held March 15; “Square Foot Gardening” will be held April 19; and “Year-Round Gardening” will be held May 17. All classes are scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to noon. There will be a Spanish version of “Starting Your Own Vegetable Garden” from 2 to 3:30 p.m. March 15.

“Any experience level is welcome,” said Ellen Haystay, DCCFW member, “whether you don’t know one end of the shovel from the other or have some experience.”

At the first class, volunteers will hand out free seeds to attendees.

Haystay said it would be great to see folks at all four classes but added it’s not essential. “We’re really excited about the excellent presenters who will be coming in — [they’re] very experienced Master Gardeners,” Haystay said.

About 75 people attended last year’s opening class.

“I hope as many people as possible have the opportunity to learn to grow their own food,” said Shannon Romtvedt, adult services librarian at the Forest Grove Library. “This year, we hope to reach an even wider audience.”

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