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Children's Gardening Workshops at the Great Park Farm + Food Lab

Monthly Free Workshops Give Kids a Fun, Hands-On Way to Learn about Sustainable Gardening

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Families from throughout Orange County can expect their kids to come home with dirty hands after a day at one of the Orange County Great Park's Children's Gardening Workshops. The free monthly workshop series at the Great Park's Farm + Food Lab provides hands-on gardening activities for children ages 3-to-11. The year-round series of Children's Gardening Workshops is set to begin Sunday, January 13. 

Kids can participate in creative workshops, such as Bee Aware, Three Sisters Gardening and Flower Power and will discover and practice sustainable gardening. Kids can take home their new skills and apply them in their own garden with seeds, nectar flowers and environmentally friendly snail traps made in these special Great Park workshops.  

The Children's Gardening Workshops will take place every second Sunday of the month from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and run every 30 minutes beginning Sunday, January 13.   All workshops are free to the public and run through December 8, 2013.

The Children's Gardening Workshop series has been developed in cooperation with the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Orange County and features instruction from gardening experts on sustainable home gardening practices. 

THE 2013 CHILDREN'S GARDENING WORKSHOPS INCLUDE:

Rain, Rain, Come Our Way: Where Our Water Comes From and Why It's So Important to Protect It
Sunday, January 13
Water is a garden's most precious resource because without water plants cannot grow!  Join us to better understand the importance of preserving the quality of our water, and learn simple ways kids can make a big impact on the future of California's food and water supply.

Flower Power!
Sunday, February 10
Besides being beautiful, flowers are a necessary component in fruit and vegetable production. Make the perfect valentine from pressed flowers while you learn about why flowers are so important.

Bee Aware
Sunday, March 10 
Bees are fascinating insects that play a critical role in making sure we have yummy fruits and vegetables to eat. Come and learn all about the world of bees, how they make honey and why it is so important for us to protect them. Then stay and plant some nectar flowers to take home for your garden.

Three Sisters Gardening: A Native American Tradition
Sunday, April 14
According to Native American legend, corn, beans and squash (the food staples of many Native American cultures) are three inseparable sisters who only grow and thrive when planted together. Come listen to the legend, absorb the wisdom and reconnect with the land by planting your own Three Sisters Garden for your yard or patio.

Good Bugs, Bad Bugs: Simple Things Kids Can Do To Help Encourage Beneficials and Discourage Destructive Pests in the Garden  
Sunday, May 12
Not all bugs are bad! Come and find out the difference between beneficial and destructive insects and pests of the garden. Then make an environmentally friendly snail trap or bird "scare" to take home with you.

Can You Dig It?
Sunday, June 9
Ever wonder what soil is made of, what lives in it, and what plants need to grow in it?  Have some fun exploring the world of soil and compost, then stay and play Worm Bin Bingo with us.

Songbirds of Summer 
Sunday, July 14 
The beautiful songs of our feathered little friends bring happiness to all who listen.   Come and learn to identify the calls of some of the more common birds in Southern California.  Then stay and make a peanut butter-apple feeder to attract them to your special place.

Recycling for the Garden: Turning Your Trash into Garden Flash
Sunday, August 11
Reducing, recycling, and reusing are some things the whole family can be involved in. Come and learn some fun and easy "kid friendly" composting and recycling techniques, and ways for budding young artists to turn their "trash" into beautiful pieces of garden art.

Stone Soup: The Power of Working Together 
Sunday, September 8
Find out about some amazingly tasty "cool season" vegetables that you can grow right here in your own backyard while participating in an interactive re-telling of the classic tale of community, cooperation, and friendship.  Then stay to make paper pots and plant seeds to start your very own Stone Soup Garden.

Garden Detectives 1: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Monarch
Sunday, October 13
Butterflies are important to a garden!  Besides being beautiful, these amazing creatures are key pollinators.  Come and investigate the mysteries of the Monarch's lifecycle and learn how to attract them at home.

A Bountiful Harvest:  Orange County Now and Then… A History of Food and Agriculture in Our Local Community
Sunday, November 10
Come and explore the fruits and vegetables that have been grown locally over the past 2,000 years. Learn what impact our food production has had on the people and landscape of Orange County, and make a seed tape of your favorite local crop to take home and plant in your yard or container. 

Garden Detectives 2: What's All the Squawking About?  
Sunday, December 8
Chickens are delightful creatures that provide us nutritious meat and eggs, but did you know they are also great composters, wonderful weeders, and amazing pest control specialists?  Come and learn all about chickens and their many contributions to our garden, then stay and decorate your own special holiday egg decoration to take home with you!

The Orange County Great Park is located at Sand Canyon and Marine Way, and can easily be reached by the 5 or 405 freeways. For more information, please visit www.ocgp.org or call 866-829-3829.

About the Farm + Food Lab 
The Farm + Food Lab is a two-acre demonstration garden created to educate and inspire visitors of all ages on how they can grow organic, fresh produce in their own backyard. Open seven days a week and staffed by University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardeners of Orange County, the Farm + Food Lab is home to spring and fall gardening workshops for adults as well as monthly workshops for children, developed in partnership with the UCCE Master Gardeners.

About the Great Park
Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Southern California enjoy the Orange County Great Park's array of recreational and educational opportunities, including panoramic views from the iconic Great Park Balloon that rises 400 feet in the air. In addition to free sports clinics, gardening workshops, weekly Farmers Market and other community events, the Great Park hosts an annual series of special events that provide unique experiences for the entire family, including the Growing the Park: Anniversary Celebration, Great Park Pumpkin Harvest, Great Night! Family New Year's Eve, and the Flights & Sounds Summer Festival. With its approximate 1,300-acre master plan, the Great Park is the centerpiece of the redevelopment of the publicly-owned portion of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. For more information, please visit www.ocgp.org

SOURCE Orange County Great Park

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