Columns & Blogs

Out With Kids: Whatcom County, Bellingham libraries offer gardening-related classes

Upcoming programs at libraries in Whatcom County dig into various aspects of gardening to promote family togetherness and an appreciation for home-grown vegetables.

Spring Gardening Day classes are taught by members of the Master Gardener horticultural program and the Local Food Works organization in Welcome Valley, with participation from the library Friends organizations.

“The garden experience is about discovering where our food comes from, learning about what plants need to grow, working hard, and having fun,” said Katrina Carabba, Deming Library branch manager. “Bringing kids outside and into the garden helps them connect with the natural world and the life cycle that we are all a part of.”

Carabba said children who are old enough to sit through short presentations would benefit most from the events, and there’s opportunity to practice skills such as grafting fruit trees and building a raised planter bed.

“It’s very fun in that it it’s very hands-on,” she said.

Spring Gardening Day is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 21, and features workshops in Deming Library’s Learning Garden.

10 a.m. Fruit Tree Grafting with Master Gardeners. Two free apple rootstocks will be available to each participant or family, with scion wood provided for grafting. Space for the class is limited; register at, by calling 360-305-3600 or going to a Whatcom County Library System branch.

1:30 p.m. Rain gardens.

3 p.m. Raised bed building with Local Food Works. Participants will help build three raised garden beds in Deming Library’s Learning Garden, plant them with early spring greens, and install a small hoop house. Bring gloves and boots.

Deming Library has a family club that manages the garden. The Bookworms Gardening Club meets from 4 to 5 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of the month in spring and summer. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.


•  Composting and Vermiculture (using worms for compost), 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, at Blaine Library.

•  Starting Your Vegetable Garden, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at Blaine Library.

•  Container Gardening, 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, at Blaine Library.

•  Rain Barrel Construction, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21, in the SkillShare space at Bellingham Public Library. Brad Walters will discuss how to maintain a rain barrel and suggest uses for the collected water.

“(He) brings the fitting and screens that he uses and he just shows how to put it together,” said Jennie Johnson, SkillShare coordinator.

For details, contact Johnson at 360-778-7217 or

Reach Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or