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Garden idea grows in Carnation

CARNATION - Have you experienced sticker shock while making your purchases at the grocery store? Hopelink in Carnation may be able to offer some help.

The non-profit organization has started a community garden demonstration on a plot of city-owned land near the Hopelink building. The goal is to make fresh produce available for those in all income levels in the Snoqualmie Valley, as well teach individuals how to grow their own vegetables.

"We're just trying to create an awareness of what people can do in their own backyard," said Erick Haakenson, owner of Jubilee Farm near Carnation.

On Friday, a horse-drawn plow driven by Wayne Buckner of Jubilee Farm tilled the soil for the first time at Hopelink's plot of land. Ward Riggins, food bank coordinator for Hopelink's Sno-Valley Center, said Hopelink clients and community volunteers will plant a variety of vegetables, including staples like potatoes and corn. And continuing an effort that began last year, Hopelink clients will be given their own seeds and soil to grow food, and they'll receive instructions on how to take care of their gardens.

"The purpose [of the community garden demonstration] is to teach people how to grow food," Riggins said, adding that the invitation extends to the entire community.

"We want the community to be involved," he said. "Anyone can help take care of the garden."

The community garden demonstration is a completely volunteer project, and Riggins said he's happy with response to the project.

"We have no budget for this. Everything that happens here is volunteered," he said. "Already I am encouraged because everybody that we've talked to has been happy to help us."

In addition to the garden, Hopelink will offer hands-on education classes for clients and others wishing to attend on how to create a vegetable garden at home. Last Friday, Don Marshall of Lake Washington Technical College conducted the first class.

Any food grown by the garden will go toward the food bank. And Hopelink clients can participate in scholarship shares and work shares with local farmers.

Haakenson's farm is one of several that are lending their services to the community garden demonstration. Others helping out include the city of Carnation, Lake Washington Technical College, Parade Group, Gill Davidson, Full Circle Organics, Fall City Farms, Growing Things, Linda Koster, Ruth Pickering, Cedar Grove Composting, Territorial Seed and Home Depot, as well as other farms and businesses.

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