Staff Reporter 

Grow Washakie offers food security workshops


March 2, 2023

WORLAND – The Grow Washakie: A Rural Living Workshop will be this Saturday at the Washakie Museum & Cultural Center, and whether you own a farm or not it is a good opportunity to come and learn about food security and self-sustainability.

Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. and sessions will begin at 9 a.m., continuing until just after 2 p.m. There will be a registration fee, which includes lunch catered by the Washakie County Cowbelles.

The event is hosted by Washakie County Conservation District, a local government subdivision of the State of Wyoming with the goal of assisting landowners and land managers in practicing good natural resource stewardship and conservation. Funding is provided by the University of Wyoming's Barnyards & Backyards Rural Living Workshops program.

Amanda O'Keefe, District Manager of Washakie County Conservation District, describes the event as a series of workshops that are relevant to anyone interested in producing their own food, regardless of background, where you can engage in "educational opportunities that are related to food security." Small acreage landowners and urban residents both are encouraged to come.

The event will include four sessions that are around an hour each, with two sessions happening concurrently during each time block. This comes out to eight different topics available to choose from, as follows:

9 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.:

Building Healthy Soils for the Garden with speaker Caitlin Youngquist, UW Extension. Covers how to create fertile garden soil and includes no till methods.

Planting for Pollinators with speaker Jenny Thompson, UW Extension. Covers how to support native pollinators to help increase crop production.

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.:

Integrated Pest Management with speaker Scott Schell, UW Extension. Covers how to identify garden pests and provides resources for dealing with them.

Food Preservation with speaker Laureena Houchin, WYOgains. Covers how to preserve your produce to save it for later.

Noon. to 1 p.m.:

Extending your Growing Season with speaker Catherine Wissner, UW Extension. Learn about methods that can extend the growing season for your crops or that may allow you to grow plants that wouldn't thrive in this climate naturally.

Functional & Sustainable Landscaping with speaker Ivy Asay, who has a bachelor's degree in landscape management from Brigham Young University. Covers growing native edible and medicinal plants to add to your home's aesthetics.

1:10 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.

Poultry: Which came first?? with speaker Tamara Drake, Big Horn Co-Op. This session will cover how to feed and care for chickens through all stages of life.

Windbreaks & Tree Care with speakers Jacob McCarthy, WSF District Forester & Josh Stolz, One Canopy Nursery Manager. Covers windbreak purpose, designs and establishment as well as how to care for trees, from planting them to pruning them and anything between.

Grow Washakie is part of a larger initiative called the Full Campaign: Full Hearts, Full Bellies, Full Pantries. Washakie County Conservation District Education Coordinator Janet Hofmann described the campaign as "a local collaborative to encourage food production, procurement, preparation and preservation in Washakie County." This initiative is a collaboration between the Washakie County Conservation District, Washakie County UW Extension, Washakie County Public Health, Washakie County Emergency Management and the Worland Community Garden.

Aside from Grow Washakie, there are more upcoming events as part of the Full Campaign. On March 23 the event DIRT Cheap will take place, which is about educating on low-cost methods to grow abundant food. As part of this event, a mentorship program will be launched to guide families that are new to the concept of self-sustainable food production and help them start producing.

Stay posted through the spring and summer months to learn more about upcoming Full Campaign events.

Call the Conservation District to register or for more information, 307-347-2456, Ext. 101.


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