News and Info from Helena Community Gardens
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PO BOX 1222 Helena, MT 59624

Helena Community Gardens

August 22nd Updates and Info


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F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K

Upcoming Organic Seed Trainings


Registration Now Open for 2 Organic Seed Trainings 

Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) will host two hands-on trainings in Montana this September.  The first event will teach farmers how to grow high-quality seed using organic farming methods and which specialty seed crops are ideal for their farm and climate.  The second event is a two-day course on plant breeding and is intended for farmers, researchers, and students with a strong interest in on-farm crop improvement.  Space is limited so interested participants are encouraged to register early.

Contact Kiki Hubbard, Organic Seed Alliance,
(406) 544-8946, for more info!

These events are supported by the MT Dept of Ag’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, USDA’s Organic Research and Extension Initiative, and the High Stakes Foundation.
1.  Learn the Fundamentals of On-farm Plant Breeding
When: September 13 – 14, 2016
Where: The classroom component will take place at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana. The course also includes a number of farm visits throughout the Mission Valley.
Cost: Free (lunch provided)

Click here or visit
Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) will teach this two-day classroom and field-based course on plant breeding at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo. Nationally renowned organic plant breeders from the University of Wisconsin, Cornell University, Oregon State University, and OSA will lead this course. Participants will learn basic principles and practices for evaluating, developing, improving, and maintaining plant varieties on their farm.
The course is intended for farmers, researchers, and agricultural students. Prior experience in seed growing is recommended.
2.  Growing Seed on Your Farm
When: September 11, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Where: Terrapin Farm in Whitefish, Montana
Cost: $15 (includes lunch)

Click here or visit
This workshop is designed for vegetable farmers with a strong interest in producing seed using organic farming methods.  OSA will provide hands-on instruction to help farmers build their skills in organic seed production, handling, and storage. The workshop will provide a brief overview of seed biology but will mostly focus on seed harvesting and cleaning techniques.  Participants will also learn how to choose both dry- and wet-seeded crops that are most appropriate to grow for seed in Montana.
Participants should have basic knowledge in seed biology and are encouraged to review OSA’s publications and tutorials at before the workshop. Prior experience in growing seed is recommended.

2016 Montana Master Gardener Celebration


MSU Extension and Montana Master Gardener have planned their 2016 celebration for Thursday, September 29 - Saturday, October 1 in Great Falls. 

Some of the fun events and tours planned are:
 *Tour of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center 
*Tour of Groundworks Farm, Fort Shaw 
*Tour of Branch Brady’s Home, a well-known expert gardener in the Great Falls area! guest speaker is  Whitney Cranshaw, Entomologist from Colorado state University and author of many great gardening and insect books.  
Whitney is a great speaker and is always entertaining and informative!
The Celebration is open to Master Gardeners, their friends and families, Garden Club members and anyone else who loves to garden!

How is your Garden Growing:
Featuring Selma Held

Did you know the park and gardens are named after Mrs. Selma Held (1921-2009), who was the driving force behind getting the vacant lot turned into something special. 
She did it because of "the idea that volunteers knit together a community -- that neighbors helping neighbors is the basic building blocks of progressive momentum." 
Thank you Linda Nelson for giving me a little tour of the gardens, and helping me get in the gate!
HCG's Partner AERO is gearing up for their 2016 Expo and Annual Meeting!   Please check out the flyr and pass this information on; it is going to be a fabulous event!

Lewis & Clark Extension Weed Workshop


Extension Agent Brent Sarchet will be teaching a FREE introductory class on weed management Wednesday, August 31st from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm, 

He'll cover:
- weed vs. MT Noxious Weed vs. County Noxious Weed
- Weed Integrated Pest Management
- Weed ID
- Management options and techniques both organic and non-organic

Most of the workshop will be outside (weather cooperating), but meet first in the upper conference room at the Extension Office (at the Fairgrounds).

The workshop is limited to 40 people, so please RSVP! 
Email or call 447-8350.

Update from our friends at HATS


     Helena Area Transit Service is going to add two new fixed routes (one east-to-west, one north-to-south) by the middle of October (pending all ADA upgrades finished and all drivers trained on new equipment before they can launch the new routes). Their goal is to have each route take 30 minutes to complete.
      They will keep their paratransit system in place (they currently have 500 people who use that system, and they have a new online application for getting included in this service). For the time being, they will not be adding weekend, holiday, or evening hours.  
     They also are changing their name to Capital Transit and getting their buses painted in a new dark blue. Their new website is
      Prices and hours will remain the same, with a slight evening extension (to about 6:15) to make sure that each bus completes its full route.

Mark Your Calendar! Outreach & Education Events 2016

Saturday, September 17   10am-12pm
HCG Food Preservation Demo:
Canning, Freezing, Dehydrating
Lewis & Clark Co Extension Office (Fairgrounds).
HCG will be hosting a Food Preservation Talk at the Extension Office. It will cover the basics of Water Bath Canning, Pressure Canning, Freezing, and Drying Produce. Class is free and open to the public and no reservation is needed.

Saturday, September 17   1-2:30 pm
Natural Grocers Food Preservation Demo:
Canning, Freezing, Dehydrating
Natural Grocers 3061 N. Montana Ave
Natural Grocers will be hosting a Food Preservation Talk at their kitchen. It will cover the basics of Water Bath Canning, Pressure Canning, Freezing, and Drying Produce and will be using apples they have featured that month. Class is free and open to the public and no reservation is needed. Class is free and open to the public and no reservation is needed.

Throughout September
Food Preservation Classes
Water Bath and Pressure Canning
Extension Office Kitchen. 
Hands On Classes - $5 per class (pay at beginning of class)
Call or email for reservations (space is limited!): 447-8042 or 
  • Monday, September 19th, 6-8:30pm – Water Bath Canning. Water Bath Canning basics, and go through a recipe as a group. Each participant will get to take a jar or two home
  • Wednesday, September 21st, 6-8:30pm – Pressure Canning. Pressure canning basics, and go through a recipe as a group. Each participant will get to take a jar or two home!
  • Monday, September 26th, 6-8:30pm – Water Bath Canning. Same as above.
  • Wednesday, September 28th, 6-8:30pm – Pressure Canning. Same as above.

Montana Nonprofit Association Conference:  Helena, September 27-29
Registration is now open for the Montana Nonprofit Association’s conference.  Register here! 

Saturday, September 24   10am-12pm
Finding Rainbows in the Garden, for Kids:
Harvest the spectrum of veggie colors & flavors
North Valley Co-Op CSA.  Details coming soon!

Saturday, October 8   10am-12pm
Lacto Fermentation Workshop
Registration required
Plymouth Church, 400 S Oakes St.
Details coming soon!
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PO BOX 1222 Helena, MT 59624

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