Free gardening classes at the Lynnwood Library this spring

Instructor Marni Swart’s advice to new gardeners is to plant something you love to eat that’s easy to grow. Salad greens, strawberries and basil are among her recommendations. (Photo courtesy Marni Swart)

The Lynnwood Library is offering two free gardening classes this spring. The drop-in sessions are open to all, including kids and novices, and require no advance registration.

“My goal is to reduce people’s barriers to growing their own food,” says instructor Marni Swart.  “We really want to make sure these classes are accessible to everyone–it’s important to make them available for people who can’t afford to pay and for those who work during the day.”

Get a jumpstart on the gardening season with the first class, “Gardening: Growing From Seed,” on Wednesday, March 27 from 6-7:30 p.m. This introductory session will cover seed germination basics, which veggies and herbs are best to start by seed, potting up, soil basics, lighting, and how to prepare seedlings for planting out into the garden as the weather warms up. There will be time for Q&A and a mini seed swap at the end.

A colorful array of edibles that can be planted this spring.

The second class, “Small Space Gardening: Grow Your Own Food,” is perfect for apartment dwellers with access to a sunny windowsill or balcony, or those who aim to plant in pots, containers or raised beds. Some gardening basics will be covered, and it takes place on Monday, April 15 from 6-7 p.m.

“We try to plan programs that are inclusive and reflect our community’s interests,” says Lynnwood Librarian Julia McConnell. “Marni does a great job of making gardening accessible to everyone.”

Swart is a certified sustainable urban agriculturist, garden coach, edible garden designer, nursery woman and owner of Growing Roots Together. She thrives on teaching people how to sustainably grow more of their own food and medicine as a way of building connections with nature and within communities. “These classes really fit in with my mission to teach in a way that brings people together,” she says. “It gets them talking about where their food comes from–and that all starts with seeds.”

— By Clare McLean

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