PLANTS - Participants will be learning how to plant and transplant garden vegetables. (Herald Photo / Provided)
PLANTS - Participants will be learning how to plant and transplant garden vegetables. (Herald Photo / Provided)

A collaboration between long time Kokomo Downtown Farmer’s Market vendor Thistle Rock Farm and the SHAK Makerspace will come to fruition this weekend. Michelle Martin and Steve Daily of Thistle Rock will impart their knowledge of starting a garden from seeds.

“We want everybody to know there is no special secret to gardening, especially when starting from seed. It gives them many more choices,” Martin said. “I had a million garden attempts before I had a successful one because I didn’t have anyone to teach me. It wasn’t until I moved to Kokomo and met Steve that I had success. Just to have someone to reassure you and show you what to do, give you confidence.”

The class will be held on Saturday, Mar. 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the SHAK Makerspace (210 W. Monroe) and will cost $12. Participants will learn about selecting the right seeds for a garden, how to plant, care for, and transplant the larger plant when the time is right.

“It can be intimidating to break the plants apart, separate the roots, and to know when it is time. You have to be gentle and know how deep to transplant them. We’ll talk about what to do and talk about techniques,” said Martin.

The partnership of growing fits perfectly into the SHAK Makerspace concept, according to SHAK Co-Founder Nan Braun.

“Growing food and making gardens, whether it is fruit, vegetable, or flowers, it’s another form of making in our book,” she said. “We knew we wanted to do something with gardening and being able to get people started. When we were thinking who made sense to ask and invite, Thistle Rock was one of the first people to come to mind. When we approached them, they were super excited and jumped right in.”

For the class, Martin and Daily will lead participants in planting six plants from seeds ranging from tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, an herb, and others.
“We’re really excited to have them in. They have great, high-quality stuff. They will have all organic seeds and soil,” said Braun. 

Martin said they have already planted some seeds well in advance of the class, so participants can see, first hand, how to gently break apart plants and replant then in a bigger space. 

“We’ve planted some tomatoes, so they can see the different stages of growth. We want to demystify and remove some of the intimidation of planting,” Martin said. “You can plant anywhere – a rooftop, deck, patio, wherever.”

Braun said there is a discount for SHAK Members and will include all the supplies needed for the class. Participants will use non-GMO certified organic seeds and organic potting soil for the class. Pre-registration is highly recommended.

“You can choose (to plant) instead of waiting for the plants to come out in stores, and if you don’t get out there in time, you get the scraggly plants and you’re trying to keep them alive,” Martin said. “When you start from seed, you have endless selection and we’ll talk about seed selection and things that do and do not grow well in our area. We’ll also talk about over watering and under watering and how to know. You have a lot more control when you plant. It’s cheaper and you know exactly what the growing conditions are. If you purchase a plant, you have no way of knowing if it organic non-GMO, planted in organic soil, if anything was put on it to help it grow, etc.”

“We want to empower people to take their food into their own hands and to exercise some control over what they eat and where it came from and get people back to the land,” Martin said.