Master Gardeners came to the Little Bear Patch Educational Garden at Kalmiopsis Elementary School Saturday to teach the residents how to garden from the ground up and to explain the goals of growing a garden to the three area schools.

Master Gardener Larry Becher, chairman of the K-school garden committee, and Scott Thiemann, program assistant for Curry County Master Gardeners, taught a hands-on class to about eight people about gardening - from planting seeds, transplanting, the best ways to arrange gardens and which fertilizer to use.

"We are really trying to cover the basics in how to get you going in your gardens," Thiemann said.

Matthew Shrewsberry, a resident of Smith River, came to the class for more experience and getting advice on gardening from local gardeners.

"I am a new gardener, started last year. I'm really kind of into it right now," Shrewsberry said. "Gardening is just the reward of being able to eat something you have grown from a seed and have watched it mature and do its thing. For me, it is rewarding and exciting."

Master Gardener Susanne Griswold said, "You have to get started. Start with something simple that you can see and utilize. Even herbs are a great thing to start with."

In addition to teaching the residents about gardening, the Curry County Master Gardeners have spent the last year trying to work with the schools to grow a garden. The gardeners have set a goal to have one item from the garden on the lunch menu by September.

"We wanted to expand (the garden) to all three schools, so the first thing we did was change the name from the K-school garden to the Educational Garden. It's officially, 'The Little Bear Patch Educational Garden,'" Linda Becher, Master Gardener, said.

It is often hard to get time in classrooms for the gardeners because teachers have lesson plans already made and gardening is usually a hard sell.

"They all want to teach math and science," Larry Becher said. "We teach both of those right here."

Last year the gardeners planted a squash that never gave up and grew to a very large size. The elementary students would come help in the garden and often take a class outside to enjoy the sun.

"It was just fantastic. The kids would sit on it during their reading class," Larry Becher said of the large squash.

"What's wonderful about this place is they can have a hands on experience. We are not just talking about gardening, we are actually doing it," Thiemann said. "The kids can take experiences back and garden at home."

All of the Master Gardeners are willing to help the people of Brookings-Harbor be successful in their gardening. People may stop by the educational garden at 650 Easy St. on the weekends to get the information needed to keep growing healthy, happy plants. Master Gardeners can also be reached in Gold Beach at 541-247-6672 or 800-356-3986.