Brown Bag Gardening Series Begins with Panel on Local Food Growers

Folks are invited to bring their “brown bag” lunch or snack and learn a little about gardening during four sessions presented by La Porte County Master Gardeners. Four sessions, two each in La Porte and Michigan City, will focus on aspects of gardening from attracting wildlife to gardening with kids.

At the first session in the Brown Bag Gardening Series on Wednesday, January 16, a panel of local food growers will answer the following questions (and more): Have you ever wondered what the buzz is about local foods? Why are local foods important to our communities? How can you find out who is knowledgeable about it and why it might be good for people?

This panel will bring folks to you who are in the know and working on local food issues. Come hear from a local farmer – Damien Appel from Native Roots Farm; managers of a local farmer’s market – Catherine Mrozinski and Jen Samuelson; a representative from the Northwest Indiana Food Council – Dominique Edwards; and the Pax Center of LaPorte represented by Pastor Nate Loucks and Director Jason Clemons; all who are dedicated to making local, nutritional food available to those in the community.

Gardening is one of America’s most popular hobbies. According to a recent National Gardening Association report*, 42 million households in the US (35%) grew their own food in a garden. That’s an increase of 17% over the past five years, with most of that growth coming from younger households.

Get a “jump-start” on gardening this year by participating in one or all of the sessions in the award-winning Brown Bag Gardening Series, sponsored by the La Porte County Master Gardener Association. In 2015, the series won a statewide Search for Excellence award for educational service conducted by Purdue Master Gardeners. Sessions will be held as follows:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 16, Noon to 1:00 p.m., Local Food, La Porte County Extension Office, 2857 W. State Road 2, La Porte, IN.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 13, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., Attracting Wildlife, Michigan City Public Library, 100 E. 4th St., Michigan City, IN.

  • Wednesday, March 6, Noon to 1:00 p.m., Gardening Through Handicaps, Michigan City Senior Center, Washington Park, Michigan City, IN.

  • Wednesday, April 10, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., Gardening with Kids, La Porte Public Library Meeting Room, 904 Indiana Avenue, La Porte, IN.

All sessions will be Central time.

Folks are invited to bring their lunch or snack and join in for one or more sessions on these gardening topics. The fee is just $5 for each session, which includes informational handouts, or $15 for all four sessions. No need to pre-register; just show up.

For more information about the sessions in the Brown Bag Gardening Series, please call Purdue Extension – La Porte County at 219-324-9407. You may also download a flyer at; click on the “Garden” heading at top of the web page or go to the La Porte County Master Gardener website

The La Porte County Master Gardener Association is one of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service programs and helps fulfill the state motto of “Helping Others Grow” by training volunteers to promote good gardening and horticultural practices.

The Association accomplishes this through its volunteers conducting educational activities and projects in the community throughout the year.

For more information about the Purdue Master Gardener Program or about becoming a Master Gardener, please contact the La Porte County Extension office at 219-324-9407 or visit and link to “Master Gardeners” under “Garden.”

*Report can be downloaded at (12.5 MB); an “executive summary” of the report can be viewed at

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