Crossroads Hosts “Gardening Workshop for Families”

Families who participate in the workshop will grow more than $50 worth of vegetables. Photo by Katie Sikora.

“Once you had your hands in dirt as a child, as a grown-up, you have to put your hands back in,” says Pat Thorp, a certified organic grower who owns and operates Pat’s Patch. She never intended to become a gardener, selling produce throughout Door County – to individuals, businesses, and at farmers markets – but “the business just happened,” she recalls. “I had so much when I first started gardening that I gave it away, then people started asking, one thing led to another, which is the best way for things to happen.”

Thorp will co-lead a Garden Workshop for Families at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay. Presented in collaboration with UW Extension, The Community’s Garden, and Door County Master Gardeners, the workshop will offer four sessions on organic farming on Wednesday evenings, 6 – 7:30 pm, on April 16, 30, May 14 and 28.

“The families will start their own transplants and soil blocks, watch them grow, while learning more and more about gardening. Then they get to take transplants home,” Thorp sums up the workshops. Families will plant in a greenhouse, learn how to make good garden soil, keep weeds under control, and grow vegetables in their own home gardens.

The workshops teach both children and adults about the fun and benefits of organic gardening. “While parents are getting lectured on organic stuff, the kids get to go out and do fun activities with Coggin [Heeringa of The Crossroads],” explains Thorp. “They always have a good time.” The children will especially enjoy the first workshop’s main activity – creating good gardening soil.

“I put dirt and water in a great big plastic swimming pool. The kids get to put their hands in the dirt and they always look at their parents like ‘Is this okay?’” laughs Thorp. “They think that’s so cool.”

There is a $15 fee to cover the costs of plants and planting supplies; however, families will take home well over $50 worth of plants. “We will be growing tomatoes, peppers, all kinds of stuff, broccoli, peppers, did I already say that?” laughs Thorp. “All kinds of vegetables!”

For more information about the Garden Workshop for Families, call Jenny Spude at 920.746.5994, email [email protected], or visit and click on “Learning Opportunities,” then “Environment.”

Look for Pat’s Patch on Facebook or a farmers market near you.