News Flash

Health & Community Services News

Posted on: August 1, 2023

Planting the Seeds with ‘Grow Your Own Food’ and ‘Seed to Sprout’

Health and Community Services

SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA. August 1, 2023 – This Spring San Juan County Health & Community Services (HCS) and WSU Extension Master Gardeners hosted a free four-week program for families with preschool-age children to learn about vegetable gardening hands-on! The program centered around vegetable gardening at the Slow Food Land and Sea Garden. Each week had a different focus from creating a planting plan, to transplanting seeds, fertilizing and watering, to harvesting.  The program culminated with participants planting their own container garden to take home.Seed to sprout

This four-week program combined the ‘Grow Your Own Food’ and ‘Seed to Sprout’ programs and had seventeen participants and was led by nine volunteers and staff. Parents worked with the Master Gardeners in one part of the garden while the children enjoyed ‘Seed to Sprout’ activities including stories, songs, crafts, and garden adventures. These adventures often ended in tasting delicious food growing in the garden. Strawberry harvesting and watering the garden with pint-sized watering cans were big hits with the preschool participants.

“We love the openness and relaxed approach to letting the children touch and explore the garden,” said one family in their review of the program. “So happy for all the children here - even my shy granddaughters had fun,” wrote another.

HCS would like to extend a special thanks to Linda Degnan Cobos – Slow Food Land and Sea Garden Manager, WSU Master Gardener volunteers, the Joyce L Sobel Family Resource Center, and Rachel Sorensen -Farm to Early Childhood Educator volunteer.

If you missed out on this opportunity and would like to join the garden fun, HCS is excited to offer their ‘Seeds to Sprout’ early learning program in the garden again this summer Preschool aged children and parents can join the summer ‘Seed to Sprout’ free Early Learning Garden activities on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from 10 to 11 a.m. (Jul. 12 and 26, Aug. 9 and 23, Sept. 13 and 27). The program is located at the San Juan Island Slow Food Land and Sea Garden, between Blair Ave and 2nd St Ave. Pre-registration not required and drop-ins are welcome! 

Seed to sprout 2On Orcas, Seed to Sprout is Aug. 16 and Sept. 20 with the Orcas Community Participatory Agriculture Program (OCPA) at Turtleback Farm from 4 to 5 p.m. Participants are encouraged to enroll at Seed to Sprout - 2023 Enrollment form/Formulario de inscripción para Semilla al Florecer - 2023.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information or reasonable accommodation, please contact:

Kristen Rezabek, Health and Nutrition Coordinator,, 360-370-7518

About WSU Mater Gardener Program

The San Juan County WSU Master Gardner program engages university-trained volunteers to empower and sustain diverse communities with relevant, unbiased research-based horticulture and environmental stewardship education for a healthy planet and healthy people.

About San Juan County’s Department of Health & Community Services    

San Juan County’s Department of Health & Community Services is responsible for community and environmental health, mental health and substance abuse programs, senior services, affordable housing projects, and more. The department has staff and offices on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Islands. For more information about San Juan County’s Department of Health & Community Services, visit


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